This was my most recent read with Bookstaholics anonymous. I’ve been very bad with their last few reads, but I was super excited when this one was picked!
Cinderella is dead and now the classic tale is used to control the women of the lands. Each woman has three chances to go to the annual ball and be chosen by eligible men (essentially anyone who is not married), those that do not get picked are consigned to a harsh life or forfeited. Sophia hates the world she lives in and wants nothing more than to run away with her friend and love, Erin. But Erin doesn’t want to leave, and things don’t go to plan when Sophia attends the annual ball…
My main problem with this book is that the Erin character is pretty unlikable, and I was excited about a character with my name.
Joking aside, this was an easy read and an enjoyable standalone. The premise was very interesting and original. There are so many retellings (and I love them) but this one is definitely one of the most unique takes. I suppose because it’s not actually a retelling but more uses the Cinderella story as inspiration for the history.
I thought the book tackled some really important themes and ones which I personally feel very strongly about. Important Trigger Warnings though for domestic abuse. I really hated the men in this book, Luke was the only good male character. They were all just so controlling and awful. I don’t even feel I can eloquently put how arsehole-ish the men are in this book.
Sophia was an interesting heroine. I found her a little annoying at time, I can’t quite put my finger on why. I suppose I feel like if she felt strong enough to leave and want to take Erin with her, why, after everything Erin does and says, does she not just leave without her before the ball? It didn’t feel like Erin really gave Sophia anything, instead she just made her feel bad for wanting them to be together, so I didn’t really see the attraction.
I really liked Constance though. I would have liked to have read from her perspective. I feel like her way of seeing Sophia would have made our heroine more likable. From what I got from the story, Constance is a really strong rebel who’s lost quite a bit of hope, Sophia’s passion and daring seems to reinvigorate her. I think having a dual perspective would have given this story more balance and it maybe would have helped me understand their attraction a little more.
I really liked the relationship between Sophia and Constance, but I feel like it was ruined somewhat with the presence of Erin in Sophia’s mind. Really hating Erin right now, it’s causing issues for me. I think it could have been improved by more build up though, like perhaps if Sophia had met Constance in the first chapter when she’s escaping from the guards?
The actual storyline and the reveal about the truth about Cinderella’s story was really good. I liked the idea of there been truth behind the fairytale. This book was quite plot driven though and I do tend to prefer a bit more character driven stories, I think. Just writing this review is making me realise that the something that was missing for me in this book was growth in the characters and tension in the relationships.
Nevertheless, an enjoyable read. I originally gave it a 4* rating, it might be more of a 3.5* though. I think if you’re a fan of quick reads and looking for a standalone then this is a great book for you. Also, I’m not going to complain about having this beautiful cover on my shelves.
2 thoughts on “Book Review: Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron”
This is a great review, we definitely had similar thoughts! I hated Erin the whole time and I definitely got annoyed with Sophia for being so caught up with her too.
Sorry only just saw this! Glad I’m not the only one as so many people seemed to love this story. I just found Erin such an unnecessary character, think I would have enjoyed it so much more if she wasn’t in it