Review of ‘Cinderella is Dead’ by Kalynn Bayron
I’m a huge fan of lesbian fairy tale books so this was one of my more anticipated novels of the year. I noticed that the early reviews seemed to be a bit mixed. People either loved the book or didn’t seem to like it much at all. I was wondering where I was going to fall and it looks like I came in right in the middle. I liked the read but I didn’t love it like I was hoping to.
I thought the premise was great and I liked this unique spin on Cinderella. The problem I had was that I was hoping for more world-building. Maybe it’s the fantasy geek in me but that is always important to me. Because the world-building was lacking, the world seemed so small. A Kingdom, and some woods, and that was basically it. There is talk about a book that one of the character’s families made on their travels. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really lead to anything which is a shame because I loved the potential there.
I also thought that the characters could use some meat on them. I liked the main Sophia and I liked that she wanted to take down the evil patriarchy, but why? Just because she doesn’t like how crappy things are. I wanted to know what really drove her, where her inner strength came from and I wanted to see her character grow more. This was so very similar to the world-building because what was there about the characters was nice, but I wanted and needed more.
I was very happy with the pace of the book. Even at times when I was a little frustrated or I thought something was too predictable, I was still flying through the pages. The story is very easy to read and it never bogged down anywhere. Any fantasy fan knows how fantasy can slow way down, so this pace was a pleasant surprise.
There is a WLW romance in this book. I don’t know why but every romance in a YA fantasy I have been reading lately has been too insta-love. This is a fairytale and I expected quick, but this was too fast. One look and our main is over her ex in a heartbeat. On the good side, if you can get past the insta-love, I found the romance to be sweet. If only it had more time for a connection to build I would have enjoyed it so much more.
My favorite part ended up being a person and that was the fairy godmother. I loved the twist from the story of what she actually was. I won’t go into much here since I don’t want to spoiler anything but she was the best part of this book for me. Finally, the book didn’t seem so predictable and she was by far the most interesting character. There was some good stuff in this book with tons of potential, but it just didn’t all come together.
This ended up being a slightly above average YA fantasy read for me. There are issues with this story but I think I would still recommend this to fans of fairytale retellings. It’s very readable with a nice fast pace, just be prepared for some bumps. 3.50 Stars.
An ARC was given to me for an honest review.