Book Quibbles: Cinderella is Dead – Review

“We’ve also rarely heard about people like us and yet here we are. Just because they deny us doesn’t mean we cease to exist.”

Cinderalla is Dead

cinderella is dead cover

Author: Kalynn Bayron

Genre: YA/Fantasy/Fairytale Retelling


It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.

Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .

Light the Fuse

You had me at a queer, black Cinderalla who takes down the rule of a horrid king in order to change the world in which she lives, where women are treated like garbage and the men get everything.

Also fairytale retelling, which I’m always a big fan of if done well.

Sophia doesn’t want to follow the rules. She doesn’t understand why people just don’t fight back against the king when they obviously don’t want to follow him either. She speaks her mind and doesn’t really think things through.

Most of the time, this is a good thing, but characters like this always frustrate me, because there are times when you just want to yell at them to stop and think before just throwing themselves into the fire. Sophia wants to leave Lille with Erin but doesn’t have a plan and Erin can’t take that chance.

Then she meets Constance who wants to take down the king as much as she does and for very personal reasons. I wish there was more to Constance than just her family and being just as outspoken as Sophia, but that really is all to her life. And now there’s Sophia in her life, too.

They had some cute glances and words when first meeting, but then after some time with little interaction, they were kissing and declaring their feelings. I wish there was more build up to them.

However, the parts that are told differently are interesting and a nice twist on the original story. The Fairy Godmother and the step-sisters being some examples with new versions.


Cinderella is Dead is a great story for many young people to read about fighting for what you believe in and not standing down no matter what others think. It turns the fairytale into a story about women fighting back and demanding they be allowed to love who they love without being forced into something they don’t want.

However, it seems to be missing something. Some of the characters lack depth and feel a bit one-noted. Some come in and seem like they’re going to play a big role but end up disappearing. Then we’re introduced to others that are supposed to mean something to Sophia but she’s rarely talked about them.

I wasn’t a fan of the king either. I didn’t understand his reasoning and he didn’t seem that threatening. He lost his temper at the thought of someone not bowing to his rules and that made him even less intimidating.

But there were twists that I liked and I wasn’t sure how it was going to end. I had ideas, but they didn’t end up happening, so that was a nice twist for me.

Cinderella is Dead gives enough to be a new way to tell the Cinderella story and see it in a different way, but it lacked in other aspects. However, with more diverse characters and a overall good message, it is worth a read.


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