Dystopia, Reviews, YA

Review – Cinderella Is Dead

A Cinderella retelling with badass lesbians that save themselves and want to overthrow the patriarchy? Yes please!!!

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron


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 . . .

This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them

Title: Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
Date of Publication: July 7th 2020 by Bloomsbury YA
Length: 400 pages
Genre: Dystopian
Audience: Young Adult
Favorite Quote: “I think sometimes we make the mistake of thinking monsters are abhorrent aberrations, lurking in the darkest recesses, when the truth is far more disturbing. The most monstrous men are those who sit in plain sight, daring you to challenge them.”
Content Warnings: Toxic masculinity, homophobia, classism, ableism and human and animal death
Series: Standalone
*Retailers: Amazon and Book Depository


Both a great fun, medium-paced fantasy and infuriating at the same time *queue toxic masculinity and misogyny. Many aspects of the story were distorted and changed in a great way. Though a lot of the reveals were predictable they weren’t unpleasant as they played out.

I enjoyed this story. Sophia is a black queer teen with a strong sense of justice and what is right. She was strong when I wanted her to be, and vulnerable when she needed to be for her character arc. I appreciated her character very much and felt her plight as my own.

I’m not sure what it was about this book but it made the pacing feel a bit slower to me, though I know others have said it was fast paced. I think it was the really fast scenes followed by a few scenes that were to support character development. For me, it didn’t quite flow and always came after I was just starting to settle into the rhythm of the book (formulaic?). Then it would kind of stop and I’d lose it a little bit. Am I even making sense at this point?

I thought the romance a bit insta lovey. It felt a bit too – I’m a lesbian. Wait, you’re a lesbian? Then we’ll be lesbians together – for me. That’s probably a ‘me’ thing as I love when the MCs pine for each other and I just didn’t feel enough of the pine. GIVE ME THE PINE! The romance was too convenient for me.

All in all, I did enjoy this book and will definitely be picking up more from this author. I loved the feelings it provoked in me. Justice. Equality. Freedom from oppression.

Really do recommend this one. Perfect for YA youth of today that will build tomorrow, out of the foundation’s books like this one lay today.


Rating: 3 out of 5.

Note: * This is an affiliate link. If you purchase something using one of these links, I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you. We all win!

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