Cinderella is dead

Kalynn Bayron

Book - 2020

"Queer black girls team up to overthrow the patriarchy in the former kingdom of Cinderella"--

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Location Call Number   Status
Young Adult Area YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Bayron Kalynn Checked In
Fantasy fiction
New York : Bloomsbury YA, Bloomsbury Publishing Inc 2020.
Physical Description
389 pages ; 22 cm
Ages 13+.
Grades 10-12.
Main Author
Kalynn Bayron (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* In the town of Lille, Cinderella is not just a romantic fairy tale, it is the foundational story that undergirds the very culture and law of the land of Mersailles. Despite the grandeur of the ball custom, where annually girls of age are chosen by their own Prince Charmings, in reality it's nothing more than a ploy that renders its women vulnerable—especially those not chosen. So, when 16-year-old Sophia's invitation to the ball finally arrives, she is determined more than ever to follow her heart and flee from the restraints of King Manford's rule—even if that means leaving her family and best friend (and lover), Erin, behind. With the help of Constance, a descendant of Cinderella's stepsister, and Amina, Cinderella's supposed fairy godmother, Sophia attempts the impossible: dismantling a broken kingdom and taking down Manford once and for all. Flipping the Cinderella tale on its head, Bayron's take challenges patriarchy with kick-butt heroines and a counter-story that will forever change how readers perceive fairy tales. Though Sophia's bravery and cunning alongside her stereotype-shattering Black girl beauty will have readers rooting for her, the steady dose of unanticipated events, alliances, and realizations will have them asking, "Can she actually do this?" A fast-paced read, this title will challenge readers' conceptions on many fronts, garnering wide attention by way of our shared experiences of the Cinderella trope. Grades 8-12. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Two hundred years after Cinderella's death, the kingdom of Mersailles is a totalitarian patriarchy: women have no rights and live with children under a strict curfew, while young women must present themselves to prospective suitors at the annual ball. Those who aren't selected in three years—married by 18—are considered forfeit and destined for lives of servitude; some vanish altogether. In the city of Lille, headstrong Sophia Grimmins, 16, wants nothing to do with marriage—unless it's to her girlfriend, Erin. But while Erin succumbs to fear and social pressure, Sophia refuses to yield, fleeing the ball. On the run, she encounters beautiful Constance, a descendant of Cinderella's vilified stepsister Gabrielle, who knows the truth behind the official legend. Determined to overthrow the corrupt system, the two decide to trace the rumors behind another storied figure: Cinderella's fairy godmother. While the budding relationship between Sophia and Constance fulfills an emotional component, logistical failings and a hasty conclusion weaken the novel. Even so, Bayron's deconstructive reimagining of the classic fairy tale is ambitious, replacing the happily-ever-after with a tragic legacy and a defiant, feminist tone. Ages 13–up. Agent: Jamie Vankirk, Rainbow Nerds Literary. (July) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"Queer black girls team up to overthrow the patriarchy in the former kingdom of Cinderella"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"Wholly original and captivating." - Brigid Kemmerer, New York Times bestselling author of A Curse So Dark and LonelyGirls team up to overthrow the kingdom in this unique and powerful retelling of Cinderella from a stunning new voice that’s perfect for fans of Dhonielle Clayton and Melissa Albert.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.