This is, by far, the worst book I've encountered on Audible.
The storytelling was weak, the dialogue was uninteresting, and the characters weren't relatable.
I found myself unable to root for the protagonist because I couldn't like her. That's not to say she was unsympathetic. That would be giving Rae Carson too much credit. Instead, we are faced with a protagonist who never seems to display realistic human emotions (other than brief moments of teenage angst).
My biggest complaint, however, is the way Carson addresses body image. At the beginning of the story, Elisa is overweight, lazy, apathetic, and generally useless. Apart from being the "chosen one," she has no qualities that would make a reader invest in her. She spends a great deal of her time thinking about how fat and ugly she is. A protagonist with body image issues could make for a very compelling story, but that's where Carson goes totally wrong.
Rather than learning to accept herself for who she is, Elisa mopes around being completely useless, until she is literally forced to lose weight. And how is this accomplished? Through starvation and rigorous exercise. Yes, diet and exercise are important for one's health, but this change in her lifestyle comes from outside forces, rather than any inner strength.
Finally, after enough starvation, and a whole bunch of walking, Elisa loses weight. Once she is no longer fat, she suddenly gains confidence, tenacity, and leadership skills.
Remember, the target audience for this story is primarily teenage girls (many of whom have body image issues of their own). The message they are receiving seems to be "If you lose a lot of weight, your life will automatically improve. If you starve yourself, people will admire you."
Even if this story hadn't been sub-par, the underlying message would have been enough to drive me away.
It immediately caught, and held my attention. I actually cared about the fate of the characters. Marissa Meyer created an intricate diagesis which stays internally consistant. As a result, it is easy to suspend disbelief in a world very unlike our own.
When I first looked at this book I was skeptical. A retelling of the cinderella story? Like that hasn't been done before...
Despite my reservations, I purchased it, and was pleasantly surprised. It was a refreshing adaptation of an overused format. Instead of the Cinderella character passively languishing in self-pity, Cinder is a strong, self-sufficient character. While it is a story of transformation, it comes in the form of self-discovery. This is not a story about a frumpy girl who is given a makeover by a benevolent character with an awesome wardrobe. Poof, you're hot. Go dance with the "prince" (see: all teen movies in the late nineties).
Instead, she is an active participant in her story.
I can't think of any. I love futuristic dystopias, but this is in its own class. The world reminded me a bit of Bladerunner, although not quite as dark.
It's hard to say. I was impressed by how distinct each character was.
No, I generally like this genre.
I don't know. The book was so mind-numbingly awful that I can't give an objective review of her narration. I didn't HATE her. So that's something.
The best part was when it was over.
This read like something written by a thirteen-year-old. At its best, the prose was cliche. The rest of the time I was cringing. I had no affinity with any of the characters. The protagonist was obnoxious, unrealistically oblivious, and not the least bit interesting. I found myself wondering how she had managed to live into her twenties with absolutely no survival instinct whatsoever.
The fact that she was extremely obstinate wouldn't normally bother me if I couldn't tell that it was merely the author's lazy attempt to artificially insert conflict into the narrative.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.