cover image Cinderella Is Dead

Cinderella Is Dead

Kalynn Bayron. Bloomsbury, $18.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-5476-0387-9

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. [em]Agent: Jamie Vankirk, Rainbow Nerds Literary. (July) [/em]