In reviews it's much easier for me the point out all the things I didn't like about a book. I can nitpick all the live long day.
When I like a book? Suddenly, I can't think of anything other than "I just do
, okay?!" So bear with me as a I traverse all the reasons I really enjoyed Cinder
First of all, I adore retellings of fairy tales or myths - nothing is original anymore, but new takes on old things can still be great. Meyer made Cinderella into a cyborg, with all the (assumed) associated problems + benefits (though to be fair, most of the book focuses on the problems). Despite her "upgrades", Cinder behaves just like a normal person. She has moments of self-pity, she loves and hates and feels pain.
The fact that Kai seems to constantly run into her while she's about is not particularly realistic as a man in the position of Prince/Emperor, but runs totally in line with a teenager with a crush. He's charming and concerned, but not overly pushy to find out the secrets that she's pretty obviously hiding. Their banter was a little awkward, but mostly endearing. Her inability to blush really made it easier for me to enjoy their encounters, because the constant blushing and stammering is just not something I can handle reading about for too long. (This is why I avoid a lot of the YA genre now).
Obvious foreshadowing about Cinder being the presumed dead Princess Selene is obvious. There was absolutely no other reason to add that information in. Cinder's journey to figure it out herself (though really, she just has someone tell her ...) was a little slow for me. The doctor's identity as Lunar was also fairly blatant almost from the start, though at first I though perhaps he was going to be a creepy Mengele. I wish that Meyer had been a little more circumspect about how it was revealed, but perhaps that is her just pandering to the genre - which is not to say that the readers are idiots, just that the industry thinks so.
I was hoping that Meyer would go more into the ethics of how cyborgs are treated as less than human, but that was probably too much subplot in a YA novel that already had politics and romance mixing. It's a fun ride and I hope see more improvements to the world building as the series continues. I know I'll be picking up the next one.