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Cinderella is dead
OverDrive Inc.  Ebook
2020
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"Queer black girls team up to overthrow the patriarchy in the former kingdom of Cinderella"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

"Wholly original and captivating." - Brigid Kemmerer, New York Times bestselling author of A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Girls 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.
- (Bloomsbury)

Author Biography

Kalynn Bayron is a debut author and classically trained vocalist. She grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. When she's not writing you can find her listening to Ella Fitzgerald on loop, attending the theater, watching scary movies, and spending time with her kids. She currently lives in San Antonio, Texas with her family.
@KalynnBayron - (Bloomsbury)

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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.

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.

Voice of Youth Advocates Reviews

Gay black teenager Sophia Grimmins lives in the city of Lille in the kingdom of Mersailles, home of Cinderella and Prince Charming two hundred years earlier. Now under King Manford, Cinderella's tale has become law. Girls receive invitations from the king to an annual ball at which single men of any age may choose a wife based upon her finery. Any girl not chosen after three invitations is "forfeit" and disappears, ostensibly into slave labor elsewhere. Girls have no voice and are the property of their husbands, who may abuse at will. Women are miserable but helpless to resist, a fate Sophia refuses to accept. Sophia attempts to convince her partner, Erin, to flee, but, when Erin declines, Sophia flees alone and becomes a target of King Manford. Arriving accidentally at Cinderella's hidden tomb in the forest, Sophia meets Constance, descendant of Cinderella's stepsister, and learns that the entire tale is a lie. King Manford is actually Prince Charming, an evil monster who sucks life from prisoners in order to live forever. Constance and Sophia discover a romantic attraction; as they move deeper into the forest, they find a shack occupied by witch Amina, the fairy godmother in the false story, who in fact aided Prince Charming and delivered Cinderella to him using magic. When Amina promises to help the girls kill King Manford, Sophia accepts her help although Constance has serious doubts about Amina. Cinderella Is Dead is a rollicking fantasy adventure that upends all the stereotypes of the original fairy tale. Bayron, author of the Six Points of Light and Zero Antigen Theorem series, has a nontraditional protagonist ready for any battle in the fight for justice. This fast and easy read should appeal to modern fantasy lovers.—Laura Woodruff. 3Q 4P M J S Copyright 2020 Voya Reviews.

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