Book Reviews

Review: Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

All you have to know about Cinderella Is Dead is a sapphic Cinderella retelling. That’s all I knew going in and I was sold! But Cinderella Is Dead is an engaging and unique retelling. Keep reading my review to find out all the reasons I loved Cinderella Is Dead!


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.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Cinderella Is Dead was a read I could not put down. Full of action and intrigue, I loved this sapphic Black heroine, Sophia who just wants to be with the girl she loves in a world that oppresses women and queer people. I don’t have that many notes about Cinderella Is Dead because I was so enthralled by the action. I am a sucker for stories where we have to re-examine the stories we know.

Stories are repeated, evolve to enforce, and become truth. The lies and fabrications turn into gilded cages. Cinderella Is Dead is a story about survival. A world where stories are truths not to be questioned or examined. It’s certainly a dystopia for girls and queer characters, where girls are married off at men’s whims and where queer characters have to erase themselves to be safe. Sophia has the audacity to crave happiness and freedom, and the system seeks to extinguish her fire. It’s a terrifying world and Sophia’s story is a fight for recognition and change.

Find Cinderella Is Dead on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository. And if you preorder you can get a fabulous enamel pin submit your receipts here until July 6th (US) or Aug 5th (UK)!


What is your favorite Cinderella retelling?

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