Monday 12 November 2018

Book ~ "Cinders" (2018) Mette Bach

From Goodreads ~ Seventeen-year-old Ash has been living with her mother in her mother's boyfriend's house, along with his daughter Mimi and son Noah. When Ash's mother dies, Ash stays so she can attend a high school with a top coding program. But her stepsiblings take advantage of Ash's precarious living situation, with Mimi posting embarrassing pictures of Ash online and Noah making her do his homework. Ash's only solace is the social media app she has developed to support people who are being bullied online.

Using the handle Cinders, Ash starts chatting online with a girl who calls herself Charming. They become close, without ever meeting in person. When Ash finds out that Charming is Char, an aspiring singer who goes to her school, she admires her courage in identifying herself as a lesbian and singing about it. Char helps Ash see her own strength in not letting her situation cause her to be bitter, but instead using it to reach out to help others. For the first time since her mother died, Ash feels like someone sees that she is special and is there for her.

With a modern version of Cinderella as the main character, Cinders tells the story of a teen girl who overcomes adversity and bullying with kindness and compassion. (less)

Ashley's mother has recently passed away.  Ash is in her last year of high school and living with her stepfather (he had married her mother just before she passed away) and his two children, Mimi and Noah, who are Ash's age.  Mimi and Noah are really nasty to her but Ash has nowhere else to go ... she has to suck it up until graduation.  She knows her only hope is to win a scholarship so she can go away to university.  In the meantime, she is is a coding geek (who goes by the alias "Cinders") and develops an app called SendLove, which supports people who are being bullied online.  She "meets" Charming, another girl who is being bullied, on the site and they form a friendship.

This is the first book I've read by this author.  This book runs parallel with Charming, which is told from Charming's point of view (both books are written in third person perspective).

Though I'm assuming it is written for the young adult market (so I'm not its demographic), I liked the story and the writing style.  As a head's up, there is lesbian activity and I came across one swear word so perhaps the book is for a more mature young adult.

I liked Ash.  She was in a difficult situation having no one to turn to until she "meets" Charming.  Though he did the right thing in letting Ash stay after her mother passed away and treated her okay, her stepfather wouldn't be winning any father of the year awards.  While Mimi and Noah had the best of everything and never lacked for anything, Ash's room was a storage room and she was using a five year old laptop.  His children treated Ash like crap and the stepfather was either unaware of it or didn't care.

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