Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron; narrated by Bahni Turpin
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Release date: September 4, 2020
In Mersailles, Cinderella is more than just a fairy tale: her story is a guide for how women should behave. All girls are required to attend the annual ball where they are either chosen as a wife or sent away, never to be heard from again. Sophia would much rather marry her childhood best friend, Erin, and makes the decision to flee. She ends up at Cinderella’s mausoleum, where she meets the last descendent of one of Cinderella’s stepsisters and learns the real truth behind the fairy tale while becoming entangled in the movement to topple the monarchy.
Turpin is pitch perfect as Sophia, while breathing life into all of the characters, especially those that might seem one-dimensional on paper. Sophia is a strong protagonist who isn’t afraid to go after what she wants, no matter the price, putting her in league with such notable main characters as Tris Prior, Katniss Everdeen and Jude Duarte.
Fans of Brigid Kemmerer’s Cursebreaker series, Red Hood by Elana Arnold and other fairy tale retellings will appreciate the nods to the classic Cinderella fairy tale. Fans of novels with strong world building and culturally diverse casts should look to such series as The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton, Dread Nation by Justina Ireland and Legendborn by Tracy Deonn.
Other Nominated Titles
- Off The Record by Camryn Garrett; narrated by Jomiece Abbott-Pratt (May 18, 2021)
- One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston; narrated by Natalie Naudus (June 1, 2021)
- The Ivies by Alexa Donne; Narrated by Phoebe Strole (May 25, 2021)
The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are available on The Hub.