I just finished Cinder by Marissa Meyer.
classic fairytale retold + cyborg + alien race of Lunars = awesome.
Fast paced and bursting with surprises, Cinder is about the part human, part robot, orphan mechanical genius of New Beijing. She belongs to her legal guardian (stepmother) and has two step sisters (but one is nice).
Prince Kai, the future emperor of the Commonwealth shows up, undercover, at her grungy booth one day with an android to be repaired. That same day, her youngest step-sister, Peony (the nice one) comes down with the dreaded plague, never to be seen again as she is quarantined and expected to die in a matter of days.
There is a ball, a pumpkin coach, a wicked queen who is much worse than the stepmother, and a cyborg foot that is too small.
Meyer's first book is a rip-roaring adventure that ends with a huge cliffhanger, to be continued. I will definitely be reading the next three books in The Lunar Chronicles: Scarlet, Cress, and Winter.
This novel is for older teens. There is a joking reference to a sex change operation, some mention made of Cinder's perfect still human reproductive parts, and maybe two passionate kisses.
I love that Cinder is described as thin, not womanly, mousy thin brown hair, but with a compassionate heart and brilliant mind. Her relationship with Kai is based on factors other than appearance.
Cinder is like The Goose Girl on sci-fi steroids.