By far, one of my favorite series is The Lunar Chronicles. It consists of four books, and I would say that Cinder has to be the most memorable. These books are all based on fairy tales, with each book having its own unique twist. For instance, how Cinder (Cinderella) is a cyborg, or how Cress (Rapunzel) lives in a satellite. And what makes the stories so great, is that they take a subtle approach to the plot line, and makes a story that has small and sometimes unnoticeable references to the original fairytales, without necessarily having a happily-ever-after ending.
Cinder takes place in the year 126 T.E. (Third Era) 126 years after the end of World War IV, in the city of New Beijing (old Beijing having been destroyed in WWIV). The main protagonist of the story is 16-year-old Cinder. For as long as she can remember, she has lived in New Beijing as a cyborg. Unfortunately, the world looks down on cyborgs because people who are “enhanced” should not be treated as equally as people without cybernetic enhancements. This is what the general population thinks, including Cinder's stepmother and stepsisters. They are fine with putting Cinder and her best friend Iko, an android who has a programming glitch that gives her a personality, to work as mechanics in a booth. She has earned the title of “best mechanic in New Beijing” which is somewhat helped by her unlimited access to most all information. Even with her title, Adri (Cinder's stepmother) treats her like she is nothing but a machine. Besides Iko, the only other person who treats Cinder like a person is Peony, Cinder's other stepsister.
One day while at the market, Cinder is approached by Prince Kai, who asks if she can fix his personal android. However, their meeting is interrupted by the baker across the street, who has caught the Blue Plague, and the area is quarantined. Kai has to go because he can't be caught in the marketplace. Cinder and Iko, also not wanting to be caught up with the med-droids, take the back door out of their booth. They go to their apartment and are joined by Peony, who becomes bored while her dress being fitted for the upcoming ball. All three go to the junkyard, looking for parts. While looking for parts, Cinder stumbles upon a car from the last millennium - these days, all cars are in museums. While making a plan on how she can use the car to escape to France, Cinder discovers that Peony has come down with the Blue Plague.
After that, Cinder's life is never the same. She had to deal with Adri and Pearl, the first stepsister, both of them blaming Cinder for Peony catching the Blue Plague, as well as Prince Kai, who seems to have a particular interest in Cinder. Levana, the mysterious Lunar Queen, wants to marry Kai to help her take over Earth, using any dirty tactics and tricks to reach her goal and has a somewhat strange disliking for Cinder. Cinder is a great read for varied audiences, all the way from little pretty princesses, to hardcore terminators, and everyone in-between.
By reading Cinder, I have vastly expanded my horizons on what kind of books I am interested in, and the entire Lunar Chronicles Series has changed everything from the way I think to the way I write.