The Cinderella story has many versions, but none like Marissa Meyer’s new young adult sci-fi character in “Cinder.” This Cinderella is a mechanic who can repair anything, and she is “36.28 percent not human”- instead of a slipper, she loses a foot at the ball.

In Meyer’s futuristic world, victims of mutilating accidents can be saved by substituting computerized limbs and nervous systems for destroyed human parts, changing people into cyborgs. Unfortunately, the world of the future has not evolved enough to avoid deadly viruses, and cyborg Cinder’s cruel stepmother delivers Cinder to the authorities for the clinical trials to find an antidote when one of her stepsisters falls to the epidemic. But Cinder has a mysterious natural immunity that may save the Emperor and the nation from the disease as well as from the insidious Lunars (moon people), who plan to wage war for control of Earth.

Combining a love story, including an appealing Prince Charming, along with some Star Wars references, Meyer’s story includes suspense, adventure, romance – and a heroine appreciated for much more than her outward appearance. If you are a fan of “The Hunger Games,” you will enjoy Cinder’s heroism as much as Katniss. And, like Katniss, her story continues into a sequel – with 4 books in the Lunar Chronicle series.

I read through “Cinder” in one sitting, and was only disappointed when I discovered that I have to wait for the next installment.

William and Kate – A Wedding and Royal Blood

The Prince is marrying a commoner – not exactly Cinderella, but close enough to dream – and makes a good case for college networking opportunities.

To prepare us for the big event, the New York Times, along with every other major publication, has bombarded us with articles on the wedding dress – Waiting for the Dress, the politics of royalty – This Tarnished Crown, and made for TV movies – my favorite, William and Kate: Let Love Rule.

I found 5 books, so far, mostly alike and mostly pictures…

– but isn’t that why we will be watching?  I hope they have instant replays.

If you haven’t been invited (see the seating plan below), Royal Blood by a real Brit, Rhys Bowen, who now lives in California, will help get you through the night.  In this very British mystery, you can join the Queen for tea at Buckingham palace, and then follow Lady Georgiana to a wedding in Transylvania where she solves a murder and prevents a war.  The formula is predictable and you could read the book, listen to the droning commentators, and watch the wedding all at the same time.

Can you find your seat?  Royal Wedding Seating Plan