After seventeen-year-old Ash's mother dies, Ash is left with her mother's boyfriend and his children. They bully her by posting embarrassing pictures and making her do their homework. Ash's only solace is the app she developed to help people being cyber-bullied.
Calling herself @Cinders, Ash chats online with a girl named @Charming. Discovering @Charming is Char, a singer who goes to Ash's school, Ash comes to admire Char's courage in self-identifying as a lesbian. Char helps Ash help others, instead of being bitter. Ash finally feels like someone sees that she is special and supports her.
A modern Cinderella, Cinders tells the story of overcoming adversity and bullying with kindness and compassion.
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"This series continues with LGBTQ+ modern-day retellings of classic tales. Ash, a contemporary Cinderella in Cinders, is harassed by her stepsiblings while trying to win a coding competition at school. In Charming, Char is mercilessly cyberbullied for her music. Each book follows the story of how the two of them meet and fall for each other online while using Ash's anti-cyberbullying app. Romeo and Juliet is retold in Romeo for Real and Just Julian. Romeo is a high school sports start who begins to explore his sexuality after meeting Julian, though his openly homophobic friends and family make him fear coming out as gay. Through his relationship with Romeo, artist Julian becomes involved in LGBTQ+ activism. While these story lines relate only loosely to their source material, the narratives pack a punch. VERDICT These modern romances, written at a fourth grade reading level, effectively tie in contemporary themes like bullying and social media while presenting relatable characters embracing their sexuality."--School Library Journal--Journal