ya meets kdrama: cinder

it’s ya meets kdrama time again! my post is a little late because i’ve been traveling southeast asia for the last 2.5 weeks, and in the whirlwind of packing and prep, completely forgot to post before i left korea.

today’s book is one that i absolutely, whole-heartedly love and it’s with great pleasure that i share with you cinder by marissa meyer


honestly, i can’t remember the last time i enjoyed a book as much as i did this one (also, its sequel scarlet and i’m just starting the third, cress–SPOILERS AND DIE.) a good friend was talking about it at a writing conference and the premise sounded interesting, but i’ll just come out and say it–it’s awesome. i read it in a single sitting, compulsively turning the pages into the wee hours of morning. i think it’s such a clever reimagining of a fairy-tale and i appreciated how well the worldbuilding was done–enough to paint the picture, but no so much future tech jargon that you’re lost. also–and this is just a stylistic preference on my part–it was really nice to read a story in third pov. almost forgot what that felt like. for me, cinder is a great example that you don’t need that close, first-person narration to be completely sucked into the story and the character’s plight. i was 100% transported and loved every. single. second. of it.

about the casting

first, i think i take this casting thing too seriously. like, in my head i actually think this is going to happen and i then agonize over who should be casted. it’s ridiculous and i love it. anyway.

casting cinder was hard. i needed someone who could capture that isolation cinder feels as a cyborg, but also communicate her humanity even when everyone around her–with a few exceptions–treats her like anything but human. i’ve seen the actress i chose in several dramas and movies and while not a perfect match, i see her potential to grow with cinder as the series progresses (see, this is corey getting a little too carried away in her magical kdrama fantasy land). on the other hand, casting prince kai was so easy it’s almost laughable. if anyone has seen this actor’s performance in moon embracing the sun, then they know his capacity to be completely fun and swoon-worthy, yet also a serious, decisive (yet conflicted!) ruler. bonus points that he’s totally easy on the eyes.

everyone else was relatively easy. peony needed someone who could tap into that sweet, teenage charm but also tear at your heart with her fear and uncertainty over her sickness. iko (or the voice of iko) needed someone funny and endearing, who could get across that adorable droid’s seemingly (at times) complete obliviousness to her droid-state. queen levana needed someone who was on the surface, gorgeous and seemingly trustworthy, but who could also totally pull off the cold, calcuating witchery that she is constantly up to. last, doctor erland. can cinder trust him? i still don’t know! he’s a man of questionable morals and motives, for sure, and this actor has transversed both sides of the evil/good coin with finesse.

also, about the hanboks

i love hanboks. no one is surprised by this. i think korean traditional dress is gorgeous. i walk by hanbok stores on a daily basis and dream of walking inside and buying one because i just want to spin around in one. traditional dress is still worn in korea for holidays and events like weddings and funerals. it’s one of the things that i love most about this culture. and because this drama exists in corey’s fantasy dream land, and because cinder takes place in the future, i like to imagine that there’d be this super awesome fusion of high fashion and hanboks. hence, hanboks.

plus, did i mention they’re gorgeous? they’re gorgeous.

okay, okay. onto the casting. without further ado, i present thee with:


humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of new beijing. a deadly plague ravages the population. from space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. no one knows that earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. she’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. but when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome prince kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. [x]


han hyo joo (한효주) as cinder


kim soo hyun (김수현) as prince kai


han go eun (한고은) as queen levana


jin ji hee (진지희) as peony


kim seul gi (김슬기) as (the voice of) iko


jeong dong hwan (정동환) as doctor erland

cinder will air monday & tuesday nights at 10:00PM starting march 3rd on tvN.*

(because tvN is basically the best kdrama channel ever and my bbs deserve the best.)

(*this is fake. tragically.)

hit up the ya meets kdrama crew: laura | katie | rachel | christina

10 thoughts on “ya meets kdrama: cinder

    • yeah! historicals are my favorite. i mean, i know cinder takes place in the future, but i like the idea of somehow working in this high-fashion fusion of traditional dress.

      if you want a good historical kdrama rec, queen in hyun’s man (or the queen and i on hulu) is a time-travel drama that goes between joseon era and present day. it’s incredible.

  1. Cool casting. I can totally see them fitting the parts, at least based on their pics. (I don’t know any of them. I am a kdrama failure.) And the funny thing is, Kai at least could ACTUALLY be played by that guy! Yay for multicultural characters!

    • kai is the most perfect casting i’ve done to date. he’s not only absolutely handsome, but as an actor, he’s be legit. thanks for your kind words! :)

  2. OH. MY. GRACIOUS. !!!
    The LUNAR CHRONICLES are one of my all time favorite book series! I was actually thinking of doing a K-Drama casting cross-over for the books myself… but I’m completely on board with your choices! Gah! So good! I love all your selections. I think your choice for Cinder is excellent and I may have a slight obsession with Kim Soo Hyun at the moment… (“You Who Came From the Stars” anyone? ^^) I think Kim Seul Gi is also a perfect choice for Iko. She seems so feisty fun and her voice is so expressive… Great choices all around. *Sigh* If only it were real…

    • joni! i am so glad you like the casting! i agree–the lunar chronicles is one of my favorite series, too! i am thinking about casting the other books, too, eventually. wait until you see who i’m thinking for thorne!

      kim so hyun? swoooooon. i am loving ywcfts right now! he’s so talented, and i wish this drama was real because he’d be so perfect as kai! did you ever watch moon embracing the sun?

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