Book Review: Fairest

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Synopsis:

Pure evil has a name, hides behind a mask of deceit, and uses her “glamour” to gain power. But who is Queen Levana? Long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress in The Lunar Chronicles, Levana lived a very different story―a story that has never been told . . . until now. New York Times –bestselling author Marissa Meyer reveals the story behind her fascinating villain in Fairest, an unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

*This book is part of my POPSUGAR 2016 Reading Challenge.*

I finally read Fairest and I didn’t love it. It took me forever to read because I hated Levana. I was hoping Fairest would open my eyes to another side of Levana that I couldn’t see or understand in The Lunar Chronicles but that wasn’t the case. This book just made me like Levana even less. However, it was awesome to see Cinder’s mom, Channary, even though she wasn’t a great person either, and Winter’s dad who deserved so much better.

I pretty much liked all the characters in this book except Levana and although I’m happy I read it because now I can officially say I’ve read all the books in The Lunar Chronicles series, I definitely wouldn’t read it again. It was well written and the plot was fine but I didn’t enjoy reading it at all. Levana was just too infuriating and any sympathy I had for her at the start of the novella was gone by the end.

If you love The Lunar Chronicles I think you should read Fairest just because it does provide some interesting background but you don’t have too. It wasn’t as good as the other books in the series and nothing absolutely crazy happened that you must read. Overall, Fairest is definitely a borrow for me.

Stars:

3 stars

Favorite Line:

“Maybe the princess could save herself.”
“That sounds like a pretty good story too.”

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Book Review: Stars Above

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Synopsis from Amazon:

The enchantment continues. . . .
The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories – and secrets – that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?
With six stories – two of which have never before been published – and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

*This book is part of my POPSUGAR 2016 Reading Challenge.*

I was so happy when I finally got a copy of Stars Above. I desperately needed more Lunar Chronicles in my life and I loved all these short stories, some more than others.

My favorite has to be the extra epilogue, “Something Old, Something New”. I won’t spoil it if you haven’t read it yet but one of the four couples is getting married and it’s absolutely adorable. Seeing all my favorite characters together again and all of them happy made me so happy. Also, I think Iko might have a love interest in her new graphic novel, at least based on this short story. That should be interesting since she’s an android but I support it.

My second favorite was definitely “The Princess and the Guard”. To be perfectly honestly, I wasn’t really a big fan of Jacin in the series. I don’t know why but I didn’t really like him. However, after reading this short story I like him way more now. It was so cute reading how he and Winter’s friendship slowly developed into something more. It also reminded me why I hate Levana.

The story I probably liked the least was “The Little Android” mainly because it didn’t really have anything to do with the central characters of The Lunar Chronicles. Cinder appears in it briefly but that’s about it. I knd of skimmed this one because I found it difficult to care about an android I’d never met before.

Overall, I really loved this short story collection and hopefully I’ll be able to purchase a copy to keep on my shelf forever. Until then, I’ll probably read Fairest soon since I still haven’t read it. I highly recommend reading Stars Above though. It will give you all the feels.

Borrow or Buy: Buy! I want to reread these stories over and over again so I never have to leave these characters behind.

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“I will accept any amount of monsters my mind wants to give me, but I will not become a monster myself.”

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Woman Crush Wednesday: Linh Cinder

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Source: POPSUGAR

I don’t know how I’ve discussed so many characters from The Lunar Chronicles  and neglected to mention my all time fave character: Cinder.

Besides the fact that Cinder is a BAMF cyborg, she’s also just a genuinely kind person that always does her best to do the right thing despite all the crap that’s been thrown at her. She’s raised by a stepmother that hates her because of no fault of Cinder’s and a stepsister, Pearl, who also hated her.

The only two people in Cinder’s family that actually loved her was her younger stepsister, Peony, and the family android, Iko. What makes Cinder so incredibly beautiful is once she makes her own friends and gets the happy ending she deserves, she doesn’t become this hateful or spiteful person. She’s still just as kind, caring, and compassionate as she is at the start of the series.

Also, did I mention Cinder is an amazing mechanic? She can fix anything, including herself. Moreover, I love how she always has grease stains on her somewhere. Even when she’s wearing a dress and gloves she still ends up with grease on her. It’s like a permanent part of her and I love that the author, Marissa Meyer, created this character who’s female and beautiful but also isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty.

I like that Meyer’s didn’t try to make Cinder into a “tomboy” or “girly girl” but instead Cinder is just Cinder. She is pretty, smart, quick thinking, brave, scared, sad, happy, and strong. She is all these things and that’s what makes her such an amazing character. Getting to follow along as she discovered who she really is, and I don’t mean who everyone tells her she is, but who she wants to be and what she’s capable of, was probably my favorite thing about this series.

Also, don’t think I forgot about Scarlet. We’ll discuss her next week!

Favorite Line:

“You said yourself that the people of Luna need a revolutionary. So I’m going to Luna, and I’m going to start a revolution.”

Dreamcast: Shay Mitchell

 

Man Crush Monday: Ze’ev “Wolf” Kesley

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Wolf is BAE.

I could leave it at that but let me explain. Wolf first shows up in Scarlet, book two of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, where he meets, you guessed it, Scarlet. Scarlet is also fabulous and I’ll talk about her on Wednesday but today is Wolf’s day to shine.

He’s cute and strong and also kind of shy, which is crazy because he can literally kill people with his bare hands. But when it comes to Scarlet he is so sweet and gentle and he just loves her so much.

He calls her his “alpha” because despite what’s been done to him (if you don’t know what that is READ THE BOOKS! They’re so good!) he always wants to protect her and put her first. Honestly, the relationship between Scarlet and Wolf is probably my favorite of the series and if I didn’t love Marissa Meyer so much I might hate her for all the crap she put them through.

Still, I absolutely love Scarlet and Wolf and Wolf is just an all around amazing guy.

Swoonworthy Line:

“I think I realized I would rather die because I betrayed them, than live because I betrayed you.”

Dreamcast: Tyler Posey

Man Crush Monday: Carswell Thorne


The amazing thing about The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Myer is there’s so many amazing characters. I plan to talk about all of them at some point but today’s Man Crush Monday is Carswell Thorne or just Thorne for short. Or Captain, which is his preferred name actually.

Thorne is cute, funny, and has a big heart. Although he jokes around and some people can never take him seriously he honestly cares about his friends and he’s a good Captain.

Also, it cute how much he loves his ship, the Rampion. It’s like how some guys really love their car. Despite the fact that Thorne technically stole the ship, he cares for it like its his own and it kind of is.

I don’t want to spoil the series but his love interest is adorable and the two of them gave me all the feels. I think Thorne’s best side comes out when he falls in love and decides to be the hero the girl he loves already thinks he is.

Honestly, if someone asked me to choose my favorite Lunar Chronicles guy I couldn’t. Next week I’ll be talking about Wolf and if you haven’t read these books yet you should read them just for him because he’s AMAZING. And I’ll explain why next week.

Swoonworthy Moment:

“If you honestly believe that,” said Thorne, stowing the gun again, “then you really don’t recognize true value when you see it.”

Book Review: Winter

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Synopsis from Amazon:

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

*Note: If you haven’t read the first three books in The Lunar Chronicles, DO NOT read this review unless you want to be spoiled. You’ve been warned!*

First, I would like to applaud Marissa Meyer for the diversity in her novels. Winer is DARK skinned, y’all! Do you even know what that means? That’s crazy and unfortunately rare in YA novels (and literature in general). And Prince Kai and the people of the Common Wealth are Asian. Also, unlike most dystopian novels this doesn’t take place in America, although we do have Thorne who’s American.

Plus, Winter has a mental health issue and Jacin handles it perfectly by being there for her and telling her she’s perfect just the way she is. Meyer handled this so well. I loved everything about this book and this series. So good!

Winter picks up a few weeks after Cress ended and Cinder and her crew are planning their revolution, although that’s, of course, easier said than done. Plus Wolf is still distressed about Scarlet and I just wanted to give him a hug and tell him everything would be okay.

Cress and Thorne were the cutest and I loved how shy they were with each other. Also, seeing Cinder and Kai work together was so cute and they made a great team. Basically, all the ships sailed in this novel and I absolutely loved it.

This novel was more than just romance though. There were some kick a** fight scenes and just great strategies all around. Cinder and co. kicked butt and took names and I loved it.

I’m so sad this series is over. I loved binge reading it and I’ll miss it. Thankfully there’s a collection of short stories coming next year so I can still get by Lunar Chronicles fix.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“Broken isn’t the same as unfixable.”

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Book Review: Scarlet

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Synopsis from Amazon:

Cinder is back and trying to break out of prison―even though she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive if she does―in this second installment from Marissa Meyer.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother, or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana.

*Warning: Spoilers if you haven’t read Cinder, the first novel in the Lunar Chronicles.*

I love how this whole series is retelling of fairy tales. Scarlet is Red Riding Hood, which is emphasized by the fact that Scarlet has red hair and always wears a red hoodie. Plus, the male lead in this novel is named Wolf…for reasons.

To be honest, at first I was annoyed by this book because all I wanted to know was what was happening with Cinder and if she escaped from prison but instead this novel starts off with Scarlet. I quickly grew to like Scarlet, though, and realized my only prejudice was that she wasn’t Cinder. Once I was over that I realized that Scarlet is a BAMF and I liked that the story switched between following her and following Cinder, while also throwing some flashes of Prince Kai and other characters.

This novel follows Scarlet, who lies in a small town in France, as she tries to find her grandmother who went missing a few weeks ago. The cops believe Scarlet’s grandma probably just left on her own accord but Scarlet knows that’s not true. While looking for clues, Scarlet meets Wolf who may be the key to finding her grandmother, but Wolf has his own secrets that may ’cause Scarlet more harm than good.

Meanwhile, Cinder, of course, escapes, otherwise this series would’ve been much shorter. This isn’t a big spoiler but if you absolutely don’t want to know anything stop reading here.

Cinder teams up with another inmate, Captain Thorne, who’s hot and cocky and I love him. Working together they make their escape and Cinder decides they need to head to Europe to discover more about what happened to her.

I really liked how Marissa Meyer set up this novel and how she eventually brings Cinder and Scarlet together. There were definitely moments where I either wanted to jump back to Scarlet’s storyline or jump back to Cinder’s. It’s such a relief when they finally converge together and I’m not looking forward to the emotional roller coaster that Cress will surely put me on.

Who am I kidding? I’m totally excited.

Honestly though, Meyer did a good jump of switching between point of views. This novel is still in close third person, which I think was the best way to go with this novel. I also liked that we got to see another country in this futuristic world. In most dystopian novels we only ever get to see America so it’s interesting in this novel that we’ve seen two different countries and neither one of them are America. I dig it.

If you haven’t read these books yet I definitely recommend it. They’re a must read.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“I think I realized that I would rather die because I betrayed them, than live because I betrayed you.”

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