Review: Winter

Title: Winter
Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: 2015
Page Count: 824
Rating: 5/5

First off, this book is very misleading. When it’s sitting on my shelf next to Cress, it looks like it’s a tiny bit smaller than Cress. But when you open the book and see that the pages are as thin as the pages in the Bible, you know that you were very wrong. But it was still an amazing conclusion and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

Winter is a retelling of Snow White and it is done so wonderfully. It still has the same lovable Snow White story and it blends so well with the rest of Meyer’s story. Winter takes place of course after Cress but we learn more about the character Winter. She is very well known on Luna and Earth because of her beauty. But she does have scars on her face from Levana (being jealous, of course) but that does not take away from her beauty. In fact, some say it makes her all the more beautiful. She’s very sweet and kind but also kind of crazy. She has a lot of hallucinations due to the fact that she does not use her Lunar powers and refuses to do so. Her and the royal guard Jacin Clay obviously love each other but haven’t told one another. They grew up as childhood friends and Jacin becomes Winter’s guard. Queen Levana knows of Jacin’s feelings for Winter and uses it to her advantage. (Have I mentioned that she’s evil?) Meanwhile, the rest of the crew (minus Scarlet, who is still on Luna as Winter’s “pet”) is trying to come up with a plan to overthrow Levana. And the battle begins.

I loved the blend of the original Snow White story and this one. We have a huntsman and we get a plague filled apple candy and true loves kiss. What more could you ask for? This book is very long and big but the story was never boring. EVER! I loved all the action, the romance and the friendships. Also, we get to see Iko more in this book than the others and I love her! I really didn’t understand why so many other people loved her, but after reading Winter, I have to say that I love her too. Winter and Jacin are adorable together. He is always worrying about her and trying to protect her and they make a very cute couple. But Cress and Thorne still have my heart. I loved them instantly while reading Cress and I was always smiling reading their parts. I also really grew to love Cinder and Kai. Like Iko, I didn’t see the love for them like everyone else, but now I totally do! And of course there’s Scarlet and Wolf. What a perfect match they make! How did Meyer create a story with all perfect ships?!? It’s fantastic!!!

The ending was great and I’m really sad this story is over but I’m looking forward to reading Wires and Nerves next. I recommend this story to EVERYONE! If you are reading this, please do yourself a favor and read this series!! If you have read this series, tell me what you thought. Which ship is your favorite? Which book is your favorite? Let me know!

Review: Fairest

Title: Fairest
Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: 2015
Page Count: 220
Rating: 3/5

When I started reading The Lunar Chronicles, I did not know what I was in for. I knew they were retelling’s of popular fairy tales but I had no idea the plots or story lines. So when it came time for me to read Fairest, the back story of the evil Queen Levana, I did not think that it was a necessary addition in the story. But I’m pretty sure I was wrong. I thought this was going to be a back story of how Queen Levana became so evil and I did not want to have any sympathy for her because she’s clearly very evil and I do not like her. And while this is Queen Levana’s story and it sort of explains why she is evil, I kind of enjoyed it. Marissa Meyer’s writing is still amazing in this one and while I really did not care to know Queen Levana’s history, I found myself wanting to get to the end of the book to see what happens.

Levana grows up with her older sister Channary. Their parents die when Levana is still a teenager and Channary becomes Queen. The two sisters do not get along very well. Levana seems to think that Channary is a terrible Queen and that she, herself, would make a better one. Levana has her sights set on a royal guard, Evret, but he is already married and expecting a child. But that does not stop Levana. We get to find out how the plague is started and they talk briefly of using the Shell’s for the antidote. We also get to see the build up of the wolf-hybrids.

I hated how Levana and Channary used their powers to get what they want. And of course we learn a little bit more on why Levana uses her glamour to hide her looks from everyone. We also get to see Princess Selene and Princess Winter in their younger ages and kind of see their back story. Levana is crazy and so disturbing. While understandable because her parents did not show any love to Levana or her sister, her need to find love is just too much. Reading some of the parts between Levana and Evret were so awkward and I felt so bad for him.

So I may have only given this one a 3 star rating, but I did find it enjoyable to read about Levana’s past. I just did not enjoy as much as I thought. But I do recommend others who really enjoy The Lunar Chronicles to check this one out as well.

Review: Cress

Title: Cress
Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: 2014
Page Count: 550
Rating: 5/5

What.Just.Happened?!?! I just read Cress and it is now in my top five favorite books. I could not put this book down. It is seriously addicting and I had to continue until I finished it. This series is so great and I feel like it’s only going to get better. I hope! In this book we meet Cress who is a Lunar shell that has been a prisoner on a satellite for seven years. We did meet her briefly in Cinder through the D-COMM that was attached to Emperor Kai’s android, Nainsi. But like I said that was briefly and that’s the only other encounter of her that I remember. Cress was sent to the satellite by Sybil the thaumaturge, to spy and hack leaders on Earth for Queen Levana. Sybil checks on her often to see how her progress is going in finding Cinder. Cress is crazy for anything Earthen and does a lot of research on people of Earth. She loves to sing and is a sap for romance.

Cinder is still trying to figure out a plan to avoid Queen Levana from becoming empress. She’s also making a lot of progress with her powers so she can overthrow Levana. Cress comes into the story because she wants to help Cinder. We get to see all the characters from the previous two books but I felt like we didn’t get to see Scarlet as much. I was really hoping to see her relationship with Wolf grow but we really didn’t get that in this book. I don’t want to give anything away but she does get separated from the rest of the group so we get to read some of her parts but not as much as the others. We also get to see a relationship between Thorne and Cress and it is just the sweetest thing. He’s basically her celebrity crush and it’s adorable to see them together. Queen Levana is still evil, evil, evil!!! We get introduced to Princess Winter very briefly so I’m excited to read about her next.

Cress is my favorite character so far! She’s adorable and tiny and so fragile and innocent and I never want to see her get hurt. EVER! Her and Thorne are so cute. She’s done so much research on him, as he is very popular as a fugitive, and she’s madly in love with him. I love her obsession with Earth. She has never seen, in person, trees or rivers of that sort and it’s fascinating to see her fascination with it all. I can not wait to read Winter and continue the story!

Review: Scarlet

Title: Scarlet
Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: 2013
Page Count: 452
Rating: 4/5

Okay so I thought this was just as good as Cinder. I was hoping it would get better as the story went on but that’s not to say I didn’t love it. Because I did! This story continues where Cinder left off. It follows a couple of different perspectives and then brings the story together at the end. The first perspective we get is from our new character, Scarlet. She lives and works on a farm with her grandmother but her grandmother has been missing for over two weeks. When she goes home one night, she sees her grandmother’s bedroom light on and instantly runs up to the house. But it’s not her grandmother. She runs into her father who she hasn’t seen in years and receive some news on her grandmother and wants to seek her out but it is a very dangerous road. She meets up with a fighter, wolf, who wants to help find her grandmother and they set off. But is Wolf lying to her? Wolf seems like he would do anything to keep Scarlet safe and Scarlet is coming around to liking him a lot. But Wolf has secrets.

From the perspective of Cinder, she is trying to escape captivity. She manages to escape and brings along a fugitive, Thorne. “Captain” Carswell Thorne. He is in captivity for stealing a ship and then he convinces Cinder to let him escape with her so they can get away quickly on it. Cinder wants to set off for Paris because she wants to search for the woman Michelle Benoit (Scarlet’s grandmother) and find out more information on Princess Selene.

The last perspective is from Emperor Kai. He is really stressing to find Cinder after hearing of her escape. Queen Levana tells him he has three days to find her before she takes action. Kai is stressed and not getting any sleep and questioning what was real and what wasn’t real between him and Cinder. Queen Levana is building up an army of hybrids and they are killing so many people and it causes Kai to make a huge decision.

This book had a lot more action than Cinder had and I was loving it. There was lots of fight scenes and also some romance scenes that made me fall in love with the new characters. Thorne is hilarious and so great! I can’t wait to see him in the rest of the series. Cinder has some new improvements with her hand and foot that Dr. Erland provided for her before he left for Africa. And they are awesome improvements. We get to see her use some of her lunar ‘powers’ and she’s a natural. I also really loved Wolf, despite what he does in the book, I think he’s perfect for Scarlet. Scarlet reminded me of Cinder a little bit. They are both really hard-working girls and do whatever it takes to keep their loved ones safe. I really hope to see their friendship grow in the continued books. Queen Levana is still the worst. I have nothing more to say about her.

I can’t wait for the next book! I hear that it is a lot of people’s favorite and I’m really excited to continue with the story and find out what happens next.

Review: Cinder

Book Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: 2012
Page Count: 387
Rating: 4/5

This book was great! I read it in about 2 1/2 days because I could not put it down. Cinder is a retelling of Cinderella (shocker!) but with more science-fiction and fantasy elements. The story follows the main character Cinder who lives in New Beijing with her evil stepmother, Adri, and two step-sisters, Peony and Pearl. Cinder had a very traumatic event at the age of 11 that she has no recollection of but has gotten her to where she is today as a cyborg. There is a deadly plague called Letumosis that is affecting their world as more and more people are contracting it and being hospitalized. When Cinder’s stepsister, Peony comes down with the plague, Adri volunteers Cinder to join the Cyborg Draft, where she will be tested on for the antidote. No cyborg has lived through it because the virus kills them but Cinder finds out that she is immune to the virus and she becomes a test subject to find the antidote.

Cinder works at the market as a mechanic and meets Prince Kai one day because he needs her to fix his android. Throughout the story they keep running into each other because Cinder has been volunteering to help find an antidote and visiting her stepsister Peony and Kai’s father, the Emperor, has also contracted the plague, so Kai has been visiting him as well. Kai eventually gets to asking Cinder to come to the ball with him, but Cinder declines. She doesn’t tell Kai, but she’s planning to run away the night of the ball.

Just when things can’t seem to get any worse, we learn about a species called The Lunars, who inhabit the moon. The Lunars show up to Earth to negotiate with Prince Kai. In exchange for continued peace between their lands, their leader, Queen Levana, offers to marry him. While Kai, does not like Queen Levana, she offers him something that is hard to refuse. The Lunars require that all mirrors be removed while they are staying on Earth because they are able to use their minds to trick others into seeing or thinking something entirely different. So while Queen Levana is very beautiful, it is fake and mirrors will reveal the truth.

The main reason I gave this a 4 rating is because Cinderella is not my favorite fairy tale and I think it is a story that is overused. However, I thought that Meyer did an amazing job with this story putting it into a sci-fi and fantasy world made it my favorite Cinderella version so far! I also wish that Cinder and Kai’s relationship was more, but I’m sure we will see more of that in the next story. I hope so! Luckily in this version one stepsister, Peony, actually enjoys talking to Cinder and Cinder considers her to be the only human friend that she has. But, Pearl is just the worst. There were definitely parts when I was reading that Pearl was making my blood boil. Overall, great story, great writing, amazing characters. I can’t wait to read the next book!

Review: What to Say Next

Book Title: What to Say Next
Author: Julie Buxbaum
Published: 2017
Page Count: 287
Rating: 4/5

So I purchased this book because Tell Me Three Things was one of my favorite reads last year and now that I’ve read What to Say Next, Julie Buxbaum has become an auto-buy author for me. I liked Tell Me Three Things better than this one, but What to Say Next was still just as charming and cute as I expected it to be.

What to Say Next follows the perspectives of our two main characters, Kit and David. Kit is in a grieving stage due to the fact that her father died recently in a car accident. Her two best friends, Annie and Violet, are not my favorite characters. They act like they want Kit to move on immediately and forget about it by just going back to normal. And while some people can move on in that way, it doesn’t seem to work for Kit. Insert, cute and adorable David. David has Asperger’s (according to a doctor) but he doesn’t seem to agree with it. He sits alone at school wearing his headphones and blocking out the rest of the world. He is very smart and he keeps a notebook on him with all the information he needs to remember his classmates names. He keeps track of who hangs out with who and he has a trust and do not trust list. Kit decides she doesn’t want to deal with her best friends one day and decides to sit with David at lunch and it sparks a friendship. Kit tells David she wants to figure out more details of her father’s accident. They call it “the Accident Project. David wants to figure out the mathematics of it and help Kit with figuring it out.

{swoon} David is officially one of my favorite male characters. Before I started reading this book, I read some of the reviews on Goodreads and noticed some people said that David is like a robot and not romantic at all. Well, they are high school students, so romance can only go so far and I thought he was a perfect romantic gentleman. David is bullied so much through this book with attacks of death and students telling him to die and I just felt for him. I knew high school students were mean but not that mean. Kit is also a very lovable character and I really enjoyed her parts. I’ve never lost a parent so I didn’t feel her grief but it was still very heartbreaking to read the parts when she did break down.

Overall, I loved this book and I guess I didn’t give it a full 5 star rating is because I honestly did not see the ending coming and I didn’t really enjoy it that much. I was expecting something so much more. But I will forever buy Julie Buxbaum’s books because they make me so happy. So if you enjoyed Tell Me Three Things, definitely check this one out!

Review: Dream House

Book Title: Dream House
Author: Marzia
Published: 2017
Page Count: 327
Rating: 2/5

This is going to be a totally unbiased review and I only say this now because I love Marzia. I have been watching her on YouTube for over a year now and she’s one of the only YouTuber’s that I watch instantly. Meaning that as soon as she posts a video, I’m dropping whatever I’m doing to watch it. This is a young-adult horror book and it is Marzia’s debut novel.

This story follows our main character Amethyst who finds herself standing in the rain in front of the house of her dreams. The owners, Mr. and Mrs. Bloom, see her standing outside and offer for her to stay the night because there is a big storm coming. When Amethyst awakes in the morning she finds herself to be alone in the house and Mr. and Mrs. Bloom are nowhere to be found. She feels the need to stay in the house because she wants to thank the Bloom’s for their hospitality but she feels there is another reason she wants to stay but isn’t quite sure why. She meets the gardener of the house, Alfred and the boy next door, Avery. She quickly befriends Avery and he warns her to stay away from Alfred but Amethyst feels that she needs to keep an eye on him. Weird things start happening to Amethyst in the house. She keeps having dreams of a little girl named Akiko and she’s hearing other people in the house. But she doesn’t see anyone else there.

I had no knowledge of this story premise going into it. I knew that Marzia wrote a young-adult book and I wanted to pick it up. So when I finally bought it, and I read the synopsis, I thought that it sounded like it might be an interesting story. First off, Avery is super creepy. He stalks Amethyst and always seems to know what she’s doing which is super weird, but Amethyst finds comforting. I don’t like the relationship that they have and I find it super awkward. Also, I didn’t love Alfred. He came across to be really creepy. Amethyst found him staring into her window and her reaction is to take a cup of coffee to him. Um… no! Amethyst had a lot of problems for me. I didn’t see her grow as a character. Most of the book she’s always hungry because she barely eats anything. Some of her actions are questionable and I just couldn’t connect with her.

What I did enjoy about this book was the premise of the book. I just feel that it could have been a lot better. I also loved how the chapters were set up. Each chapter was a day that Amethyst was in the house. I was able to tell how it was going to end and I enjoyed how the book wrapped up.