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Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) – Marissa Meyer | Review + Giveaway!

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) – Marissa Meyer | Review + Giveaway!Title: Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer
Publishing Info: November 10, 2015 by Macmillan
Source: Purchased
Genres: Young Adult, Retelling, Dystopian
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: November 28, 2015
Related Posts: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1), Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2), , Glitches (The Lunar Chronicles #0.5), The Queen's Army (The Lunar Chronicles #1.5), Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky (Lunar Chronicles #3.1), Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1), Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2), Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3), Stars Above (A Lunar Chronicles Collection), Heartless, Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerve #1), Renegades (Renegades #1)

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? (less)

bookreview1How does one read the last book in one of their favorite series much less REVIEW it? Actually, as highly anticipated as WINTER was, I really do have some coherent thoughts. (They’re much more coherent than I was with CRESS, I think, because I’ve been preparing for this!)

Let’s start off with the amazing, shall we? I absolutely love that this series adds layer upon layer with the story and the characters. We finally get to meet and spend time with Winter in this book and it was so awesome to have that final piece of the puzzle fall into place. This book had some serious #squadgoals when this team comes together and I adore how they just fit together as a crew so well. Their personalities just mesh, their stories collide, and it’s absolute perfection.
I also love how much these characters evolve over the course of the series. It’s really about getting to know each one of them as they’re simultaneously going through the most complicated things of their lives. I really got to see their true character and how much each one of them grew throughout these experiences.

ALL THE SHIPSSSS. Cress and Thorne are my absolute favorites and they have some really, really great moments in this book. I’ve been rooting for them since CRESS and their relationship is just too adorable. Things really start to amp up with another one of my new favorites ships — Cinder and Kai. Yes, yes, I know. You guys have been on board since CINDER but I didn’t quite get into their relationship as much until CRESS and then I fell in love all over again with my re-reads. I just love their banter and how much strength each of them has not only individually but together. They had some super sweet moments and some really serious ones as well that really pushed my love for them over the edge! I actually do wish there had been a few more swoony moments? Oh boy were there some big ones… But I’m such a sucker for these relationships that I just want more!

The second half of the book really started to bring everything together and this is where the action was at! I actually wished a few more “holy cow” moments had happened in the beginning/middle because as exciting as all that action was, I didn’t quite feel stunned until later on in the book. Naturally, though, the halfway-point is where it’s at! The pacing really picked up and the book took off running and I was so excited and scared and happy all at the same time! I rather enjoyed the take on Snow White and it was really fun to see some very obvious comparisons (especially after hearing Marissa tell us the tale at her WINTER signing!) and then realize much later on that something was totally fairy-tale related and I hadn’t even realized it the whole time (the mining sector, right)! I just loved the ending and how much non-stop action there was. These characters came into their own and really proved how brave they were to stop crazy old Levana from tearing the world apart.

So as we know, I’m a huge fan of The Lunar Chronicles. To start reading the final book was a mix of emotions with excitement and sadness dominating them all. I think because I was really not ready to say goodbye, I MAYBE ended up distancing myself from the book so I wouldn’t be too heartbroken when it ended and that could be the reason why I didn’t feel AS connected as I had with the other books. There’s also the fact that there’s just so much going on throughout this finale (it IS over 800 pages, after all) that it is a lot to take in. That’s not a bad thing but there is a whole lot of action, many characters, high stakes, and final countdowns so it really is putting that final sense of urgency on everything. I also have to say that Winter was my least favorite leading lady. It was just really hard to connect with her because of her visions and illness. It’s just a thing for me where I have a hard time connecting to characters who are more childlike or fanciful. Cress was definitely on the naive side but she wasn’t childish, and I felt like it was hard for me to connect with her the way I had with the other girls. Obviously she’s incredibly strong for being able to keep from using her Lunar gift all these years and that’s the reason why she’s been going mad but that aspect still was a bit hindering for me to really love her as much as the other girls.

WINTER was absolutely wonderful and while I don’t think it was my favorite of the series (honestly, I don’t think series-enders are EVER my favorites of the series — too much pressure!), I still absolutely loved it. I will forever be in love with the world that Marissa Meyer created and I can’t thank her enough for this beautiful series. It’s brought me so much happiness, allowed me to work with so many awesome people, and has even presented me with amazing opportunities to become more involved in the book community. I’m so joyful that I read it (thanks, Alyssa!) and I’m sure I’ll keep re-reading it for many years to come!

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“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

winter gr updates

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Winter // Character Obsessions: Loyalty, delusions, strength, honor. 
Winter is actually a total badass. She may not seem like it but she’s incredibly strong to resist her Lunar gift for so many years and allow her delusions to take over. She’s always stood her ground against Levana (to the best of her ability) and she’s always been determined to see the right thing through to the end. I didn’t connect with her as much because it was a bit hard, I’ll admit, but I really did love her.
Jacin // Character Obsessions: Brooding, Winter, duty. 
Jacin, oh broody Jacin. He really only has one true interest in mind and that’s Winter. It definitely felt different than Scarlet’s one track mind to find her grandma and I’m not sure if it was because it was romantic? Because it was approached differently? But I loved his dedication to Winter and how their romance was portrayed throughout the book!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Space. I wouldn’t think I would really enjoy books set in space. I enjoy sci-fi but usually it’s more “light sci-fi”. I really enjoyed the colonization of the moon and the Lunar-Earthen conflicts/unions throughout this series!
Left Me Wanting More: Swoons. I just LOVE these characters and their romances. I felt like I could have totally used more swoons. I don’t know if I’m just being greedy there though!!

Addiction Rating
Buy it! Love it!

You know I’m such a huge advocate of this series. I’ve just loved it from start to finish and WINTER was such a fun ending. Thank goodness we still have STARS ABOVE though, am I right?

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BOOKS LIKE WINTER

(Click the cover to see my review!)

THRONE OF GLASS    UNDER THE NEVER SKY

GIVEAWAY!

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Long story short, I ended up with an extra copy of WINTER… that I was also able to get signed when I went to meet Marissa back in November! Since everyone is so excited about the series, all of my friends had already purchased a copy and this poor, lonely book didn’t have a home. Since I know you book lovers take GREAT care of your books and would love to own a signed copy, I thought I’d do a giveaway for this copy of WINTER!
As a bonus, the lucky winner will also receive a Winter-inspired candle! It’s one of the Lunar Chronicles-themed candles that I came up with for my new Etsy shop called Novelly Yours! I thought it would be a fun thing to add in there for the winner.
US entries only, please! (Sorry int’l! I just can’t afford the shipping.) Must be thirteen years of age or older to win. Please only fill out proper entries as I will be checking the winner! Cheaters never prosper. Xo! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If You Liked… The Lunar Chronicles

I’ve basically been obsessing over The Lunar Chronicles ever since I read CINDER back in 2013. I absolutely loved the way Marissa Meyer combined fairy tale retellings, a dash of magic, and a completely original story all under a science-fiction backdrop. The characters and stories have captivated me from the start and now that the series is complete, I wanted to share some of my other favorite books/series for Lunar Chronicles fans to fill that void!

12 BOOKS TO READ
IF YOU LIKED THE LUNAR CHRONICLES

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IF YOU LIKED THE LUNAR CHRONICLES…

Try… ARMADA by Ernest Cline.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

I absolutely adore Ernest Cline’s books and ARMADA is perfect for Lunar Chronicles fans who are looking for more spaceship action! It’s not as futuristic as The Lunar Chronicles nor does it contain that element of magic but it is deliciously nerdy and sci-fi. If you’re looking to try out more science fiction and you love things like nerdy pop culture, video games, Star Wars, and more, then Ernest Cline’s books are a must for you! Even if those aren’t your favorite things, the books are still incredibly enjoyable. I also fully recommend the audiobooks if you’re an audio listener because Wil Wheaton narrates them and he really just brings the characters to life and amps up the action!

Try… NIL by Lynne Matson.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

NIL is an incredibly fun sci-fi series for those who want a little mystery with their science-fiction. The books have a serious Lost feel (like the TV show) and I loved how this was a different sort of sci-fi with the environment being the anomaly/variable instead of a technology or ability. Another bonus for Lunar Chronicles fans is the structure of the series and how it’s similar to the Lunar Chronicles POVs from book to book — book one revolves around Charley and Thad and then the focus shifts in book two with new POVs from characters Rives and Skye but still involved the main characters from the first book.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Try… THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

You may have seen news and flails for THRONE OF GLASS flying around (especially if you’re diving in head first into the book community!) and let me tell you, the obsessed fans are totally spot on with the praise for this fandom! The Throne of Glass series has grown to be so entertaining, detailed, unique, and fascinating. Admittedly, book one is actually my least favorite of the series but not because it’s not as good — it does a lot of setting up for the rest of the series (a six book series in all (seven if you include the bind-up of novellas) with book four just released in September 2015) and I just think the series really takes off from THRONE OF GLASS! The characters, the plot, the magic — everything really grows so immensely and this series is so exciting! It’s another really big fandom out there right now and you can read the first three books and join us in flailing and trying to wait patiently for the rest of the series!

Try… STEELHEART by Brandon Sanderson.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
STEELHEART is a YA series by Brandon Sanderson with a superhero sort of twist. (Or supervillain, rather.) It’s a little bit dystopian with the main characters end up living in a world where the “Epics” are dominating the average humans and essentially run things like tyrants. The book is thrilling, thought-provoking, and has some great comic relief from main character David who always finds a way to come up with a joke or two to keep things light. I love the “crew” aspect which is something I really enjoyed in The Lunar Chronicles. I really enjoy when seemingly random groups of characters join up to form a crew and usually save the world!

Try… SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

Leigh Bardugo’s books are simply amazing and The Grisha Trilogy is one of the first fantasy series that I really fell in love with. SHADOW AND BONE and its sequels are definitely in the fantasy realm but I think fans of The Lunar Chronicles will appreciate and latch onto the magical aspects that have a root in science as well. The characters are also wonderful with characters like Alina and Sturmhond (who appears in the second book) giving characters like Cinder and Thorne a run for their money!

Try… UNREMEMBERED by Jessica Brody.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
THE RAVEN BOYS isn’t so much fantasy as the other recommendations on this list are (you’ll find more magical realism/paranormal/mythology), but I had to include it because along with Harry Potter, The Lunar Chronicles, and The Grisha Trilogy, this is one of my TOP TOP TOP fandoms. I just re-read THE RAVEN BOYS in preparation to do a series re-read before the last book in the series, THE RAVEN KING, comes out in 2016 and I fell in love all over again, much like I do each time I read Harry Potter. I’d say where HP has a strong world and plot that sweeps readers away, THE RAVEN BOYS accomplishes the same thing on an emotional level and I cannot recommend this series enough!

Try… LOOP by Karen Akins.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
I wanted to include LOOP in the list because this is one of my new favorite “light sci-fi” books! “Light sci-fi” seems to be a new thing, especially in YA, where readers can have that science-fiction experience but not be bogged down with too many technological details and I also like to think of the “light” in terms of the overall feel as well. LOOP has some great banter between the two main characters and Bree is such a firecracker! She reminded me a lot of Cinder at times and I loved how the book introduced time travel in a way that allowed a lot of readers to really get into the concept without being overly complicated.

Try… TIGER LILY by Jodi Lynn Anderson.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

I was looking through my favorite reads for another fairy tale retelling to include and TIGER LILY was at the top of the list. This book is so beautifully done and really evokes so many feelings in a way that any Peter Pan story has never done for me before. I really loved Tiger Lily’s spirit, Tinkerbell’s sass, and seeing the complicated relationships they have with the Lost Boys. Even if you’re not a big fan of Peter Pan (I wasn’t), you should definitely check out TIGER LILY! It’s an absolutely wonderful retelling.

Try… ILLUMINAE by Aime Kaufman & Jay Kristoff.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

If you’re looking for more adventures in space, ILLUMINAE will probably blow your mind. It’s an incredibly unique book, completely told through emails, instant messages, logs, recordings, etc so the narrator is essentially the documents themselves. It can be a bit tricky to catch onto if that’s something brand new to you but it’s so worth it! The story was just fantastic and I was completely hooked the entire time, my heart racing at some parts and swooning at others. There are plenty of surprises for readers as well so you’ll always be on the edge of your seat! The book also takes place almost entirely in space (in the somewhat distant future) for those who are looking for that sci-fi action!

Try… THE 5TH WAVE by Rick Yancey.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
THE 5TH WAVE hooked me right from the start and I’ve been inhaling this series ever since! I was a bit skeptical since it deals with an alien invasion and aliens are not usually my thing but I immediately fell in love and the whole concept was so well done that it pulled in a person like me who actively avoided “alien books”. The great (and scary) thing about these books is that the invaders take on human bodies so the main characters don’t know who to trust and who to doubt so that question of manipulation is always in the back of the reader’s mind. I thought that was a great tie-in to the concept of Lunars and their glamour/manipulation powers!

Try… ALL OUR YESTERDAYS by Cristin Terrill.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

ALL OUR YESTERDAYS is another fun “light sci-fi” book. There was a possibility of a second book but after some careful consideration by the author, she felt that it just wasn’t working out as a series and instead chose to keep this as a stand alone. There are so many sci-fi series out there that if you’re looking for something to start and finish right away, ALL OUR YESTERDAYS is a great option for you! I also loved the villain in this book. It was so interesting how everything played out and how the characters were involved. It was really well don and one I recommend!

Try… UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
UNDER THE NEVER SKY wasn’t a book that I immediately went to for a Lunar Chronicles comparison but it actually works out quite nicely! I love the science-fiction and fantasy blend that happens in this series and it was just beautifully written as well. There’s also some amazing character development. I’ll admit that it took me a bit of time to warm up to Aria (the female lead) but I absolutely loved how she grew throughout the book and really changed throughout the series. It’s such a wonderful trilogy and I hope that Lunar Chronicles fans would enjoy it as well!


So what do YOU think? Which books would you recommend for fans of The Lunar Chronicles? The series is so unique that it’s hard to give out super specific recommendations but I definitely wanted to include some of my favorite sci-fi books/series as well as some other epic series (which for me happen to be fantasy)!

I hope you enjoyed the post! If you’re looking for more reading guides or recommendations or more posts about The Lunar Chronicles, check out some of my links below! 

More reading guides and/or recommendations: 

More posts about The Lunar Chronicles: 

WINTER Release Day | Lunar Chronicles Fun & Games

winterishere

After what probably feels like a very long wait, WINTER is finally here and I couldn’t be more excited! And maybe a little bit nervous to see how it all ends!! As you probably know, I’ve been celebrating the entire series with the Lunar Chronicles (Re)Read along that kicked off back in August. WINTER is the last leg of the read along so if you’d like to join in the discussion via Twitter/Instagram hashtag, check it out at #TLCReadAlong. The read along is totally chill and is basically just a way for all of us to chat together (no spoilers, please). Hope to see you there!

I had devised a few fun posts and games for the Lunar Chronicles (Re)Read along but encourage anyone to pick one up, share, or post if they so desire! There’s no limit to this love and these posts are for all you Lunartics out there! Join in the fun with any one of the activities below!

  • The Lunar Chronicles Book Tag
  • Lunar Chronicles MASH (see my post below!)
  • Kiss, Marry, Kill (Kai, Wolf, Thorne)
  • Lunar Chronicles Scattergories (Pick any letter and associate it with things in the book — see my post below!)
  • Personality Quiz: Which Lunar Chronicles Character Are You? (See below — Updated for Winter’s release! If you’ve taken it before, you may get a different result so come on over and take it again!)
  • Lunar Chronicles-themed Pinterest Boards

Today I’m sharing some of my turns with these games so feel free to leave a comment and let me know your results, create your own post, or share somewhere on social media! It should be lots of fun!

LUNAR CHRONICLES MASH

Lunar Chronicles MASH

If you’re not familiar with MASH or if you’ve forgotten how to play, all you do is pick a number (any number you want) and count off each item on the list according to your number. (For example, if you pick two, you count Winter as 1, Scarlet as 2 and Scarlet gets crossed off. Cress as 1, Winter as 2 so Winter gets crossed off, and so on). Higher numbers are usually more fun because you don’t really know where you’ll end up! Once there’s only one option left in any given category, circle that option and you do not continue to count it as you cross things off.
I’m choosing SEVEN and here are my results! 

TLC MASH results
My Lunar Chronicles MASH card reveals that I would: 

  • Marry Thorne
  • Be BFFs with Cinder
  • Have a job as a Thaumaturge
  • Live on Luna
  • Have the ability to glamour
  • Drive a hover

I SWEAR I did not rig it so I would end up with Thorne!!! It’s just meant to be ;D 

 LUNAR CHRONICLES SCATTERGORIES

Scattergories was one of my favorite games back in the day! To adapt to play here, I’m modifying the directions just a teensy bit to make it easier to play. (This was actually kind of hard when I tried it…) Here’s what you do!

  • Choose any letter of the alphabet (in the original game you roll a die which dictates it for you — since we WANT to have answers and it’s not a competition, feel free to choose your own!).
  • Answer the following list using words or names ONLY beginning with the letter of your choice. You can get a little creative if you need to/want to!
  • I’m going with fewer categories instead of a whole bunch because this turned out to be trickier than I thought! So instead of just one per category, think of as many as you can for each one!
  1. A Character’s Name:
  2. A place in the book:
  3. A piece of technology or scientific data:
  4. Occupation/Character role:

I’m choosing the letter C for mine (so if you want to use C for yours too, look away until after you do yours to challenge yourself to really come up with as many as you can without seeing mine first)!

  1. A Character’s Name: Cinder, Cress, Captain Carswell Thorne, Channary
  2. A place in the book: Commonwealth… Hmmm. I’m blanking. That’s all I got!
  3. A piece of technology or scientific data: Chip, cyborg, comm, cybernetic technology
  4. Occupation/Character role: Cage fighter, captive, captain, cyborg

Whew that was harder than I thought! But still fun to test my brain and see what I could come up with. I bet S and L would be great letters to use too!

WHICH LUNAR CHRONICLES CHARACTER ARE YOU?  

I’ve revamped the original Lunar Chronicles personality quiz that I made for the upcoming release of WINTER! It includes more characters, better results, and you may get a different result if you take it again! If this is your first time hearing about the quiz, take it below — and let me know which result you got!!

So tell me — what were your results on the games? Which Lunar Chronicles character are you? And most importantly, how excited are you for WINTER!?!? Happy reading, friends! 


More Lunar Chronicles fun! 

10 Things I Felt About This Book | Cress by Marissa Meyer

I’ve been re-reading The Lunar Chronicles in anticipation of WINTER’s release in November and I’m having the best time! (Pssst check out the Lunar Chronicles (Re)Read Along if you want to join in for WINTER!) I’m re-reading each book on audio and I’ll be reading WINTER in print when it comes out and it’s been so much fun reliving one of my favorite series!

Since I’ve already done one formal review of CRESS back when I first read it, I’m switching things up a bit with a bit more feeling and a little less analyzing with “10 Things I Felt About” CRESS!

10 Things I Felt About This Book | Cress by Marissa MeyerTitle: Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3) by Marissa Meyer
Publishing Info: February 4, 2014 by Macmillan
Source: Audible
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: September 25, 2015
Related Posts: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1), Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2), , Glitches (The Lunar Chronicles #0.5), The Queen's Army (The Lunar Chronicles #1.5), Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky (Lunar Chronicles #3.1), Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1), Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2), Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4), Stars Above (A Lunar Chronicles Collection), Heartless, Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerve #1), Renegades (Renegades #1)

In this third book in Marissa Meyer's bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they're plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she's being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she's just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she'd ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

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10 THINGS I FELT ABOUT CRESS

  • AMPED UP. I’ve been loving re-reading these books and I was so excited for the start of CRESS which was my favorite of the series after my original read. This book sure is action-packed and (once again) I forgot how much goes on!
  • SYMPATHETIC. I remember Cress being naive but not in a bad way to where it could come off as annoying. I thought she was sheltered (naturally, given her situation) but she wasn’t AS naive as I thought she could have been which was awesome. It was enough to keep me sympathetic to her and not frazzled that she was so far behind in terms of life outside of the satellite!
  • DISCONNECTED. The re-reads have become a bit weird for me and I’m not sure why. I want to blame the audios and that some of the voices are super different than how I pictured them in my head, including intonation and phrasing, but I can’t be 100% sure that it’s the audio’s fault. For some reason I felt a bit of a disconnect with the characters and I wasn’t AS invested as I was the first time around, which is really opposite for me and re-reads.
  • THORNE-HUNGRY. I think I built it up so much in my head how much Thorne was in the series that I expected him to be in like… every scene haha! I just loved him so much that I wanted him to be a main character and while he is, he’s not AS important as characters like Cinder and Cress. He spends a lot of time with Cress and we see him on his own too but… well, I can’t get enough of him! I wanted more!!
  • FEELING ALL THE FEELS. I adore the romance between Cress and Thorne in this book and how it develops and I really feel for Wolf throughout the book too. This was the book (in my first read) where I finally felt that connection between Cinder and Kai and it definitely sky rockets in CRESS!
  • NERVOUS. This is the LAST THING before we read WINTER. I’m so nervous for how it ends!!
  • HOOKED. One thing I really loved about CRESS was just how cinematic it is. It starts off with some awesome action and it really maintains a level of high-stakes excitement all the way throughout!
  • SURPRISED. I really shouldn’t have been surprised at anything… but there was something in the middle that I totally forgot about and I did a little gasp!
  • COMFORTABLE. I loved falling back into Cress’s story line in this book. I think it is my favorite because I love Cress (and her relationship with Thorne) and I really admire how much Cinder comes into her own in this book. She accepts some real responsibility and starts to really insert herself.
  • RELIEVED. The audios for these books are great but to be honest, I’m kind of glad I’m reading WINTER in print. Rebecca Soler does a great job with Cinder, Cress, and pretty much all of the boys but I didn’t like her Scarlet and I couldn’t stand her Winter. I don’t know if I really want to listen to WINTER on audio (ever?) because I just don’t like her voice at all. 

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Re-read it!

It’s a close call whether CINDER or CRESS is my favorite of the series so far but I think CRESS takes the lead by a nose! It’s honestly so jam-packed full of action. Even with a re-read I was totally hooked!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE CRESS

             UNDER THE NEVER SKY

10 Things I Felt About This Book | Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

I’ve been re-reading The Lunar Chronicles in anticipation of WINTER’s release in November and I’m having the best time! (Pssst check out the Lunar Chronicles (Re)Read Along if you want to join in for CRESS and WINTER!) I’m re-reading each book on audio and I’ll be reading WINTER in print when it comes out and it’s been so much fun reliving one of my favorite series!

Since I’ve already done one formal review of SCARLET back when I first read it, I’m switching things up a bit with a bit more feeling and a little less analyzing with “10 Things I Felt About” SCARLET!

10 Things I Felt About This Book | Scarlet by Marissa MeyerTitle: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer
Publishing Info: February 5, 2013 by Macmillan
Source: Audible
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: August 9, 2015
Related Posts: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1), Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2), , Glitches (The Lunar Chronicles #0.5), The Queen's Army (The Lunar Chronicles #1.5), Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky (Lunar Chronicles #3.1), Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1), Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3), Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4), Stars Above (A Lunar Chronicles Collection), Heartless, Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerve #1), Renegades (Renegades #1)

Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother and 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 has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.
As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

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10 THINGS I FELT ABOUT SCARLET

  • CAUTIOUS. I’ve loved all of the books (of course) BUT I remembered that Scarlet was my least favorite heroine and I couldn’t remember why. I was a bit nervous to find out where that feeling came from!
  • FORGETFUL. Ummmm, I forgot a LOT about Scarlet’s story line. I pretty much remembered the train scene and the action at the end haha! Okay, that’s exaggerating — I did remember more than that but everything was super fuzzy so I was excited to sort of re-discover it!
  • DOE-EYED. Oh, hello again, Thorne. How I love you so.
  • WOLF-INCLINED. I forgot how much I really liked Wolf in this book. I’m not sure why he didn’t seem to make a more lasting impression on me during my first read. Possibly because he’s more reserved, closed-off, and less in the spotlight. Wolf’s got a lot more history and secrets than Kai so seeing him as the love interest for Scarlet was a very different experience and I loved his protectiveness! I can’t believe I forgot that.
  • FRUSTRATED. Not gonna lie… This was my reminder why I didn’t like Scarlet as much as the other heroines and I think the audio didn’t help. Scarlet is very “head towards a goal at full speed”. I’m not saying in her situation that I wouldn’t be but that’s something that the more I read, the harder it is witness. Scarlet really has a one-track mind to save her grandmother and it started to wear on me when she really started making very bad decisions and easily losing her cool. (Maybe it annoys me because that’s probably how I would actually act haha! But still — hard to read sometimes.)
  • INVOLVED. Another silly thing that I don’t know why I thought it… From my first read, I felt like there was a lot less Cinder in the book but from my re-read, I felt like it was about half Cinder’s story, half Scarlet’s. I think when I read SCARLET for the first time, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect so to lose part of Cinder’s POV was probably more noticeable. Now that I’m more comfortable with the story being split up amongst the heroines, I feel like Cinder was much more prominent in SCARLET!
  • AMUSED. The banter between Cinder and Thorne is delightful. You know I love snarky guys and Thorne is absolutely perfect. Charming and funny — oh yes. Cinder has a sarcastic sense of humor and doesn’t take any of Thorne’s crap so the back and forth between her and Thorne cracks me up!
  • HORRIFED. I forgot how violent some of these scenes actually are!! I’m usually okay with some gore but eeek, it was a bit cringey. Not in a bad way but woo boy, you gets some gory details!
  • AWESTRUCK. I love, love, love how these story lines come together throughout this series. More and more pieces fall into place how these seemingly un-related girls all share pieces of the same story. Marissa Meyer is a master storyteller and the pieces fall into place flawlessly!
  • EXCITED. I think CRESS might be my favorite book of the series so far so finishing SCARLET just made me even more excited to continue on with the series!! 

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Re-read it!

I don’t think SCARLET tops CINDER for me but it’s a very small adjustment there — I love all of these books and I adore the stories they tell. This series is so worth the read and re-read!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE SCARLET

             UNDER THE NEVER SKY

#TLCReadAlong | Scarlet Quotes + Art

I’m sure you’ve been inundated by now with my updates for the Lunar Chronicles Read Along that I’m hosting but now is time for less of the promo, more of the fun stuff that I really wanted to include in the read along!

In case you’re not familiar, September is all about SCARLET! The whole month is dedicated to the second book in The Lunar Chronicles and people were already finished with this back in August — wow!! I loved the enthusiasm for SCARLET and really for CINDER too! I wanted to share some of my favorite quotes from the book and some fan art (no spoilers)!

scarlet marissa meyer

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scarlet quotes   scarlet marissa meyer

scarlet quotes

 


What are you favorite quotes from Scarlet? Have you seen any amazing fan art? Send them my way! I’d love to see them!

#TLCReadAlong | Cinder’s Cyborg Features

I’m sure you’ve been inundated by now with my updates for the Lunar Chronicles Read Along that I’m hosting but now is time for less of the promo, more of the fun stuff that I really wanted to include in the read along!

In case you’re not familiar, August is all about CINDER! The whole month is dedicated to the first book in The Lunar Chronicles and I sort of love how many people have finished the book already because they just couldn’t stop reading! (You really, really liked it!!!) Hey, that just gives us more time to discuss, flail, and fangirl for the rest of the month, right? Right!

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

cinder quote  cinder quote

I even took the time to create some fan art! I am having SO much fun with this!


For my first “bonus” read along post, I wanted to talk about some of Cinder’s cyborg features! She has a lot of interesting stuff and some of it could really come in handy! 

LIE DETECTOR
I think Cinder’s built-in lie detector is one of my favorite things! It’s a scientific thing so it really works off of interpreting human reactions and delivery (it’s sci-fi so we’re science-based here) and I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to be able to use that feature! Then again… do I REALLY want to know when everyone is lying to me? Maybe sometimes not knowing is better…

STORAGE
Sure, you can wear pants with pockets or carry a bag, but Cinder has compartment storage in her leg. It certainly came in handy a few times throughout the book and I think that could be a great hiding place for special things! (Although could be kind of creepy to get used to.)

A COMPUTER IN YOUR HEAD
Cinder essentially has a computer in her head. She can access the internet at any time, look up information, get directions, track ID chips… now THAT would be super handy. I don’t think I’d want to be a cyborg and hardwired, but think of the wonders that could do!

http://thisoneofmarvels.deviantart.com/art/Cinder-431798751    

image left | Credit: ThisOneofMarvels Deviant Art
Image right | Credit: charmspeakers via Tumblr


Which of Cinder’s cyborg features would YOU want? A lie detector? Computer in your head? Metal limbs for extra durability?? Let’s chat!

10 Things I Felt About This Book | Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I’m sure by now you know that The Lunar Chronicles is one of my all-time favorite series out there. I’ve grown obsessed over the years and yet somehow, I hadn’t re-read any of the books. With Winter coming out this November and bringing the series to a close, I knew I wanted to stack up some re-reads back to back to back to refresh my memory of the details of the series and also just to enjoy the books all over again.

I’ve already done one formal review of CINDER back when I first picked up the series in January 2013 so I thought I’d compile a mini-review with some more feeling-related thoughts since you can see my initial review for my first reactions!

10 Things I Felt About This Book | Cinder by Marissa MeyerTitle: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer
Publishing Info: January 3, 2012 by Macmillan
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 20, 2015
Related Posts: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1), Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2), , Glitches (The Lunar Chronicles #0.5), The Queen's Army (The Lunar Chronicles #1.5), Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky (Lunar Chronicles #3.1), Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2), Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3), Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4), Stars Above (A Lunar Chronicles Collection), Heartless, Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerve #1), Renegades (Renegades #1)

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.

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10 THINGS I FELT ABOUT CINDER

  • NERVOUS. Why nervous? It’s always a scary thing for me to re-read a book or series that I fell in love with. The great thing about this is that it wasn’t one single book — Since The Lunar Chronicles is a series, I’ve been falling more and more in love with these books and these characters over the years, but it’s always a big deal to re-read a favorite for the first time! I’m scared it won’t be as good as when I first read it. (I totally had nothing to fear. It’s still awesome.)
  • FAMILIAR. I loved starting this re-read and totally falling back into this world. It’s always so wonderful to revisit a world that I love so much and it was really fantastic to have that feeling again!
  • FRESH. Despite the fact that I’ve read this book before, it still felt like a very fresh tale to me. It’s been more than two years since I actually read CINDER so it was really fun to start the series over from the beginning! It was nice to rediscover all of these things again.
  • IN-THE-KNOW. Of course I already knew the big surprises scattered throughout the book so they didn’t seem as epic to me… But it was really neat to read the book already knowing what they were! It allowed me to pick up on things that I hadn’t seen on my first go around.
  • IMAGINITIVE. My mind wandered a bit more while I was listening (I read the book on audio) because I was already familiar with the world-building and the characters. I think I got to dig deeper into everything and let connections form and ideas expand!
  • SASSY. I don’t remember Cinder being such a sassy and sarcastic character! Maybe I didn’t read her voice in that tone when I was reading the print version but… I kind of liked it! Rebecca Soler narrates the audiobooks and she was just fantastic! I’m really excited to listen to her portrayal of other characters.
  • SWOONY. I’ll admit that Cinder and Kai were my least favorite couple throughout the series but I finally got into their romance in CRESS. Re-reading CINDER? I don’t know why it took me so long! Did the narrator really bring everything to life that much more? Is it because I already know about their relationship and I finally got to the point of swoons? Whichever way you slice it, I really got into their romance on my re-read! They seemed to have so much more chemistry than I initially felt!!
  • EXCITED. I still love all of the action that takes place here! Cinder is a fantastic heroine and I love her attitude and determination. She loves her family (well, the family that treats her well) fiercely and she will stop at nothing to help and protect them… which creates some very high-tension moments!
  • AMAZED. I still love how this story comes together and everything it sets up for the rest of the books. Knowing what I learned from SCARLET and CRESS really allowed me more insight and I love seeing how much of those books are already established in CINDER but it’s hard to see until you read them. The layers are really fantastic and I’m constantly impressed with Marissa Meyer’s writing!
  • IN LOVE. Yes, I’m still in love with this book! And this series! It just makes me even more excited to read all of them all over again and I’m even MORE excited for WINTER. (Is that even possible???)

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Re-read it!

Let’s all let out a huge sigh of relief that CINDER was just as wonderful as when I first read it. WHEWWWW. Okay! (Not that I really doubted it that much but you know.) This series is just so well done and it’s one of the few that I’m SUPER impressed with as far as plotting goes. There are so many elements that have been established from the beginning and the sequels aren’t just extra books — they’re really extra layers, exposing secrets that were there from the start and expanding on current plots.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE CINDER

             HARRY POTTER 1

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles # 3.5) – Marissa Meyer

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles # 3.5) – Marissa MeyerTitle: Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5) by Marissa Meyer
Publishing Info: January 27, 2015 by Macmillan
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Retelling, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 29, 2015
Related Posts: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1), Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2), , Glitches (The Lunar Chronicles #0.5), The Queen's Army (The Lunar Chronicles #1.5), Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky (Lunar Chronicles #3.1), Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1), Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2), Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3), Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4), Stars Above (A Lunar Chronicles Collection), Heartless, Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerve #1), Renegades (Renegades #1)

    In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?
Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.
Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series
.

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Ahhh, FAIREST. Just what I needed tie me over until WINTER hits the shelves in November this year! I don’t always read ALL of the novellas that are published, but of course I was going to read a Lunar Chronicles novella and was especially excited to find out more about Queen Levana! She’s pretty terrifying in the books so I was especially anxious to see her history and how she ended up the way she is now.

The first thing I can say about FAIREST? Yeah. Levana is certainly crazy… BUT she didn’t have it easy either. I’m not saying that excuses the way she acts, but she’s had some majorly catastrophic and scarring events (oops, no pun intended but there you have it) happen to her and it seriously messed her up. Things also went down at a young age too so these traumatic events really affected Levana long before she was even close to being in a position of power, or even wanting that position. I definitely still fear her but it also made me pity her. Sometimes these kind of novellas sort of justify who someone is in the present story line and while I don’t think Levana is justified in her actions, I do think I understand her a lot more!

Another thing I really loved was seeing all of the other characters in Levana’s story and exactly how she’s tied to them all. It was really interested to see some of the title characters pop up, along with their friends and family and I got little chills and thrills seeing their names there! I think the most interesting for me was actually Channary. I may need to re-read everything again ASAP (kidding, that’s already in the works so I KNOW I will) but for some reason I don’t remember mention of how horrible she was! She was a terrible older sister to Levana and I really wonder how Levana would have ended up if it weren’t for Channary. I’m going to have to hunt down mentions of her in my re-reads!

FAIREST is very much Levana’s story so it’s not a major point in the series as far as plot goes, but I do still think it’s an important story for fans of the series to read. We learn a lot about the Lunar Queen and there’s also a LOT of Winter’s history in here which I was very excited to see since I don’t really know that much about her yet. There were still a few surprises though and it just goes to show you that there’s always more to learn about everyone!

I had such a blast reading FAIREST and that both filled the void and made me even more hungry for more of this series! I loved falling back into this world for a short time to keep my heart whole before WINTER probably chews it up and spits it out in November. In a good way! I CAN’T WAIT!

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“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Levana // Character Obsessions: Appearances, acceptance, love, glamor.
I just loved learning more about Levana. It’s very, very interesting to see where she came from. I love that you can see the very — well, maybe not VALID but certainly obvious — reasons why she is the way she is in the current timeline of this series. Her life has truly been nothing but a constant series of ups and downs and she’s always had to prove herself, even to her family. The whole romance was really interesting and I was actually kind of surprised at how much love meant to her. I guess it makes sense!
Channary // Character Obsessions: Fame, fortune, frivolity, fun.
Did I TOTALLY not remember what Channary was like or was that not explained as much throughout the course of the series? We all think Levana is terrible but Channary surely didn’t make things easy for her. I can’t believe everything that went down between these two sisters! She was no peach herself. (And clearly I needed to re-read everything ASAP.)

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Kept Me Hooked On: Backstories. YAYYYY a full-length novella giving us backstory! GAH. I love it. Hmmm I guess for those who don’t read novellas, I don’t know if it’s “necessary” for the series but it has a lot of really, really handy information and background for Levana, Winter, and even Cinder.
Left Me Wanting More: Plot development. Okay, I know that wasn’t the point of FAIREST, but can you blame me? AMAZING things happen in Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress so I am just spoiled! But I guess you can’t push a plot forward when the book doesn’t even take place in the same time, huh? ;D

Addiction Rating
Read it!

If you’re a fan of the series, it’s a must, in my opinion! I think the knowledge we gain is fantastic and I just loved slipping back into this world before re-reading all the books (before Winter)!

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BOOKS LIKE FAIREST

(Click the cover to see my review!)

SHADOW AND BONE               THRONE OF GLASS

Novella Mini-Review: Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky (The Lunar Chronicles #3.1) – Marissa Meyer

Novella Mini-Review: Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky (The Lunar Chronicles #3.1) – Marissa MeyerTitle: Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky (Lunar Chronicles #3.1) by Marissa Meyer
Publishing Info: February 4, 2014 by Macmillan
Source: Target
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: April 24, 2014
Related Posts: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1), Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2), , Glitches (The Lunar Chronicles #0.5), The Queen's Army (The Lunar Chronicles #1.5), Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1), Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2), Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3), Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4), Stars Above (A Lunar Chronicles Collection), Heartless, Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerve #1), Renegades (Renegades #1)

A short story detailing the incident referenced by Carswell Thorne between himself and Kate Fallow and the great retrieval of her port screen. A glimpse at the young Carswell Thorne, his family life, and his teenage years. Appearing exclusively in the Target copy of CRESS. 

WHAT I LIKED

  • THORNE. Always Thorne. Hell, I bought a whole second copy of Cress just to have the Thorne short story.
  • Family roots. Marissa Meyer could have easily just fit this story at school but I really appreciated that we saw some of his family life as well. It was interesting to see his relationship with his parents and how that actually shaped him into the person he became.
  • Swoon. I was hoping for more, but I love that Thorne has always had that charm! He surely was never short on charm with the ladies. Even teachers!

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

  • These books are always just too short!!! I could read a whole full-length novel about Carswell Thorne or even a longer novella since this one was only maybe a chapter or two.
  • I know the nature of the book is to be a brief glimpse into the life of Thorne, but I was just hoping for a little bit more! I didn’t QUITE make that connection that I have with some of Marissa Meyer’s other novellas.

This one was so short that it’s hard to form detailed thoughts, but as always, Marissa Meyer’s stories in any form are always fun! Although I will admit, I’m ALWAYS hoping for more Thorne!