Tag Archives: Retellings

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

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

On the Same Page: Peter and the Starcatchers | Peter Pan Retellings

For May, On the Same Page (Alyssa, Amy, and myself) read PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson as our book of choice. May was a busy month for all of us so we thought it might be nice to read a good middle grade — something fun but not overly heavy — and PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS ended up being our choice! I actually listened to it on audio thanks to the copy I downloaded from AudioFile’s yearly week of free audiobook downloads a year or two back. I was especially happy to listen to PETER on audio with Jim Dale doing the narration! It took me a bit to shake the feeling of Harry Potter since I had just finished a series re-read on audio and Jim Dale voices those as well, but I quickly got into the swing of things once the story started up!

For my On the Same Page post this month, I wanted to share some Peter Pan retellings! I’ve actually read quite a few even though Peter Pan isn’t really one of my favorite tales (or Disney movies haha). Somehow I end up reading a lot — maybe it’s just a popular adaptation? Whichever way you slice it, I wanted so share some good ones, some unique ones, and a personal favorite of mine!

READ

              

PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson | This was our selected book for this month and it was really a lot of fun! I don’t read a LOT of middle grade, but this was really cute and a great sort of prequel to Peter Pan and how it all began. I did feel like the beginning was a bit slow to pick up but I absolutely fell in love with the ending! (That’s where most of the parallels to the original story were.)
Peter Pan similarities: Main character Peter, orphan Lost Boys (though they’re not called this quite yet), pirates, island natives, magic dust, and more that I won’t divulge because discovering those at the end made the conclusion really special for me!

TIGER LILY by Jodi Lynn Anderson | This was one of the first Peter Pan retellings I ever read and I absolutely ADORED it. I really need to re-read someday because it was just so wonderful and beautifully written. The book focuses more on Tiger Lily than Peter Pan (as you may have guessed from the title) and everything feels a bit more real somehow while still including that Peter Pan magic.
Peter Pan similarities: Main character Peter, Tiger Lily + community, Lost Boys, Tinkerbell + jealous Tinkerbell, Neverland, intrusion of Wendy

SECOND STAR by Alyssa B. Sheinmel | SECOND STAR is actually a contemporary retelling of Peter Pan which I was very interested in before picking it up. The story was interesting but I do admit that I had a bit of a hard time with this one. I felt like things were a bit TOO parallel considering it was a contemporary adaptation and I had hoped for a bit more original story. I’m not sure if I’d recommend the book since I struggled with it some but it was definitely an interesting way to adapt the fairy tale to a modern contemporary romance.
Peter Pan similarities: Main character Wendy, Peter character, John and Michael, “Lost Boys”, Tinkerbell (Bell), “Jas” (James Hook), “fairy dust”

ON MY TBR

              

HOOK’S REVENGE by Heidi Schulz | I still haven’t read HOOK’S REVENGE but I’ve heard so many good things about it! It’s another middle grade adaptation but this one is geared more towards Captain Hook instead of Peter Pan — and actually Hook’s daughter. It sounds just adorable and I really hope to read it sometime soon!

ALIAS HOOK by Lisa Jensen | ALIAS HOOK is an adult retelling once again focusing on Hook. I haven’t read it yet but it looks like it’s a story of redeeming Captain Hook’s besmirched good name. So Hook is good and Peter Pan is evil? Very interesting! I’ve been itching to read this one but it also looks like it’s had some mixed reviews so I’m not 100% sure about it quite yet.

HOOK & JILL by Andrea Jones | I believe HOOK & JILL is an adult romance! I’m not quite sure how that would go but I’m also kind of interested. For some reason I’m just drawn to the Peter Pan retellings and I always want to have a little more sympathy for Captain Hook. I’m not quite sure who Jill is…? But it makes me curious to find out!!

 Which of these Peter Pan retellings & adaptations have you read? What did you think? Are there any other adaptations worth noting that I missed?

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Thanks again for checking out this month’s feature for On the Same Page! We had a blast reading PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS and sharing our thoughts with you! And don’t forget to check out Amy & Alyssa’s posts today too!

Alyssa (Books Take You Places) // Amy (Tripping Over Books)

10 Things I Felt About This Book | Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

10 Things I Felt About This Book is a mini-review feature to give you a quick run-down of a book without those long, lengthy paragraphs. It’s designed to give you a concise impression without bogging you down and a way to keep reviews creative!

10 Things I Felt About This Book | Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley PearsonTitle: Peter and the Starcatchers (Peter and the Starcatchers #1) by Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson
Publishing Info: August 30, 2004 by Disney Hyperion
Source: Edelweiss
Genres: Children's & Middle Grade, Fantasy, Retelling
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 15, 2015

    Don't even think of starting this book unless you're sitting in a comfortable chair and have lots of time. A fast-paced, impossible-to-put-down adventure awaits as the young orphan Peter and his mates are dispatched to an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They set sail aboard the Never Land, a ship carrying a precious and mysterious trunk in its cargo hold, and the journey quickly becomes fraught with excitement and danger.
Discover richly developed characters in the sweet but sophisticated Molly, the scary but familiar Black Stache, and the fearless Peter. Treacherous battles with pirates, foreboding thunderstorms at sea, and evocative writing immerses the reader in a story that slowly and finally reveals the secrets and mysteries of the beloved Peter Pan.

10 THINGS I FELT ABOUT THIS BOOK

  • CURIOUS. A Peter Pan adaptation? I’m in! Peter Pan actually isn’t one of my favorite fairy tales or Disney movies, but I really enjoy seeing how people have adapted it. PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS was a sort of prequel.
  • IMPATIENT. The beginning of the book was fairly slow for me. It was good enough but I felt like not a lot happened for a long time.
  • AMUSED. There are some really fun scenes with the pirates out on the water! I really liked seeing Smee and Black Stache’s interactions!
  • ANXIOUS. I wasn’t sure how “faithful” of an adaptation this book was so I kept trying to align the current story with what I knew of Peter Pan. It was both fruitful and pointless all at the same time. Not everything was a parallel but some of those things that didn’t line up turned out to be a good thing!
  • OLD. Not that the story was old but I felt old at times reading it. It’s really hit or miss with middle grade because sometimes I just fall right into the story and other times I feel like things are a bit too silly or unbelievable for me.
  • SENTIMENTAL. I do have fond memories of movies like Hook and the musical version of Peter Pan that carried me through my childhood. Maybe that’s why I enjoy adaptations so much! I wasn’t a huge fan of the Disney version but I keep seeking out other adaptations because they were some big parts of my childhood!
  • CONFUSED. I tried to line things up again! We see characters who are obviously a part of the Peter Pan we know (Peter Pan, Smee) but there are also characters who I don’t (or didn’t) understand (Molly, Black Stache). How does it all come together? Will I find out in future books? Or are they not supposed to be characters from the original Peter Pan? (Some do get explained a bit more towards the end.)
  • IMPRESSED. I really loved how the ending all came together! I actually think I wouldn’t have been as satisfied if the beginning and middle had both been direct retellings of Peter Pan. And again, I’m taking from the movie versions (I know, I know. I haven’t read the book so I can’t really tell you what else might have been there. I’m going off the pop culture knowledge here.) so most of the first half was all brand new to me. I really loved how all of the little things worked themselves out and everything was explained. It was really quite clever!
  • SATISFIED. Again, the ending was really, really great. It just left me feeling so happy and content.
  • INTERESTED. I THINK I want to read the second book in this series. I really didn’t love the first half and I think it would have been a bit hard if I hadn’t been listening on audio, but the way that it ended was really so perfect that I think I want to see where the next part of the story goes!

Have you read PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS? Or another Peter Pan adaptation? Which is your favorite?

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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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BOOKS LIKE PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

RED PYRAMID     HARRY POTTER

Her Dark Curiosty (The Madman’s Daughter #2) – Megan Shepherd

Her Dark Curiosty (The Madman’s Daughter #2) – Megan ShepherdTitle: Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman's Daughter #2) by Megan Shepherd
Publishing Info: January 28, 2014 by HarperCollins
Source: Edelweiss, Library
Genres: Historical Fiction, Retelling, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: August 15, 2014
Related Posts: The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter #1)

   Back in London after her trip to Dr. Moreau's horrific island, Juliet is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget her father's legacy. But soon it's clear that someone—or something—hasn't forgotten her, as people close to Juliet start falling victim to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes. Has one of her father's creations also escaped the island?
    As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, her past bubbling to the surface, and her life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.

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** NOTE: This review will have one minor spoiler because I feel like it’s something I need to talk about in order to fully explain my feelings for this book. If you haven’t read the book yet, just a word of warning! It’s something that happens earlier on the book, but still worth noting that it may be a minor spoiler for some. **

Admittedly, I was a bit mixed about how I felt about the first book in this series. After finishing THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER, I felt like I had enjoyed what I read, but the concept was just so strange… The book was a retelling of the classic THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU and I had gone into the book not really sure what it was about. Ultimately I had still enjoyed it and hearing that books two and three in the series were retellings of THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE and FRANKENSTEIN, I was just itching for more gothic horror and decided to take the plunge. I was hoping that there would be less focus on the beastly side of the plot since that wasn’t a huge selling point for me in THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER (I wasn’t horrified at the experiments but merely the fact that it seemed far too unbelievable to be true) so I was hoping that it would be less of a focus in the rest of the series. With a Jekyll & Hyde retelling, I guess I should have known what was coming.

HER DARK CURIOSITY was a complicated read for me. I had an egalley from the publisher but instead, I chose to listen to the book via audio to help me move through it and I’m glad that I did. I had a reason to keep going with the book even when I was frustrated with it (and that was plenty of times). The “beast” side of the plot doesn’t really go away. In fact, it becomes even more prominent in one major way, so that wasn’t a really exciting thing for me. I guess in the context of THIS book, it felt a bit more realistic, but I still wasn’t super keen on the whole concept.

The first half of the book was kind of rough for me. I was really, really not getting along with Juliet. The way she said things, the things she ended up doing, her poor decision-making skills… None of it really worked for me. Honestly, some of the words that came out of her mouth just shocked me, as in, “Did she really just say that and how does she think that is A) a good idea and B) okay in ANY way?” I really just wanted to smack her because she was living up to a pretty poor stereotype of a helpless woman (who somehow decides to do things on her own and makes poor decisions anyway). I was never fully on the same page with her throughout the book, though I think her crazy-talk calmed down a bit towards the end. (Or got even worse but with all of the other characters finally giving in to her ideas, it didn’t seem as crazy.)

Let it be known that the possible spoilers exist in this paragraph: Yet again, the love triangle continues in HER DARK CURIOSITY — something I was REALLY REALLY hoping would not happen. At least it wasn’t a love square like the first book (that would be a love triangle with four people instead of three) but UGH. It was incredibly maddening and ridiculous. This book pulled a silly (yet somewhat expected) turn when the reader finds out that *gasp* Edward in fact did NOT die at the end of book one and somehow he’s back in London too. Then *gasp* Montgomery ends up back in London too and love triangle gets EVEN WEIRDER. Firstly, we know Edward isn’t even human. He may or may not have human DNA or contributors (this is something that is investigated in the book) but even if he does, that makes him like, what? 90% animal? So just pretty ick that Juliet is even romantically and PHYSICALLY interested in him. Then some things happen that I wish had just never even been an idea in the first place. Not to mention Montgomery is also vying for Juliet’s affections and things get even MORE complicated and… yeah, I was just nooooot a fan. Really not.

You want to know what the worst part is? THINGS GOT INTERESTING. I was all ready to finish the book, ranting and raving about how much I did not enjoy it and how I had no interst in finishing the trilogy and BAM. I got sucked in. Once the hints at the Frankenstein tie-in started popping up, I got pulled back in. Now I’ll probably read book three. Sigh.

Overall? This book and I didn’t really get along, but somehow I got sucked back in towards the end. I’ll probably end up finishing out the trilogy, but I’m not happy about it haha. The characters were frustrating, the love triangle was irritating, and I’m tired of the beast story line but I’m guessing that’s not going away either. I wouldn’t exactly recommend this series but I think I’m going to try to see it to the end.

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“The View from Goodreads” is a new 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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Juliet // Character Obsessions: Science, romance, not caring about society rules.
Oh, Juliet. We are so not friends. I had a reeeeally hard time with some of the things that she said and most of the decisions she made. She was such a frustrating heroine for me. Let’s hope she grows up some in the last book.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Gothic horror. I liked the retelling of Jekyll & Hyde! I haven’t read a lot of gothic horror but that side of this book was really fun.
Left Me Wanting More: Solid choices. Don’t try to pretend that Juliet made wise decisions. She made some pretty wild ones. I understand following your heart or passion versus logic, but sometimes there was NO logic. Other times she was way too damsel-y when she should have been strong and strong when she should have let someone help her. Sigh.

Addiction Rating
Skip it

I know I said I’d read the last book in the series, but I can’t really recommend this one. I was just way too frustrated and I’d say if you haven’t started yet, I wouldn’t suggest starting. The first book was interesting and this one finally came around for me at the end so… do I recommend that? Say try it? Personally, I wouldn’t. The series has been just okay so far and that doesn’t seem enough for me to put these books in someone else’s hands.

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(Click the cover to see my review!)

     the clockwork scarab    this dark endeavor