Scarlet by Marissa Meyer Review!

DISCLAIMER: This is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. It may contain spoilers. So, spoiler warning for everything past this point! Read at your own risk!

Started: September 23, 2016

Finished: October 18, 2016

Rating: 3 stars

Summary (from Goodreads): Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the 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 or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

I really wish I could have gotten this book done faster.

I loved Cinder when I read it earlier in September, and I picked this one up pretty much immediately after so I could read it.

I’m a little disappointed in this one compared to Cinder.

Cinder was such a quick read for me because I was completely immersed in the world, and the characters were spectacular. In this one, I wasn’t as completely enthralled with the story. The plot seemed a little convoluted (maybe that’s just because it’s the second book in a series and it has to establish the plot for the other books), and the characters seemed a little lackluster.

For me, this plot was confusing. It took me forever to get through it because it just wasn’t catching my attention, and what did catch my attention was confusing. I wish it had been a little easier to understand so that I could get a little more excited about reading it.

The story wasn’t that exciting to me. It seemed very basic and filler, and I found myself more interested in Cinder and Thorne’s plotline than Scarlet and Wolf’s plotline. This book definitely just seemed like it was there to progress the plot from Cinder to the next book Cress. I’m excited to read Cress so that maybe the plot can start feeling a bit more action-filled again.

These characters didn’t really help the plot, except for one.

Scarlet and Wolf were very basic characters to me, and in Scarlet’s case, just plain unlikable. I didn’t like Scarlet. I didn’t like their chapters, and I found myself constantly just trying to get through them to get back to Cinder and Thorne. Wolf was more likable, but I don’t really feel any great connection to him either.

The best part of this book is by far Carswell Thorne. I loved him, I loved everything about him. He’s exactly my type of character, and I can’t wait to learn more about him in the next two books.

Overall, Scarlet just wasn’t my cup of tea like Cinder was, but it’s not going to stop me from reading the rest of the series. I plan to pick up Cress as soon as I can make it to a bookstore!

NEXT READ: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski


Cinder by Marissa Meyer Review!

Started: August 28, 2016

Finished: September 3, 2016

Rating: 4.5 stars

Genre: YA science fiction, dystopian

Summary (from Goodreads): 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.

I waited way too long to start this series.

For a while, I resisted starting this series because it wasn’t finished. By the time that Winter was released, I was so tired of dystopian YA that I just couldn’t bring myself to pick up the first book. It was at a time when it seemed like every YA book I looked at had some kind of dystopian aspect and I was so burnt out on it. I’m really glad that I waited until I wasn’t burnt out on dystopian to read this.

Cinder was honestly one of the best books that I’ve read this year. I don’t really have a reason that it didn’t get five stars, but I’m trying to make my rating system more exclusive for five stars because I give a ton of books five stars that probably could do with four stars. This book is one that I had to think about for a while before I rated it.

Cinder was really, really good. Since currently Marissa Meyer’s only novels are the Lunar Chronicles, I’ve never read anything written by her. I really enjoyed her writing style. It reminded me a lot of my own style. Her world-building was superb, and I felt like I knew New Beijing while there was still room to learn more and build more in the next three books.

The plot wasn’t fast-paced, which was unexpected. I expected that it would be like other YA dystopian novels where the plot moves very quickly and the author has to keep inventing new plot points for the next books because all of them are exhausted in the first one. I really liked that this book moved slowly and the main conflict of the story became apparent as I was reading instead of being established outright.

I also love the fairy tale retelling aspect of the story! I’ve been into fairy tale retellings with Jackson Pearce’s novels, but it’s nice to know that I have a whole series of retelling to look forward to. This was definitely different than the retellings that I’ve read before because it’s very futuristic and technologically advanced, but I really liked that it still felt like a fairy tale retelling.

The characters were really great as well. I loved Cinder and Kai, and I thought they were some of the best written characters that I’ve read this year. I had enough information about them to keep me interested, but not enough that I felt like I knew everything about them. That kind of characterization is a sign of good writing to me, and I loved it.

All in all, I really loved this book. It was interesting, exciting, and definitely lived up to my expectations. I can’t wait to pick up the rest of the series to read!

NEXT READ: The Cellar by Natasha Preston