Book Review- Scarlet

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Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel and Friends on February 5, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Retellings
Pages: 454
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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. 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.

After reading Cinder, I knew that Scarlet was going to make or break this series for me. I was pleasantly surprised.

Scarlet, Meyer’s version of Little Red Riding Hood, turned out to be AWESOME. Her character was tough and determined, and the combination of her and Cinder (even though they are not facing the world together) make for a very interesting story.

I was worried (mostly based on the title of the book) that the continuation of Cinder’s story wouldn’t be explored in detail. But I was wrong. Both Scarlet and Cinder went on awe inspiring and heart pounding journeys, along with some pretty awesome side kicks. I loved the mystery of Wolf and Captain Thorne’s personality.

The character development in Scarlet really surprised me (in a good way), and the plot was amazing. This is one of the few books where both the characters and the plot drew the story onward. There was this beautiful balance of the two that made Scarlet a wonderful read that I had a hard time putting down. And even then I finished it in two days!

If you read Cinder and aren’t quite sure if you should read Scarlet, DO IT. SCARLET WAS SO MUCH BETTER.

I am going to give Scarlet four out of five hearts.

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Book Review- Cinder

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Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Published by Fiewel and Friends on January 3 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Pages: 390
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Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.
Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.
But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.

So, not the most original book in the world.

Let me introduce you to Earth, hundreds (?) of years in the future. We have new nations and new laws. We have a prince and an evil foreign queen who is threatening war on Earth. We have a not-so-common girl with a hostile step-family (minus, of course, her younger step-sister) who might just become a savoir. But, what was I expecting? I knew what I was getting myself into when I picked Cinder up.

To be fair, I actually enjoyed this book a lot. It was entertaining, even if it was slightly (read: totally) predictable. I could see the “twist” at the end from a mile away, and there was nothing super surprising. But, the characters were interesting and multi-dimensional, and I liked learning more about them. 

What I did really like about this book (that set it apart from other dystopias) was that it is a kind of retelling of Cinderella. I thought that was pretty cool. I also really liked the technology in the book, and the fact that Cinder was a cyborg.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves dystopia and is looking for another series to dive into. This also would be a great first dystopia, for those of you who are looking for a place to start.

I am going to give Cinder three out of five hearts.

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Book Review- The Red Queen

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The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Published by Orion on February 12, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction
Pages: 383
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This is a world divided by blood-red or silver.

The poverty-stricken Reds are commoners, living in the shadow of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from the Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Then Mare finds herself working at the Silver palace, in the midst of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

After having this book recommended *ahem, shoved in my face* multiple times by multiple people, I decided I should probably just read it- so at least I could tell people to back off if I didn’t like it. But, I was actually really surprised by this one.

I’ve been trying to move away from the dystopia book, mostly because after a while they just all sound the same. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed this so much- because I haven’t read a dystopia in quite some time.

Anyway, I’d be lying if I said that this book doesn’t remind me of others. It reminded me A LOT of The Selection series (which I also enjoyed, so I didn’t mind that at all), and had some similarities to a bunch of other dystopias, like the Hunger Games (the whole area/fighting aspect), and pretty much any dystopia where the main character finds out they have powers.

I loved the characters in this book, and the depth they had to them. Yes, some of the *ahem* not as important characters were a little one sided *ahem* Evangeline *ahem*. But for the most part, the characters were interesting and some had some very surprising sides to them.

The one thing that really sets the Red Queen apart from other dystopias was the theme repeated throughout the book: Anyone can betray anyone. It was so relevant throughout the story, and I felt like it really tied the events of the book together.
BUT THE END. OH THE END!!!!!! I wont spoil anything, but that just threw me for a loop. UGH. WHYYYYYYYY.

Anyway, I would definitely recommend this book to people who love YA, The Selection, and/or dystopia (or are looking to get into/back into dystopia). But just be sure to have the second book on hand, because if you are anything like me then you’ll have about two seconds to breathe before your nose is buried in the Glass Sword!

I am going to give Red Queen four out of five hearts.

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Book Review- The Last Star

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The Last Star by Rick Yancey
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers on May 24 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Pages: 338
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The enemy is Other. The enemy is us.

They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us.

But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves.

In these last days, Earth’s remaining survivors will need to decide what’s more important: saving themselves…or saving what makes us human.

After two incredible first books, I feel like The Last Star fell a little short. The characters were still awesome, and I was rooting for them 100%, but by the third book the trilogy lost its steam.

A lot of the plot points in this book felt like they were taken from books 1 and 2, reimagined, and thrown back in. It just felt repetitive. When a big decision came up, the outcome was too predictable. The characters didn’t grow and change, they just did the same things over and over again. Not that their decisions didn’t make sense (because they did), but I just wish that there were some more original situations that the characters needed to adapt to rather than having the same dilemmas over and over again.

I also found the alien’s motives more than a little confusing. Looking back, I’m still not exactly sure why they came to earth and what they were trying to accomplish. It felt like the reasons didn’t fit with the plot, and it just seemed strange. Also the way the plot was revealed seemed very unrealistic.

I was hoping that at least the end of the book would have a big bang, but I was let down. The end was predictable, and felt like it was trying too hard. The book didn’t feel resolved. It felt like I was left in some strange limbo version of the book, and there should have been another hundred pages to tie up the plot.

I don’t regret reading The Last Star, especially because I enjoyed The Fifth Wave and The Infinite Sea so much. However, I do wish that it was more original. I am going to give The Last Star three out of five hearts.

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Book Review- The Infinite Sea

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The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
Published by Putnam Juvenile September 16 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Pages: 320
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How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

The Infinite Sea was a rush. It was high action from start to finish, and I could not put it down for the life of me. There were unseeable twists and turns, as well as those moments where you wish you could yell at the charater and tell them something they don’t know, but of course it’s a book so they can’t hear you.
There are two “books” in The Infinite Sea. The first book follows Cassie, Evan, Zombie, and the recruits (minus Ringer becuase she goes off on a mission). The second book follows Ringer, which I didn’t think I’d like, but I ended up loving more than I can possibly tell you. And the ending of that section tore my heart out. I mean, just when you think there are no good people left, one comes and rips out your heartstrings.
Rick Yancey has a way of building intricate backstories into the book that is absolutly beautiful. It builds this connection between you and a character, like you have known them your whole life. They seem like real people rather than characters written in the pages of a book.
If you like sci-fi and/or dystopia, this series is definately a series you need to read. And like I said in my review of The 5th Wave, if you are someone that wants to try a dystopia series, this is a great one to start with.
I am going to give The Infinite Sea five out of five stars! I can’t wait to see what happens in The Last Star!

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