What to Expect

MARCH

Last month was all about the Lunar Chronicles. I took some time to reread the first three books in the series: Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress; and shared my original reviews of the stories! I did not reread the fourth book, Fairest, a prequel novel, despite sharing the original review.

March is dedicated to finishing the last two books in the series, Winter and Stars Above. You can also expect a couple of reblogged reviews of Lunar Chronicles short stories.

But don’t worry; it will not be another month of just YA Science Fiction. I have a back log of audiobooks that also need to be shared!

I also decided to work on my towering stack of writing books. I am staring Writer with a Day Job today! I don’t plan to have it finished and reviewed this month but you never know!

What do you have planned for March? Are you reading nonfiction? Fiction? Are you obsessed with YA Science Fiction too?

Happy Reading!

Lindsay

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Scarlet

Last week I announced that February would be the month of YA Science Fiction. I will be revisiting all novels in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles and today we have my review of the second book in the series, Scarlet! Enjoy and let me know what you think of the series!

History and Mystery

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)

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.

Readers…

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Cinder

Last week I announced that February would be the month of YA Science Fiction. I will be revisiting all novels in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles and today we have my review of the book that started it all, Cinder! Enjoy and let me know what you think of the series!

History and Mystery

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #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.

I re-read Cinder this weekend as I have decided to read Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles Series this month.

Cinder, which is set five years after the events in the short story Glitches, relates the tale of Lihn Cinder, a young…

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YA Science Fiction

I FINALLY know what you should expect this month!

YA SCIENCE FICTION!

I’m sure some of you are groaning at that announcement. But I’m also quite sure there are a number of you who are just as excited as I am! Why young adult science fiction you ask? Well, Stars Above was released yesterday, marking the conclusion of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles.  

  February will be full or rereading, and reblogging my reviews of the series. Plus, new reviews of other YA science fiction novels and the last two books in the Lunar Chronicles, Winter and Stars Above. 

So happy YA SCI-FI February! Any ony else reading the Lunar Chronicles this month?
Lindsay

Hello Old Friend…

We have so many favorites. We have favorite TV shows, favorite movies, and favorite shoes. We have favorite classic cars, favorite candles, favorite food, and favorite people. And of course we have favorite books!

You know the books I speak of! The novels that you find yourself randomly thinking about on a quiet day. Books with worn edges because you’ve read them over and over. Battered paperbacks and hardbacks with a prestigious spot on that first book shelf. Yep, I’m pretty sure all readers have a few favorite books. And I’m sure it’s pretty obvious to all of you that I read a variety of genres. Luckily, I tend to have a favorite book in each that I come back to on a regular basis, and you can check out the full list on my Favorites Page.

January always finds me knee deep in a stack of books about wintery survival, but for some reason I have been thinking about all my go-to novels this year. Typically, I reread my favorite survival stories, Last of the Breed and Julie of the Wolves, during this month, but last week I was on a western kick. So, I reread and shared Milo Talon. This wasn’t a big difference since most westerns involve a good bit of surviving. But last night I was hit with the urge to reread my favorite fantasy series, The Green Rider books by Kristen Britain, as well as my sci-fi fav, Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles! I am going blame these sudden urges on watching MTV’s Shannara Chronicles and getting the last book in the Lunar Chronicles, Winter, for Christmas.

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But what keeps us coming back to these books? You can only experience the excitement of the first read once, so that’s not it. Sure we reread books we find well written and enjoyable, but its more than that. Otherwise we would find ourselves rereading all the time because I think that most of the books I review are well written and enjoyable. So, I asked Facebook and the general consensus is rereading a favorite book is like meeting up with old friends.

Disney friends hug friend big hero 6

We connect with the characters! We are invested, involved, and excited about their stories. We discover some small detail we miss previously each time we pick the book back up. And each time we remember how we felt the first time we followed the character into space, the first time we battled through a Siberian winter with them, and the first time we watched them use magic to save a kingdom. All those reasons are why we keep coming back to our favorites.

Sure, my shelves are over flowing with books that need to be read. But sometimes its ok to say “hello old friend,” and pull that battered book down for a needed reunion curled up on the couch.

What books are your favorites? Do you plan to spend your weekend rereading?

Lindsay

Fairest

Fairest

by Marissa Meyer

 Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5)

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.

Fairest is the story of the evil Queen Levana, and the prequel story for Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicle series.  For those not familiar with the series it contains three full length novels (Cinder, Scarlet, Cress), two short stories (Glitches, The Queen’s Army) and now a short novel with Fairest.  The final novel, Winter, is scheduled to come out the Fall of 2015.  The Lunar Chronicles is a science fiction re-telling of the classic fairytales Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White.

I received Fairest as a birthday gift and initially began reading it in February.  You may be surprised it took me so long to finish the novel considering how much I love the other books in the series, but I just couldn’t get into the story.  This has nothing to do with Meyer’s writing and story development.  Her writing is good and the story moves well.  It has everything to do with Levana as a character.  I just don’t like her because I have never been fond of the Evil Queen despite her many reincarnations over the last ten years.  Charlize Theron’s portrayal is by far my favorite, though I was less than impressed by the Snow White and the Huntsman film.

Anyways, a story about the Evil Lunar Queen wasn’t going to be my favorite of the series, but I still wanted to read it.  It should have been half the length, a novella instead of novel, because we spend far too much time delving in to the frantic, and often childish thoughts of Levant, resulting in her seeming more whiny instead of powerful and terrifying.  I loved the glimpse into her psyche; how lost and confused she was, how desperate in her love, and how much she hated herself.  I just wish the power of the final scene with the mirror resounded through the entire story.

I still recommend it to fans of the series.  Fairest adds depth to the Queen, and provides a wonderful view on the early lives of some well known characters from the other stories.  We get to see Cinder and Winter as children and even a few hints of Dr. Erland’s life on the moon.  Plus, its always fun to learn a character’s backstory and Levana’s is interesting…

Have you ready Fairest?  What is your favorite story in the Lunar Chronicles?

Lindsay

What to Expect – MARCH

What to Expect – MARCH

Maybe I will actually get the ‘What to Expect’ post out on the first of April.  Sorry about the delay; we are stuck playing catch up until then!  In wordpress news: I started a sister site to Sand Between the Pages where I document my writing progress and post personal musings.  Check it out here!  Now, on to the rest of the post!

March arrived like a breath of fresh air.  Cold foggy days were suddenly replaced with sunshine and warm afternoons.  Florida’s first warm sunny weekend had arrived, and I spent most of Saturday lounging in my bathing suit in the backyard with a good book and happy tortoise for company.  It was wonderful, until I realized my choice to forgo sunscreen was just plain stupid.  I am now rocking raccoon eyes and a slight pink hue.  I don’t regret any of my sunny reading time, though, and happily await the next sunny day.

Beach Burnt animated GIF

March will be spent finishing the two novels I was supposed to review last month:

1. Fairest by Marissa Meyer

2. A Time to Live by Jonas Lee

You can expect a few straggling winter survival stories this month.  The spring sun means that my book settings will also make a seasonal change.  Expect a few mystery novels.  I love the mystery genre and I am reading a number of them, analyzing how each mystery plays out.  Just research for my WIP!  And who knows, a fantasy story may even appear in the lineup!

Its going to be a fun month and I hope you enjoy!  What are you reading in March?

Lindsay

Cress

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, 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 her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned 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 just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Cress is the third installment of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicle series and readers dive in to the tale of Queen Levana’s satellite spy, Crescent ‘Cress’ Moon.  The story opens with the fugitive crew slipping through the stars to save Cress and Meyer takes us to Africa, Luna, and Back to New Beijing on an exciting journey to piece together Cinder’s team and stop the royal wedding.

Cress was a fun, fast-paced story that I could not put down; I had my husband laughing as I jumped up and down on the bed in excitement as plotlines fit together perfectly.  But, I had expected a tad more from Cress and my slight frustration resulted from the lack of character development that stemmed from the characters constantly being on the run.  I was disappointed in Wolf’s meltdown, I expected a little more from Cress as the story progressed, and I was disappointed at Cinder’s lack of leadership throughout the entire story.

I still loved it!  I enjoy the world that Meyer has created and she has a talent for re-telling the classic fairytales (Thorne’s lost eyesight is a quirky example).  Cress and Thorne develop a unique and real relationship as they survive the African deserts together and it is entertaining watching Cress react to her new friends.  Readers also get to spend more time with Kai, Dr. Erland, and Sybil Myra, who I just love to hate.  We even get a glimpse at the semi-sane Winter.  I love the fairytale romances and the intricate plotlines; Marissa Meyer is a master in her genre!  it is going to be difficult to wait for Fairest and Winter!

Let me know what you think about the review and Cress.

Lindsay

Scarlet

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)

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.

Readers Beware: Here there be spoilers!
(Its just so hard not to have spoilers with a series like this.)

Last weekend we went kayaking out along the beach and of course my copy of Scarlet went with me! Scarlet is the second installment in Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series and it is jam packed with an exciting ensemble of characters. Cinder, Thorne, Iko, Scarlet, Wolf, Queen Levana, and the list just goes on and on! Meyer takes her readers from New Beijing to France as the storylines of Cinder and Scarlet merge. Cinder searches for the truth about her past and Scarlet hunts for her missing grandmother.

Cinder is determined, strong, and much more confidant than the girl we met in Cinder. I was thrilled at her growth and the grudging friendship that she develops with Thorne; the American Captain pushes Cinder to open up through his annoying comments and playful jabs. She was just a stronger character which made reading her storyline more enjoyable than expected.

We get to meet the fiery Scarlet, a French farmer who is desperate to find her missing grandmother. Scarlet takes up with the mysterious Wolf (my favorite character) after she discovers he may know where to find her Grand-mere. She convinces him to help in her search, and the two develop an interesting relationship during their trials. I can’t wait to see where Meyer takes the two in the next installment.

I had hoped to see more ‘telling instead of showing’ with Scarlet. Meyer does take more time describing the setting, especially the Paris icons, but it was still a tad lacking. The story may be somewhat predictable because it is a re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood. My suggestion is to embrace Meyer’s theme and enjoy the ride!

I couldn’t put Scarlet down and the last third of the book had me holding my breath as I turned the pages. Meyer’s writing is just enjoyable for me to read and I hope you find the story as enthralling. Let me know what you thought about Scarlet!

Lindsay

The Queen’s Army

The Queen’s Army
by Marissa Meyer

The Queen's Army (The Lunar Chronicles, #1.5)

It is time. The boy must leave his family to serve in the Queen’s army. To be chosen is an honor. To decline is impossible. The boy is modified. He is trained for several years, and learns to fight to the death. He proves to the Queen—and to himself—that he is capable of evil. He is just the kind of soldier the Queen wants: the alpha of his pack.

The Queen’s Army is a short story in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles that documents the military training of a Ze’ev, a young Lunar boy, who is chosen to be an elite solider in the Lunar Queen’s war against Earth.  He is horrified to learn his duty requires monstrous physical modifications and mental manipulations, but Ze’ev quickly adjusts in order to survive.  The Queen’s Army, which has me wanting to re-read Ender’s Game, provides detailed descriptions of the gory training received by the Lunar Queen’s elite soldiers and further educates readers on the mysterious lunar colony’s animalist culture.

I enjoy this short story because it introduces fans of the series to Wolf, the man who once was Ze’ev and who will appear in Scarlet.  Readers also get a glimpse of life on Luna, the moon colony, which was just hinted at in Cinder.  I wish we could hear more about the regular citizens, such as readers experience with New Beijing, but Meyer restricts the story to the military training facilities and utilizes the setting to emphasize the cruel mentality of Queen Levana.   The Queen’s Army identifies Ze’ev’s moral conflict with his training and the goals of his queen; readers should remember this point when reading Scarlet.

This story really does not really function as a stand alone piece, but I know that it is meant to be read as part of the series.  Actually, The Queen’s Army is a must read for those continuing with Meyer’s series as it is necessary aspect of Wolf’s character development.  Wolf is one of my favorite characters in the series so far, and The Queen’s Army made me more sympathetic to Wolf’s struggles in Scarlet.  I immediately started reading the next book in the series so expect to hear about it in the next few days.  Let me know what you thought about The Queen’s Army!

Lindsay