November 19, 2015

#TLCReadalong Continued|Scarlet & Cress Review

I haven’t posted much lately because I’ve been trying to move through The Lunar Chronicles and honestly, sometimes I wish that I could read faster. It appears like I don’t have anything to say but I promise that I do! I finally got through Cress and am beginning Winter and thought that I should do a review of sorts of what I think with the second and third of the series! So here we go! Let’s begin with Scarlet!

three-half-stars

I finished Cinder in a day (and like my review of it states that is a fiet for me) and to say that I was excited to get my hands on Scarlet and start reading it was an understatement! I was thrilled to see how Meyers was going to incorporate the retelling of Little Red Riding Hood into her already established storyline of Cinderella. Unfortunately, I feel like Scarlet didn’t quite live up to the expectations that I had going into it; especially with all the hype surrounding it. There was a couple of problems that I had with the book that prevented me from fully enjoying it as much as I did Cinder.

My problem with this branch of the story was in fact with Scarlet herself. When it comes down to it, I have very mixed feelings about her and some of the way she behaves. On one hand, I loved Scarlet and her personality because unlike Cinder I could relate to her. I have a big temper and more people than I care to admit have called me stubborn in the past but Scarlet took it to a whole new level. In the course of trying to find her grandmother, and faced with people asking her over and over if maybe her grandmother had something in her past that made her a target, Scarlet absolutely refuses to believe it. She reiterates over and over that her grandmother is just a sweet old woman that lives on a farm. It is an understanding belief, but it almost got ridiculous as evidence began to pile up that it is false. It wasn’t until she was completely shown that her grandmother did in fact have a life before that Scarlet believes. Now that’s what I call stubborn.

Cinder in this story became more three dimensional and less goody-goody. In the end of Cinder and the beginning of Scarlet she learns that she isView Spoiler ». This revaluation completely changes already complicated world and her reactions are completely and totally believable. Some might say that Cinder’s personality is one of selflessness and her actions in Scarlet are uncharacteristic and inconsistent because they are selfish. She has two choices; join Dr. Erland in Africa to save the Earthen or to run away and attempt a life of freedom. But this conflict in my opinion just made me love Cinder even more because it’s a realistic response to an overwhelming amount of power and lives that now are on Cinder’s shoulders.

The second issue was the relationship between Wolf and Scarlet. Now, I’ve said it about Cinder and I will say with Scarlet the relationship dynamics where completely predicable. The revelation that was supposed to be a surprise wasn’t much of a surprise. With that being said, that wasn’t the thing that annoyed me about the couple. It was the overwhelming aspect of over-protectiveness that was going on both sides that got almost grading to my nerves as I read the book. Now, I understand that because of somethings with Wolf there is an explanation of why he was that way but for someone who hated it being done to her Scarlet fell into that same trap. This is a small annoyance, but still got in the way a bit from enjoying it.

Despite these things, I am still fully invested into the story and what happens to the characters. Meyers has a way of writing that even though it can be somewhat predictable and the characters annoying sometimes, you still want to read about them and you can’t help but love them. They are like those cousins that you grow up with, their annoying sometimes, but you still love and care about them.

In summary;

Scarlet2

 

CRESSCress by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel & Friends on February 4th 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Fairy Tales & Folklore, General, Science Fiction
Pages: 560
Goodreads

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.

 

four-stars

I continued my chugging along at the #TLCReadAlong on Twitter by reading Cress in about 5 days. Now as I write this I am just finishing this behemoth of a book and I’m not sure if I can adequately express my feelings on Cress. It was so good and ultimately left me satisfied and craving more of the series. It did not make the best book that I read this year of some things that I am going to discuss that I felt while reading. But ultimately did not stop me from wholly enjoying this installment of the Lunar Chronicles. So, here are three reasons why I loved Cress!

One of my favorite things about Cress was in fact Cress herself. Most times in stories when a character is as naive and cloistered as Cress, authors tend to focus on those traits. Their naivety overshadows all other positive traits and warps these characters into troublesome and annoying caricature of what they could have been. Meyers does not do that and after about 1/3 of the book Cress’s other positive traits are the ones that end up overpowering her naivety towards people and what they are capable of.

The second thing, and most appealing aspect of Cress was the friendships that both blossomed and could be seen growing deeper; especially the friendship between Cinder and Thorne. When things go down, and boy do they go down, it shows how their friendship has morphed from that of utter convince to actual platonic friendship. Quite refreshing that a group of people can go through so much and still stay close and care about each others well-being.
There are two things that Cress unfortunately had that I feel that sums up the books of the Lunar Chronicles and that is; predictability and some scenes lasting longer than they should and some falling short were they should have been expanded. For example, the desert scene. I understand that it is a big part of the growth of Cress and Thorne but it seemed to go on forever with a few talking scenes and then more walking. View Spoiler ». The second issue was that when the twist was revealed I had already figured it out. Combined with my first point, I sadly feel that deep down in my fairy-tale happy endings had wished that had been expanded on and something had been…resolved. Instead, it ending up horribly sad.

In summary;

Cress

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