Book Reviews

The Lunar Chronicles – In review

lunar post

I finished The Lunar Chronicles over the last year, and I loved them all!  I enjoyed these books so much, that I wanted to share a little about each book and what I loved about them. If you haven’t read them yet, maybe this will convince you to. 🙂

For those who don’t know: The Lunar Chronicles is set in a futuristic world where some people live on Earth.  Some more powerful people called Lunars, who can create glamours and control humans, live on Luna. The Lunar Queen is evil and she is determined to rule all of earth as well as Luna.

There are four main books. Each book introduces a heroine and a hero based on a fairytale. I love they way their stories intertwine and each one’s story continues until the very end of the last book.

Cinder – A retelling of Cinderella. Cinder is a cyborg girl who serves as a servant to her mean stepmother and her two stepsisters, one cruel, one kind. In a nod to the original fairytale, Cinder goes to the ball and falls for the prince. When she rushes out she leaves behind her robotic foot instead of a slipper. (I lent out my copy of Cinder which is why it’s missing in the picture.)

Some of the things I liked best about this book: I loved Cinder’s courage and resilience. When things weren’t going well, she took action to try to change them. Also, I loved Iko, Cinder’s android friend. Iko was full of personality and was incredibly entertaining.

Scarlet – A retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, with hints of Beauty and the Beast as well. Scarlet lives on a farm with her grandmother. She meets Wolf, a beast-like man trained to be a special operative for the Lunar army. In a nod to the original fairytale, Scarlet always wears a red hoodie.

Some of the things I liked best about this book: I loved Scarlet and Wolf’s relationship. Even though he was trained to kill, Scarlet’s love for him and his love for her kept him from turning into a beast. I also enjoyed the many different locales visited in this book, a trend which continued into the next book as well.

Cress – A retelling of Rapunzel. Cress is trapped in a satellite, and has to do the Lunar Queen’s bidding. In a nod to the original fairytale, a guy named Thorne frees her from the satellite, and is blind for a period of time. (In the original story, it was a thorn that made the prince blind). Cress also has really long hair that she ends up cutting.

Some of the things I loved about this book:  This book was my favorite of the Lunar Chronicles. I could relate to Cress with her small stature and her anxiety about new things. I also loved Cress and Thorne’s relationship.

Winter – A Snow White retelling. Winter is the stepdaughter of the Lunar Queen. She is beautiful and well-loved by the people, so of course the queen hates her. Winter refuses to use her glamour to control others even though  doing this makes her see things and gives her nightmares. In a nod to the original tale, the Queen tries to kill Winter by glamouring herself as an old woman and offering Winter toxic apple candies.

Some of the things I loved about this book:

It ended happily ever after!  It tied everyone’s stories together so well. We really get to see Winter’s strength and personality. Prior to this book, she seemed to just be crazy, so I had been wondering how Meyer was going to have a whole book about her. It was the perfect ending to a great series.

lunar extras

Some companion books to the series include  a shorter book that tells the Lunar Queen’s origin story, a book of short stories, and a coloring book. There are also two graphic novels that tell about Iko’s escapades after the main books end. I just finished the first one and enjoyed it just as much as the other books.

The Lunar Chronicles has made Marissa Meyer an autobuy author for me. 🙂

If you’ve read the series, which book is your fave? What’s your favorite thing about the Lunar world? If you haven’t read the series, why not?! Let me know in the comments!

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Top Ten Tuesday

2018 Top Ten Reads

top ten 18

So, I know this was a Top Ten Tuesday post for last Tuesday, but I didn’t have time to get it up by then. I really wanted to do this one, so I decided to do it for today. Hope you enjoy!

I read a total of 160 books in 2018, and it was hard to choose my ten favorite, but I finally narrowed them down. Here they are:

  1. To All The Boys I Ever Loved by Jenny Han and From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon I put these two together, because they are both fun YA contemporary reads, and I couldn’t decided which one I liked better.
  2. The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kirsten White This was a clever retelling of Frankenstein. Perfect for an October read, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
  3. A Light So Lovely: The Spiritual Legacy of Madeleine L’Engle by Sarah Arthur The new Wrinkle in Time movie came out this year, and sparked several new books about the author. This was a nice look at L’Engle’s life and faith, and how it influenced her writing. It was inspiring, and the title was taken from my favorite L’Engle quote:                  light so lovely
  4. Ghost by Jason Reynolds This is a middle grade book, which I read as part of The Great American Read, and I really liked it. I’ve found I really enjoyed anything Jason Reynolds has written.
  5. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood I was inspired to read this after seeing the TV show based on it, and was surprised to find out it was written in the 1980’s. Of course, it is better than the show.
  6. Becoming Madeleine by Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Lena Roy This book was a biography of L’Engle’s life written by her granddaughters. A really nice tribute, it was a shorter book aimed for a YA/MG audience, but was great to read even as an adult. It was inspiring and I’d recommend it to any aspiring author.
  7. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson This was the best YA mystery I read during the past year, and I can’t wait to read the next book. I already have it on hold at my public library.
  8. Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows This was one of the best fantasy books I read, and I was able to meet the author and get the second book in the series signed. 🙂 

  9. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie I also read this book as part of The Great American Read. I can’t believe I hadn’t read it before, because it is Agatha Christie at her best! Typically, I figure out the ending before I get to it, but this one had me still trying to figure out what was going on until the end. If you love mysteries, you need to read this one.
  10. Cress by Marissa Meyer And last but not least, one of Marissa Meyer’s books! I love her books and she is an auto-buy author for me. Truthfully, I could have put all of the books in the Lunar Chronicles on here, but I decided to just choose my favorite. If you love YA fantasy, this series is a must read.

What about you? What were your favorites reads of 2018? How many of these have you read? Let me know in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Worlds I Want to Visit/Not Visit

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Girl. To find out more about the top ten theme, or to join in the fun go here.

Today’s theme is bookish worlds you want to live in/not live in. It’s hard for me to say I’d actually want to live in another world, but there are some I’d certainly want to visit, as well as some I’d want to avoid. 🙂

book worlds

Here are my picks:

1. Narnia (The Chronicles of  Narnia) – This is one place I’d love to visit! Aslan and magical creatures – need I say more?

2. Hogwarts (Harry Potter) – Who wouldn’t want to learn how to do magic? 🙂

3. The Lunar Chronicles World – A futuristic world with lots of cool tech? Yes, please!

4. Wonderland – There are so many versions of this world (Heartless, Queen of Hearts, Alice and Wonderland, Once Upon A Time, to name a few.) All of them seem like interesting places, and it would be pretty fun to attend a mad tea party.

5. Neverland – Again a lot of versions of this world – Wendy Darling, Never Ever, Once Upon A Time, Peter Pan – and they all have a few things in common: flying capability, mermaids and pirates. Anyone who loves fairytales would love to visit such a place.

And a few worlds I wouldn’t want to visit….

6.The world of The Winner’s Kiss – While I enjoyed the story, I certainly wouldn’t want to visit. All that war, prejudice, and slavery – No thank-you!

7. The world of The Selection – Another read I really enjoyed, but not a place I’d want to visit. Too much poverty and uncertainty. Although the lavish dresses would be cool to see.

8. The world of The Hunger Games – I think it’s obvious to anyone who’s read the book why you wouldn’t want to live here. You might literally have to fight for your life by killing your friends.

9. The World of Divergent – Too much conformity in this world. I wouldn’t appreciate being lumped into a specific group and destined to do the same thing for the rest of my life.

10. Morganville (The Morganville Vampires) While interesting to read about, this is another place where you have to do too much fighting to stay alive. And if you manage to stay alive, you could end up enslaved to a vampire. I don’t think so!

What about you? Is there a bookish world you’d like to visit? How about one you wouldn’t want to visit? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – “Books I’d Slay a Lion to Get Early”

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Girl. To find out more about the top ten theme, or to join in the fun go here.

Tope Ten Tuesday (1)

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is “Books I’d slay a lion to get early.”

I hate waiting to read books, so typically I wait to start a big series until several of the books have already been released. Sometimes though, I read a book I didn’t realize was part of a series. Also, if a book is by a favorite author, I go ahead and read it. So I only came up with seven instead of ten:

1. The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson – this is the second book in the Truly Devious series. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

2. Part of Your World by Liz Braswell – This is a Disney book, part of the Twisted Tales series. So far they’ve done Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, and Mulan (which was just released and is on my TBR list for this month). This one is The Little Mermaid and as I love the movie, I can hardly wait for this one!

3. Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco – I love the Stalking Jack the Ripper books and am psyched to read this next one.

4. Last Seen by Sara Shepherd – This is part on The Amateurs series and the books always end on a cliffhanger. Anything by Sara Shepherd pretty much leaves you wanting more.

5. Black Coats by Colleen Oakes – This doesn’t come out until next year, but anything by Colleen Oakes is an automatic TBR for me.

6. The Blood Spell by C.J. Redwine – This is book 4 in the Ravenspire series. Each book can stand alone, but they’re all set in the same world. Each one is also a fairtytale retelling.

7. The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead –  This is part of The Glittering Court series. A bit different from Mead’s other YA books, but I still really enjoy them and can’t wait to read this last one.

What books can you hardly wait to get your hands on? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Books set in other countries

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Girl. To find out more about the top ten theme, or to join in the fun go here.

This week’s topic is: books set in another country. I live in the US, so these books are all set in countries other than the US.

I read a lot of fantasy where the story takes place in a made up land, so I had to think about this one a little. Here’s what I came up with:

top five

1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer, set in China, or at least a futuristic version of China.

2. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, set in France

3. Cress by Marissa Meyer, set in Egypt

One of the reasons I love The Lunar Chronicles so much is because they happen in so many different places.

4. Hunted by Meagan Spooner, set in Russia

5. Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly

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6. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco, set in England

7. Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco, set in Romania

I love this series for so many reasons – the mystery, the romance, the Victorian era… I can hardly wait for the final two books.

8. The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury, set in Arabia/Persia

9. A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston, set in Arabia/Persia

10. Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George, set in Romania

 

What’s your favorite book set in a country other than your own? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Spring TBR List

spring tbr

This week for Top Ten Tuesday, the topic is your Spring TBR list. To find out more about Top Ten Tuesday  and to join in the fun, check out That Artsy girl.

I’m so excited that spring is here! Hopefully the weather here catches up soon. I love warm weather. Summer is my favorite season, with spring a close second. I love seeing the world come alive again and was psyched to choose the books I want to read during this magical season.

All of these books are books I own and I’ve chosen them to help me keep progressing with the #unreadshelfproject2018. I’ll probably have a few other books I’ll read this spring, since I have such a difficult time not getting any books from the library, but I’m going to focus on these books. I’m giving myself until the end of June to finish all the books on the list. 🙂

1. Winter – Marissa Meyer: Now that I finally have the paperback copy of Winter, I can finish the Lunar Chronicles!

2. The Belles – Dhonielle Clayton: I’ve been waiting to read this book for over a year. As soon as I heard about it, I wanted to read it.

3. The Hazel Wood – Melissa Albert: This is another book I’ve been waiting to read, and lucky for me it came in the Febraury Owlcrate. 🙂

4. The Last Namsara – Kristin Ciccarelli: One of the Epic Reads quizzes said I should read this book. After checking it out, I realized I did want to read it, and was surprised I hadn’t heard about it before.

5. Persuasion – Martina Boone: I’ve already read Compulsion, the first book in the Heirs of Watson Island, and loved it. So now I need to finish the series. I also met the author and got this book signed. 🙂

6. Illusion – Martina Boone: This is the third and final book in the Heirs of Watson Island series.

7. Wild Beauty – Anna-Marie McLemore: This book is a perfect spring read, since it is about a special garden. This is another Owlcrate book that I have yet to read.

8. The Wish Granter – C.J. Redwine: I loved The Shadow Queen and I pre-ordered this book as soon as I heard about it. It’s simply been pushed down on my TBR list because I always have library books that have to go back to the library. 🙂

9. Dead To Me – Mary McCoy: This is a mystery set in the 1940’s. I love vintage stories, especially mysteries, so I had to include one on this list.

10. Finding my Edge – Karen Chen: With the Olympics just over and Worlds starting in the next day or so, it’s the perfect time to read this figure skater’s autobiography. Figure skating is one of my favorite sports. 🙂

What’s on your reading list for spring? Let me know in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday Favorite Book Quotes

Today, I’m participating in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. I love this idea. It’s such a great way to connect with other book nerds, so I’m going to try to participate most weeks. 🙂 Today’s theme is book quotes.

book quotes

At first, I wasn’t sure how many book quotes I knew, but after some research I realized I knew more than I thought. I included quotes from some classics and some from favorite recent reads. Hope you enjoy!

1. “I want to do something splendid…something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it and mean to astonish you all someday.”
― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women                                                                                                    (This speech Jo gives about her dreams is one of the reasons I love her so much, and I had to include something from Little Women since it’s been such a longtime favorite.)

2. “I promise, I will not let you die without being kissed.”
― Marissa Meyer, Cress                                                                                                                          (Cress and Thorne are my favorite couple from The Lunar Chronicles.)

3. “As the poets say, stories are truth told through lies.”
― Jessica Khoury, The Forbidden Wish

4. “I am confident, I am capable, and I will not wait to be rescued by a woodsman or a hunter.”
― Jackson Pearce, Sisters Red

5. “I said: “He cannot be so bad if he loves roses so much.”
“But he is a Beast,” said Father helplessly.
I saw that he was weakening, and wishing only to comfort him I said, “Cannot a Beast be tamed?”
― Robin McKinley, Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast

6. “Mirrors only show us what we are. Books show us what we can be.”
― Jennifer Donnelly, Beauty and The Beast: Lost in a Book                                                         (I loved this book and it’s so quotable, I had to include a few from it.)

7. “Isn’t that what a good story does? It pulls you in and never lets you go.”
― Jennifer Donnelly,  Beauty and The Beast: Lost in a Book

8. “Reading became my sanctuary,” Belle continued. “I found so much in those books. I found histories that inspired me. Poems that delighted me. Novels that challenged me…” Belle paused, suddenly self-conscious. She looked down at her hands, and in a wistful voice, said, “What I really found, though, was myself.”
― Jennifer Donnelly, Beauty and The Beast: Lost in a Book

9. “Roses have both petals and thorns, my dark flower. You needn’t believe something weak because it appears delicate. Show the world your bravery.”
― Kerri Maniscalco, Stalking Jack the Ripper

10. “For there are no limits to the stars, their numbers infinite. Which is precisely why I measure my love for you by the stars. An amount too boundless to count.”
― Kerri Maniscalco, Hunting Prince Dracula

 

What are some of your favorite book quotes? Let me know in the comments! 🙂