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Month

December 2015

Book Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles, Book 3)

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Hey, book lovers.

So, today I finished book three in the Lunar Chronicles series, this amazing series of fairytale-retellings in a futuristic world, where each of the fairytale princesses that we know and love come together to kick-ass and save the world. I have so, so, so much to say about this series. If you haven’t read it, you should. Go and do it. I am kind of, maybe, a little bit obsessed with it right now, but you would be too. *Screams.*

I have also reviewed the other two books in the series, and you can find them on this blog. I also have the next book, Winter, and cannot wait to start reading it.

Okay, so in this world, we have Cinder, the narrator of the first book, and she is a cyborg Cinderella- a mechanic, who is really the secret princess (I knew it would be true from the beginning- duh!). But she’s also Lunar, and has never known anything of her past, though she has always lived with her adoptive stepmother, Linh Adri, and her two stepsisters, Pearl and Peony (but you couldn’t call the youngest evil, no way.) She was lovely from the start. I never liked Pearl and Adri, but we’re not really supposed to, I guess. So the prince was flirting with Cinder, after asking her to fix an android that contained secret information, and he has been looking for the lost princess ever since. But it is when the plague reaches her family and poor Pearl shrinks away, leaving Adri to blame Cinder, that Cinder is sent away to a ‘volunteering’ program, where cyborgs like herself are tested on, in order to find an antidote to the plague that is ruining so many lives in the Eastern Commonwealth and the rest of Earth. He fell in love with her, and they were separated.

Now, in Scarlet, the granddaughter of Michelle Benoit, who we come to realise is the woman who helped to protect the princess after her parents were killed, and kept her hidden and cared for. Scarlet is a petite, futuristic version of Little Red Riding Hood. Scarlet’s story intertwines itself with Cinder’s, and after Cinder escapes prison with the help of Dr Erland and Thorne, another prisoner, they find Scarlet and she becomes a part of their crew, on Thorne’s spacecraft, along with Wolf, the one she had come to trust, and come to love as her ‘mate’. Their relationship wasn’t instant, which I liked. It took time for Scarlet to come to trust him, knowing his connections to her missing grandmother and her now late father.

Thorne is just plain comedy throughout, and I laughed aloud so many times from everything he was commenting on, or the questions he was asking. He’s kind of the class-clown everyone loves to hear from, but no one really takes seriously. I loved his character, though. I loved how he was always trying to get closer to Cinder, but she ignored him. In Cress, we see her instant love for him, and his ego, and his pride, and then his slow-growing attachment to her, knowing that she is in love with him and not wanting to hurt her in any way.

I really love the way all of the characters came together, it was so clever. At first you see Cinder’s story, and her relationship with Prince Kai, who soon becomes the Emperor of the Eastern Commonwealth when his father dies as a result of the plague, himself. Then there is Queen Levana, ruler of the moon-inhabiting Lunars, who wants to control his world along with her own, and though everyone despises her, they are also deeply afraid of her and the power she possesses. She is a Lunar with a strong ability to control how others see her, besides the Lunar ‘shells’, who are physically unaffected by these abilities but cannot control others themselves. It has also been revealed that Cinder is the true ruler, and Levana’s niece, but Cinder keeps this to herself throughout most of these stories, until Cress.

In Cinder, the mechanic met a young girl through one of her comm-links, and now, in the first chapter of Cress, we see her properly for the first time. She had helped Cinder get to the ball in the first place, as a great defiance against her mistress-thaumaturge, Sybil, and warned Cinder of Levana’s intended assassination of Kai, once they were to be married, in order to form this powerful alliance for the queen.  Sybil has always had Cress held in a tower on a satellite, and she’s never had her hair cut, so you know, I wonder if you can guess who she is. If not, Rapunzel. This was by far my favourite of all of the books, because you’ve already seen the relationships between Cinder and Kai, Scarlet and Wolf, and the rest of them intertwined, but now there is this forming relationship between Cress and her lifetime-crush, Thorne, when he comes to rescue her and they end up stranded together. (Just, aww! Maybe a little awkward, but aww!) So they end up travelling through Africa together, after falling back from the satellite to Earth, and now they’re forced to work together to get themselves out of the desert. And to top it all off, Thorne has gone blind, so Cress is forced to be his eyes, but he encourages her, as she’s often nervous and afraid, unlike Cinder, who is brittle and often cold, but very strong-hearted, and Scarlet, who is fiery in her own way. Cress is far more quiet, and as Thorne says, a little bit unsociable. But I loved their growing friendship, and then Cress’s admittance of love for him, and their slow-going emotional intimacy, as they find the Lunars in a small african village, who end up supporting them all, in the end, when they finally find Cinder again.

So they all come back together on this ship, and their characters, so unique, are mingling, which is really nice to see.

Their plans grow, and the tension develops, as they all work out a plan to go against the evil queen and bring Cinder back to her throne, with each of their skills and each of their characters developing along the way.

There is so much to this series. I couldn’t get enough of it! I would definitely recommend it.

For now, happy reading 🙂

April

xxx

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So, Today I Did A Pitch!

Hey, book lovers.

So, today I completed my first assessment for the third year of university.

I had to stand and speak, in front of my lecturers and my class, and talk about what I’ve been doing in the unit in the recent weeks- submitting my book, with mentions of my book, my blog here, and my part-time job in a bookshop, all of which I love.

I don’t usually like standing up and speaking for a long period of time. Everyone who knows me, relatively well, knows that if I’m not comfortable, I won’t be comfortable enough to be myself. But I did it, and I hope I’ve done it well.

I stuttered a little, and forgot things I was going to say, and didn’t stick at all to the cards I prepared, but I think I got most of the information I wanted to show out, so I’m hoping it wasn’t too bad. It’s the first time I’ve ever done something like that on my own, so it was pushing through my comfort zone, but I think I did it.

I’m pretty proud of myself for it. I’m becoming slowly more confident in myself, with people I know well and people I don’t, and I like it.

Hopefully, it can only be up from here!

Happy reading!

April 😀

xx

Book Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles, Book 2)

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Hey, book lovers.

So, I finally finished book two of the Lunar Chronicles series! This series of classic twists on the fairytales really has me hooked. I reviewed the first book, so if you haven’t read it yet, you can find that review here: Cinder review

There is so much to this world, and I’m in love with it all. It’s definitely got a sci-fi twist, with androids and spaceships and cyborgs, and takes on the more fairytale sense that comes with the classic stories- there’s romance, and flirty chat-up lines (especially from Captain Thorne), he made me laugh out loud many, many times while reading this. It was discovered in the first book that Cinder, a mechanic from New Beijing, was the lost princess of Lunar, and now this book has continued her journey through this realisation, and she is forced to take on the evil queen of Lunar, Levana, her aunt. At the same time, this book takes on the perspective of Scarlet Benoit, and she is… drum roll please…. Little Red Riding Hood. Okay, maybe that wasn’t necessary, but hey ho. It works.

So, Scarlet’s grandmother has been missing for a while, when this book begins. She has been in search of the woman for a while, when a stranger appears in her small town, and he is known as Wolf. I adored the references to the fairytale classic here, because of the name (obviously), his long-haired appearance, and his constant hunger. I read this book quickly, because it drew me in so much. I’m not usually a fast reader, at all. But I was enjoying this, and one night when I was feeling ill, I read the most of it, then finished the rest the following morning.

Then, the narration of the story alternates, in a close third person perspective, from Scarlet, to Cinder, to Emperor Kai, to Wolf, and then to Levana, at the very end. I loved this- I found it a lot more interesting to read from all of the different parts of the world, the different journeys taken, when Cinder is moving across the world, to find Scarlet’s grandmother, on Captain Thorne’s ship. Meanwhile, I loved Scarlet’s developing bond with Wolf, as she learns to trust him, and then later discovering his manipulation and betrayal, when he leads her into the ancient theatre, where his pack have her grandmother held. There were so many scenes in this book that I couldn’t stop reading, I didn’t want to leave my room, or go to sleep, because I was so invested in it.

There is so much to it. I think this is a series you need to read, to understand fully. But when you do, it’s definitely worth it.

Happy reading!

April 😀

xx

Editing And Rewriting- A Blessing In Disguise?

Hey, book lovers.

I wanted to do a short post on something I’ve been doing an awful lot of, recently. With one of my novels, I’ve been going through the process of rewriting and editing, an awful lot.

I’d never gone so fully into editing a piece as I have for this novel, to be honest. I do it a lot with my short story pieces for university, as I study Creative Writing, but never for a piece of this length. I’ve found that it’s difficult, complex, and a little tiring, but it makes it worthwhile when you know you’ve improved the story in some way, when you are able to tell people that what once had little story, for example, now feels a lot fuller. That’s probably the best way I can describe it. This process has become more interesting now, because I am considering every little character, every part of my protagonist and her story on her travels through New York, with the discovery she has made to the way she is at present.

I know, through reading and in my lectures, and just in writing the sequel to the book, what it will take to make this book far more readable. I’m being brutal and cutting out unnecessary words and phrases, repetition, similes and metaphors that don’t relate, and trying to fine tune it as much as I possibly can. And I’ve even added in a few chapters and the word count is more lengthy now, but I’m proud of the extracts I have added and feel they give it more weight.

It will never, ever be easy. But I think I’m starting to find my new view on it, and it’s affecting the way I edit my smaller pieces, too. I’m improving, I think, even if I tend to make a lot of mistakes in my first drafts. But I guess that’s what they’re for!

What do you think about the editing and rewriting process?

For now, happy reading!

April 😀

xxx

 

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