After playing The Wolf Among Usa video game based on this series, I was curious to try the comics out. I am not a huge fan of the art and this volume...moreAfter playing The Wolf Among Usa video game based on this series, I was curious to try the comics out. I am not a huge fan of the art and this volume felt like one big introduction to the world building and character personalities, but I like where it is going. I am interested in reading more but I have to say so far the video game is better.
I did like the possible reference to another vertigo series, Sandman. Was that Merv I spotted?(less)
Scarlet is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I read the first book, Cinder, last year when it came out and I absolutely loved...moreScarlet is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I read the first book, Cinder, last year when it came out and I absolutely loved it. In fact it was my second favorite book of 2012 so to say that my expectations for Scarlet were high is a bit of an understatement. However I'm very pleased to report that Scarlet definitely lived up to my expectations! The Lunar Chronicles is quickly becoming one of my favorite YA series. (FYI this review might have some spoilers for Cinder, so you have been warned).
Scarlet picks up directly after the ending of Cinder. What's interesting in Scarlet is instead of just following Cinder's story we are following three different characters, Cinder who is busting out of jail, Prince Kai who is trying to deal with the evil Queen Levana, and a new character named Scarlet who lives in France and delivers vegetables from her grandmother's farm. I wasn't too sure how I would feel about the POV changes, but I think they were done very smoothly though I have to admit I enjoyed my homegirl Cinder's story more.
I did like the new characters, espeically Scarlet and Thorne (another prisoner who escapes with Cinder and really reminds me of Captain Jack Harkness). However because Scarlet and Cinder don't come together until the very end of the novel I don't think we get the same level of attention paid to the new characters. I didn't buy into Scarlet and Wolf's relationship the same way I did with Cinder and Kai.
My favorite thing about Scarlet though is the introduction to the big plot. Cinder was an introduction to the world and the main characters but in Scarlet we really get our first glimpse at just how bad the Lunars are and how dangerous Cinder's situation really is. I also really LOVED the ending but the "big reveal"? Yeah totally saw that one coming lol.
Overall Scarlet and the Lunar Chronicles as a whole are some of the best YA novels out there. The balance of the fairy tales that we all know and love with the completely new world Meyer has created is fantastic and comes together to create a wholly original story. (less)
I know it's barely into 2012, but I already think that Cinder will be one of my favorites of the year. I've read a lot of fairytale re-tellings, but n...moreI know it's barely into 2012, but I already think that Cinder will be one of my favorites of the year. I've read a lot of fairytale re-tellings, but never one quite like this. There's not just one thing about Cinder that makes it so awesome. The setting, the characters, the twists, the writing style, and so much more all add to this unique reading experience.
Let's talk characters. Cinder is fantastic. She is one of the best heroine's I've ever read. I love how she faces prejudices against her and still tries to take charge of her own life. She's her own person and makes her own decisions. Some of the things that are said and done to her by her "family"are absolutely horrible, but that only makes Cinder more determined. It's not just Cinder that's an awesome character though. I really LOVED all of the supporting cast. Iko, Cinder's robot BFF, is adorable and HILARIOUS. Cinder and Iko together were some of the cutest parts of the book. I also really liked (and hated) the evil stepmother and sister. I think Meyer did an excellent job with these two characters because, while they are still evil beyotches, I understood WHY the were evil beyotches. They were just flat "bad guys" they had their own motivations and reasoning behind their actions.
Let's also talk Prince Kai for a minute. Prince Kai is dreamy and funny with great interaction with Cinder. I really liked how we also get to read some chapters from his perspective. Not only does this give us valuable information about the overall story, but we also get to see Kai's struggles. He's trying to come to terms with his father dying and the fact that he will be the next emperor, which is a huge responsibility at any time, let alone when his country is precariously close to war with a much stronger nation.
I absolutely loved the futuristic setting, AND the fact that it was set in future China! I've been to China, so I really enjoyed reading her interpretation of how China would have evolved.
Proof! I'm in the red coat, and yes that really is the great wall behind me.
Cinder is an excellent start to the series. There are going to be 3 more books, and each one is going to be a re-telling of a different fairy tale. They are Scarlet (2013) - Little Red Riding Hood, Cress (2014) - Rapunzel, and Winter (2015) - Snow White. This is really encouraging because in Cinder there are plenty of questions that still need to be answered, in particular with the Lunars and their evil "queen".
In all honestly, I haven't been this excited about a book in a long time. While I don't think I'm doing nearly a good enough job at expressing just why I love this book so much, I hope you all will look past my inadequate ramblings and just buy the book. You won't regret it. (less)
Tris & Izzie is a first on a few different levels for me. It's the first book I've ever read on my new Kindle, the first book I've ever received f...moreTris & Izzie is a first on a few different levels for me. It's the first book I've ever read on my new Kindle, the first book I've ever received for review from netgalley, and my first ever one star review on this blog. It's very rare for me to give out a less than two star rating, but there is nothing remotely redeeming about this book. I'll try and hold in my negativity, but there's gonna be some snark and sarcasm. Even I'm not that good. (oh and p.s. this review may get spoilery, so if you really care (but why would you) you have been warned.)
First let's talk about the few things I did like about this book. The cover is beautiful and it's what drew me to the book in the first place. Not like I could see the pretty cover on my Kindle, but I could imagine it. Ok, the other things I liked about this book are.....um....well there was....I liked the part where.....did I mention the pretty cover?
Let's talk about the characters. Every single character in this book has bi-polar disorder. One minute they're professing their undying love for each other and then not even ten pages later they're punching each other in the face. No seriously, a boy punched his girlfriend in the face. And she was cool with it. I'm sorry but if my boyfriend punched me in the face I wouldn't be ok with it, I would be lying on the ground sobbing in a pool of my own nose blood. Izzie is probably the worst. She decides that her BFF Branna is too depressed and mopey and the best way to fix it is to give her an irreversible love potion with a guy they met literally TEN MINUTES AGO. AND this was after Branna said she didn't want a love potion, that she wanted her love to be real. Wow, some friend no? And then when Mark (Izzie's "perfect" boyfriend (he's the one that punched her in the face)) almost drinks the love potion instead of Branna what does Izzie do? Drinks it instead. She doesn't, oh I don't know, pour it ON THE FUCKING GROUND!? No she has to drink it and then she acts all pissed off about being in love with a boy that's not her boyfriend. Hum, maybe you should have thought about that before you decided to trick your best friend?
These characters play musical chairs with their relationships. They swap partners faster than the cast of Jersey Shore, I'm not exaggerating. Mark goes from being in love with Izzie to Branna in literally five minutes. Izzie goes from loving Mark to thinking that she never really loved him and that he and Branna are a much better match, even though earlier in the book she was super pissed that Branna had a crush on her boyfriend. Tristan is just an idiot.
AND THEN there's the "magic" in this book. It makes no sense other than to provide a greater enemy than this weird-o love square. It's poorly supported and even more poorly executed. The enemies and fight sequences are frankly, lame. The ending made me want to gag it was so happily ever after. I wish it had been like the real Tristan and Isolde and everyone had just died.
Sigh. Ok, end rant. As a side note, if the author/publisher/editor/anyone involved with this book ever reads this, I don't mean to be a douche. Promise. But I just really disliked this book (ok loathed may be a more appropriate word), and I'm not going to try and sugar coat it. Hope you're ok with that. (less)
I picked up a copy of Beastly because I surprisingly enjoyed the movie (starring Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer) and I wanted to see what the novel...moreI picked up a copy of Beastly because I surprisingly enjoyed the movie (starring Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer) and I wanted to see what the novel was all about. I thought Beastly was ok, and was actually enjoying it despite the incredibly cheesy writing and the fact that Beastly sticks closely to the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast and not the classic fairytale. However, it all went downhill when I got to the ending.
The writing in Beastly is just very safe. While this is set in "modern day" New York (I use the term modern lightly because the pop culture and technology in Beastly is already vastly dated) Beastly doesn't do much else to deviate from the original fairy tale. There are no risks or interesting interpretations of the moral of the story, it's the Disney movie in New York. No more no less.
What really bothered me was how Beastly seemed to miss the whole message of the original fairytale. The whole point of Beauty and the Beast is to show that inner beauty is more important than outer, but at the end of the book Lindy and Kyle/Adrian are still worrying about each others looks. It's like they learned nothing from Kendra's spell.
Overall Beastly is a very simplified re-telling that doesn't go too deep and keeps the writing and themes very surface level, almost to a fault. This would be a good book for young readers, but I wouldn't recommend it for anyone looking for a challenge or an exploration into the true meaning of beauty. (less)
I came to Sisters Red with high expectations. I loved the concept of this re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood, and I loved the addition of hardcore w...moreI came to Sisters Red with high expectations. I loved the concept of this re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood, and I loved the addition of hardcore werewolf hunting sisters. It's such an interesting spin on the fairy tale, and I love the girl power behind the idea. I thought the sisters, Scarlett and Rosie, have well developed voices and the mythology behind the werewolves was strong and made a lot of sense (I loved the reasoning behind the red cloaks!), but there were some shortcomings.
The best part of Sisters Red is the werewolves. They are ferocious and frightening, and I really love the sexual predator aspect (I know that sounds creepy, but it totally works with the story). Everything the girls do, from their red cloaks to their demeanor to their hatchets, is to lure the werewolves in. I love how they take the wolves sexual nature and turn it back on them and use their sexuality as a weapon. It makes for an evocative read.
I had two major problems with Sisters Red. The first was the pacing. I thought many aspects of the story became redundant, with the characters doing the same exact thing just in a different location without any growth. The story really didn't pick up until the final 100 pages.
The other problem I had was the lack of growth with the sisters. Rosie got a bad case of insta-love which was about as far as she developed. Scarlett is a fantastic character and starts off so interesting, but she really doesn't grow. She starts off very jaded, and while some people have claimed her attitude as slut-shaming, I understand where she's coming from. I think she's extremely bitter about the fact that her innocence, her change to be a silly girl, was taken away from her. She's scared, both physically and emotionally. I would have loved to have seen some of her scars heal, but I just didn't get enough which was really disappointing.
Overall Sisters Red is an excellent start and though it has some flaws there is so much potential. I am definitely going to be reading more of Jackson Pearce's fairy tales and I'm looking forward to more creative re-tellings! (less)
I don't know what it is about Gregory Maguire, but I keep reading his books thinking I'll like them and I end up being disappointed at best, but more...moreI don't know what it is about Gregory Maguire, but I keep reading his books thinking I'll like them and I end up being disappointed at best, but more often than not annoyed and put off. I love the ideas of his novels, but every single one is a let down. Confessions is not so terrible as Mirror Mirror or Lost, but I'm still leaving feeling like he could have done so much more. There is all of build up in this novel and the ending feels rushed, like he got bored half way through and just decided to stop writing. Also, I am surprised at the lack of sexuality in this book, which is a very prominent topic in some of his other books. This story seemed ripe for sexual exploitation, and if there was any it was only hinted at. There were many aspects of this book that I thought were almost good, but just not quite developed enough.
I think I will always try and fail to enjoy his writing.(less)