The kernel of this book was interesting--weaving a version of Red Riding Hood in to the continuing story of Cinderella from Cinder. If you paid close...moreThe kernel of this book was interesting--weaving a version of Red Riding Hood in to the continuing story of Cinderella from Cinder. If you paid close attention during Cinder, you immediately know the connection between Scarlet and Cinder but it isn’t hard to guess if it has been a while since you read Cinder. The actual storytelling switches between Cinder and Scarlet with a few chapters from Kai’s perspective thrown in. There are also a few new characters introduced--Wolf and Thorn.
Wolf is a little…I don’t know..Worf-ish?
But with more angry badass mixed in.
When his character was first introduced, I was a little worried this was taking the Twilight/Jacob spin…but thankfully not.
Thorn is a bit like Mal Reynolds without the bonnet or snazzy dialogue.
Occasional badass but a lot of comic relief—which is welcome at points.
Scarlet is a little more developed as a character but the entire time I read the book I pictured her as Merida from Brave. It was the hair and sassy attitude, no doubt.
My only real beef is that there isn't a lot of plot. The great majority of the book is a double-sided travel sequence. Both Cinder and Scarlet are getting from point A to point B for most of the story. A few things happen along the way and some new information is added but none of it seems critical or new. It's either things you could guess from the book's description or from knowledge of the original tales.
The bad guy role isn’t well established either. Queen Levana spends most of the few scenes she is in stomping around pissed off.
But she doesn’t ever really DO anything and the other antagonists aren’t well developed or detailed enough so there isn’t enough tension. The action scenes in the book feel like meaningless action rather than conflict that moves the plot forward.
Once Cinder, Scarlet and the gang (FINALLY) meet up, there is a bit of resolution and setup for book 3. I’ll read it for sure but, honestly, this second book could have easily been condensed in to a few chapters at the start of the next book. I like Scarlet but she just seems….extraneous at this point. She doesn’t add to Cinder’s story in any significant way and she doesn’t have a story of her own that feels like it will carry through to the third book. At the end of book 2, we are left with almost the same situation as we had at the end of book 1—just with three extra characters.
This review sounds harsh…but, though there were some issues with it, it was a quick, fun read. If you enjoyed Cinder, you should probably give this a read—if only to prepare you for book 3.(less)
So you’ve read Twilight and its awesomeness has you screaming for more. I get it. I love a good fried pickle of a beach book myself. I’ve read the or...more
So you’ve read Twilight and its awesomeness has you screaming for more. I get it. I love a good fried pickle of a beach book myself. I’ve read the original series now a couple of times and when I heard about Midnight Sun, I grudgingly read it.
Ok, that was a lie. I was a little excited but I don’t care about your judgment. I am thirty-mumblemumble years old and that has earned me a certain freedom to enjoy a trashy book every once in a while.
If you don’t know the story behind this book, I’ll summarize. Stephenie Meyer was writing a companion novel to Twilight from Edward’s perspective.
INORITE? It’s like Ender’s Shadow but…less exciting.
So the unfinished draft leaked on to the internet and, like the special-snowflake-capital-A-Artist she is, Meyer decided to abandon it and put the unfinished work on her website because it just didn’t feel right.
Yeah. Seems kind of whine-fest. But whatever. Let’s get back to Edward.
The plot is basically the same as Twilight but, instead of the teen-angst-fest of Bella, you get the moral angst-fest of Edward. I want to kill her! I don’t want to kill her! I should leave! I have to stay! I love her! Does she love me? How could she possibly? I’m a monster! He is a little creepier in this book with the stalkeresque watching her sleep and such but that should come as no surprise.
Then it ends before any real excitement can happen. If you are curious, it cuts off around the getting to know you scenes/Bella is a klutz playing badminton.
If you are a fan, you don’t need me to tell you that you’ll probably like this and want Meyer to finish it. It is a somewhat interesting take on a tale you already know. There is some new material here—the scenes of Edward in Alaska, some Cullen family stuff and a few funny bits with Alice. Another bonus? NO Jacob. None.
I know there are a lot of Twilight bashers out there who think the series is shit.
I’ll agree that they aren’t the most well-written books nor the most emotionally deep. But get off your high-horse and have a little sparkly fun. All work and no play makes reading boring.(less)
I was not exactly inclined to read this book after finishing the first in the series. The first was, shall we say, thin on plot. It wasn't bad...just...moreI was not exactly inclined to read this book after finishing the first in the series. The first was, shall we say, thin on plot. It wasn't bad...just not great. I was also growing increasingly tired of the dystopian young adult romance triangle trilogy. But aren't we all, really?
But I persevered. I was wrong about glow and its follow up, spark. I could be wrong about this.
But I wasn't. This book, like legend, was just ok. June is still lacking luster and Day spends a decent amount of the book brooding over whether or not June likes him. I get it. Its a young adult book and teens are all broody, right? But seriously, kid. The girl left everything to follow you (against my advice while reading). Get over it, already. For god sakes, will someone slap him?
I think part of the problem is the immaturity of the characters. We are supposed to believe they are grappling with serious emotions like love and betrayal yet neither can communicate effectively to the other. Is this supposed to be the tension? It ends up just being frustrating. Everybody likes EVERYBODY and it gets old pretty fast. It isn’t even the traditional love triangle that is in most YA novels lately. Its more like...
Yeah. Like that. There are at least 7 characters all connected by romance/crushes.
Anyway. The plot. It's ok. It's not mind-blowing. It's a little like Mockingjay in that June and Day join the resistance and then find out perhaps it isn't what they thought it would be. That's about it. Who is good and bad? Who is working for whom and what are their motives? Is the Republic bad? I dunno. And I’m not really left with a super-satisfying answer at the end. The bad guys are written off in a sentence and you never know what becomes of them. The good guys feel kind of like they are hanging out killing time until the third book when I’m sure a lot of this will be cleared up.
There's a little twist at the end if you want to call it that. I prefer to think of it more as an excruciating insertion of an element that is barely hinted at so we can squeak another book out of this plot. It is discussed in two sentences of the book--so fast you don’t even really get it. Then it becomes the entire finale scenes.
I hate it when books do this. It feels like the draft is finalized then some tension needs to be added to the end so an author goes back and inserts things just for the drama factor.
Will I read the third? Probably. I hate leaving something unfinished though I do have the last in the Uglies series and still haven’t read it because the second was pretty awful. I’m certainly not excited about it.(less)
Really nice retelling of the knife throwing scene from Four's perspective. It isn't anything shockingly new but confirms a lot of the backstory of Fou...moreReally nice retelling of the knife throwing scene from Four's perspective. It isn't anything shockingly new but confirms a lot of the backstory of Four. (less)
This book really suffered from my own high expectations. The first in the trilogy was incredible and I expected to be even more enthralled with this o...moreThis book really suffered from my own high expectations. The first in the trilogy was incredible and I expected to be even more enthralled with this one...but it was just "pretty good".
This novel covers the ascension to the throne through to the beginnings of the Revolution. It is well written for the most part but the pace feels off. In some areas it is excruciatingly slow while other events are barely mentioned. Her pregnancy and the birth of her last child feel barely more than a footnote.
Im of mixed feelings of if I will read the last one. Probably--just to finish it off--but considering that I almost stopped reading this one several times, I might pass. (less)
Quick and Dirty: It was innocent, fresh, and the characters likeable. A dystopian romance that focused more on the romance than the dystopian society....moreQuick and Dirty: It was innocent, fresh, and the characters likeable. A dystopian romance that focused more on the romance than the dystopian society. A perfect Beach Book.
I saw this book cover pop on on Amazon a couple of months ago and immediately wanted to get my hands on a copy. After all, who doesn’t want that dress? I really try to be the “don’t judge a book by its cover” type…but seriously…the dress.
After I got the book in the mail yesterday, I read some of the first impression reviews over at Goodreads and I was quite surprised at the number of low ratings and the incredibly unfavorable reviews that are right at the top (from those that admit to not actually reading it but I digress…). I plowed ahead with the book anyway and was soon lost in its pages.
As has become so popular lately with young adult books, it is another dystopian romance. These things are a dime a dozen these days and I haven’t liked many of them. They all feel cliched and shallow and if I read one more “I LOOOOOOOVED him SO MUCH after only knowing him for 12 seconds that I decided to leave my family/go to war/lead a revolution/become a vampire/etc” insta-love story, I might start throwing books. What about romance? What about courtship? I cannot be so old that the getting-to-know you aspect of falling in love is that out of style. Perhaps that is why I liked this book. At its heart, The Selection is a sweet little love story that feels genuine. It was incredibly refreshing to see the main character deal with heartbreak and healing in a realistic way.
If you are looking for the next action-packed Hunger Games, you won’t find it here and that is a good thing. There is some political tension as the royal family is the target of those who are displaced by society but it is appropriate that it takes a bit of a back seat in this story. I suspect the politics will begin to play a heavier role in the next book in the trilogy but, for now, focusing on the characters and their development is what made this book shine among the other young adult novels that have come out over the last few years.
The Selection has already been picked up by the CW as a potential new show. Some of the actors have already been chosen and I suspect the show will be visually stunning if they do justice to the settings in the book.(less)
This book could have used some good editing. I really enjoyed the astronomy aspect--the detail and explanation in the book was excellent. I felt it wa...moreThis book could have used some good editing. I really enjoyed the astronomy aspect--the detail and explanation in the book was excellent. I felt it was neither over my head nor did I feel like I was being talked to like a four year old.
The book really started to fall apart once the Brown got tied up in his personal life. I just really don't care about his daughter's development or his marriage. I bought a book named "How I killed Pluto and Why it Had it Coming" not "A few hundred pages about Pluto then a slow grind through my daughters first few years of life, complete with excruciating details on her sleep patterns."
**spoiler alert** Scalzi's brainstorming session for this book:
I've got this great premise for a book about old people who are given new bodies to go...more**spoiler alert** Scalzi's brainstorming session for this book:
I've got this great premise for a book about old people who are given new bodies to go fight an interstellar war... But what should the plot be?
--The explorations--both emotional and physical of having a second life
--Understanding the shady special forces.
--The implications of a soldier finding the body of his wife used to house another personality.
--The moral implications of being forced to kill a variety of alien races that might not all be bad.
--The repeated losses of old age. Losing spouses and friends during life then losing new friends during this second life
--The rightness/wrongness of war.
--The implications of drastic jumps in technologies that comes with meeting different alien races.
--What does it mean to be human?
Or..... I could do THEM ALL! Sure--all of them will be shallow and barely discussed but so what!???!?
I didn't dislike this book; the premise really carried it though the plot points but a bit of editing and focus would have turned this from "ok" to a real contender for a new science fiction classic.(less)
A strong female lead in a dystopian young adult series--I can already hear the "its the next The Hunger Games!" talk begin. I heard all about that wit...moreA strong female lead in a dystopian young adult series--I can already hear the "its the next The Hunger Games!" talk begin. I heard all about that with Divergent, Glow (Sky Chasers), and Matched (Matched (Paperback - Trilogy)) and didn't think any of them held a candle to The Hunger Games.
Cinder, however, is a bit different. I'm not going to go so far as to say I liked it as much as The Hunger Games but I will say Cinder has immense potential to be a true gem of a series. Where The Hunger Games excelled (and the other books I mentioned failed) was character development. Katniss was a complex character with real emotional depth and Cinder can really hold her own in this category. Cinder isn't overwhelmed with emotion, fear or hate but exhibits all of them throughout the story and her decisions/actions throughout the book ring true. She isn't a blindly trusting sheep but she also isn't a loner. I found this balance really refreshing.
Now, this book isn't perfect. Its slow and there is a lot of setup--however, it isn't ever boring. You are learning new things about the world, Cinder and the other characters throughout the story. While there aren't any gun fights or heart pounding sequences, it isn't without building tension. The other issue with the book is its predictability. I don't want to ruin any plotpoints but there are a few things that you can kind of see coming from a few miles away. I don't think this really hurts the story though--much as you know Katniss is going to go to the Hunger Games, and most heroes/heroines win in the end, the joy is in getting there and seeing how it unfolds.
I am incredibly anxious to read the next installment and I certainly hope it is released soon. If Marissa Meyer can deliver on the delicious little world she has set up in Cinder, this series really could go on the shelf right next to The Hunger Games as one of the great young adult series.
Its four stars now but could easily be a five star series. Just don't let me down, Marissa--I really want to love it.(less)
I liked the setup for this story--very 1984/big brother. The story itself has some grains of interest; a young girl, controlled by her parents and gov...moreI liked the setup for this story--very 1984/big brother. The story itself has some grains of interest; a young girl, controlled by her parents and government all her life is suddenly faced with the harsh reality of her lack of freedom and begins to notice all the negatives about her society. However, the plot is in DESPERATE need of an 80's-style montage to speed up the middle of the book. The pacing is painfully slow and the bulk of the book is repetitive and frustrating since we see little of Cassia's actual inner decision making. She hikes, she writes, she pines for a boy the reader doesn't understand or appreciate because his character isn't developed. As a reader, I like to understand why someone is making the decisions rather than simply be presented with them and then have events unfold.
This book reminded me a lot of Divergent--lots of set up, little action, kernels of a good story and the vague promise of something more impressive to come. I just don't think this first installment in the trilogy is enough to keep me coming back for number 2.(less)