Angela's Reviews > Scarlet

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
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Entertaining & creative retelling of Little Red Riding Hood hits the spot, 4.5 stars

In Scarlet, Scarlet Benoit, a young woman living in France, is becoming increasingly worried about her grandmother’s recent disappearance. When a rough stranger named Wolf suggests he might be able to help find her, Scarlet hesitantly trusts him to lead the way in an effort to save her grand’mere. Half a world away, Cinder is coming to terms with her new identity and trying to find a way to escape the deadly clutches of Queen Levana. Soon, Scarlet and Cinder’s paths collide as secrets are revealed and new dangers arise.

Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles is a series that has taken me by surprise. After enjoying but not loving the quirky Cinderella retelling in Cinder, I approached Scarlet with a bit of hesitation. After I started reading, though, that hesitation was quickly gone, and I devoured this novel in two days. The plot, the pacing, and the characters all drew me into the story and had me turning the pages to see what would happen next. At first, I was a bit frustrated by the flip-flopping between the tales of Cinder and Scarlet – a world apart from one another and seemingly unconnected – but Meyer seamlessly combined their stories as the novel progressed with surprising twists and plot reveals I wasn’t expecting.

Scarlet was a great character, a self-sufficient young woman who could take care of herself and who was passionate about saving her grandmother. With the signature cape replaced by a threadbare red hoodie, Scarlet was a perfect modern replacement for the original naïve Little Red. Wolf, the street fighter with a mysterious past, also had great appeal. Though I don’t normally fall for alpha-male characters, Wolf won me over with his combination of unexpected vulnerability and a damaged past. I also appreciated that the story and characters in Scarlet felt older and more mature than those in Cinder. Scarlet was college-aged, and the romance between Scarlet and Wolf was very swoony and intense without ever being inappropriate for younger readers. Familiar characters like Cinder, Iko, and Prince Kai also all return, and the introduction of the cocky but hilarious Captain Thorne added levity to a story where situations for the characters are growing increasingly tense.

Though I loved this book, it didn’t make it into five-star territory for me due to a few small complaints. The book can’t stand alone because it is part of a series; the romance, despite its swoon factor, was predictable; and the story, albeit a fun and romantic romp, didn’t have the long-term emotional impact that I want or expect from a five-star read. As an entertaining and creative futuristic retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, however, this book definitely hit the spot.

With this tale of Scarlet, Wolf, and the increasing unrest between Luna and Earth, Marissa Meyer has made me a fan. I can’t wait to see what happens next in the coming books of the quartet, Cress and Winter.

Note: This review refers to an advance review copy.
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Reading Progress

01/12/2013 page 130
01/13/2013 page 230
49.0% "Whooee, totally swoon-worthy at this point, so much I went back and re-read the scene a few times. :)" 4 comments
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Angela Wendy Darling wrote: ":-O"

Hah, it is surprising, isn't it? ;)

Angela Wendy Darling wrote: ":-O"

And now I have written the review *AND* bumped up my initial rating to 4.5 stars! What is the world coming to? ;)

Wendy Darling I'm reading this soon so I won't read this review just yet, but yay! My coblogger really liked this one, too.

Angela Wendy Darling wrote: "I'm reading this soon so I won't read this review just yet, but yay! My coblogger really liked this one, too."

Look forward to having you come back after you've read it, so we can discuss more!

Lisa I'm even more excited for this one now. A lot of people I know have really liked this one.

Angela Lisa wrote: "I'm even more excited for this one now. A lot of people I know have really liked this one."

Ohh, it's a goodie, I promise! Much better than Cinder, in my opinion, as evidenced by my review. :)

Charlie Ika-Heimonen I'm taking a Poll on my blog for who would cast as the best Scarlet here: Because Movie rights for the Lunar Chronicles are in discussion! eg Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Brittney Snow, or Amy Adams.

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