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Ramblings of a Book-A-Holic

REVIEW: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

 

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2)

Hardcover, 452 pages
Published February 5th 2013
 
Rating:



Synopsis:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.



Scarlet is the second novel in Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles series. Like it's predecessor, it is a fairy tale retelling, though not just of CInderella like Cinder. The novel is split between the perspectives of Cinder and Scarlet. This shift in PoV allows readers to be introduced to Scarlet, a character not in the first book, and also allows them to follow Cinder and glimpse into the head of Prince Kai. Meyer's shifts in narration are seamless and do not interrupt the flow of the story, or cause any confusion. This is such a relief because there have been a number of books I have read that have shifts such as these but the transitions are not smooth, and it's not always clear who is speaking: this was nit a problem in Scarlet.

Already being a fan of the characters introduced in the first novel, I fell in love with the new ones we meet. Scarlet is tough and bad-ass. She's a strong character, and one that is also easy to like and admire. Wolf is a difficult character at times. Being Lunar, it brings up the issue of trust: Lunars are the enemy, so how can he be trusted? Scarlet and Wolf made a good pair.....

 

Check out the rest of my review by clicking on the link above.

Source: http://ramblingbooks.blogspot.com

Review: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

 

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)


Hardcover, 1st Edition, 390 pages

Published January 3rd 2012
 
Rating:
 
 
 
Synopsis:
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. 
 
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.



Why? Why did I wait so long to read this book? The number of times I saw this book at the library, picked it up and contemplated checking it out only to put it back on the shelf and walk away is ridiculous. It is strange too because I knew this was a fairy tale retelling, which I love, so why I brushed off this book so many times is beyond me. However, I am so glad I finally decided to read it. 

Marissa Meyer took a well-known fairy tale and threw in a surprising twist: Cinder, the protagonist, is a cyborg living in a dystopian world. Cyborgs are not considered humans to the other people around them who do not have artificial limbs and technology embedded in their brains. It is easy to see how her life matches that of Cinderella, and really, Cinder...Cinderella...if that did not indicate to readers what fairy tale this story is based on, I would be concerned.

Cinder is clever and humorous, it was impossible not to like her. Her stepmother is the epitome of evil, and her one stepsister is pretty awful too, though thankfully Peony seemed to like.....

 

Check out the rest of the review by heading over to the post on my blog via the link provided above.

 

 

Source: http://ramblingbooks.blogspot.com

BookLikes, my new-found addiction?

I just randomly stumbled upon BookLikes and I already love it!

 

Being a GoodReads addict already, getting involved with another site similar to it just seems like I am treading in dangerous water, but I do not care.

 

I am looking forward to getting better acquainted with BookLikes and seeing what it has to offer.

 

Happy reading everyone! 

On Her Own

On Her Own - Carolyn Keene Nancy and Ned...
This series is no where near the amazingness of the original series I fell in love with, but the books are nice, quick read nonetheless.

Sailor Moon 7

Sailor Moon 7 - Naoko Takeuchi Alas! The mystery is finally solved!

"Uranus is both male and female."

Well...alright then...think I'm more confused now than I ever was as a child haha.

Abel Sanchez and Other Stories

Abel Sanchez and Other Stories - Miguel de Unamuno I honestly cannot even explain why I liked this book as much as I did. I had to read it for my Modern European Novel course and devoured it in a few hours despite the fact that I did not particularly like any of the characters. The miniscule amount sympathy I felt for Joaquin was lost the more I read. In fact, the further I got into the novel and saw more of his character and personality, the more I grew to dislike him. He was just a sad, miserable man full of hatred and envy. He had a life that people would be envious of, yet he was blinded by his jealousy; he wanted what he could not have.

The only characters in the story I liked were Antonia, Joaquin's unfortunate wife, and their daughter and son-in-law. Antonia I felt extremely sorry for. She was a devout Christian woman and loved Joaquin despite knowing that he did not return her love and possibly was incapable of ever doing so. She pitied him and thought her love would be able to save and salvage him. Unfortunately, Joaquin was too consumed with his hatred towards Abel and Helena.

Again, I don't know why I devoured this book. Normally it takes me awhile to get through books I am forced to read, yet I just had to finish this one today for I could not stop reading it. Its especially strange because it was a parallel to the biblical Cain and Abel story. Not being a religious person myself, I always hesitate when reading something with a biblical premise, only because I don't have much knowledge of the Bible myself to help in understanding the connection. Thankfully, the story of Cain and Abel is one I have studied before.

The Metamorphosis and Other Stories (Dover Thrift Editions)

The Metamorphosis and Other Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) - Franz Kafka, Stanley Appelbaum I understand the meaning behind the story, but that doesn't mean I have to like how it ended, which I don't. Sort of depressing really.

Cinder

Cinder - Marissa Meyer I really loved this more than I expected. I was torn between 4 and 5 stars because I kind of predicted a lot of what happened, so the rating is more of a 4.5 rounded up. Regardless of some predictability, I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this book.

So glad I picked up the second book from the library.

New Lives, New Loves

New Lives, New Loves - Carolyn Keene I am torn between two and three stars for this.

This is a different Nancy than the one I grew up reading about. It appears college really does change some people. The way she is treating Ned just irks me so much.

Everbound

Everbound - Brodi Ashton Nope, none of that just happened. I refuse to accept that ending.

Beauty Never Dies

Beauty Never Dies - Cameron Jace This was definitely my favorite prequel so far. I am never going to look at my childhood fairy tales the same after reading this. So much craziness going on!

I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem

I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem - Maryse Condé, Angela Y. Davis, Richard Philcox, Ann Armstrong Scarboro Really enjoyed reading this for my Women of Color Lit class.

Someday, Someday, Maybe

Someday, Someday, Maybe - Lauren Graham That ending...no. I need more!

Revived

Revived - Cat Patrick I have to begin by saying that I have become a huge fan of Cat Patrick's. I read (actully, more like devoured) her other novel Forgotten in a day. Weeks went by once I finished and I couldn't wait to get my hands on more of her work. So naturally, when I went home for the weekend and saw it sitting on the shelf of my old library, I greedily swiped it off the shelf. My eagerness had led me to have high expectations for Revived, but I never doubted it would be anything less than Forgotten.

Needless to say, I loved this book!

Daisy's character was very likeable. The only problem I had with her was that at the beginning, she seemed so whatever with death, which I assume is something that feels natural after you've died about a dozen times. She was pretty funny throughout the book, and I have to say that I loved Daisy and Matt together. I was also very fond of her relationship with Mason. He wasn't her biological father, but he played the role very well. You could tell he genuinely cared for Daisy. The blog that Daisy ran with her friend Megan sounded pretty awesome.

I found it interesting as well how they referred to the Revive Program leader as "God". Though the character himself isn't present throughout the majority of the book, he is referenced several times in conversations between the other characters.

The storyline itself was fantastic. It was something new and fresh. I can't go into much detail without spoiling the story so there won't be much of a summary. I will say that the ending was insane! The final chapters had a quick pace and I found myself unable to guess what was going to happen.

I absolutely loved Revived! I recommend it to anyone looking for a character driven, action-packed story. The theme of the story is that it's hard to deal with death that is so permanent; friendship also played a major role in the story. The writing was wonderful and refreshing. I can guarantee that I will read whatever Cat Patrick releases in the future. Her novels have easily become two of my favorites.

Arise

Arise - Tara Hudson Before I begin reviewing the book, I just wanna ask, "How gorgeous is this cover?!" I mean seriously, it is perhaps my favorite cover ever, even if it is a creepy gaveyard.

Now, I have been DYING to get my hands on this book, which is the second book in Tara Hudson's Hereafter series, the first book being Hereafter, of course. This is one of my favorite series as of this moment. It's one of the few that doesn't have a female protagonist that drives me insane *cough* Clary from the Immortal Instruments *cough*. That was not-so-subtle example of one lead female who I cannot stand. But Clary is a whole other story; you can read my review expressing my dislike of her in the City of Lost Souls here

But back to Arise. If the cover wasn't amazing enough, the story itself would make up for it. Naturally, I have read a few ghostly love stories but never has one captured my interest for throughout the whole book. Normally I get bored along the way, but Tara Hudson tells Amelia's story in such a way that I had trouble putting this book down. The writing had perfect flow, and obviously, I never came across a dull moment in the book.

As for the plot itself, I was in awe. It's pretty freakin' amazing if I do say so myself. There were so many different twists and turns, all just adding to the suspense and intensity of the dire situation Amelia is faced with. Not only is Amelia on the run from psycho ghosts and other frightening creatures, she is faced with a seemingly impossible decision: should she finally move on and let Joshua live a normal, ghostless life where he is safe from harm, or risk him and everyone else she cares for because of her own selfish wants? I honestly did not want the couple to break up, but of course, the only rational decision would be to do whatever it took to keep Joshua safe.

In this installment, we get introduced to many new faces and also a new setting, for the majority of the book takes place in New Orleans where Joshua's family is meeting for the holidays. This seemed like an excellment setting for the story since New Orleans is so rich with history and ghost stories. In New Orleans, you meet some of Josh's family (aunts, cousins, etc) and also Gabby and her brother. Now, I won't go into too much detail with these characters because if I did, I might be giving away spoilers, and I don't want to ruin the book for anybody. I will say that at first, I didn't like Gaby; I didn't think she could be trusted, but in the end, I really liked her.

I cannot wait for Hudson's next installment which I hope will be just as good as the first two. I would recommend this series to anyone who loves a good ghost story or star-crossed lovers. It's full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the very end. This book deservedly received 5 out of 5 stars

My Blood Approves

My Blood Approves - Amanda Hocking So I am not sure what to give this book yet so I'll rate it after I write my rant review :)

Review
So...I started off liking this book, but then I don't know what happened. Suddenly I was reading it, and every little thing about it began to bug me. I found it so similar to Twilight in ways, so maybe that was it, but I don't know...I just got really annoyed by it.

I read this last month, and can honestly say I don't remember the main character's name; that's never a good sign lol. *goes to look it up* Alice! Right, so now I got that, I can begin to rant about how stupid this girl is. Let's take a look at Exihibit A:
"Why did I have to feel like crying? I swear, I didn’t really cry this much."

THIS IS A LIE! This girl cried more than any other lead female I had ever encountered in a book.

Another thing about Alice that bugged me was how long it took to figure out what Jack is. Halfway through she jokes around and says werewolf. And I could understand that its not something you'd guess everyday, but it was so obvious:
" At first, I didn’t understand what he was doing, but then I felt his thumb stroking my jugular vein. He was feeling my pulse, and a look of sheer pleasure passed across his face. A warm hunger radiated from him that I didn’t grasp."

Wouldn't a normal, sane person find this strange? Apparently Alice doesn't. And a few pages later:
"I still didn’t know what Jack and his family were, but they definitely couldn’t be trusted."

Well first of all, he's this random stranger who gave you a ride home (knowing where you lived without even asking you), stroked your jugular vein (seriously, who does that?), and then there's the age difference: He tells her he's 24, and she's like 17, so yes I know, he's a vampire so he's even older, but 17 year old girls should not be hanging out with random, creepy 24 year old guys they met in the streets.
"But then, how exactly would I go about becoming one of them? And why would they even want me to? Just what the hell did he even mean by “one of them?” One of them what?"

-_- .......

Oh, this next one is great. When she finally gets it right and he tells her he can't read her mind or something along those lines (sorry, really drawing a blank her), she says:
"“Are you crying?” His breath caught in his throat.
“Why are you crying?”
“Is there something wrong with me?” I wiped at my eyes."

Yes! The fact that you're upset because his weird vampire powers don't work on you is really, weird. *Note here that she's crying, which, supposedly, she never does

I feel bad complaining so much about this book, but this is the honest truth about how I felt. Like I said, maybe I was having an off day or in a bad mood when I read this, but then again, maybe not.

This line really annoyed me:
"There might be somewhere that I went that Milo couldn’t follow. As much as it would kill me to leave him behind, the thought of life without Jack and Peter sounded worse."

What kind of person would abandon their brother who recently came out as gay to move in with TWO vampires? I don't care how "hot" they are, that's just wrong.

So I think I'm going to stop now, feeling as though I got my point across pretty clear. I didn't like this book. I really, really wanted too, but I just didn't. The whole time I read it, I was complaining to my friend about how annoying it was. But that doesn't mean other people won't like it; it just wasn't for me. So don't be discouraged & read it if you want :)