Winter by Marissa Meyer

Summary:
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.
Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.
Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)Review:
I feel like I flew through this series up until I got to this book. Even though I did listen to this final audiobook (that is TWENTYFOUR hours long) in less than a week. Something about Winter just dragged. Though nothing in the story was actually going slowly. There were some periods of slowness where the characters needed to figure out what to do next and make plans and travel, but there was enough action to keep up the pace of the story. There was just something about it that dragged. I found myself about 80% through wondering if it was ever going to end. It’s not that I wasn’t interested.
I loved the characters of this series. There is such a fun and interested squad of characters. They are all so different and I loved each of them so much. They all grow and go through so much in these four books but especially in this finale. Cinder has come to take back her throne and everything she’s been planning is finally happening. I do wish that we’d gotten more of her and Kai, but I have a feeling that will be happening in Stars Above. Cress and Thorne were by far my favorite (Cress was my favorite book in the series). This doesn’t surprise me too much because Rapunzel is my favorite fairytale. I loved Thorne’s character growth and the happy ending that they get. Winter and Jacin were my second favorite. They had me cackling and laughing all over the place. I just loved Winter. She’s weird but courageous, putting herself last above what she things is the right thing. Jacin is not afraid to do whatever it takes to protect Winter. I just loved it. Then there’s Wolf and Scarlet. They go through so much being split up over and over and they manage to overcome it all again and again.
I also really liked the villain, Levana. She’s so interesting and intense. We see her as she goes from all-powerful to mostly just insane and it’s such a fascinating journey. She’s such a compelling villain. I’m excited to read her novel, Fairest.
I have to mention the retelling aspect of this series. I though Meyer did an incredible job putting her own twist on these classic stories. I just thought it was such a compelling aspect of these books.
Finally, the narrator. I have mentioned her in each of my reviews but it’s because she deserves it. She really becomes these characters. They each get their own distinct voice and I just am awed by this narrator’s ability to bring me into the story and put passion and ferocity into the voices. There were parts with Levana and Cinder that just wowed me.
Overall, I loved this book. I loved this series. I loved the narrator. I loved the characters. Everything about this series was well thought out and well excecuted. I adored the fairytale twists and the science fiction twists. This is a must-read series if you haven’t picked it up yet.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Summary:
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)Review:
I loved this book. I am just loving this series more and more the further into it we get. I love the characters. I love the world. I love the narrator. I love the story. I think this one might be my favorite of the series, partially becasue of it being a Rapunzel retelling. Rapunzel is one of my favorite fairytales. I think Meyer has done such a great job incorporating the retellings into this futuristic world she’s created.
So, it’s told in omniscient third person, which means that the narrator is all knowing and we get to see everything that is going on with all of the relevant characters. I really love this because I love to see what the other characters are up to since they’ve been split up from the whole group. I love Cinder more than ever. She’s clever and doing her best to be what everyone needs her to be. Then there’s the Doctor. His story was honestly so sad and I wish it had ended in a different way. I wish we had more time with him. But he’s done all he can for the players involved. I love Thorne. He’s really growing out of his smart ass, cocky attitude and starting to take things more seriously. I think his disability of being blind was really interesting and I’m glad that sort of representation was put into the story. Cress was honestly probably my favorite character. She’s crash landed on earth and literally has no idea what’s going on. So of course, she gets into all kinds of trouble. Wolf is still a bit of a mystery to me. I want to know more and I want to see more growth. What we do get to see of Scarlet was interesting. I can’t wait to see more of what’s actually happening on Luna. I wish we had gotten to see a bit more of her, but I know we will get that in Winter.
Finally, I really have to mention Levana. She’s such an interesting villain. I’m excited to read her novella and learn more about her history and motivations. I think she’s fierce and intimidating and sometimes a bit terrifying. She’s vicious and ambitious and won’t stop until she’s gotten what she wants.
Last, the narrator for this series is really incredible. Some of the scenes with Levana where she’s mad and yelling is done so incredibly well. Then there’s the final scene with the Doctor and he’s whispering/singing. I just was blown away at this narrator’s ability to really make each character sound different and have their own voice. I was bought into the story and couldn’t stop listening until I got to the end. This narrator made the story just that much better and I will definitely be looking into what else she has narrated.
Overall, I love this book more than the first two. I’m interested to see if it will become my favorite in the series or if Winter will beat it. I cannot wait to get to the conclusion of this series so I’m going to end this hear and go start the final audiobook.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Summary:
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 criminal.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information about her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he is 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 (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)Review:
As I said in my review of Cinder (READ HERE), I am rereading this series via audiobook because it’s been a long time since I read them. I don’t remember all that many details about the books and I’ve heard great things about the audiobooks. I’m glad I decided to do this because I’m having a great time. The narrator is excellent. The more I listen, the more I’m loving her narration. She really helps to bring me into the story. There were certain parts that really wowed me when she was narrating, she filled the story with emotion and drama and I’m really enjoying it. There were a few moments at the beginning where I was confused because I didn’t realize that the story jumped between perspectives. I don’t know why, but I thought it just followed Scarlet. So the first few times the narrator switched between points of view it took me a second to realize that we had switched.
I do have to say that Scarlet took a darker turn than anticipated. I know it’s a Little Red Riding Hood retelling, and the original tales are pretty dark, but this book got pretty dark pretty quickly. It was interesting for sure, just a little surprising.
I really loved Scarlet as a character. She was fierce and fiery. She would stop at nothing to protect and rescue the people she loves, even when she learns that those people have been keeping secrets from her. I can’t wait to see more of her.
Wolf is one that I’m still not sure how I feel about him. He has a bit of development, and see more coming. But I feel like we didn’t get to see it in this book. I’m interested to see his role in the coming books.
Cinder and Thorne are interesting. Cinder is one that’s starting to realize what she really needs to do. She needs to accept the responsibility that she has learned rests on her shoulders. She’s trying to take things one step at a time but one thing after another keeps getting in the way until she meets Scarlet. I think they’re going to make an interesting team for sure.
Overall, this book surprised me. I really loved all the characters, the plot twists, the development. Scarlet had all of the good things I wanted with a narrator that I just keep loving more and more. I can’t wait to start Cress next.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Summary:
Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interface has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.
Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.
But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.
Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)Review:
I have been wanting to reread this series for years. I remember reading these books years ago when they first came out but it’s been so long, I barely remember anything from them. The audiobooks have been repeatedly recommended to me so I thought I’d give them a try. Cinder is the book I chose to fill the spot for Ancient Runes – Retelling in the Magical Readathon (read my whole TBR here.)
I really enjoyed the audiobook version of this story. I think the narrator did an excellent job of telling the story. The characters were easily identifiable, their voice was enjoyable. I thought it was a great listening experience over all.
As for the story itself, I remembered a few of the bigger plot twists so the story seemed almost predictable but that was just because I’d read it before. Regardless, this didn’t take away from the story at all, in my opinion. I think a science fiction Cinderella retelling is one of the more creative things I’ve heard of. I also think that the retelling aspect of the story is pretty good. Cinder’s backstory is the typical father figure dying and being left with awful stepmother/sisters. I really liked that in this retelling Cinder is actually friends with one of her stepsisters.
There was so much going on in this book, but I think it was paced well and each new aspect of the mystery and plot were introduced nicely and without seeming rushed or too much. Knowing the little bit that I know about the series already; it was interesting to see how some of the ideas shared in this book were going to play a part in later books in the series.
I really liked Cinder. She was sassy but awkward. She was extremely insecure about her cyborg parts which was sad but makes me excited to see her grow more confident and happier with who she is. There’s so much potential for character growth and I know it’s coming after learning what we did in the minutes of the book. The things we learned about Cinder have me so excited to finish rereading the series.
Overall, I had a fun time with this audiobook. I’m happy to have found another series that I like the audiobooks for. I can easily get sucked into this series and I can’t wait to reread the rest of the books.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Popular Books That Lived Up to the Hype

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Every week there’s a new topic where we get to choose our top ten and write about it. This week’s topic is the top ten popular books that lived up to the hype. This is going to be a fun one for me because I frequently buy or read books because of the hype.

tttttt
1. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – I read this series book by book when it was first released. But even back then there was so much hype that was all accurate. This series still gets hyped up all the time, which says a lot right there.
2. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – If you read any of my posts on a regular basis you already know how obsessed with this series I am. It’s one of my absolute favorites. I jumped on this bandwagon pretty early and had to wait for each book to be released which made it ten times worse.
3. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – After reading ACOTAR I knew I needed to check out her other series as well and I’m super glad I did. I can’t wait for Kingdom of Ash to be released.
4. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – I originally got these books from the library a few years ago and loved them so much I had to buy my own set.
5. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – The first two or three books were already published and I had to not so patiently wait for the next three. But I also had to wait for the Infernal Devices and now I’m not so patiently waiting for Queen of Air and Darkness.
6. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – I am realizing that I am easily convinced to buy books. I bought this one not too long after it came out and have had to wait for each book to come out. Now that the whole series is out I somehow haven’t managed to reread them all.
7. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James – I totally bought this series for the hype. I wouldn’t say they’re the best books in the world, but I’ve enjoyed them enough to read them more than once.
8. Cinder by Marissa Meyer – I love a good fairytale retelling so when I heard the hype for these I obviously had to see what the deal was.
9. The Gender Game by Bella Forrest – Once I signed up for Kindle Unlimited (after I got my Kindle as a Christmas gift from my mother in law) I saw this series all over and eventually gave it a shot. I’m glad I did, these were fantastic books. I love everything Forrest writes.
10. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – I was super late to jump on the bandwagon for this one. I read this last month and I was just blown away.

This is my top ten for this week. What popular books have you read that lived up to the hype?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Red, White & Blue

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week we’re given a new prompt for a top ten list of all things bookish. This week is top ten books with Red, White and Blue book covers (in honor of the 4th of July). This one was actually pretty easy for me, but only because I already took some bookstagram pictures of books with red, white or blue covers for the holiday. I’m going to list a few that are one of the three colors and then see if I have any books that have all three colors on them.

red white and blue
Red

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
The Elite by Kiera Cass

White (ish)

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Warcross by Marie Lu
The One by Kiera Cass

Blue

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
The Selection by Kiera Cass

Red, White & Blue

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

lunar chronicles

These are just the ones that I found within my hardcopy books in my at home collection, there were a few more that I could have added from my list of ebooks but I didn’t want to go too crazy. What books do you have that are patriotic?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s June Book Haul

Hi, lovelies!

So this month I went a liiiittle crazy buying books. Between Book Outlet’s fabulous sale where I bought 20+ new books and the discovery of the magic that is a local used bookstore (there’s three within fifteen minutes of my house!), I ended up with quite the book haul for this month.

I’ve never done a book haul post before so this is what we’re going to do. I’m going to put some pictures below of all of my new pretty books. I’m not going to talk about every single book because that would make this post entirely too long, but I am going to mention a few that I’m most excited to read in the upcoming month.

Let’s get down to it, here are all my new shiny pretty babies.

 

The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser – The summary of this book sounds so interesting I couldn’t help but buy it. It’s high on my TBR list for July. I’m excited to get into the story. It’s a book that’s been translated from German which I think is super interesting.

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow – This was a Target find for me. I’ve seen several bookish friends read this and give it rave reviews. I’m excited to sink my teeth into it. I haven’t read enough realistic books lately.

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman – Shusterman is an author that I love more and more everytime I read another one of his books. I managed to pick up this book with the Book Outlet sale. It’s won a few awards and sounds like a really powerful story.

 

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling – I found the whole series (except for book seven) at one of the local bookstores I found around my town recently. I stupidly sold my full series set before I moved a few years ago and have regretted it since. So when I found the (almost) full set all matching and hardcover I just couldn’t resist.

The Mara Dyer series by Michelle Hodkin – I have heard so many good things about this trilogy. I’m super duper excited to read these books and will for sure be getting to them in July. When I found the boxed set on sale at Book Outlet I knew I had to have them.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – This series is one that a few bookish friends I know have started to read for the first time (Yes I’m talking about you Ebru @ EBS and Her Reads) so again, when I saw the boxed set on Book Outlet I knew I had to buy it and add it to my TBR for a reread soon.

This is my haul for the month of June! What did you haul this month? Did we buy any of the same books? What books don’t you see that I definitely should have bought?

Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments and as always,

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.