Tag Archives: marissa meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer: A Book Review

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You know how sometimes you see a book and you heard about this book and everyone is all like “THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD” but you are confident that although this book is getting 5-star ratings across the board you will STILL not like it?

That’s how I felt about Cinder before I picked it up.

Actually, let’s back up for a second. It’s how I felt about most of my absolute favorite books: The Hunger Games, The Book Thief, Looking for Alaska, Time Traveler’s Wife, and City of Bones. Everyone had told me how fantastic the books were, but I was so hesitant about loving them until I read them and ADORED every single page.

Fast forward back to my current review, and that’s what Cinder was like for me.

Book: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Type: YA Dystopian, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Release Date: January 3rd 2012

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)

The Story revolves around a 16 year old girl named Cinder who lives in a century that refers to our time as “the old days”, and who got into an accident as a young child that nearly took her life. Instead of leaving her for dead, her doctors replaced her damaged human parts with cyborg parts.

Now, Cinder lives under the roof of her evil stepmother as a cyborg mechanic- the best one in Beijing. The world she lives in is ravaged by letumosis, a pandemic that is taking people’s lives every day. After a chance meeting with Prince Kai, heir to the throne of Emperor in Beijing, Cinder’s life seems to become more and more complicated. Forced into volunteering herself to help find a cure for letumosis, Cinder uncovers secret details from her past that put her and the rest of the population of Beijing in mortal danger.

“Cinder” is a futuristic story that not only involves cyborgs, but LUNAR PEOPLE. I don’t even know how to possibly describe this book so it doesn’t sound totally wacky and strange. But I guess it really kind of is. AND THAT IS WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT IT. It is this amazing combination of all the great genres out there. It held my attention from page 1 right until that ending that has me wishing I didn’t have to wait A YEAR for book 2 in the series.

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My Favorites

Prince Kai. If you’ve read book reviews around here, you’ll know that I hate cliche guy characters. They bother me more than anything. Edward Cullen, anyone? Eye roll. BUT PRINCE KAI? He sounds enchanting. He is witty, intriguing, mysterious, fiercely independent, and has a depth to him that is extremely rare in male characters- especially in YA lit.

Cinder. She is one BADASS character. Seriously, she is part cyborg. She feels out of place more often than not, but she never gives up on herself. She stands up for herself, she is smart, funny, and written so incredibly well considering she is *technically* part robot. It’s actually a big part of her charm. She is just SUCH an easy character to adore, I can’t wait to see where Marissa Meyer takes her in the next few books. I have high hopes for Cinder, unlike some past strong female characters who tend to go downhill in later books in their series.

The story isn’t forgettable. I’ve had this problem while reading such intricate books/series in the past; I forget the little details & have little interest in looking back to see what I’m missing. I LOVE when a book is distinct in comparison to the other ones in it’s series. For example, I could tell you what the main plot idea is in each Harry Potter book, despite the fact that each story is extremely intricately written (and not just because I’m an HP nerd). So far, I feel the same way about Cinder. The plot has a lasting effect in my mind, and I still think about the story from time to time while I excitedly wait for book two!

My Most Favorite

The best part of this book is the part that I thought I’d like the least, before I started it. The Lunar People. I think they are SUCH an interesting concept, and really, who’s to say they won’t exist in a future century far away from now?! Marissa Meyer makes people living on the moon sound totally believable, but at the same time they still retain their sci-fi, unbelievable feeling too. It’s always a big risk for an author to create a new “kind” of people. Dipping your toes into the fantasy/sci-fi and pulling it off so well is something to be commended for. I’ve read some good YA fantasy that shows a lot of depth and thought, but Cinder is the first time that I was actually like “this is a totally believable world. What if this happens?” Truthfully, the last time I genuinely felt like that about fantasy was Harry Potter. 

I’M NOT READY TO BE MAKING COMPARISONS HERE, and I don’t want to raise all your hopes, I’m just saying Marissa Meyer is extremely good at using her words in her genre. I didn’t think anyone would be able to convince me to like a book about lunar people, but she did!

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I don’t think I would be able to pinpoint any not-favorite parts in this book. I feel like I’ve been giving a lot of books high ratings lately (maybe this is just in my head?) but Cinder 100% deserves the one I’m about to give it. If you look hard enough in any story you’ll find problems with it, but considering this is Meyer’s debut novel, I think she’s crafted something exceptional. So much thought has gone into this plot, I am literally waiting on the EDGE OF MY SEAT for book two, Scarlet.

So just in case you ever happen to read this, Marissa Meyer, I am totally down to read an advanced reader’s of Scarlet and review that for you, too. 🙂 

It doesn’t matter what kind of reader you are, Cinder is the kind of story that will enchant anyone who picks it up!

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars. 

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The Book Chat {Vol 6}

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Linking up over at Sweet Green Tangerine for The Book Chat!

Today’s question: Let’s talk about endings…. Sad/Happy/Cliffhangers/Quotes

I’ve been really excited to answer this question because, let’s face it, who doesn’t have a favorite ending, or an ending that literally left your jaw hanging open and had you thinking about it for 2 straight weeks? Because I have.

Here are a few of my all-time favorites:

Favorite ending to a series

1. The Death Cure by James Dashner 
I was SO happy with the way he ended his trilogy. It made all three books even BETTER!

2. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows
As much as I was disappointed in JK Rowling for a long time for “selling out” I don’t think I could have handled a NON happy ending. I needed her to end the series off the way she did.

Favorite ending in contemporary fiction

1.Looking for Alaska by John Green 
This book has one of the most memorable endings for me- in fact, I don’t remember how any of his other books end except this one. I like that the end is hopeful, beautiful, and doesn’t give anything away about the rest of the book. It’s just so freaking perfect!

2. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
Another all time favorite of mine; although I don’t remember the exact details I know that I loved the way this story wrapped up. Heck, this entire book was amazing!

Favorite cliffhanger(s)

Can I make a list? I’m going to make a list.
1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
2. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
3. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
4. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
5. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness 

All of the above make me want to read the next in the series RIGHT THIS MINUTE. I felt the same way about Catching Fire, so let’s hope the next book in all the other series don’t disappoint as much as Mockingjay did. Also, number five on this list surprised even me because it took me a LONG time to enjoy that book. The ending was worth the whole thing though, I want to pick up book two soon!

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Overall, I think it’s really difficult for author’s to end a book off the RIGHT way. When they get it right, I’m always ecstatic, and it makes me love their book a LOT more. I am not easily impressed with endings– I am actually very judgmental of them, and had to go through my entire Goodreads to get this list. I know there are a BUNCH more books I really enjoyed the endings to, but these are some that have really stood out for me in the last couple years, although most of these were much more recent.

I think especially when it comes to writing a series, an author has to know exactly what kind of cliffhanger is GOOD and what kind is NOT. There has to be a balance between details in one book and in the next, and the books should be easily distinguishable one from the other. I hate when a book ends REALLY well only to get extremely disappointed by the next one in a series. Likewise, I hate enjoying a book the whole way through and being upset by the very end. One particular author that I loved for a long time was Dean Koontz, but I quickly began to realize that he ruined all his greatest novels because of his crap endings (sorry Dean, it’s the truth! The Husband? Remember that one? Disappointing.)

What are some of your favorite and least favorite book endings?