Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Series review: The Lunar Chronicles

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

So, what's it about? (well, this is what the first book is about anyway)

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.

In a word, it was... a modern-day fairytale.

It took me years and years to read the Lunar Chronicles series. I don't know why. I think it was a combo of the cover (I'm not a fan) and the name of the first book. Cinder. Cinder? Hmm, ok then. I'm also not particularly fond of fairytale retellings. But this wasn't what I expected.

For one, Cinder is totally bad-ass. Don't get me wrong, she has her Mockingjay moments but she pulled her shit towards her shit and chose strength, friendship, and love over bullshit and tears. Prince Kai is also swoony AF. And Cinder has the best friends - eventually.

Scarlet is so different from Cinder but her bravery and her commitment to her family in book 2 is winning. I felt things got a little sluggish in book 3 and Cress is not my fave. But Winter (in book 4) kind of makes up for it and as foveverya puts it - all the characters (good and bad) get what the desserve.

It's a great series. I read it all in like a week.

And it really does a lot more with the basic premise that I expected. It borrows the bones, builds on the foundations, the feelings and sentiment, and makes a brand new story out of it. It's not the story of Cinderella - just of a girl who also had a kind-of evil step-mom and two step-sisters. It's not Little Red Riding Hood because Scarlet wants to be caught by Wolf - but I mean, I wouldn't mind being caught by Wolf either. It's the Lunar Chronicles - a modern-day fairytale.

And there's a total revolution/political uprising in it too and who doesn't love a revolution?

A good ole fashioned YA love story

Scarred by Joanne McGregor

So, what's it about?

Life leaves you scarred. Love can make you beautiful.

Sloane Munster had the perfect life, until she didn’t. Now seventeen year-old Sloane is trying to reboot her life after a serious accident left her badly scarred and emotionally traumatized.

Starting her senior year at a different school, she recognizes Luke Naughton, a swimmer whom she once had a crush on, in her new class. But when she smiles at him, he glares back with revulsion and she’s sure he’s disgusted by her ugly scar. No matter how hard she tries to keep out of his way, life keeps bringing them together and despite misunderstandings and guilty secrets, the chemistry between them sparks. Meanwhile, tensions are mounting at their school where bullying is rife and Sloane is not the most deeply scarred person.

Sharp with bittersweet humor, Scarred is an intense, beautiful, compelling story of life, death, damage, and fighting for love against all the odds.

A great read for fans of Sarah Dessen, Stephanie Perkins and Abbi Glines

In a word, it was... swoony.

Pain can be a drug. There's an addictive quality to having a perfectly sympathetic reason for any range of behavior. Sloane and Luke certainly have good reason to hold on their pain. But over the course of Scarred, they find that there might be somethings worth letting go for...

I devoured this book. I lost myself into their story and their pain and the very authentic complexity of falling in love with someone inappropriate. I loved their love. Mostly because it was messy and not the usual "insta-love" but instead grounded in mutual respect and compassion. But also because there-was-no-love-triangle (can I get an amen!).

This book could have been written by Sarah Dessen; it was so believable and rich and "swoony". But it wasn't - it was written by Joanne Mcgregor and I think it firmly establishes her as one of the most talented YA writers working today. Go read it today.