Category: book reviews

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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Title: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Published By: Feiwel & Friends (2012)

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. (Taken from Goodreads.)


Review:

What a mix of genres this book was! Sci-fi, fantasy, fairy-tale retelling, a bit of dystopia—everything! This would truly take talent to pull off, but Marissa Meyer did an excellent job.

I loved the characters for the most part, and I also really liked the author’s choice of names—Cinder, Peony, Kai, etc. Though I did feel Peony was not quite developed deep enough as a character; I felt did not get enough time with her to truly care about her. On the other hand, Cinder’s relationship with her sister was written well enough that you do at least feel for her just through knowing and caring about Cinder, even if you never particularly knew Peony yourself.

Cinderella as a cyborg was honestly just such a creative concept, and I found it to be written incredibly! It was interesting and amusing; Cinder was just such an intriguing character you just can’t help wondering and thinking about.

The fairy-tale basis powered the story, and it flowed with the story wonderfully, despite the many, many, many additions (which were also well written). I liked the way the author chose to paint Peony as one of Cinder’s friends, rather than the bratty stepsister she is in the original fairy tale. The interaction between Kai and Cinder I loved—definitely fairy-tale love.

Besides the fairy-tale element, the story had a clear sci-fi and dystopian feel. The story—which takes place in China—is a futuristic world in which robots are a big part of (a feature of dystopia) and is also a world threatened by Lunars, the people from the moon who want to invade (a feature of sci-fi).

Negative Content/Notes:

None I can recall.

Overall: 

I thought it was a fantastic read and I’m looking forward to see where the story goes in the second book, Scarlet!

Rating: 5.0

Recommended to: 12+!

Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker

Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker

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Title: Chasing Jupiter

Author: Rachel Coker

Published by: Zondervan (2012)

Synopsis:

Scarlett Blaine, the main character of this novel, has some hard issues in life. Her brother, Cliff, has problems and is just…stranger than most boys his age. Her grandpa, who lives with her, is pretty much going insane, and her big sister Juli is never around, always off with another boyfriend. Her parents can’t seem to stop fighting about money. And she hasn’t had a real friend in forever. She also can’t get a grip on exactly what God is, or if He exists. But when everything suddenly goes wrong in her already-haywire life, she has to face truth and reality and has to choose if she wants God apart of it.


Review:

Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker was one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read in my life. I just can not even begin to describe the beauty of this novel.

This book is an amazing work of art. The characters were alive. They lived and breathed right next to me as I read, speaking to me as they told me their story, relayed to me the events and the scenes. The story was incredible beyond words; the scenes were beautiful as the characters traipse through this plot.

The plot between her and the pastor’s wife, Mrs. Greene, is a fun addition and is the way she learns of Christ. I felt a strong Christian aspect in this storyline, and it was written in wonderfully, not cheesy at all to me, reminding me a bit of Nicole O’Dell’s style.

Going back to the characters and once again I am speechless. I love, love, loved Cliff and the development between him and Scarlett. The author did such a fantastic job of writing his character, in a way that beyond his faults, his problems, his issues, we all love him for his little-kid sweetness (side note—he totally reminded me of Matty in The Giver quartet). Scarlett was such a great character, written realistically, that she seems easily relate to. She’s smart, so (most of the time) we’re not yelling at her for doing something dumb and generally just cheering her on for her good heart and great ideas to help others. And the romance between Frank and Scarlett was just so sweet and easy to encourage. 🙂

And…the ending…the ending…the ending. Breathtakingly sad, truly heartbreaking. But really really good at the same time. Astonishing. The author did just an incredible job—and that’s all I can say about it.

Negative Content/Notes: None.

Overall: A touching read astonishingly put together. You will not regret the time you spend reading this!

Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

Recommended to:  12+