Sunday, July 21, 2013

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Scarlet is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles series, I read the first book, Cinder, last year for a book club, and I loved it. Of course I had to read Scarlet!

Cinder, obviously, is a retelling of Cinderella, and Scarlet is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. All the important elements; the red hood, the grandmother, and the wolf, are still intact, but the story is told so very differently. Cinder's story is continued here as well, though it has gone beyond the original Cinderella story.

Well, truth be told, the first book, Cinder's story, was already way beyond the original Cinderella story. Cyborgs, aliens (well, Lunarians anyway), mind control, genetically modified creatures... it was so wonderfully creative and I thought Cinder's story was very masterfully crafted.

This second book, Scarlet, weaves Red Riding Hood's story into the already creative plot. It turns out Scarlet's grandmother is the pilot who smuggled Princess Selena, and Wolf is part of a pack of genetically modified soldiers who was working for the evil Lunar Queen Levana to find the Princess.

Wolf isn't all that bad though, I really liked him, even from the beginning. I liked the dynamic between Scarlet and Wolf, fleshed out so much more than from the old fable. Scarlet is another great addition to the cast of strong female characters.

What I liked about the Lunar Chronicles is that the female characters aren't portrayed as weak, stupid females who sit around waiting for their prince to come rescue them, but instead take charge of their own fate and make their own choices, and the way Marissa Meyer puts them all together into this remarkable world is just amazing to read!

I'm looking forward very much to the next books in the series, Cress, which is based on Rapunzel's tale, and Winter, which is based on Snow White. I can't wait to meet the new characters, and I can't wait to find out more about the old.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Escape Theory by Margaux Froley

Escape Theory (Keaton School, #1)Escape Theory by Margaux Froley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked this book. I felt that it was real and honest, and I really liked how Devon and Hutch was portrayed. Devon was doing very well as a peer counselor, I thought, even though she didn't completely follow the guidelines set by her teacher. She was emphatic and sensitive, sharp and smart.

We don't really get to see much of Hutch except what the other characters tell us about him, and of course, this whole story is based on the tragedy of his death. It breaks my heart a little. I wish I could've known Hutch. I wish Devon and Hutch could've had a chance.

Reading about their connection was wonderful, but I can't help wondering what happened after that. Why did they never get together after their special moment? This was never really answered in the book, and we're left to wonder about it.

The story itself is more about people than anything else. I thought most of the characters were really well thought-out, Froley does very well making them come to life for me. I'm excited to see what's next in this series and what Froley will come up with next!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour BookstoreMr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I haven't read such an enjoyable book in a long time. It was fresh and unique, and I really like all the different elements of the story.

It feels like some kind of historical novel when you first start the story and enter the old bookstore, a mystery with the puzzle solving and members of a secret society, then it becomes somewhat sci-fi with all the talk about Google and immortality, and then comes fantasy with the heroes trying to save the mission; the rogue, the wizard, and the warrior. I loved how the author put them all together.

Clay was a great protagonist, an anti-hero of sorts because he didn't really set out to do much except try to impress the girl, but in the end, he really rose to the occasion and saved the day.

I loved that the other characters were portrayed like characters in an RPG, each one playing an important role in a quest. They were real people living in the 21st century, don't get me wrong, but they all had their RPG roles to play in this mission, and I loved that.

This book is so quaint and modern at the same time, I loved the whole adventure. I love how different this book is, and how fun, mysterious, and smart it is. It's pretty much one of my favorite books this year. =)

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