Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar 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? – Goodreads
This is a hard book to review due to the fact that it is the fourth book in a series. Can you review a fourth book without discussing the first three? Winter is the epic conclusion to The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. It is the final book that ties together all of those loose ends that didn’t seem important throughout the first three books. Those little moments now became important. While I wished I had time to do a re-read before I read Winter that just wasn’t possible; thankfully Meyer as usual does an excellent job of recapping without feeling like I was recapped.
What is daunting about Winter is the size. As an audiobook it is 21 segments –most YA books are 9-12. This is a beast that while listening to, I thought was never going to end. It constantly Even though the physical book is smaller than Cress due to page thickness. Publishing! Crazy world!
The thing with Winter and The Lunar Chronicles is that I struggled with most of the series. I did not get the flailing and the hype that the blogging community did. I found Winter to be a solid end to a meh series. While the first book, Cinder, set off this series for me, I found the middle two (Scarlet and Cress– three –if you count Fairest) to be..okay. They were action filled, but I found them to be a bit long and tedious and Winter at almost 900 pages is a reminder of that. While listening to an audiobook, at 2x, I was shocked to find out that I was still moving through the book slowly At points I thought I was close to done I was moving along at a glacious pace.While Meyer is a strong writer and doesn’t hide from twists, turns, and action I do believe that a good portion of the novel could have been cut without missing anything.
This isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy the book. I did! But like the previous books, I expected more from it. I honestly think the hype of the book got to me. I really wish I could enjoy this series as much as everyone else does.I do find it to be a fitting end to the series that I came to read, but still I expected something..more.
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?
Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.
Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.– Goodreads
Fairest is the book that is supposed to make us, the reader, understand more about the evil Queen of the series. Instead it just made me annoyed. I found it interesting to see that Levana wasn’t even the worst person in her family. Her sister was worse than her. And while her life wasn’t perfect, I don’t think her childhood means that she should have turned into evil queen. While this book could have made her turn into a better person, but it ultimately made me stabby and sigh.
It’s also painful to be in Levana’s head. When she’s making poor life choices I wanted to stop her. When she was being verbally abused by her sister I wanted to shield her. This is all a credit to Meyer’s writing. Her writing is consistently spot on and where I believed Cress needed some editing I do not have that same concern with Fairest. Meyer seems to be at her finest here. I felt like I was in this world and it was heartbreaking because I loathed every moment.
I enjoyed how characters were introduced and reminded us of the full series. But I did not enjoy the slut shaming, how the older sister is seen as this selfish and beautiful bitch. Her sister has her own problems to deal with and here Levana is constantly slut shaming her or going “oh. it’s because she’s selfish.” Why is her sister selfish? No idea. I was never actually show why Channary is this horrible person. Levana’s headspace is also extremely stressful to be in which effected my enjoyment of the book.
An artist without a cause meets a rebel without a clue.
Eevee is a promising young artist and the governor’s daughter in a city where censorship is everywhere and security is everything. When a fire devastates her exhibition—years in the making—her dreams of attending an elite art institute are dashed. She’s struggling to find inspiration when she meets Danny, a boy from a different world. Literally.
Raised in a foster home, Danny has led a life full of hurt and hardship until a glitch in the universe changes everything. Suddenly Danny is living in a home he’s never seen, with parents who miraculously survived the car crash that should have killed them. It’s like he’s a new Danny. But this alternate self has secrets—ties to an underground anarchist group that have already landed him in hot water. When he starts to develop feelings for Eevee, he’s even more disturbed to learn that he might have started the fire that ruined her work.
As Danny sifts through clues from his past and Eevee attempts to piece together her future, they uncover a secret that’s bigger than both of them. . . . And together, they must correct the breach between the worlds before it’s too late. – Goodreads
While You Were Gone, the second in the Duplexity duology threw me for a loop. I, thankfully, was able to read it right after the first book in the series, which I found helpful because I was still in that world. That Phoenix. The problem of course is that the Phoenix in While You Were Gone is so completely different from the first Phoenix. Even the Eevee and Danny I fell in love with are completely different. What I did enjoy was the fact that parts that didn’t make sense in the first book now make sense. Nichols was able to weave together small moments and have them make a lot more sense in While You Were Gone.
That being said, I did struggle a little more with this book than the first one in the series. This one is very much 1984 Phoenix, with Eevee’s father being governor and Danny constantly being tracked. It also reaffirmed that this Danny, much like the original Danny actually like the world that the jumped to better than the one they were living in. A world they knew nothing about they felt more comfortable in, they finally felt like they belonged which I always enjoy reading about.
While the first book felt romance driven, While You Were Gone was far more plot driven and that’s not a bad thing. I believe it highlights that Nichols can shine with romance and plot. I would love to read a book where she weaves together both and I believe that book will be a knock out.
In a parallel universe, the classic bad boy falls for the class science geek.
One minute Danny was running from the cops, and the next, he jolted awake in an unfamiliar body – his own, but different. Somehow, he’s crossed into a parallel universe. Now his friends are his enemies, his parents are long dead, and studious Eevee is not the mysterious femme fatale he once kissed back home. Then again, this Eevee – a girl who’d rather land an internship at NASA than a date to the prom–may be his only hope of getting home.
Eevee tells herself she’s only helping him in the name of quantum physics, but there’s something undeniably fascinating about this boy from another dimension… a boy who makes her question who she is, and who she might be in another place and time. – Goodreads
Now That You’re Here is a story that is near and dear to my heart, it takes place in Phoenix! Well, a Phoenix I don’t know a lot about, but still Phoenix! Told from two point of views, Nichols takes the reader on a science fiction journey involving Eevee and Danny, two people who are extremely opposite.
They are even more opposite as Danny is not from our Phoenix. He’s from a different Phoenix. One where his parents are still alive, one where the government has turned into 1984 and one where there is a huge body of water between California and Arizona, not just the I-10 that I know and love so well. Problem is: Danny has no idea how he got to this Phoenix or in school sitting next to this Eevee, the artist he just made out with a few days ago.
Eevee knows nothing about Danny but the fact he’s the slacker in school. He barely shows up and does things he does not want to be a part of. Eevee has a life. She has a best friend, show enjoys doing science experiments and talking to said best friend about nerdy things. Then their paths cross and everything is change, and Eevee believes Danny’s story? Even though it’s weird and she’s not sure.
This is going to be hard to believe but I hate saying books are a pleasant surprise, but really this book was a pleasant surprise! It’s nothing that I expected it to be but it was everything I wanted it to be. Now That You’re Here is the first book in a duology by Nichols
This is the first novel by Nichols, and is an extremely in depth science fiction novel that blew me out of the water. Because this story takes in place in a parallel world this duology could actually be read as two stand alones!
Emmy Laybourne, author of the Monument 14 trilogy, takes readers on a dream vacation that goes first comically, then tragically, then horrifyingly wrong!
The luxurious celebrity cruise launching the trendy new diet sweetener Solu should be the vacation of a lifetime. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv’s invitation. She’s already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host Tom Forelli—the hottest guy ever!—and she’s too sick to even try the sweetener. And that’s before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.
Tom knows that he should be grateful for this job and the chance to shed his former-child-star image. His publicists have even set up a ‘romance’ with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when the hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it’s Laurel that he’s determined to save. – Goodreads
This book was…interesting. Essentially I went in knowing nothing about it which often works in the favor of the reader, and this book was no difference. Sweet is two from two points of view. We have Tom, the child star who is now an adult and fairly sick of being said child star and Laurel, the average girl who just wants to survive high school. While this sounds like a typical love story it’s anything but that. Taking place over seven days on a boat, the reader is taken a long a journey of what happens when one is addicted to getting thin.
One of the downfalls of knowing nothing going into this book is that I really had no idea what the book was about. I was fascinated to find out that this book, over seven days takes place on a cruise ship where everyone is dedicated to getting thin. Yes. That’s in. They are taking this new sweetener that promises to drop the pounds. Unfortunately, there is a problem with the diet sweetener, Solu, it doesn’t know how to make people stop. It makes people addicted to it, but they don’t know when to stop. They begin to waste away because they are so addicted to it and do unimaginable things because they are addicted to it.
It’s not a pretty picture and Laybourne does not hide away from the ugly parts of being a celebrity, being an addict, or being okay with how you look when no one else does. While I found it to be a fascinating look on humanity it was a bit too weird for me as a reader. I didn’t mind how much happened in a short period of time in the novel, but it began to get a bit graphic and gore-y and got to the point I had to suspend reality to believe what was going on. This book was an interesting mixture of contemporary and science fiction, which isn’t bad, just wasn’t what I was ultimately expecting.
Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.
Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.
Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.
A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure. . – Goodreads
Real talk: I was in a book rut for about a month. A month of not being able to finish a book is..weird. Particularly for someone who reads…a lot. Because I’ve been sick for the past month finishing a book has not been a priority. Which is weird for me. Because reading is always what I know. This time life was full of sick and starting books but not finishing them because podcasts worked better for me. Basically I was confused. But since I’m on the mend, here I am. However, when I was at ALA this past month, my roommate talked up the book series A Thousand Pieces of You. If I’m being honest it was in part due to the covers. My friend and I adore the covers of this series, but I never got past those covers. You know how to be read piles are…they grow.
Then the book was described to me and I decided to finally read it. Thank you dear friend telling me to read this book. I got out of my book funk! It was so nice to finish a book! I felt powerful!
A Thousand Pieces of You is the story of Marguerite Caine, a girl who’s parents are physicist and known for their radical achievements. Something Marguerite knows she can never achieve, she is far more into the arts than the sciences, and that is something that her parents are totally okay with (which is awesome to see). It was also awesome to see parents being actual parents in a YA novel.
That being said, this is not a typical YA novel, because I found it to be an interesting multi-layered story that took place in many universes. Gray took us from present day USA to a London that is really close to ours, to a Russia that couldn’t be farther apart from present day Russia if we tried. Then we circled and came back to the USA, but again, wasn’t exactly the same. Through use of Marguerite’s parents and their creation of the firebird one is able to jump universes, this leads the reader to not know where they’re going to end up when they flip the page.
I also found Marguerite to be a true, fleshed out character. She was strong, she dealt with two boys, but it was never a true romantic triangle, it was Marguerite being a teen and figuring her shit out. Which is something that many go through.
This is one of those books I was drawn into right away, in part due to the audiobook. The narrator brought this book to life. Becasue the book takes places in various locals: London, Russia, United States, the internal converstations were always in American English, but when in London, she spoke with the proper accent. Something, if I was just reading would not have been the same.
Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.
Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London – but no one speaks of that now.
Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.
But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped. – Goodreads
I love Victoria Schwab’s stories. She is hands down one of the best world building authors I know of, I have never been disappointed in her world building. If anything she helped turn me into a bit of a fantasy fan, but of course that being said, I’m still not completely sold on fantasy (AND I WANT TO BE!)
A Darker Shade of Magic did help encourage my love of fantasy because of Kell. Kell is one of the last Travelers, a rare magician of sorts who can visit parallel Londons. I loved the parallel Londons! I loved that they were four distinct cities and never once did I have to flip back to verify what world I was in. What is also clear from the beginning is that Kell lives a dangerous life, with a very dangerous hobby. What Kell doesn’t expect is to run into Delilah. Delilah is a hard ass who takes no shit. My love of Kell was only out ranked by my love of Delilah, a character who scares me, but who I also wouldn’t mind being friends with. The fact she was able to weave these characters together and I was drawn in is a testament to Schwab’s world building skill.
My favorite thing about Schwab’s writing is the fact I can constantly get lost in it. I started this book on the plane from Chicago to Phoenix, shocked not only by the fact I was able to get out of Chicago during some of the biggest snowfall on record, but also the fact that I read 90 pages of this book without blinking, while sitting between a husband and wife. (Please note, I was so glad to be getting out of the state of Illinois I had no problem sitting between a husband and wife, who were hilarious).
The good thing about A Darker Shade of Magic is I read the first 90 pages of this book in about an hour, the bad news is that the rest of the book took me forever. I do not blame Schwab, she didn’t change. I did and while I still enjoyed A Darker Shade of Magic, I do wish I would have finished it on the plane because I believed I would have loved this book completely differently. But I would be happy to pick up the next book in the series.