Book #51: Cress

Marissa Meyer, Cress, (2014), 552p

Yay! I have finished off my “trilogy” for my 2015 Reading Challenge. Yes, I realize that this series will realistically have 5 books in it, but it’s the only “trilogy” that I was dying to read. And I’ll count those beauty books towards something else on my list. For a quick recap, you can check out my reviews of Cinder and Scarlet here.

In this book, we officially meet Cress, who proclaims herself to be a  “damsel in distress”. Cress has been imprisoned in a satellite for more than seven years and has never been allowed to cut her hair, which has grown to Rapunzel-like lengths. Cress is a super hacker, who’s skills have been utilized by the Lunar Queen to track down Cinder. But, alas, Cress has been using her super skills to aid Cinder. When Cinder and her motley crew try to rescue Cress, the plan goes awry.

I hate to say this, but to me this was the weakest of trilogy. Yes – I liked Cress but I didn’t “connect” with her the same way I did with Cinder or Scarlet. While I like the different viewpoints of story, there almost seems to be TOO MANY in this book. However, I did enjoy the sweet naive love story between Cress and Thorne. 🙂 🙂

I’m looking forward to Fairest and Winter. Even with the weak link, this series has been a hit in my books!

2015 Reading Challenge: the final book in my trilogy!

Book #42: Scarlet

Marissa Meyer, Scarlet, (2013), 452p

Seriously guys, this was the best vacation read ever. I read this entire book on the beach, by the pool, lounging in Mexico, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.

Now that I’m done bragging about my joyous getaway, I guess I can discuss the book further. I mentioned in my post for Cinder that I was a little skeptical getting into this series. A cyborg Cinderella? Come on. But, it’s pretty freaking awesome.

Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother goes missing and she teams up with Wolf, a hunky street fighter, to find her. Meanwhile, Cinder escapes from prison with a fellow convict, in hopes of finding out more about her mysterious past. Everyone’s paths cross when Queen Levana launches an attack on earth.

Yes, this is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood and yes, it was perfect. I loved that it was told from everyone’s perspective: Scarlet, Wolf, Cinder, Kai. This honestly made the story more enjoyable – I think I liked this one even more than Cinder because I absolutely adore Scarlet and Wolf. I’m not so patiently waiting for my hold on Cress to come in. This series is ridiculously entertaining.

2015 Reading Challenge: part two of my trilogy 🙂

Happy reading –
Laurie

Book #38: Cinder

Melissa Meyer, Cinder, (2013), 390p

I finally finished my first book of 2015. Seriously, I think this is my biggest reading drought to date.

I found it really hard to pick my next book. I started two, then gave up. Dragged my feet and just watched Netflix instead. I have been feeling rather uninspired. I guess hammering out this many books in a row can do that to a person.

Then I remembered Cinder. I’ve been skeptical about this book – I mean a futuristic cyborg Cinderella?!? Come on… But it was highly recommended to me by quite a few people – especially by one of my friends from school who is essentially my reading twinsie.

And I loved it.

Somehow the cyborg Cinderella worked. The stepmother was a horrendous bitch. The friendly mice and birds were replaced with an android. Most importantly – the handsome price was still the handsome prince.

And then basically, the book just ends. Right in the middle of an epic part. Ms. Meyer, you are a tricky beast. OF COURSE, I will pick up Scarlet now.

2015 Reading Challenge: I could classify this as a few reads on the list but I’ve decided this is going to be my trilogy. Realistically, there are going to be 4 books in this series, but book 4 isn’t going to be released for quite a while so I feel like it counts.

Happy reading –
Laurie ☺️

Book #36: Cruel Beauty

Rosamund Hodge, Cruel Beauty, (2014), 346p 

I love Beauty and the Beast. If I was a Disney princess, I would be Belle.

1) Loving books. All of the books. I dream of a library the size of the Beast’s all day.
2) That adorable blue and white dress/apron combo. So practical and adorable.
3) Belle seems the most down to earth. Not whiny like the other princesses.
4) She’s best friends with a cup. Like how cute is that.

When I found out Cruel Beauty was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I HAD to check it out. I downloaded it onto my iPad and gave it a go.

Nyx Triskelion is destined to marry a monster and has trained her whole life to kill him. When she turns seventeen, the marriage is finalized and Nyx is forced to move to the castle to be the monster’s wife. When Nyx arrives, things are not quite as they seem. Is the monster really a monster?

This book was a fluffy book pretending to be dark. It was entertaining and a perfect read for travelling home for my pre-Christmas visit. Nyx didn’t annoy me like many other fluffy teen read female protagonists. It was a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but the heart was still there.

It’s not the greatest book I’ve read this year, but it did the trick.

Happy reading –
Laurie 🙂

Book #12: Longbourn

Jo Baker, Longbourn, (2013), 332p

I am in a small book club with three lovely ladies I went to library school with. I say book club, because… well, we do read books together, but I feel like it is a loose definition of a book club. We do each take turns picking books and we do meet up to discuss said books. These meet ups typically are 15 minutes of talking about the book and an hour or more gossiping, catching up, drinking beer, and eating food. This is my ideal book club. It introduces me to books I might not normally pick and gives me an excuse to see these gals. This month’s pick was Longbourn.

I find historical fiction to be either hit or miss for me. I also typically find the retelling of classic novels to be completely unnecessary. I refused to pickup Pride & Prejudice & Zombies or any of those ridiculous retellings. Longbourn, on the other hand, intrigued me. Mostly because of my all consuming love for Downton Abbey.

Longbourn is essentially a parallel read to Pride & Prejudice told from the perspective of the Bennet’s servants. I don’t want to say its a retelling, because really it’s not. The house staff has their own story lines, their own history. Things get shuffled up in the servants quarters when a new footman, James, mysteriously arrives. Sarah, the housemaid, has her interests peaked; Mrs. Hill, the head of the house, is very protective; and Polly, the servant, has a new playmate. Sprinkled with Bingley, Darcy, and Wickham for good measure, Longbourn is a tale of love, secret affairs, and mysterious pasts.

I enjoyed this read. It took me a little while to get into it, but I am happy I stuck it out. I really liked that they didn’t simply retell P&P, but gave a voice and life to the characters tucked in the kitchen. I fell in love with James – he was so sweet and damaged. It was a pleasant read but could anything ever hold a candle to the original? Of course not.

Happy reading –
Laurie 🙂