“Cinder” by Marissa Meyer—Book Review

Cinder

About The Book:

A retelling of the fairy tale, “Cinderella,” set in a futuristic world in the new East Asian city, New Beijing, and starring a cyborg Cinderella. It. is. so. awesome. 😀

My Review:


There are reasons this book has been gotten such praise. Not only is it a unique take on a classic fairy tale,  it’s also an interesting retelling with a Cinderella that won’t be easy to forget. She’s not the typical “perfect” girl waiting for prince charming. She’s a girl whose plight made me cheer for her— I wanted her to overcome her obstacles (Go Cinder. FIGHTING!). Sometimes her attitude was a bit much, but, over all, I found with her sense of humor, as well as her not- easily- seen- heart, that she is a heroine I liked reading about.  As for the prince, Kai? Yay for a prince who was a character who had more depth than the original Disney prince charming. I love his sarcastic wit, which definitely added some awesomeness to his interactions with Cinder. (He has ended up as being one of my favorite princes in books.)

I also liked most of the different “twists” this book took with the Cinderella fairy tale. I can tell that either one, Marissa Meyer put quite a bit of thought into giving an engaging read with unexpected turns, or, two, she’s a master at taking a story where the reader did not know it would go when they first started reading it.

I quite enjoyed the first book in the Lunar Chronicles. It has likable characters, as well as a setting (slightly reminiscent to Star Wars and even Wall-E) that gives the old fairy tale a fascinating perspective. The major things I wasn’t partial to in this story was that there was use of some bad words, and some of the story was sad, but I liked it over all liked it so much that I have read its novel sequels, re-read it TWICE, and, almost two tears ago, went on a few hours long trip to meet Marissa Meyer (one of the BEST DAYS EVER! Picture with her at bottom of this post.).

I give “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer a rating of five.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

 

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Fun fact: My hair is naturally brown. 🙂
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“Jane of Austin” by Hillary Manton Lodge— Book Review

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This retelling of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” was a mix of like and dislike for me…. The book was not holding my best attention until the last third, so I’ve divided some of the review to share my thoughts on the parts.

First Two Thirds:

The story started out all right. There was drama (girls had to go from being rich to poor because of their dad’s mistakes, and therefore ostracized because of their association with their father), humor (which I won’t go into detail so as not to spoil story), and…yeah. It was just a pleasant little contemporary read. The story then progressed with the sisters trying to deal with life issues and moving to a new place. It was all right, but not a page turning wowzer. (<— I know, not a real word. o_O )

It was just like reading a novel about everyday life, which is not a bad thing—I have enjoyed this quite a bit in the past. Like a said, it’s pleasant, but it did not have me picking up the book as often as I could have.

Last Third:

This is when my interest picked up and I was like, dude, this is kind of good. Things started tying together with the romances, the drama became more heart-pounding-ly intense, and the SWEET ending? Totally an AWWWWW! ending. So,  yeah, all of this helped perk my rating for this book.

I give “Jane of Austin” a rating of four. It is an overall well written book, and it does have its enjoyable parts, especially towards the end. It’s not a bad book, just simple and… sensible. 😉

Also, now I want to watch the 1995 version of “Sense and Sensibility.”

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

*Thanks to the Blogging for Books program for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

“Waking Beauty” by Sarah E. Morin- Book Review

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About The Book (From Publisher’s Website):

The rescue wasn’t going at all how he planned. Prince Arpien intends to gain a throne and the sleeping beauty’s heart with a single kiss that wakes her from the evil fairy’s curse. But kissing the princess is only the beginning of a series of unforeseen obstacles: man–eating bugs, deadly spindles, talking lapdogs, and fiery pickles.”

My Review:

This is an awesome “Sleeping Beauty” retelling! Allow me to share the first line from it:

  “His princess was dusty.”

I seriously loved that line from the moment I read it, and it was just the first to amuse me. This book looks like a daunting read— it’s big, probably the largest retelling of this story I’ve ever read— but ALL 400+ pages were well-worth the story inside. It’s a funny tale in places, yes, so it gets big points from me for that. But it also has a good allegorical parts as well. This was such a beautiful part of the story, and one I think others who like this in their books will also appreciate.

I also really liked (most of) the characters, and was pleased that not only does this book have the point of views of the prince and sleeping beauty, but a new character who gives this story an edge of uniqueness. To be honest, she’s probably my favorite of the three, likely because she’s the most relate-able due to her familiarity with being practically invisible to others, and, of course, her love of fairy tales. Brierly (Sleeping Beauty), and Arpien (The prince) were also good, fairly well-developed characters. I liked how this story delved into the “other” gifts  from the fairies that were bestowed on Brierly other than just her beauty. They made her quite the interesting princess. And Arpien… Such a charming prince, and one whose past makes feel sorry for. Neither of them were perfect, but overall they were pretty cool characters to spend time with, and whose interactions with each other were sometimes quite delightful. This helped make them a memorable couple that are superior to the original Disney film that was once my only view into this fairy tale.

I know I’ve mentioned this book is funny, but I’m going to praise the amusing-ness of this tale a bit more. While this tale is by far not exactly what I would call a comedy, it had just the right amount of humor to make it not too droll, and absolutely lovable.

As for any problems with the book, I think the one major issue I had was how Brierly was so insistent that she was not awake. I just did not understand her. Of course, I don’t think some of the other characters did either… This wasn’t a huge problem for me, though, so I’m not going to go on and on about it.

In the end, I have decided to give “Waking Beauty” a rating of five, because when I was done and my thoughts on it were put all together, I found it a pretty great read. What makes me sad is that I don’t seem to seem to see many others going for this book,  and I wish they— and you— would try it because it really is a wonderful fairy tale retelling. “Sleeping Beauty” has never really been one of my favorite fairy tales, but this story gave it a whole new outlook for me and made me like the story even more. So go and get yourself a copy of this book and read it now. Right now. Now…

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Recent Fantasy/Sci-Fi Additions

The TBR pile. It is an exciting, yet daunting thing. Exciting because ALL THE BOOKS *happy dance while hugging all the books*. Daunting because I will probably never get to all of them, even if I joined the Dauntless faction and did some serious training in the art of reading.

However, the exciting part wins over the daunting part, because to this day I still add books to the stack(s).

Today for Top Ten Tuesday, we’re to post the Top Ten Books we’ve recently added in (X) genre to our To Be Read pile. I have chosen Fantasy/Sci-Fi:

t1

“Quests for Glory” by Soman Chainani— While I had some issues with the original trilogy, it still stole my heart enough that I would not have mind there being more to this series. Imagine my surprise when I found there is a new book releasing this fall! *wishes it were already out* #teamhortandsophie

t2

“Lady of Dreams” by W.R. Gingell— Sounds kind of like a Korean Drama, and I may or may not be planning to buy this. Released today, by the way.

t3

“Evageline” by Erica Laurie— Another one that looks like a K-Drama (Yes, I love books that are like Korean Dramas, Mention Korean Dramas, etc.). It has such a cute cover. 😀

t4

“The Star-Touched Queen” by Roshani Chokshi— I bought this at Barnes and Noble because 1. Pretty Cover. 2. The writing. What little I read was BEAUTIFUL.

t5

“Because You Love To Hate Me” by Various Authors— Why this? Because I Love  the Writings of Two of the Authors. *cough* Marissa Meyer and Soman Chainani *cough*

t7

“Defy The Stars” by Claudia Gray— While part of me is a little wibbly wobbly on reading this book, there is a part of me that want to give it a try because that cover.

t8

“The Crown’s Game” by Evelyn Skye— Just sounds like an interesting book. (<—Such an original reason to read. #not)

t6

“The Jane Austen Project” by Kathleen A. Flynn— This is a time-travel book where the characters try to save Jane Austen’s life. If only this could really happen.

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“Forest of a Thousand Lanterns” by Julie C. Dao— Yes, this was on my last TTT list, but *Gollum Voice* I REALLY WANTS TO READS ITS.

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“Diving Under” by Ginna Moran— A romance with mermaids? Yes, please. #pleasehurryandrelease

 

Have any opinions on the above books? What are some books you have recently added to your TBR? (Unless you are a strange creature who has not done that in awhile.)

“The Wrath and the Dawn” by Renee Ahdieh -Book Review

 

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About:

The story follows a girl who decides to volunteer to be the wife of the king. Doesn’t sound so bad, but there’s this thing where’s he’s already been wed quite a few times, and each time the bride ended up dead… One of these deceased wives was the best friend of Shahrzad (*the heroine of the book whose name I probably mentally mispronounced), and is the reason she’s volunteered. After all, Shazi (*her nick name I think I correctly pronounced) wants revenge for the death of her friend, and what better way to get it then to get close to the king as his bride?  But not everything is what it it seems, and Shazi soon finds herself second guessing herself.

Oh, and there’s also some political stuff where people want to take over the kingdom (not too much, though) and this thing where Shazi’s first love does a lot of stuff in order to get her back from the king.

My Review:

I’ve been wanting to read this book since before it released, which was almost two years ago. Yikes! Where did the time go? Thankfully, I was browsing through the best section YA section of my library and found that they had it. How I did not know this is beyond me (I’m usually pretty good at knowing what the library has), but I did not spend much time pondering whether to pick i up. Nope, it quickly made it to my hands, I took it home and, long story short, I can now say I’ve read it.

My thoughts? First, I loved how the setting had an “Aladdin” feel to it. Which makes sense, as this is a retelling of “A Thousand and One Nights.” But, still, it is not the usual forest/mountain setting that is prevalent in many fantasies I’ve read, so it was a nice fresh of air to “visit” a place that felt less familiar.

Secondly, I found most of the characters were well written (I almost wrote well done, but that made them sound like a steak :-P). I like how flawed they are, yet the author still managed to wedge them into my heart, including *gasp* the king.

Third, there was a magic carpet! No one rode it, but THERE WAS A  MAGIC CARPET!

I also liked the aspect of the story that dealt with revenge not being a good answer to pain that others have caused. It was nice to see a story that portrayed a message of forgiveness instead of holding onto a grudge.

As I’ve mentioned, the story did have a few things that kept this book from being perfection to me (seriously, it was close). I won’t rant and rave, but would just like the mention the two things that I wasn’t a big fan of. One was the foul language, and two was that some of the romance between certain married characters was a bit much for my taste.

I’m giving “The Wrath and the Dawn” by Renee Ahdieh  a rating of four.

Book Review Ratings:

5.Great Book!

4.I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.