books and reading


Screen Shot 2020-04-13 at 10.38.27 AM

Whew! When I downloaded this book to listen to, I had no idea it was 800+ pages and 23+ hours long. I always listen on 1.5 speed, so that helped, but when I had to return it to the library in just a couple of days and had over 4 hours left, I had to double up to 2x speed. I can’t say it was easy to listen to that way, but I managed to finish in time and am pretty sure I fully understood what happened.

After Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Fairest, I was ready to see how it all ended. And with 800 pages of action, twists and turns, double crosses, and plenty of chaos, I wasn’t disappointed. I’m not a big fantasy/fairy tale person, but these books are really fantastic. Each one was better than the one before, just because I got more and more immersed into their world. I was always rooting for our heroes, and Scarlet is my favorite.

Even though this one was long, I didn’t feel like words were wasted. Everything moved the plot forward, even when our heroes had to take back a couple of steps. Nothing is solved easily, but nothing was in the first three books, so you don’t expect it to be in this one. These are excellent books for teenagers, but as an adult, I really appreciated how well-written they were and how the heroines were all different from one another but still awesome in their own rights. I will be recommending this series as much as I can.

books and reading


Screen Shot 2020-04-11 at 9.51.56 AM

I’m almost finished with Winter, after having read Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress. A friend recommended that I also read Fairest, which features Queen Levana. I was a bit turned off because of how much I hate Levana. She is easily the worst villain I’ve read in a while. She has zero redeeming qualities. Which I guess, makes her a great villain. But I just can’t wait for her downfall.

In this origin story, we meet Levana and Channary as young women. You see how Levana ended up married to Winter’s father, how Princess Selene came to be, how Channary died, and what happened to cause Levana to always have to use her glamour. As fun as it was to see Winter and Selene as little girls, this book did nothing to make me feel sorry for Levana. She is a wretched person, and I look forward to seeing her demise by the end of the series.

books and reading


Screen Shot 2020-03-12 at 8.51.12 AM

I’ve been on a mission to finish series that I started ages ago. I read Cinder a few years ago, then made it through Scarlet last year. And this series is one that I really am invested in. The storytelling is really well-done, and the female heroine characters are fantastic. Each main character is loosely based on a fairy tale- Cinder is Cinderella, Scarlet is Red Riding Hood and Cress is Rapunzel. The final book in the series, Winter, is Snow White.

This story finds Cress living on a satellite, doing the bidding for an evil woman. Cress is a techno whiz, so this fits in the “woman in STEM” category in the PopSugar Reading Challenge. There’s a lot of backstory for the series that I’m not going to get into here. Basically, Cress is miserable and wants to help Cinder and her gang. They are able to communicate, and Cress is rescued. There’s a big battle and most of the gang gets separated. Cinder’s mission is still to stop Queen Levana’s wedding, so there’s a bit of plot there with Levana and Kai, as well.

I listened to this one, which really is a different reading experience than physically reading. I also listen on 1.5 speed because I needed to return the book to the library and wanted to make sure to finish. This series is one that I recommend a lot as a good example of female strength, but without a lot of teenage drama. It’s more sci-fi than a lot of books I read, but it’s well-written and well-developed, which helps the reader sink right into the world Marissa Meyer has created.

books and reading


For my book challenge, I have to read a book based on a fairy tale, and I’ve been meaning to read this series for awhile, so now that all the books are out, it’s a great time to read them. I also have to read a book and it’s prequel, so I’m using book 3.5 and book 4 for this category. So, I win all around!

Cinder is pretty obvious as a modern retelling of Cinderella. She is a mechanic and a cyborg with a hidden secret. Unfortunately, her secret was so obvious to me that once it was revealed, I wasn’t surprised in the least. And this is rare for me. I almost never predict what’s going to happen, mostly because I have no desire to. But this one (and it’s a two part secret, neither one a surprise) wasn’t well hidden at all.

I was also a bit disappointed to read the plot tactic of “I can’t be honest because people won’t understand me” in this book. I hate this in books. And it’s almost exclusive to YA books. This strategy never seems authentic to me. Mostly because the end result is always the same. Whoever the secret is being hidden from never actually cares what the secret is, and if the secret keeper had been honest from the beginning, big giant messes could have been avoided. It’s just sloppy storytelling.

I did appreciate the creativity of the story and strength Cinder had. Strong female main characters are becoming more popular, which is great. And I do look forward to the rest of the series and seeing what other fairy tales have been reimagined. I absolutely recommend this book. My pickiness over the plot shouldn’t deter anyone else from reading it.