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Scarlet by Marissa Meyer SCARLET by Marissa Meyer Book Review
Series: Lunar Chronicles, #2
Publication Date: February 5th 2013 by Feiwel and Friends
Rating: – Exceeds Expectations |

Book Summary: Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer Book Review Overview:

  • Fun new characters that are loosely based on the Little Red Riding Hood
  • As always, the romance is great in Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
  • Fantastic world-building and a twist that you will not see coming!

SCARLET by Marissa Meyer is everything that fans of Cinder have been waiting for. SCARLET by Marissa Meyer picks up where Cinder left off: Cinder is a criminal on the loose. Determined to get away from Queen Levana, Cinder enlists the help of another prisoner and escapes. Torn between doing what is expected of her and learning more about her past, Cinder decides not to meet up with Dr. Erland. Instead, she travels to France in hopes to find out more about her Lunar past.

Meyer introduces new characters to the Lunar Chronicles, mainly Scarlet and Wolf. I love how Meyer based these characters loosely on the Little Red Riding Hood. Those familiar with the fairytale will notice the subtle references sprinkled throughout Scarlet’s narrative. I had an instant liking to both characters. Scarlet is feisty and there is no denying that she has chemistry with the elusive and possibly dangerous Wolf. Of course, there ends up being some romance between them and I was more than happy about it. Wolf captured my heart. I had no doubt that there was more than meets the eye when it came to Wolf.

At first, I was a little confused as to why Meyer suddenly takes us to a rural village in France in SCARLET by Marissa Meyer. But I had nothing to worry about; Meyer seamlessly connects the alternating story lines and it builds up to an action-packed adventure with a surprising twist. The world-building also continues to be a highlight in SCARLET by Marissa Meyer. I love continuing to learn about the Lunars and how Cinder is slowly learning how to use her powers.

Prince Kai isn’t in SCARLET as much as he was in Cinder, which is the most disappointing part of the book. Though still important to the overall story, his role is much smaller in SCARLET by Marissa Meyer. His presence was missed and I can only hope that he and Cinder will be reunited in the next book.

SCARLET by Marissa Meyer is a sequel to watch out for.

Other Book Reviews:

About the Author

Marissa MeyerMarissa Meyer lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and three cats. She’s a fan of most things geeky (Sailor Moon, Firefly, color-coordinating her bookshelf . . .), and has been in love with fairy tales since she was given a small book of them when she was a child. She may or may not be a cyborg. Cinder is her first novel.

Find the Author

Website | Twitter | GoodReads

Comments 3 comments

Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Four Stars - , , , , , , , , , , , | Words 1034 words

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Ten by Gretchen McNeilTEN by Gretchen McNeil Book Review
Publication Date: September 18th 2012 by Balzer + Bray
Rating: – Acceptable |

Book Summary: And their doom comes swiftly.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

Ten by Gretchen McNeil Book Review Overview:

  • Creepy – you can’t read this one alone
  • Read it in one sitting; I just had to know who was behind it all
  • Would have liked an epilogue of some sort to know what happened after

I don’t read a lot of mysteries, but I’m glad to have picked up TEN by Gretchen McNeil. The plot sounds like your stereotypical teen slasher film. Best friends Meg and Minnie are excited to spend the weekend partying at the island home of one of the most popular girls at school. But everything starts to go downhill when one of the guests turns up dead. Stranded on a deserted island with no other means of communication, Meg, Minnie, and a small group of teens must find out what is going on before it’s too late.

TEN by Gretchen McNeil is not a book one should read alone. McNeil’s writing will make you paranoid. I was constantly checking my back to make sure that there was no one creeping up behind me, and the softest sounds startled me. I was also easily captivated by the plot of TEN by Gretchen McNeil. I read it one sitting – I just had to know who was behind it all.

The protagonist, Meg, was likeable enough that I didn’t want her to get killed. She wasn’t a simpering female who sat back and let the guys take action. She was pretty involved in the story, which I really liked. However, I wish that Meg had spoken up and voiced her thoughts a few times during TEN by Gretchen McNeil. Biting her tongue is a habit that she eventually learns to overcome in the novel. I admire her loyalty towards her best friend, Minnie, even if she wasn’t exactly the nicest friend in return.

Like any teen slasher film, there has to be a little bit of romance in TEN and Gretchen McNeil does not disappoint. Romance should probably be the last thing on the minds of these teens, but McNeil actually pulls off a decent romantic subplot. There was the perfect balance of mystery, horror, and romance in TEN by Gretchen McNeil.

Though the ending came as a shock, I was a little disappointed by the resolution of TEN by Gretchen McNeil. I would have liked to see an epilogue of some sort that showed how the characters dealt with the aftermath. As a reader, I’m left with a myriad of questions: Will the police actually believe what happened? How will the characters cope with living through such an event? But this is more nit-picking on my part than anything else.

TEN by Gretchen McNeilis a creepy read that will have you flipping pages until the culprit has been uncovered. McNeil will have you guessing until the very end.

Other Book Reviews:
365 Days of Reading
The Compulsive Reader
Step Into Fiction

About the Author

Gretchen McNeilGretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4’s Code Monkeys and she currently sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. She is a founding member of vlog group the YARebels where she can be seen as “Monday,” and she is an active member of both The Enchanted Inkpot, a group blog of YA and middle grade fantasy writers, and The Apocalypsies, a group blog of 2012 children’s debut authors.

Find the Author

Website | Twitter | GoodReads

Comments 5 comments

Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Three Stars - , , , , , , , | Words 1181 words

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This is Not a TestTHIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers Book Review
Publication Date: June 19th 2012 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Rating: – Exceeds Expectations |

Book Summary: It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

This is Not a test by Courtney Summers Book Review Overview:

  • Nail-biting tension from beginning to end
  • Reminds me of the Walking Dead because of the complex social interactions
  • A fantastic zombie book that will have you reading more of the genre

THIS IS NOT A TEST  by Courtney Summers is the kind of book you should not be reading in public – especially if you’re the type of reader like me. THIS IS NOT A TEST is full of nail-biting scenes that made me gasp in shock and jittery with anticipation. I could have read it straight through if it weren’t for the fact that my e-reader’s battery died.

Don’t expect a plausible explanation for the zombie outbreak. THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers explores more of human interactions after a disaster rather than the science behind the outbreak. The science is explained a little, but is based on observations made by Sloane and the other characters. Besides, the story revolves around a group of teenagers. They wouldn’t be the ones to know what is going on. At first, THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers is confusing because you have no idea as a reader what is going on after the prologue and first chapter. It takes a while for the pieces to come together. In a way, I like that this is how Courtney Summers organizes the novel because it reflects what it would be like in the shoes of Sloane. Utter chaos.

THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers reminds me of The Walking Dead on AMC because it’s more than just a novel about zombies. It’s about the complex social interactions between the survivors. It’s about discovering and appreciating life – or what’s left of it. For the main character, Sloane, accepting the fact that she is alive becomes a major struggle and she constantly has to overcome suicidal thoughts. Courtney Summers makes you think about survival and the ways it changes you. One of the most striking observations in THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers is about nostalgia. The author makes a great point that despite the fact that they can be nostalgic about their past, it means absolutely nothing in the present world that the characters were living in. Everything they knew was gone.

I loved the tension and suspense in THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers. She gives readers an impression of a false sense of security right before all hell breaks loose. The tension kept me on my toes the entire time. I was no silent reader. I gasped, I cursed, and I flailed wildly at the first sign of zombies. Like I said, I was so glad I didn’t read THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers in public.

I’m pretty new to zombie books, but I can say for a fact that Courtney Summers has me hooked with her first, THIS IS NOT A TEST. The novel can stand on its own but the ending is open for a future sequel.

I would definitely recommend this book to those who are fans of ASHES by Ilsa J Bick and the Walking Dead television show.

Other Book Reviews:
Black Inside
The Reading Housewives
The Realm of Fiction

About the Author

Courtney SummersCourtney Summers can’t wait for the zombie apocalypse. Also she is the author of CRACKED UP TO BE and SOME GIRLS ARE, FALL FOR ANYTHING (available now) and THIS IS NOT A TEST (June 19th, 2012), four edgy young adult novels published by St. Martin’s Press.

Find the Author

Website | Twitter | GoodReads

Comments 1 comment

Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Four Stars - , , , , , , , , | Words 1214 words

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