Saturday, January 4, 2014

Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Title: Scarlet
Author: Marissa Meyer
Page #: 452
Name and # of Series: Book 2 in The Lunar Chronicles
Book Blurb: Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the 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 or 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 is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.


Scarlet is so amazing that I'm finding it hard to even find the words to describe my love for this book and the whole series in general. Just when I was basically convinced that the whole YA genre was succumbing to a bunch of stale, overused tropes this series comes along and changes everything.

First I can't get enough of the premise of The Lunar chronicles. It manages to splice together the fairytale and dystopian genres in a way that is so refreshing and interesting to read. While the first book was solely focused on Cinder, in Scarlet the story revolves around the titular character who doubles as the red riding-hood character who falls in love with the Wolf. The wonderful thing about this book is that is also continues to follow Cinder and her escape from prison. For those who read my review of The Fiery Heart you will probably remember that I talked about how to successfully pull off multiple points of view. Meyer manages to do just that in this book in a way that is not jarring or awkward, but perfectly crafted. Readers aren't forced to endure ridiculous recaps of events in the story from other characters' perspectives and get the chance to follow along with two engaging points of view.

Which brings me to my next point. Both of the female protagonists are so dynamic, intelligent, and strong that I can't help but love them. So many YA protagonists lately have been one dimensional and continuously stuck in love triangles that a change from that formula is wonderful. I love Cinder's further character development as she struggles to come to grips with her new identity and Lunar powers. As much as I liked her relationship with Kai, I'm glad it doesn't play a significant part in this book. Had it been in Scarlet I think it would have detracted from Cinder's personal growth. 

Scarlet's story was also just as intriguing to read and I appreciated how she came into her own strength on the quest to save her grandmother. My only complaint of this book is that readers really don't get enough of her perspective. I want to know more about her backstory and I wish we could have had a scene or two of Scarlet and her Grandmother interacting before she was kidnapped. I also felt like Scarlet's relationship with Wolf was a bit of an insta-romance. There just wasn't enough interaction between the two of them to make their relationship believable. Hopefully their romance will develop completely in the next book.

The ending of the book was enough of a cliffhanger to make me desperately want to read the next book in the series. If you are one of the people who hasn't got around to reading The Lunar Chronicles I highly suggest that you pick up Cinder and Scarlet immediately. You really will not regret it.