Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #2)

Sorry everyone! I re-read “Scarlet” by Marissa Meyer just a couple of weeks ago, and I really wanted to revise my previous review; I didn’t know quite how to revise it, so I ended up deleting it completely. Feel free to skip this if you want!

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“Scarlet” by Marissa Meyer

4 out of 5 stars.

Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother has been missing for over two weeks. No one will believe Scarlet when she says that Michelle Benoit would never leave Scarlet like this, without warning. She just wouldn’t! Everyone in the small village of Rieux, France, believes that Michelle Benoit is crazy and that Scarlet must be too since she is Michelle’s granddaughter. But Scarlet knows better than to believe in what they say about her guardian, and despite all of her grandmother’s quirks, Scarlet knows, without a doubt, that she would never just abandon her grandchild. With this in mind, Scarlet sets out on a perilous journey to find her grandmother and save her from her (assumed) kidnappers before it is too late.

Though Scarlet is determined to find her grandmother and she will have to do it alone since no one else wants to help, but she has no idea where to start. How do you find kidnappers who took an old woman off of her own farm without leaving a shred of evidence? How can Scarlet find a bunch of…well, ghosts? Lucky for Scarlet, she stumbles upon someone who might be able to help hunt her grandmother’s kidnappers down and lead Scarlet to the older Benoit. But it is not without great cost to Scarlet.

Cider has been stuck in a cell for far too long, and she is ready to break out and set her plans into motion. Thorne, however, is not a part of those plans. A fellow prison mate, Cinder accidentally breaks into his room while trying to dig (or drill) her way out of prison. Carswell Thorne and Linh Cinder are complete opposites. He’s a human, she is a cyborg. He has enough conceit and self-absorption to fuel an entire spaceship, and she only wants to be free from her wicked Lunar aunt and to save the boy she loves. The list goes on and on, but the one thing that they do have in common is the most important: Carswell Thorne and Linh Conder both want to escape.

Though inconvenient at first, the company of Captain Thorne is quite entertaining, and Cinder soon finds that escaping prison can create an unanticipated camaraderie between two people. And right now she needs all of the friends she can get. Cinder just hopes that she and Thorne will be able to find this Michelle Benoit before any Lunars do, or else it is game over for Cinder and anyone that is close to her.

As Scarlet and Wolf journey through the south of France all the way up to Paris, they find out that they each have their fair share of secrets; ones that they didn’t even know about. Can this unlikely duo make it to Paris before it is too late? And what about Cinder and Thorne? Will they arrive in time to save Michelle, or will Cinder be too late again?

Marissa Meyer is a creative little thing. Her world building is fabulous, her characters are fleshed out very well, and her pacing is done wonderfully. “Scarlet” takes place over only a few days, but I felt that I had spent so much more time with these characters than I actually had, and it made me feel as if I gained a few new friends along the way. If you are a person who prefers the “get-to-the-point” kind of book, this may not be your favorite book. It is well written, but I could see how some people could feel like it is a bit drawn out. I usually feel that way, too, but lately I have had a couple of books (“Deception”,and “Unravel Me” to name just two) that were more drawn out for the time period they took place over, but they never seemed to drag. I loved them for being long, yet very engaging, and “Scarlet” was one of those books for me. I got to know the characters so much better because of it and I felt more involved in their stories than I usually would. Speaking of characters…

Scarlet herself was a very likable heroine. She was spunky and strong without being too overbearing. Her fierce loyalty to her grandmother made me respect her a lot, and I enjoyed following her around her little town of Roux and a bit of Paris. I think nearing the end she got a bit snippy for my taste, but it wasn’t bad at all (just not my ideal). One of the things in “Scarlet” that I think about now is her and Wolf’s relationship and how fast it happened. “Scarlet” takes place over a forty-eight hour (give or a take a few) period, so traditionally I would call their fondness for each other of the insta-love variety, but while reading it I didn’t feel that way at all. I have to hand it to Marissa for making their relationship feel way more developed in “Scarlet” than their time together warranted.

Wolf was a good guy character, and I liked him a lot during the first half of the book; it’s not that I didn’t like him in the latter half, it is just that I can only take so many dark looks and so much internal brooding. He is just not my type, but he is still a very good main guy character.

Speaking of my type, I want to talk about Carswell Thorne.

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Yeah, Thorne is so my speed. Tall (because I imagine him that way and because Marissa never said otherwise in this book), blond, charming, and super cheeky. *Giggles* I REALLY liked him. He is the comedic relief in “Scarlet” and I kinda want him and Cinder to end up together, though I know they never will.

I feel that Thorne also has a lot more depth of character than you think he does. In “Scarlet” he acts like he is way too into himself for his own good,

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but why would he go to such links to help Cinder, risking his life, if that was all there was to him? There are just small things here and there that make me think that Captain Carswell Thorne is smarter than he acts, kinder than he seems, and is a hero underneath all that sarcasm and false bravado (although he truly does have some SWAG going on).

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I don’t know exactly why, but I adored his character and I cannot wait until “Cress” because I want to find out more about who he truly is, and well, I just want to read more about this cheeky boy!

My favorite characters aside, the whole cast and crew of “Scarlet” were great. Marissa Meyer did a great job of intertwining past characters with the new ones in “Scarlet.” The world building gets even better in this book, and I hear that “Cress” is even better for explaining the Lunar world! Overall a fantastic read! The “Lunar Chronicles” are a great, fresh take on some of our favorite fairy tales, or if you are just in the mood for an enjoyable, well-written sci-fy/fantasy book! I loved this book and I am soooooo looking forward to “Cress” this coming February.

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All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

all our yesterdays cristin terrill

“All Our Yesterdays” by Cristin Terrill

4 out of 5 stars.

The world is ending outside of Em’s prison cell. She can’t see it happening, but she of all people should know that just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not real. She tried to fix it all, and she’s done everything she knows how to destroy the machine that has caused the near destruction and current devastation of the world. But nothing has worked. It always ends the same: Finn in a cell next to her’s, and the world ending just beyond the cold walls of their prison cells.

Em hates the “doctor”, the man who helped to pave this path which has led to people living in constant fear of their government; they now serve the government out of fear instead of it serving to protect its people from harm. Those who run it are a bunch of tyrants, and the world is this way now because of what he has done. He says he wants to save the world, and says that he can make it better, has been making it better. But Em knows that isn’t the whole truth.

One day, after a long “talk” with the doctor, Em finds something. And it is the something that could change it all, future, past, and present. Who knew a small piece of paper inside of a plastic bag could change the world and create a new future for her and Finn, everyone. But the thing that is even more amazing than a world-changing piece of paper, is that it has her handwriting on it. An Em with a different past, but an eerily similar present.

Row upon row of letters have formed sentences, sentences that another Em had formed while stuck in this cell in different life. She is horrified with just how many times the other Ems have gone back in time to try and fix things, and what is worse is that every attempt has failed, leading both her and Finn back into the same prison cells, leaving them to the same fates as before. But there is one thing all the other Ems hadn’t yet tried, and Em thinks it is just crazy enough to work.

Marina is the girl next door. She’s a bit awkward, trying to fit in with the cool kids and she is in love with her next door neighbor and friend, James. The two of them had been the social outcasts in their school until James got hot and went away to college (at fifteen, no less), and then it was just her. So she had to learn how to fit in, to be what everyone else wanted her to be. But with James, Marina can always be herself, of course with the minor exception of not spilling the beans about her being in love with James. Marina has waited forever to tell him that she loves him, and finally it seems, she has her chance to when he invites her to a fancy gathering. But this dream come true is actually a nightmare in disguise, and Marina wishes that she could just wake up and start the day over. Will this nightmare ever end?

Em and Finn have to travel back in time, four years back, actually, where Marina and James exist. Can Em and Finn stop the time travel machine from being created and save the world from all the terrible things it could do before it is too late? And what about Marina and James? Can they have their happy ending too, or does that only happen in fairy tales?

“All Our Yesterdays” by Cristin Terrill was a really good book. My sister recommended it to me after she had read it back in September. I eventually got it from the library, but I didn’t feel like reading time-travel when I got it. It sat under my bed collecting dust for about a week before my other sister was in need of a book. I let her borrow it and she ended up LOVING it. Again, I couldn’t muster up the motivation to read AND enjoy it so I let my other sister read it. She also ended up liking it a lot. So, after three weeks of me not reading it, I finally picked up “All Our Yesterdays” and gave it a shot.

I can talk myself into and out of a lot of things, and books are no exception. “All Our Yesterdays” was one of those books that I didn’t want to talk myself out of, thus the reason it sat under my bed for such a long time, and I am so glad I waited because it really was a great book.

Right off the bat I could tell that I liked Cristin Terrill’s writing style. It is very fast-paced and addictive, and once you pick it up, you’ll consume a hundred pages in no time. She also did a really good job of creating quality time-travel story. Her explanations made sense, and she was consistent in her plot with how things worked. I didn’t really feel that there were any loop-holes where she had to dig herself out of trouble in her book. At the end, there was one thing I think should have been explained a little more thoroughly, but other than that, Cristin kept it all very uniform and clean-cut. The time-travel in this book was complex in its own way, but remained simple somehow, too, and in no way compromised the quality of the story.

The character’s in this book were also really good. The book takes place over about four days, which isn’t a lot of time to get attached to characters. Cristin Terrill, however, did a very good job of it. Each character has a history, and their lives are intertwined in more ways than they could ever know (and the reader can imagine), and so the present and past circumstances create a really good background for each of them, and it made me get far more attached to the characters than if the story had taken place over a month or two.

Out of all of the characters in “All Our Yesterdays” Finn was definitely my favorite.

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He was adorable, sweet, and funny, and he brought a lot of sunshine into a fairly dark book. Finn was also the steady driving force in this book, and I loved the fact that he was always there for Em. A strong, smart, and endearing male character is hard to find these days in teen fiction, but Finn was exactly that. I think the best word to describe Finn would be…cheeky. I hate it when guys are cocky, arrogant, and they think that they can shove the girl around whenever they want! But I do like the cheeky/charming ones…there’s something different in the cheeky guy characters than those other kinds of “heroes.” It is like their cheekiness is their self-preservation mechanism (I guess you could say that about the other guy characters too, but their attitudes don’t endear them to me), but underneath that they have huge hearts. I can list quite a few off for you right now, but that is besides the point, so lets just say, Finn is one of the guys I like.

Em was also another good and interesting character. I appreciated how tough she was when it counted, and I liked how she and Finn worked together to get “business” done. They were a great couple.

Marina was a bit irritating at first, but she didn’t bother me as much as I thought she would. I thought that her and James’ made an interesting couple since he’s the hot nerd, and Marina so badly wants to be cool and popular. It was interesting to see the two sides of her war with each other, and I liked her personal growth in this book.

I kind of new what was going to happen at the end, but I was surprised too, if that makes any sense. It ended well, but I had hoped for something just a little different, but I am okay with it.

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Okay…maybe I’m not, but that’s not the point.

“All Our Yesterdays” is a great read for anyone who likes a good time-travel story or if you are just looking for a quick, well written read. Very good, but be prepared to get a little teary-eyed if you are a softy like me.

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Pivot Point by Kasie West

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“Pivot Point” by Kasie West

4 out of 5 stars.

Addison Coleman lives in the Compound, a place where the supernaturally gifted can dwell safely, and without the threat of the outside world knowing what they can do. Addie has grown up with a Discerner  (AKA a lie detector) for a father and a mother who has the power of persuasion. Yeah, Addison has never had any choice but to tell the truth and do her mothers bidding, but it isn’t all bad. They’re good parents and her life it pretty good inside of the Compound’s dome despite the unconventionality of it all. But Addie’s safe and happy world is shattered when her parents announce, quite unexpectedly she might add, that they are getting a divorce. How could Addie not see this coming?

Despite them trying to work it out, Mr. and Mrs. Coleman are going their separate ways and Addie is now stuck in the middle, and to make matters even worse than they already are, her dad tells her than he is moving. But it is not a short move to another house in the Compound like Addison had hope. Instead her father has decided to join the regular world and to dwell among the Norms. And Addie has to choose: stay in the Compound, the only place she has ever called home, with her mother, or venture out into the Norms’ world with her dad?

Now is the perfect time for Addison to use her ability, and so she decides to live out the two different choices her parents gave her life for six weeks in the hopes that she will be able to see which choice will be best in the end. But Addie soon finds that her choice could not only affect herself but also the people she loves, some of whom she has yet to meet. Will Addie make the right choice or the easy one?

I loved “Pivot Point” by Kasie West so much! I would normally think that this kind of book would be a slower read because it isn’t really a “fast-paced” story, but I was proved wrong because I ended up reading it really fast and enjoying it a ton. I really liked reading about Addie’s journey and seeing how one choice can so massively change your future as well as the futures of the people around you, even if you haven’t met them yet. It was fun to see the butterfly effect in motion.

Addie is a very enjoyable heroine to be inside of; she was so endearing and cute that I never minded reading from her perspective. Addie is a kind of funny and awkward too, so that made the character feel all the more “real” and easy to get attached to. I also liked how Kasie West had the two different futures switch back and forth with each chapter because it really kept me reading and quickened the pace of what would normally be a more mellow read. I am personally fond of the Addie who choice to live with her dad. I found that she turned out to be the better “Addie” in the book, but the sacrifices each Addie had to make were still very interesting despite my partiality.

All of the characters in “Pivot Point” are all really well done, but I think my favorite characters (besides Addie) were Addie’s dad and Trevor.

Trevor was a really good guy character. I liked how Kasie wrote his and Addie’s relationship because, for Addie, it wasn’t about “catching” the guy. Addie sat down next to Trevor during a football game because it was an open seat, and then they struck up a conversation. And the reason Addie starts hanging out with Trevor is because she wants a friend, but then it grows from there as the story goes along. Their relationship was cute because they started out friends and then it grew into something more, instead of it starting out as an obsessive pursuit for the girl/guy like in other teen books these days. No insta-love in this book. YAY!! That fact alone makes me want to give Kasie four stars!!!!!

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Relationshipiness aside, Trevor is a pretty freaking great guy. He is your sweet, friendly, cookie-cutter Texan boy who’s repspectful of the girl, and loves football. Yeah, he’s just that awesome. But, besides the whole sweet thing, he is a really good guy and he had surprising depth for being a goody-two-shoes kind of character, and nearing the last couple of chapters he does something very sacrificial for Addie, which helps her to make a very hard, but good, decision.

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Yay for Kasie making a selfless (and smart) main guy character!

The last thing I wan to comment on is that, despite the fact that I would classify this as a “fluff” book, as you get near the end “Pivot Point” get quite exciting and I was rushing to finish it. The book ends well, but it also ends a little sad

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and that makes me anxious for the next book in this trilogy, “Split Second”, to come out so I can see how Kasie West fixes all the problems made at the end of “Pivot Point.”

“Pivot Point” is a great book. No, I take that back. “Pivot Point” is fabulous because it is sweet, fluffy, and delicious all wrapped up into one book! I really respected Addie as a character (and Kasie West) for what she had to sacrifice for someone she loved, and it makes me look forward to the next book, which comes out in February! Overall, a great, fun, and light read! Loved it!