Greetings wonderful bookworms! I hope you’re having an excellent week! I’m coming at you today with a book review for the second book in the Lunar Chronicles series, Scarlet. It picks up right where Cinder leaves off and takes us on an ~interesting~ journey that certainly had its ups and serious downs. But I suppose that’s enough of my vague ramblings-on to the review!
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 452 (US Hardcover)
Publication Date: 5 February 2013
My rating: 3/5 stars
“I think I realized that I would rather die because I betrayed them, than live because I betrayed you.”
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. 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, the follow-up to Cinder, was not nearly as enjoyable of a read for me as its predecessor. After finishing up Cinder and being taken on a whirlwind of an adventure in the first book, I had fairly high expectations for the plot progression and characters both familiar and new. What I was left with was a book that I found myself annoyed at more often than not and there was certainly no shortage of eye rolls and heavy sighs. I didn’t hate the book as a whole, but there were quite a few major components that did not win me over.
What I LIKED about the book
- Cinder- Just like in the first book, Cinder was one of the highlights in Scarlet for me. She is sarcastic and witty and has a heart of gold; all the attributes I love seeing in book heroines. Her sass knows no limits and it is a wonder to behold!
- Thorne- Beautiful, sarcastic, wonderful Thorne *sighs dreamily* I could not get enough of him! This book is his first appearance and he was one of the saving graces of this book for me. His banter with Cinder is so hilarious and fun and despite his biting remarks, you can tell he’s a huge softie deep down who really cares about the people he’s close to.
- The plot (for the most part)- Overall, I think the story was well developed and had enough twists and turns that it kept me intrigued. The beginning of the book is quite slow and it took me a bit to get invested in the story, but once I did, I began to enjoy it quite a lot!
- Kai- While his appearances in this book are much less frequent than in Cinder, I still really love Kai. Watching him as he battles with the doom that is Queen Levana is both heartbreaking and fascinating (much like that train wreck you just can’t tear your eyes away from)
What I DID NOT LIKE about the book
- Scarlet- Yes, you read that correctly. I was NOT a fan of the title character at all. She irritated me to no end and was incredibly melodramatic at every turn. I found myself DREADING the chapters that centred around her. Also, how many times did Marissa Meyer really need to mention how “curvy” or attractive Scarlet is? We get it, Scarlet is pretty and I don’t fault her for that. I just do not need to be reminded of it constantly. I wish Meyer had focused more on making Scarlet an interesting character, rather than just a pretty one.
- Wolf- Where to even start with this one? He was a peculiar one from the very beginning (who was this guy who has never had a carrot or a tomato?! What kind of life has he led?!) but he just kept getting worse with all his lies. I was suspicious of him from the get-go, but I never fully trusted him. He’s also 1/2 of a romantic pairing I am NOT happy with.
- Dr. Erland and his lack of presence– So you’re just having a grand old time in Africa while the Earthen Union is going to crap because of Levana? NOT COOL, ERLAND. It would be great if you made an appearance at some point to, I don’t know, help Cinder save the world, perhaps?
Seeing as my negatives list is nearly as long as my positives, it was incredibly difficult for me to rate this book. I begrudgingly give it 3/5 stars, as I’m trying to focus on what I enjoyed about this book more so than what I disliked. My love for Thorne and Cinder seems to won me over and outweighed my EXTREME dislike of Scarlet and Wolf. The ending left me intrigued enough with the story to continue the series, though it doesn’t hurt that I’m reading this series with a friend so we’re helping each other get through it!
I’m hoping to enjoy Cress more than Scarlet. In the meantime, I’m going to sit here and wish that Scarlet and Wolf’s appearances become less and less frequent over the remainder of the series haha!
Let’s chat! Have you read Scarlet? Do we share any similar feelings on this book? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this book!