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Howdy YAL!

I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies. 

Three's Not a Crowd

Cress - Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles is probably my favorite current YA series.


This is one series that has so many things in it that shouldn’t work, but it oddly does. I still can’t figure out just how Meyer does it either. I mean cyborgs, Moon people, bio warfare, fairytale retellings, with a huge cast.  It really shouldn’t come together.  But it does.

While I loved the first book, the second book lacked something it did (even though it was still kick ass).  The third book though went beyond both of them.




If you could swoon over a book, well, I’d be swooning and then some.


Yeah, I’m fangirling over another book this week.  There is something seriously wrong with me.


I guess I should start talking about the actual book by describing it.  All the books in this series are loose retellings of fairytales with the various characters playing prominent roles in each of the stories.  This story, the tale of Rapunzel is explored.  However, it’s a very, very, loose retelling of Rapunzel.


And trust me when I say that’s a good thing.  I mean, I have experience some very well rather lackluster retellings of the fairytale and I think it’s because they made the story too close to the original fairytale.


The vibe I get from this series is sort of the same vibe I got when I watched The Avengers.    Like that movie, this book shows that large ensemble cast can actually work for the better.  Each character is arguably well formed despite not being the sole focus of the novel.


In this installment, Cress becomes a full time member of the cast and the character, Thorne, is explored more.  Cinder and Kai still remain center characters, though Wolf and Scarlet definitely take a backseat in this installment.  Yet, they are in the book enough where their presence is still known.  Additionally, new characters such as Jacin and Winter are added too.  You’d think that with a cast this large a lot of the characters would not be fully formed and just essentially props, but that’s not the case.  Even Wolf and Scarlet, whose roles are greatly diminished in this installment, contribute to this book.


The stars of the show though are Cress and Thorne.  Thorne is probably one of my favorite characters in the series.  He’s the Tony Stark of this group of The Avengers.  He’s the character to first to make a smart remark, to be viewed as immature, but to have a good heart somewhere there despite all the rotten things he’s done.  I liked that Meyer didn’t outright have him be “reformed” either or for that matter do something truly odious like most characters who are of the similar archetype.  I even liked relationship his with Cress and to be honest I was sort of afraid how I was going to like them together.


Cress is pretty naive.  Okay, really, really, naive.  And you can’t blame her.  She’s been stuck alone on a satellite for several of her formative years, of course she’s going to be naive especially when it involves Captain Thorne, but she does have a backbone and is very adaptable.  By the end of the book, I’d say she’s just as strong as Cinder or Scarlet but in her own way.  She’s definitely not your typical Rapunzel.


The other couples work as well.  Cinder and Kai will always hold a soft spot in my heart and Wolf and Scarlet work as well.  This series really has the swoon down to pact without it being overly cutsey.  It probably helps that Meyer doesn’t shy at hurting or killing characters before the final installment.  So, while there are cute shmoopy moments (without anyone saying shmoopy, thankfully) there will be some sort of lunar warfare or political intrigue moment the next page to make all the sugar sweetness bearable.


I think what really makes this book is that everything single detail, even eccentric bit about this book works.  You can tell that Meyer loves the world she writes and it shows.  Honestly, it’s really hard to write about how much I love this book.  I tried telling a coworker about it the other day, but unless you read it, you’re not going to really get it.  I know I didn’t.  But once I read it–wow, just wow.


If you love fairytales, sci-fi, swoon worthy romance, and action packed books pick up The Lunar Chronicles.  You really, really, won’t regret it.