NovelSisters

watching, reading, and writing stories

The Lunar Chronicles

I just finished reading the Lunar Chronicles Series, or really 4 of the 5 books. My sister recommended them to me and I have to admit, they were extremely engaging. I had a hard time putting the books down, though the last book Winter I had to read over several days just because it was so long (over 800 pages). The only book I skipped was Fairest because my sister said it wasn’t her favorite and any of the plot points it gave were mostly covered in the other books. The series did a wonderful job of taking familiar fairy tale stories and making them fresh, new, exciting and adding some unexpected twists.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

The series starts with Cinder, and as by the title you can probably guess that it is based on the story of Cinderella. However, there are some striking differences between the original story and this new book. One of the biggest ones is that Cinder isn’t just a peasant girl who catches the eye of a prince. She is actually a princess, though she doesn’t know it, and an evil queen had tried to kill her. In actuality she should be queen right now, but of course the usurper queen wants the throne for herself and would do anything in her power to kill Cinder. So even though the cruel stepmother is still a character in this series, the usurping queen is the real villain that remains through the whole series. By the end of Cinder, our happily ever after has not happened, but instead we are set up for an epic adventure where Cinder needs to confront this evil queen and get her throne back.

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Image Source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13206760-scarlet

The next book, Scarlet, is based on the Little Red Riding Hood story. It too follows a familiar story line with Scarlet searching for her Grandmother and encountering a wolf, or wolf-like person. However their adventure is tied up in Cinder’s and eventually they meet up and begin to work together to defeat the evil queen.

Cress

 

Cress is the third book in the series and is based loosely on the Rapunzel story. Her hero who comes to her rescue was actually introduced in the second book Scarlet and their story is again intertwined with Cinder and her plan to reclaim her throne.

Winter

And finally we come full circle to Winter, the basis of which comes from the story of Snow White. However the evil queen in this version is none other than the evil queen that Cinder has been up against this whole time. And this is the book that finally gives us the exciting climax and conclusion we’ve been waiting for. I don’t want to spoil anything, since this book did just come out, but it was well worth the read and I enjoyed the ending.

This series does a brilliant job of combining the familiar with the new, and I love that it is set in a future with the Earth battling a new country on the Moon (hence the Lunar Chronicles title). The characters are all well done, interesting, hilarious, and engaging. I would highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys young adult fiction.

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I Love Youth Fiction

So for the past two months I’ve been trying to read a book, it’s a mix of historical fiction and romance. And I just can’t get into it. I’m still not even halfway through the book and it’s just not engaging. But in that same time I have read 3 youth fiction books! It only takes me a couple of hours or maybe one day if it’s longer to speed through a youth fiction book. They’re just so fun to read, so interesting and just enjoyable. It’s no wonder I’m writing in that same genre. So I thought I’d give you some short reviews from my most recent explorations into the youth genre and then give an update on my upcoming book.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/eckhartpubliclibrary/6887718935

 

First off I read Cinder. The final book of the Lunar Chronicles was just released and my sister bought it the day it came out. When she refused to do anything but read she suggested I read the first book in the series: Cinder. I don’t usually read the futuristic sci-fi kind of books, but I knew it was based on the classic Cinderella story so I gave it a chance. And it was great, plenty of action and good descriptions, funny characters and unexpected changes to the classic story. I was surprised when characters actually died and my happily ever after ending wasn’t fulfilled. I have a feeling I have to wait to read Winter to get the ending I crave. But the book opened up a new and interesting world with plausible realities and a great assortment of characters. I would highly recommend this book, and by the way I’m already reading the second book in the series: Scarlet.

The Tournament at Gorlan

Image Source: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/kids/return-to-the-world-of-the-rangers-apprentice-with-the-tournament-at-gorlan/

The next book I dove into was The Tournament at Gorlan, the first of the prequel series for Ranger’s Apprentice. I had been looking forward to this book after reading all of the other books in the Ranger’s series. And I did enjoy reading it and getting to see some of my favorite characters as their younger selves. However, it didn’t connect to me as much as Cinder did. I felt like a lot of the jokes I’d already heard before. For example Halt got thrown off his Ranger Horse just like every other Ranger when they were apprentices. I did enjoy the plot of trying to rescue the king and prince from Morgarath and I also loved the scenes when Halt and Pauline first meet. But it wasn’t my favorite book in the series and I may never read it again.

Cover of the first edition of How to Train Your Dragon

Image Source:

Then yesterday I read the first book of How To Train Your Dragon. I’ve loved the movies for years and have always meant to read the books, but I never did. Well now I can say I have read at least the first book in the series. It’s definitely meant for a younger audience, but it was an enjoyable read. I found it interesting how different the movie was from the book. There are several characters that never even show up in the movies, and a very different take on dragons. I did find it humorous that the vikings book on how to train your dragon has only one suggestion: Yell at it. I also enjoyed seeing the outcast young Hiccup and Toothless become the heroes of the story. I’m not sure if I’ll ever read the other books, but it was a fun and very quick book to read.

And lastly I’ll give a quick update on my upcoming sequel Finding Home: The Lost Brother. This month instead of writing a new book for NaNoWriMo, I’ve been editing each day. I’m hoping to print a test copy at the end of this month and get some more feedback from readers. But the book will soon be finished and I’m excited to get to share it with all of you.

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