Review: Scarlet – Marissa Meyer

ScarletSynopsis from Goodreads.
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.

Finishing Scarlet has made me realise something extremely important about myself.

All my friends seem to have their favourite fairy tale. They love Snow White, they love Sleeping Beauty, they love Hansel and Gretl, they love Cinderella.

Then they turn to me, waiting for me to launch into a rambling speech about how much I love this one story because I get it and how I buy every version of it so I can have it on my bookshelves and oh how I can’t wait to be whisked off by a handsome prince and whatever.

(I swear this isn’t all we talk about…)

But instead, I just look at them blankly and gnaw on my finger nails. And they all share a look.

Because I’m 24 and I’ve not discovered my favourite fairy tale yet.

Have I just uncovered some deep seated life metaphor?!

Before writing this review, I had to reread my Cinder one and I kind of want to extract some of my comments. The more I’ve thought about the first book in the series, the more I kind of love it. I loved what Ms Meyer did with the story and how she made something that’s so cliché become something innovative and fresh.

I feel I was a bit harsh with my review. I did like the story and while I do think that Cinder suffered because of the original story’s restraint, I think I’ve come to like it a lot better a few months after reading it.

But I just don’t think I’m a Cinderella kinda gal.

Anyway, we’re not talking about here, are we? We’re talking about Scarlet which I have to say, I absolutely loved. I really adored the world of Scarlet and the characters. Fairy tale adaptations are really hard to do. Well… I’ve never written one but I imagine they are. So it just shows how great Ms Meyer’s imagination is when she can take a fairy tale, one that we’ve read a million times before, and make it her own.

And I think this story worked a lot better than it’s predecessor. It didn’t feel like the characters were bound by their distant fairytale relations and they were allowed to become their own. And the story itself was fantastic because, again, it was its own story and never felt like it was being forced one way just to fit in with the original story.

Though, the red hoodie might have been a tad too much.

I much preferred Scarlet as a character and she was a brilliant heroine. She was strong without being *shudders* feisty and she didn’t make stupid decisions which is always good. I liked how she had a good head on her shoulders and that she was in it for the right reasons.

Saving grandma is always a good reason to do things.

The hero though… Hm. I think I’m more of a Kai kinda girl. He completely won me over in those last few chapters of  Cinder and I was so pleased that he got involved in a few chapters of Scarlet.

I kind of found Wolf (yeah, I know I know, but there’s actually a good reason why he’s called Wolf and it’s not cringey) underwhelming. Whereas Kai was fun and sweet and a little bit cheeky, Wolf often prowled into the ‘Cliché YA Love Interest’ territories. He was a bad boy and he had tattoos and he had a Past but when he saw Scarlet his eyes turned into little red love hearts.

Well, OK that last one didn’t happen but it probably did and Ms Meyer just kept it to herself.

This story felt a lot more meaty and I inhaled it in one setting. I wanted to know what was going to happen and the fast-paced story kept me turning those pages.

It’s a shame that this series isn’t as big as some of the other YA series that are out at the moment. Yeah it might not be the one that everyone’s talking about and it’s not addressing MAJOR ISSUES but it’s a lot of fun without being frothy and it’s a fantastic world without being overly confusing and convoluted.

For someone who isn’t really fussed about YA fantasy, it takes a lot for me to stick with a series but this is one I’m eager to continue with. From this book, this series seems to be going from strength to strength and I can’t wait for the next one.

You never know, Rapunzel might be my fairy tale….

2 thoughts on “Review: Scarlet – Marissa Meyer

  1. I read the first one, Cinder. Sorry, just couldn’t get into it so I never read this one. But your comment about Wolf’s eyes turning into little red hearts made me laugh out loud. :D

  2. I’m not sure what my favorite fairy tale is either, Jo. You are not alone. I felt similarly about my Cinder review. I went on about how the fairy tale bits were my least favorite part of it and I guess they still are. I loved the excitement of the story and the world and the characters but I hated the predictability that was a result of the fairy tale backbone. I think I will like each progressive book more, though, as the stories weave together more. I listened to maybe the first hour of this one before realizing that it hadn’t completely loaded onto my ipod. (ugh) I will restart it soon:)

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