Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3) by Marissa Meyer
Published: February 4th 2014 by Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 550
Rating: 5 stars

Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard.

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

"Maybe there isn't such a thing as fate. Maybe it's just the opportunities we're given, and what we do with them. I'm beginning to think that maybe great, epic romances don't just happen. We have to make them ourselves."
-- Marissa Meyer, Cress 

18896874 I had my doubts if this book could be any better than its predecessors, because it didn't grab me on the first few pages. It may have taken a little longer to get into it all, but the wait was worth it. Cress is a rollercoaster with lots of romance, heartbreak, drama and unpredictability. Wow. Just, wow.

The new characters introduced are perfect, just as I expected them to be. As a character, Cress has all the elements a typical Rapunzel would have, yet there's something special about her I can't put my finger on. She's an adorable girl you just love more and more. The choices she made were never out of character, and her point of view was one of the highlights of the book. I'm so excited to have another book with her as a main protagonist. The development she made from a terrified girl to a brave one who's able to stand up for herself and the people she loves. Being the socially akward girl she is, I loved her interactions with the other characters. Especially the ones with Thorne. Cress' naitieve and Thorn's quirky comments fit so well, these two made me smile and want a relationship like theirs. Cress made Thorn realise he's not a bad person and brought out his good sides. I loved how their relationship began as Cress had the biggest crush on him, while he saw her as a fragile child. By the end of the book, their relationship has developped so much you're out of your element and have added them to your shipping list. The little extra I adored was Thorne's incident, which made him love her for who she truly is.

Besides Thorne and Cress, there are so many other characters to talk about! Every one of them developped in a certain way in this book, and I'm so thankful. For starters, Kai is clearly not the only character who's going through a lot, yet that doesn't mean I don't feel bad for him. The only way he can slightly express himself is through his scarcastic comments: a big thumbs up for that. On the other hand, I'm so happy with everything that happened at the near end of the book, and how he was kind of able to solve the Selene mystery for himself. With some help, he finally put the pieces together. If only he was smart enough to figure the entire thing out by himself. Nevertheless, I loved his focus on this throughout the book.

Moving on to Cinder, I realise that after reading Scarlet, I hoped to see more of her Lunar, princess side. One way or another, Meyer never fails to statisfy me. Not only did I get the badass Lunar bioelectricity, Cinder is growing slightly towards her new identity. I adored the people in the little African town who helped her. Her grow in confidence is because of this, because she knows she has people who support her actions. She has accepted her fate to steal Levena's throne as the rightful heir of Luna. So I definitely got what I wanted, although I think we'll get even more of this in Winter.

Speaking of Winter, the crazy girl has already won my heart. I swooned for her character. Her use of words and metaphors are well done and she is just this kind of character I will root for in the upcoming final book. While a certain character was being defensive and at times agressive, all Winter wanted was to have a new friend. The way she is portrayed is the perfect reason to already adore the little girl. Instead of the skin like snow and the perfect little face, Winter is black and has three scars running down her cheek. Besides, I have a feeling that there's definitely something going on between her and the supposed huntsman, Jacin. Something I'd love to read about.

Scarlet and Wolf are the proof of going through worse than Kai. We don't get to see a lot of them. The times we do, they're awful. Not in the sense of badly written, but scenes you can't cry at. This book has managed to get so much compassion from me already, and then we have these two. I was just so sad to see them like this. Hopefully they will have rescued her soon so they can be happy again and have their happily ever after.

Although I felt how long it was, the plot itself was perfection. I may have gotten rather minor chapters when the group was complete. Cress' rescue is the start of when things get twisted and people get separated. I was worried of how Meyer could possibly fix this mess. Having this read, I think I should stop worrying because she managed to do it again. How everything played out was fantastic. The plot tighter and overall very unpredictable. At a certain time in the book, everyone got their own part to play, yet everything was connected in a way I would have never seen coming. I loved the way they were reunited again, and everything else that came along with it. The focus of the story was mainly on Cress and Thorne, the part after Rapunzel is released from her tower. So we didn't get the typical Rapunzel storyline, thank the Gods for that. Meyer succeeded in creating a story with so many similar aspects to the original one. I'm utterly happy to say that this book was lovable as a whole.

To round this up because it was gotten way longer than I expected it to be, I'd like to talk about the little extra most people forgot about: how in this book, we get a more clear view regarding the world of Luna. Though the biggest part has to play out in Winter, I found it just very interesting how we learned about the shells, Luna's connection to letumosis, Cress' lifestyle before the rescue and Winter as a character. I would like to see more of it, but I have a slight feeling we will.

Cress is the first book of 2014 that I absolutely loved. I may have used the verb 'love' way too many times in this review. It's just that great. I strongly suggest you'd read this.
19208103Title: The Little Android
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Wattpad
But she was already vast and bright and endless.
- The Little Android, Marissa Meyer 

The Little Android is a retelling of The Little Mermaid, set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles by New York Times-bestselling author Marissa Meyer.

When android Mech6.0, saves the life of a handsome hardware engineer, her body is destroyed and her mechanics discover a glitch in her programing. Androids aren’t not meant to develop unpractical reasoning or near-emotional responses…let alone fall in love.

Marissa Meyer never fails to create a beautiful retelling of a popular fairy tale. With The Little Android, she's proven herself once again. This story ripped my heart to pieces, let me clear that. And although a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid could end like the Disney version we all know, the author decided to stick to the original piece. She handled things quite differently, which is the reason I'm so sad.

I did love how there were so many similar aspects to the original, and the way they were thrown in there worked out very well. Certain examples are Dataran's rescue, Mech6.0 getting her new body and losing something in return. For me, the highlight of the book had to be her meeting with... That person. To be honest, I had some theories of who could possibly play the Ursula of the story, yet I never optioned the possibility of a character we already know.

I would have liked to see more of explanations. Like why she was different from the other androids, or why she was able to show and feel emotions. Also the story in general was a bit short for me to feel more compassion for Mech6.0 than I have now. This could have easily been way longer than it currently is, because I still have so many questions.

The Little Android was heart-breaking but definitely worth reading. Even though I didn't get many answers, I really hope to see a mention or an appearance of her in Cress.
Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3) by Tahereh Mafi
Published: February 4th 2014 by HarperCollins
Pages: 421

Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she'll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew-about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam-was wrong.

In Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi created a captivating and original story that combined the best of dystopian and paranormal and was praised by Publishers Weekly as "a gripping read from an author who's not afraid to take risks." The sequel, Unravel Me, blew readers away with heart-racing twists and turns, and New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia said it was "dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense." Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and climactic end.
Aaron Warner Anderson, chief commander and regent of Sector 45, son of the supreme commander of The Reestablishment.
He has a soft spot for fashion.
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

Tahereh Mafi started the novel off the way her fans want it to be: Juliette in a room with Warner. The first couple of chapters were all about the development of their relationship and quite a few things getting cleared up. Although their conversations took up a lot of space, I absolutely loved reading them. Juliette and Warner had this connection from the start of the series and was only getting more and more beautiful. Chapter fifty-five was the best chapter out of the entire series, and the chapters after that were just as well done. We know from there who Juliette is going to end up with. It gave me such a happy feeling, I loved it. Their relationship had a lot of struggles and didn't start in the best way, yet I'm so glad of how everything worked out. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

Because the plot opened up with them talking most of the time, hiding, I could say I was worried to have this same plot as Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. However, when things started going, I think it didn't. The pace took a while to get going, but it was kind of worth it. When the action made its first appearance, the plot got more and more intriguing. After the love problems were almost over I got to scenes with a perfect balance between dialogues and action. I flew through them, and before I knew it I read the last scentence and closed it. Can we take a moment to realise how short the climax actually was? The book builds up a huge expectation of a massive battle scene. All we actually get was a really short scene that could have been better. It just felt a bit rushed to me. There was something missing, and I'm just sad I didn't got that feeling when turning the last page.

When I got close to the end of the book, I came to the conclusion that this series has been more of a journey of character development instead of a dystopian novel. The world itself couldn't be suited into the dystopian genre, despite what everyone says. We never got an explanation for what happened and besides the Reestablishment, how things go around there. Not that I loved it less because it didn't bother me anymore when I got further into this trilogy. All the other things were done so well, mainly the characters and the romance. Especially the romance is the thing that's critical to the plot. However, when I say critical to the plot, I mean the plot was filled with dialogues of Juliette's love problems. It certainly took a while for everything to work out. I can understand why Juliette was sick of everything. After a while, so was I.

The so-called "poëtic writing" (I wasn't a fan) has been getting better ever since I read Destroy Me, and now I think it has found its place. Mafi has realised that the crossouts made the series original, but in no way effective. In the way they've been absent in the series may have something to do with Juliette's development from a whiny girl to a sort of a stronger woman. Even though this woman had her moments with the love triangle, she turned out to be a character I liked way better in Ignite Me than in the previous books. Speaking of love triangle, I think I can sort myself into the 'Team Warner', because it just seemed that Adam was on his period during the entire book. He's suddenly so short-tempered. Of course this has to do with the love triangle, but I remember him being sweet and all in the first book.  One can't change this quickly, or is this just me? I really wanted to know if that's just an act or if he's really so capricious and emotionally unstable. I also felt like the complicated relationship between the two should have gotten better closure. Even if it was jut a little talk to finally figure everything out and let Adam move on. Besides Adam, Juliette and their special relationship, I actually loved how all the other characters turned out. Realistic and down-to-earth, that's what I love.

The Shatter Me trilogy has started out as a dissapointment, yet one way or another it found a way to make me fall in love with the second book. I don't know if Ignite Me was the best of all three, but I think this trilogy is one to remember. The author fulfilled the biggest wish of the entire fandom, and that's definitely something to leave me statisfied.

13574417Title: Alienated (Alienated, #1) by Melissa Landers
Published February 4th 2014 by Disney Hyperion
Pages: 344

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-eer L'eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she'll have inside information about the mysterious L'eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara's blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn't sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L'eihrs have nearly identical DNA,but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn't seem more alien. She's certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locked, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn't just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life - not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

"What's this?" He brought the brown square to his nose. "It smells musty.""It's chocolate. You'll love it." "That's what you said about Skittles. I vomited a rainbow afterward." 
- Melissa Landers, Alienated

Thank you Netgalley and Disney Hyperion for providing me with a copy of this book!

If it wasn't for the aliens, Alienated could have easily been a perfect contemporary novel. It's still light and sweet, but because of the alien aspect it makes it stand out. What it brought to my eye was a novel with great potential.

What the author has done to the typical alien genre is new and refreshing. She made everything very believable, like it just could happen right now. It has to be one of the most original ideas I've seen yet. An exchange program is very easy to write about. It has always been there as an idea, and most authors are looking for something way more spectacular than that. They forget about the simple things while others can create something very good out of it. Melissa Landers is one of those to have proven that it doesn't always have to be. I really appreciate the believability of Alienated. It really helped me to get into the world. Now that I've come to discuss the world, and more specifically the L'eihr culture, I can honestly say that I may be in love. I love their culture. It creates a difference between this book and others I've read because Landers wants to show you the similarities between them and us, when they're actually still foreign and have their own world. Their philosophy and gods are intriguing. I got a clear view on their world and habits without  too many details.

I can't picture this book only being told from Cara's of Aelyx' point of view. The fact that we get to see from both points of view did not only make me like Aelyx and understand him more, I understand both of their actions, even when one of the two didn't. A crucial thing when it comes to points of view, is the clear difference between them. I can rest in peace when I say this was just well done. The point of view itself brought depth to the story, in the way of Aelyx' acclimatisation and the plans of the L'eihrs. It was nice to see something from that in the beginning and watching it play out throughout the book.

The characters themselves are lovely. Cara seemed to be that perfect little girl, which took me by surprise to find out that she's just a normal teenager. She blogs and has a hard time every now and then. Aelyx is stubborn and has many prejudices about Earth and its population. He manages to beat Cara in every game and doesn't like chocolate. If it wasn't for the chocolate, I think he'd be on my list of fictional boyfriends. Despite my hate towards the HALO crew such as Eric and Tori, I managed to like them, maybe even understand their actions. It's stupid to deny it: I'd be pretty scared too if my best friend or boyfriend gets to hang out with a sexy alien. Cara's parents are the icing on the cake. They're actually involved with Cara's life and have something to do with the story. They, like every other character, are believable and there when needed. Besides my love for the characters, I also got to appreciate the realistic development of Aelyx and Cara's relationship. They didn't immediately have an attraction or fell in love at first sight. It's normal they didn't. It's that kind of romance which totally fits in with the other contemporary romances. It's cute and makes you smile.

The resemblance between Alienated and a contemporary novel helped to lift the rather heavy topics, yet only a bit. The politics, HALO and protests are not these kind of things you'd want to read about. One time they were just there and there isn't really anything to do about them. This will happen if we would get invaded one day. In the end I was sick of everything us humans were doing. I want everyone to live happily ever after, not react the same way to aliens as we did in the sixties to the black population. On the other hand, it totally makes sense, but just because it makes sense doesn't mean I like to read about these kind of things. Also the predictability of the plot and the slower pacing made it easy at times to put it down and go and do something else.

I was expecting a light and funny story. I was glad to have gotten that, with a surprising dark touch to it. The ending left me wanting more. With characters of whom I'd love to be inside their heard again, I will definitely be picking up the sequel.

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