Winter by Marissa Meyer

WinterWinterWinter (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer by Marissa Meyer

This is, of course, Book #4 in the Lunar Chronicles series (I feel like I’ve mentioned it a time or twelve before, plus all the other buzz this series has gotten on other blogs and media sites).

I was so hesitant to start Winter – I *loved* Cinder, really, really liked Scarlet, and ok, so Cress wasn’t my favorite, but still. It was good enough as a penultimate series entry. For the ending though, was this going to be a crash-and-burn of a great series? Could it possibly live up to what I wanted it to be?

Now for the tricky part: talking about the book while maintaining a spoiler-free zone. So, in brief: Yes, the book lived up to the promise the series showed in Cinder (and erased the memory of that disappointing Fairest) . It’s over 800 pages, but read much faster than that, plus it’s so much fun having that much time to spend with these characters I didn’t wish any of the pages away.

What about the plot, and how things worked out? Well, you’ll need to read it yourself to find out, but I was so impressed at the job Meyer did of bringing together all of those plot threads. It made me want to start the series all over again and see what hints she dropped in earlier books.

Super satisfying, this was a great ending to a fun series. Highly recommended for fantasy fans.

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Audible | Goodreads

Publisher’s Description:
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

Book Details

Title: WinterWinter (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer
Author: Marissa Meyer
Category: Fantasy
My Rating: 5 Stars

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Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: Bookish Gifts for the Late Shopper
Two years ago: Twitterature – Recent Reads

New on the Stack in November 2015

Welcome to New on the Stack, where you can share the latest books you’ve added to your reading pile. I’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own post or instagram picture sharing your books! It’s a fun way to see what others will soon be reading, and get even more ideas of books to add to my “I want to read that!” list.New on the Stack button

After last month‘s RIDICULOUS book haul, I was pretty proud of myself for my restraint in November. Nine books, and five of them are YA. One is just a reference to flip through a bit, and the other is a Bible Study. If it weren’t for that gigantic novel I’d be feeling pretty confident about my ability to get through them all in December. 😉

Nonfiction

The Mother of All BooklistsThe Mother of All Booklists: The 500 Most Recommended Nonfiction Reads for Ages 3 to 103The Mother of All Booklists: The 500 Most Recommended Nonfiction Reads for Ages 3 to 103 by William Patrick Martin by William Patrick Martin
How did I get it: Borrowed it from the library.
Why did I get it: I am a sucker for book lists.

Love Comes NearLove Comes Near: An Advent Bible StudyLove Comes Near: An Advent Bible Study by Jenni Keller by Jenni Keller
How did I get it: Bought it.
Why did I get it: I was looking for an Advent study, and the timing of this one was right (as in, the timing of when I heard about it). Plus the author is an acquaintance of mine & we have mutual friends.

Fiction

The Count of Monte CristoThe Count of Monte CristoThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas by Alexandre Dumas
How did I get it: Bought it from Audible (this version).
Why did I get it: It’s January’s book for my book club – of course I need to get it and get reading! I originally borrowed it from the library but it is so. long. I knew I’d never get through it before it had to go back. I don’t want to count on being able to renew it, so the inexpensive Audible version it is!

WinterWinterWinter (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer by Marissa Meyer
How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: It’s the final book in the Lunar Chronicles series!

A Curious BeginningA Curious Beginning: A Veronica Speedwell Mystery by Deanna Raybourn
How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: It sounded interesting.

January Conspiracy 365Conspiracy 365 by Gabrielle Lord
How did I get it: Borrowed it from the library.
Why did I get it: It’s an Usborne title and I want to read it so I can recommend it (or not).

ArrivalArrival (Phoenix Files Book 1) by Chris Morphew
How did I get it: Borrowed it from the library.
Why did I get it: It’s an Usborne title and I want to read it so I can recommend it (or not).

Enna BurningEnna BurningEnna Burning (Books of Bayern) by Shannon Hale by Shannon Hale
How did I get it: Borrowed it from the library.
Why did I get it: It’s the sequel to Goose Girl, which I enjoyed enough to want to read more.

The Bloomswell DiariesThe Bloomswell Diaries by Louis L Buitendag
How did I get it: Purchased it.
Why did I get it: It was a customer special and I couldn’t resist the price. And it sounded like my sort of book.


“New on the Stack” Link-up Guidelines:

1. Share your posts or instagram pictures about the new-to-you books you added to your reading stack last month. They can be purchases, library books, ebooks, whatever it is you’ll be reading! Entries completely unrelated to this theme or linked to your homepage may be deleted.

2. Link back to this post – you can use the button below if you’d like, or just use a text link.

The Deliberate Reader

3. The linkup will be open until the end of the month.

4. Please visit the person’s blog or Instagram who linked up directly before you and leave them a comment.

5. By linking up, you’re granting me permission to use and/or repost photographs from your linked post or Instagram. (Because on social media or in next month’s post, I hope to feature some of the books that catch my attention from this month.)

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Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: General Winston’s Daughter by Sharon Shinn
Two years ago: Book Review: Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman
Three years ago: Announcing the 2013 Reading Challenge

New on Your Stack (volume 10)

I have *no* idea how November disappeared so quickly. I feel like I’ve been playing catch-up all month, and I came so close to forgetting all about sharing highlights of what you’ve added to your reading stacks this month.

WinterKate (Mom’s Radius) read Winter and guess what – I’ve already got it borrowed from the library! I’m finding that I wish I’d reread the other titles in the series though, as I’m forgetting the specifics of what happened previously. It’s times like these that I wish I could find a detailed plot summary of series books. Save me rereading time and let me get right into enjoying the new book!


Proverbs PrayersStacie (Sincerely Stacie) has two books on her list that I already either own: Savor (so good!) or borrowed: Working Stiff (returned it unlistened to. Will try again in a print or kindle format).

She also has the very intriguing Proverbs Prayers that she’s planning on starting in January. What a great idea to start the new year!


The NightingaleTanya (The Other Side of the Road) features The Nightingale. I had just about decided that I was not going to read it (too many books; too little time) but she’s the third or fourth person I’ve come across mentioning it in the last couple of weeks. Perhaps I need to rethink that plan of skipping it? I’m waiting to see what the verdicts are, but it’s back on my “maybe” list.

(I will admit that I’m partially falling for it because of the gorgeous cover.)


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

Three years ago: Favorite Picture Books (I need to update this – we’ve got lots of new favorites now!)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Fairest

FairestFairest: Levana’s StoryFairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana's Story by Marissa Meyer (#3.5 in the Lunar Chronicles series) by Marissa Meyer

I’ve loved Marissa Meyer‘s Lunar Chronicles series, but wasn’t sure how I felt about the addition of this originally unplanned entry to the series.

After reading it, I’m still not sure. While I guess I can somewhat appreciate learning Levana’s backstory a bit, and having something eased the wait until the final book is published, is that enough?

It felt like an added-on book, without the depth that has made the others so unexpectedly enjoyable. How many examples did we need of how awful Levana is? And how much does having this weaker entry tarnish the overall excellence of the series?

What I did like is how you can see the incremental steps that took Levana down the path to becoming the despotic tyrant she is in Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress. There are moments of recognizing that maybe if she’d just NOT done this or that, how different things could have been for her, and for so many others.

While chronologically this book comes first, don’t read it that way. It would diminish the fun and discovery you’ll otherwise have with the others. Plus this is the weakest of them all, and if you start with it you might not be inclined to continue.

Despite my complaints about it, I wasn’t really all that disappointed in it – my expectations were pretty low, so it actually surpassed what I thought it might be. I enjoyed the character of Solstice, and seeing some of the characters we see in the other books. All in all though, this is an entirely skippable entry into the series, and not really worth the reading time.

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Quick Lit for March 2015: Recent Re-Reads

I seem to go on re-reading kicks, and lately I’ve been on another one. Happily, they’ve all been great books to read again:

The Road from Coorain by Jill Ker ConwayThe Road from CoorainThe Road from Coorain by Jill Ker Conway by Jill Ker Conway

Rereading this one because it was book club’s March pick. I picked it up with some trepidation, because I was the one who pushed for it to be the month’s pick – what if I ended up thinking that I shouldn’t have recommended it? Instead, while the very beginning was a bit slower than I remembered, the rest of it was as strong as I’d recalled. It’s a very thoughtful book, but so worth reading (just be warned that it can be a tough one too – there are difficult events recounted). It also made for a *fabulous* discussion book – I was supposed to facilitate the discussion, but most of it ended up being organic as there is just so much to talk about in the book. (Read my original review on it)

The Eyre AffairThe Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next NovelThe Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel by Jasper Fforde by Jasper Fforde

Reread to prepare myself for reading additional titles in the series (and because it’s an easy read, so reading it again wouldn’t take long.) It’s such an odd book and premise, but lots of fun. It also makes it very hard to ever read Jane Eyre again without imagining agent Thursday Next’s behind the scenes role in that story. 🙂

Princess BrideThe Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High AdventureThe Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman by William Goldman

Reread after reading As You Wish, and because it’s August’s book club pick. Super fun, especially after having just finished Elwes’ memoir.

The ThiefThe Thief The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner by Megan Whalen Turner

Reread as I get ready to finally read the last in the series – A Conspiracy of KingsA Conspiracy of Kings (Thief of Eddis). Or at least the last one so far – there’s still supposed to be more books, but there’s no indication on a publication date. I adore this series and almost don’t want to read the last one, as it’ll mean I no longer have it to look forward to reading eventually. (Read my original reviews on The Thief, and the second and third in the series – The Queen of Attolia, and The King of Attolia).

CinderCinderBook Review: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer by Marissa Meyer

Reread as I waited my turn at FairestFairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana's Story by Marissa Meyer. I love this series too, and it was maybe even more fun the second time through it. Will I reread them all before WinterWinter (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer is published? Perhaps… (Read my original reviews on Cinder, and also Scarlet, Cress)

For more peeks at what people are reading, head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Favorite Books of 2014

Favorite Books of 2014I had a really difficult time picking my favorite books this year, so I eventually settled on picking the books I most highly recommend to others, or the ones wish I could still experience for the first time. And because picking was so difficult, I added some runner-ups.

(Links go to my reviews if I’ve written one, Amazon if I haven’t yet)

Velma Still Cooks in LeewayVelma Still Cooks in Leeway by Vinita Hampton Wright

If I had to pick one single favorite book of the year, it would probably be this one. I think I need to reread this one next year, just so I can more fully appreciate the way she wove this story together.

A Tree Grows in BrooklynA Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

I was convinced this book would be boring. I was wrong.

Crossing to SafetyCrossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner

Surprised myself by liking this one as much as I did, and describing it does not do it justice. Wonderful characters who stay with you long after you’ve finished reading the book.

Burnt Toast Makes You Sing GoodBurnt Toast Makes You Sing Good: A Memoir of Food and Love from an American Midwest Family by Kathleen Flinn

I’ve loved Flinn’s other books, and loved how this one brought to life her family’s stories, and led into the events in her first book. Did I like it more because I now live in the Midwest? Possibly, but I don’t think that was the only appeal.

Mastering the Art of French EatingMastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris by Ann Mah

Armchair traveling at its best. Mah allowed me to come along with her as she spent a year in Paris and traveled throughout France experiencing it’s most iconic food. Prepare to be hungry as you read it.

Buried in the SkyBuried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2′s Deadliest Day by Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan

The focus on the Sherpas is what makes this book so wonderfully fascinating. If you’ve liked other Everest accounts, don’t miss this one, with its unique perspective on the events of that deadly climbing season.

The Queen of AttoliaThe Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner, from The Queen’s Thief series

I’ve been holding off on reading book #4, because then I won’t have another one to look forward to for the forseeable future. And that’s a very sad thing.

CressCress by Marissa Meyer, from the Lunar Chronicles series

Can’t wait to read the final two in this series!

Etiquette and EspionageEtiquette &Espionage, Curtsies & ConspiraciesCurtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School Book 2) by Gail Carriger, and Waistcoats & WeaponryWaistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School #3) by Gail Carriger by Gail Carriger, from the Finishing School series

Super fun series, although book #3 took a more serious turn that I wasn’t completely expecting. The final book come out next year.

The Runner-Ups

Parnassus on WheelsParnassus On WheelsParnassus On Wheels by Christopher Morley by Christopher Morley

Another one where the descriptions don’t convey how enjoyable the book is. Sweet and gentle and very easy to read. I only just read it last week, which is why I hesitate to say that it would have the staying power to be a favorite for the year. I may regret not including it.

The Mislaid MagicianThe Mislaid Magician by Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer, from the Cecelia and Kate series

Epistolary + fantasy + historical fiction = my kind of fun.

Women Heroes of World War IWomen Heroes of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics and Women Heroes of WWII: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue both by Kathryn Atwood

If you like one you’ll like the other, and if you’re at all interested in brief biographical accounts of fascinating individuals, you should give these a try.

Eiffel's TowerEiffel’s Tower: The Thrilling Story Behind Paris’s Beloved Monument and the Extraordinary World’s Fair That Introduced It by Jill Jonnes

I’m already second-guessing myself for not including it above, but I think it just misses out on being a “must recommend to everyone I know” type book. It really was a great book though.

The Professor and the MadmanThe Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester

Like the Eiffel’s Tower book, this is another fascinating look at a small slice of history. I loved it.

The Night Circus
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Another one I may need to reread, to see what clues the author drops throughout the text as to what will be happening later.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Judging Books by their Covers: Lunar Chronicles series

I love love love Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles fantasy series. So much so that I was just about devastated to discover that the final book in the quartet has been pushed back so now it won’t be out until NOVEMBER 2015. Here I was thinking it was going to be early in 2015: nope. Not even close.

Until Winter finally releases, I’m going to admire the wonder that is this series, especially their covers. They’ve been fantastic so far, and what I love is that all the various options from around the world? They’re all good to great too – so much fun to have lots of options for great covers.

Let’s start with Cinder, the introduction to the series, from left to right is the US Version, Spanish, and German covers. I love the familiar US version, with the red shoe and the “bone” visible in the leg. I love the Spanish cover, when the “C” looks like a crescent moon, and the pretty dress, and the leg. I like the German version, how the repeating graphic is the shoe.

Cinder HardcoverCinder Spanish editionCinder German edition

From left to right, the Portuguese, Czech, and Russian covers: The Polish cover uses the same image as the Spanish one above.
Cinder Portuguese editionCinder Czech editionCinder Russian edition

Finally, the Thai and Taiwanese covers.
Cinder Thai editionCinder Taiwan edition

Moving on to Scarlet, the second book in the series –

The US, Spanish, and German covers. The Spanish version continues with that “C” that’s so clever, and the German one uses the wolf as the repeating element. So fun! And I love the little bit of red hair visible in the US version, under that great red cloak.
Scarlet HardcoverScarlet Spanish editionScarlet German edition

Next, the Portuguese, Czech, and Polish covers. These are all so pretty.

Scarlet Portugese editionScarlet Czech editionScarlet Polish edition

And the covers for Cress – the US, German, and Czech editions. I love the US version, but the Czech one is fantastic too, how it shows her hair and her location. I wondered what the German version would use for their repeating element, and should have guessed they’d pick the hair too.

Cress Hardcover editionCress German editionCress_obalka.indd

And one final cover, the Bulgarian edition of Cress. This one doesn’t seem that accurate, unless I’ve forgotten some scene where she gets flowers braided into her hair, but it sure is pretty. 🙂
Cover_CRESS.indd

Linking up with Jessica at Quirky Bookworm – head over there to see more “Judging Books by their Covers”

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Cress

CressCressCress (Lunar Chronicles book 3) by Marissa Meyer reviewed by @SheilaRCraig by Marissa Meyer

My feelings for Cinder and Scarlet has been blogged before, so while I was very very excited to read this third installment in the Lunar Chronicles series, I was also just a bit hesitant that it wouldn’t live up to my high expectations.

Happily, my fears were unfounded – I loved the book. My favorite characters from books 1 and 2 are here, plus we get to know Cress and others. The pacing is the same fast tempo as the earlier books, but it never feels overly frantic to me.

One of my favorite parts of this series is how Meyer takes familiar fairy tales, in this case Rapunzel, and reimagines them into this new world. The hints included for the fourth and final book make it that much more painful that it’s another year to wait for that one to be released.

As I’ve mentioned in the previous reviews for the series, if you’re not a fantasy fan I don’t think this will convert you. If you are a fantasy fan though, please give this series a try, but make sure you read it in order – you’ll spoil yourself for some events, and take a lot of the enjoyment out of the overall series.

And a heads-up if you’re interested in trying the series: I’m assuming it’s a special offer to try and get people hooked on the series, but book one, CinderCinder: Book One of the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, is currently on sale for Kindle for only $2.99.

Publisher’s Description:
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.

Book Details

Title: CressCress (Lunar Chronicles book 3) by Marissa Meyer reviewed by @SheilaRCraig
Author: Marissa Meyer
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Book Review: Scarlet

ScarletScarletScarlet by Marissa Meyer. Book 2 of the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

The second book in the Lunar Chronicles series that began with Cinder.

I tried to temper my enthusiasm for this book after falling hard for Cinder, but it was difficult not to get my hopes up too much. Overall, I still really like the series, but I did prefer Cinder just a bit.

Scarlet is also lots of fun, but it feels a bit darker. I also missed Cinder and Kai’s interactions. My biggest issue with the book was because of its structure – Meyer flips between the tales of Cinder and Scarlet, and I hated being pulled from one story to go to another one; I liked them both and would be involved with whichever one I was in when suddenly it was time to go check in with the other one.

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Book Review: Cinder

Book Review: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa MeyerCinderBook Review: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer by Marissa Meyer

“Fractured fairy-tales” are one of my favorite sub-genres. I love when an author takes a familiar tale and morphs it into something new. Still with familiar elements, but altered into a new story.

So of course I had to read Marissa Meyer’s book Cinder. It’s the first in a dystopian series, and they are all going to feature some familiar characters including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White.

I feel like I shouldn’t have liked the book as much as I did. A lot of it is predictable (even knowing that obviously some things will be predictable when it’s a retelling of a familiar tale), but it was just so much fun to read that I didn’t mind.

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