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Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Title: Scarlet
Author: Marissa Meyer
Year Published: 2013

Genre: YA Dystopian Fiction
Pages: 454
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2013 Google Reading map): China and France

FTC Disclosure: I bought this with my own money and am going to donate it to my school library

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second installment of the Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Comonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information about 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.

Review: I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Cinder, and was so looking forward to the sequel that I bought it with my own money instead of waiting for it to show up in my school library! And I am glad I did. I read this book over 2 days while nursing my sick daughter. There are two more books in this series: Cress and Winter, which come out the next two years. Guaranteed I'll read them.

This book takes off where Cinder left us, with Cinder figuring out just who she is (I won't spoil it here in case you haven't read Cinder). As the book progresses, she finds out more and more and pulls the reader in. I definitely feel as if the author does a good job of weaving the various storylines together without making it awkward or stiff. And, I like the references to the fairy tales: Cinder (Cinderella) has a wicked stepmother and stepsisters, she does all the work, she loves the prince, she goes to a ball. Scarlet wears a red hoodie, befriends a wolf, the wolves capture her grandmother, they spend time in the woods. It's a fun addition to a good story

I also care about the characters. I like that the leads are strong females who are smart and skilled. While the male characters are secondary, they are strong as well with major roles so that male readers won't feel like they are reading a "girl book."

Yes, this is YA dystopian, which is out there in vast amounts these days, but it is definitely different from many of the other novels out there. The addition of the cyborg angle, the fairytale aspect, and the ensemble make this novel have its own place in recent YA literature.

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