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Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

scarletScarlet by Marissa Meyer

Format: Kindle e-book

Length: 512 pages

Publisher:  Feiwel & Friends

Genre: YA, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Dystopia

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.”

Hmm…where to start with this one? I really enjoyed Cinder, the first in the Lunar Chronicles series. What I enjoyed so much about it was that it had a strong, female protagonist, and she didn’t let her feelings for someone stop her from doing what she had to do to save her family and those she cared for. She even sacrificed the budding relationship that was forming between her and said someone (aka Prince Kai) to protect him from Queen Levana. Scarlet, kind of throws all of that girl power to the wind…kind of.

Cinder herself continues to stay her badass course…Scarlet however is a little too Twilight for me. Though she starts off strong she ultimately goes too far into  “ignore your genetic makeup and aggression for me” territory with Wolf, and that stole my thunder a bit.

The biggest reason I loved this series as much as I did after reading Cinder was that the romance was light, and that ultimately, the lead heroine saved herself; she wasn’t miraculously rescued by the charming love interest, she wasn’t reduced to the damsel in distress. Unfortunately for me, Scarlet played a little too much damsel in distress and a little less brave heroine.

The story remains compelling and I’m still very much interested in the rest of the series. I’m just a little less infatuated than I was with Cinder.

Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

code name verity

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Format: Unabridged Audiobook from audible.com

Length: 10 hours and 7 minutes

Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Genre: Historical Fiction

Audible: “Code Name Verity is a compelling, emotionally rich story with universal themes of friendship and loyalty, heroism and bravery. Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during World War II: one a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted friends. But then a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France. She is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. The story begins in Verity’s own words, as she writes her account for her captors.”

Goodreads: “I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.
That’s what you do to enemy agents. It’s what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine – and I will do anything, anything to avoid SS-Hauptsturmführer von Linden interrogating me again.
He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I’m going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France – an Allied Invasion of Two.
We are a sensational team.”

I cannot say enough good things about how much I loved this book; though I will say my fervor for this beautiful, haunting novel is firmly rooted in having listened to it via audio book. I have become a huge fan recently of reading by way of audio book through my various commutes. When I saw this book roll across my Audible feed as a daily deal, I decided to give it a try on a whim. Best. Decision. Ever.

Just reading the Goodreads description gives me chills all over again! I can hear Verity’s voice speaking to me in her beautiful Scottish brogue. The voice work done by both Morven Christie and Lucy Gaskell as each heroine is superb. It even prompted me to buy Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (also narrated by Morven Christie) with my next Audible credit!

On to the actual story…not only is this the fictional tale of two kick-ass women assisting their male counterparts in WWII as a pilot and an intelligence officer, but their friendship gives me some serious relationship goals.

And the reveals in the second half of the book, oh man! I’m not going to spoil it but this book never failed to keep me on the edge of my seat!