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Magan: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Book Cover for Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Pages: 464
Target audience: Young Adult
Keywords: dystopia, fairy tale retelling, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood
Format read: ARC from Macmillan at ALA Annual (Thank you!)
Previously Reviewed: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

Summary: Cinder needs to figure out how to break out of prison after causing a scene at Prince Kai’s ball. Halfway around the world, Scarlet’s grandmother disappears and she’s introduced to Wolf — the only person who says he can help her.

[Please note there will be spoilers for Cinder. If you haven’t read it yet, don’t read beyond this point!]

Cinder was classified as A Book Magan Should Have Read Sooner. Much sooner. Thankfully upon finishing, I was able to dive right in to Scarlet. (Recommendation: Reading these back-to-back was flawless so if it’s been a while for you, do a refresher so you can remember all the details).

We meet Scarlet right away — her grandmother is missing. Law enforcement doesn’t believe she’s been kidnapped. They close her case because they want to believe that her grandmother chose to leave. They allude to suicide, but Scarlet knows better. Things seem super sketchy, right?

If you’re nervous about what happens to your favorite Cinder characters and you need answers + more Prince Kai, never fear. Cinder is still locked in prison and she’s just found out she’s Princess Selene. She desperately needs to escape before she’s taken back to Luna. The only way out is to ask another prisoner, Thorne, for help. Unbeknownst to Cinder, Thorne becomes her sidekick. He is comical, quirky, and despite being a nuisance 99% of the time, he proves he’s quite useful when he needs to be.

Ultimately, Cinder and Scarlet’s stories begin to interweave and this is where Marissa Meyer blows your mind. At times, the pacing seemed a bit slower than Cinder was, but I was still very engaged as a reader. I wanted to how/when/where Scarlet and Cinder’s stories would intersect. Kai was more of a peripheral character for me (I always, always want more Kai); he’s confused about Cinder. Did she use her glamour to persuade him to trust her? Did she manipulate him? He’s frustrated that Queen Levana has forced him to make abrupt decisions. Ay, yi, yi — Queen Levana — detestable woman!

What remains to be one of Meyer’s most striking storytelling tactics is how she alludes to details and lets her readers in on secrets before the characters have fully come to realize them. She continues to give clues that we can use to figure out what’s going to happen next, but I must say… Wolf confused the heck outta me. Scarlet is a Little Red Riding Hood retelling so naturally, I refreshed my memory because I wanted to know what to expect of Wolf. I didn’t want to fall in love with a character I was only supposed to hate! But oh, no! Meyer took my heart on a roller coaster ride and while I had a few suspicions about him from the very beginning, I still didn’t know whether or not to love him. He was dark and mysterious, carrying around lots of baggage. (If you like brooding boys, brace yourselves, girls!)

Scarlet was very much a — Who do I trust? / What’s happening in this world? / How does this piece together? / Where do things go from here? book. I feel like I have a grasp of what Meyer intends to do in the grand scheme of things, but I cannot wait to see what she does with the characters we’ll be introduced to. Believe me, guys, Scarlet is awesome. Remember how you felt about Cinder? Multiply that awesomeness by a million.

own it now -- highest ranking from Rather Be Reading Blog

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February 10, 2013 - 11:07 pm

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - I didn’t read this because I STILL haven’t read Cinder yet but I’m going to. I promise. Especially because you gave Scarlet a READ THIS NOW rating 🙂

February 3, 2013 - 4:53 pm

Tara - This book just left me with all the feelings! I loved how Cinder’s and Scarlet’s stories intertwined and I cannot wait for Cress. Thanks again for letting me borrow 🙂

February 1, 2013 - 9:21 pm

Kelly - I’ve only seen glowing reviews for this, which makes me want to re-read Cinder so I can be as prepared as possibly to enjoy it! And a brooding bad boy? My fate is sealed!

January 31, 2013 - 11:08 am

Cynthia - Dying to read this one!! I loved Cinder and can’t wait to find out what happens to her and Kai in this sequel. Also eager to meet these new characters, I’ve been hearing lots about Wolf. =D

January 30, 2013 - 7:30 pm

Suz @ A Soul Unsung - Oh wow! Now, I’m really super excited and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Scarlet, if it’s all of that and so much more! *g*

I know that I instantaneously fell head over feet for Cinder and broody boys are one of the best things ever written in fiction, true facts.

Fantastic review!

January 30, 2013 - 3:28 pm

Stormy - I cannot wait for this book. I thought at the beginning of 2013 that Divergent #3 was going to be my most anticipated book of the year, but at this point I realize, nope, I’m WAY more excited for Scarlet. And like you, I also always want more Kai!

January 30, 2013 - 3:27 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I couldn’t agree more with you about everything you just said about Scarlet. I loved how Meyer weaves these stories together. And Wolf was such an interesting character. I’m also not exactly sure how I feel about him. I mean, I love him, but also I am a but wary (and maybe even scared) of him as well. I hate waiting for Cress. And I have a long wait on my hands 🙁

January 30, 2013 - 2:18 pm

Annette - I kind of only skimmed your review, because I’m about 1/2 way through Scarlet — but I’m really excited to finish it! I’m loving it too!

January 30, 2013 - 11:02 am

Rachel - I haven’t read this yet (obviously), but the intertwined stories is what has me impressed the most/the main reason why I’m looking forward to this book. I liked Cinder, but I wasn’t the hugest fan of some of the characters, so I’m looking forward to having the same story from Cinder, with some new characters as well. Great review!

January 30, 2013 - 10:44 am

Alexa Y. - I absolutely loved Scarlet (and thank you again for letting me borrow it!). I think Marissa Meyer is wonderful writer, and I love how she’s turning these classic fairytales into something new and fun and modern. I can’t wait to get my hands on a finished copy – and to read the next installment when it FINALLY releases!

January 30, 2013 - 9:19 am

Janita @ Book, Interrupted - SO EXCITED! OMGOMG I just ordered this and it’s getting sent to me soon and I am freaking out so much. I just started reading Cinder all over again to prepare for the awesomeness. Everyone who has reviewed this has loved it! So glad that you liked it too! EEK!!

January 30, 2013 - 6:04 am

Lori - So happy to hear you loved it! I have no idea where she’s going to take us with this series and I love that.

January 30, 2013 - 5:47 am

Hemborgwife - I have had this is my amazon cart to pre-order for ages and this is really prompting me to actually make the purchase!

January 30, 2013 - 12:53 am

Bookworm1858 - I always want more Kai too! Jen Ryland/YA Romantics initially freaked me out, making me think there was a love triangle (with Thorne) but I’ve now read Scarlet and am relaxed on the Cinder/Kai front even if the evil queen is trying to get in the way. So glad to read someone’s thoughts who adores Kai like I do!

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