Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Book Review - Fangirl

***Spoiler Alert:  Okay, folks, you know how I roll.  I write about things that happen in the book.  SO, if you don't want to know what happens in this book because you haven't read it yet, then wait to read this post.  Otherwise, enjoy my thoughts. (By the way, if you haven't read Fangirl yet, you NEED too!)***

I really can't believe it's taken me so long to write a review of Fangirl.  After reading Attachments, I knew I had to check this book out and read it.  And I LOVED it!  This book is so fun and cute.  

Let's start with some basics.  The characters first:


Some fun things that happen in the book:

*Cath gets her first REAL boyfriend (Because Levi is not dating Reagan after all.)
*Cath and Wren go away to college and don't live together - which kind of forces Cath out of her shell.
*Cath's like interest/future boyfriend loves her fanfic - he makes her read a ton of it to him.

Some things that were not so fun in the book:

*Wren drinks herself stupid and gets alcohol poisoning
*Their mother makes a brief appearance, and makes it painfully obvious that she never wanted to be a mother.
*Their dad ends up in a psych ward for a while because of issues with his bipolar stuff.
*Cath has issues getting close to people.  She's very distant.

Okay, now, let me tell you what I loved about this book.  I loved that the twins were named Cath and Wren.  Now, tell me if you can figure out why?!  Catherine was a name the mom and dad had originally picked out.  But when they found out they were having twins, the mom didn't feel like picking out a second name.  So she named on girl Cath and one girl Wren. 

I loved that after a month of not talking to eachother, Reagan just looks at Cath and says:  "I feel sorry for you, and I'm going to be your friend."
“I feel sorry for you, and I’m going to be your friend.”
Read more at http://www.pajiba.com/book_reviews/fangirl-by-rainbow-rowell.php#1rQRb0tXUF86L4o5.99
“I feel sorry for you, and I’m going to be your friend.”
Read more at http://www.pajiba.com/book_reviews/fangirl-by-rainbow-rowell.php#1rQRb0tXUF86L4o5.99
“I feel sorry for you, and I’m going to be your friend.”
Read more at http://www.pajiba.com/book_reviews/fangirl-by-rainbow-rowell.php#1rQRb0tXUF86L4o5.99

Of course, Cath responds by saying:  "I don't want you to be my friend.  I like that we aren't friends."

The best part about this conversation is when Reagan looks at Cath and says:  "Me too.  I'm sorry you ruined it by being so pathetic."

That conversation pretty much sums up their relationship.  They have a very snarky friendship.

I love when Levi and Cath finally start dating.  They are just so cute.  There is a scene where Cath is reading Levi some fanfic.  Levi kisses her.  She thinks that maybe this is the start of something.  So, she goes to this party he has where she sees him kissing another girl.  So for a long time, she doesn't talk to Levi.  At all.  Then, finally, he comes to her room, and sits outside the door til she gets him, because that's kind of his thing.  They talk about it, and decide they are going to start hanging out again and dating.  And during the conversation, Levi asks Cath "Are you rooting for me?"  And she nods at him and say's "I'm rooting for you."  It is just so cute!

I think the thing I love the most is Cath's writing her fanfic.  She is just so in love with the characters she's writing about, and so passionate about what she's writing!  I love that!  

So, anyway, if you are looking for a fun, cute book to read, you've got to get your hands on Fangirl!  You won't be disappointed.

Monday, October 28, 2013

On The Bookshelf

My feet have been dragging on some of the books I am reading.  So, you my notice that some of the books I am reading have been on my pile for a while.  I'll get through all of them as sure as not.  Anyway, here's what I'm {sometimes slowly} making my way through right now.

Flight Behavior - This is the book my book club is reading for November!  I am really looking forward to finding out what happens.  I've heard only good things about Barbara Kingsolver. 

Ozma of Oz - A book I am reading for Classics Club, I've been chipping away at this for a while.

Glinda of Oz - Still trying to get through Glinda of Oz as well.  I still maintain that the Oz books are all just fabulous!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Book Review - Orange is the New Black

***SPOILER ALERT:  Chances are you've at least heard of the book Orange is the New Black.  You've probably heard of it because of the super popular Netflix series of the same name.  Let me clear something up.  The book is very different from the Netflix series.  If you've seen the series but have never read the book, you should know now, this review is based on the book and therefore has spoilers for the book in it.  Read on to find out what I really think of the book and author.***

For my book club for October, we are reading the book Orange is the New Black.  Now, I wanted to like this book.  I really did.  BUT, through the entire thing, all I could think was "Holy shit, I hate Piper Kerman."  Never in all my years of reading have I found the author of a memoir to be so thoroughly unlikeable.  She was arrogant, snide and bitchy throughout the entire memoir.

The first time that I really just wanted to punch Kerman was on page 138 when she declared: "I had a fantastic private attorney and a country-club suit to go with my blond bob."  From that point on, I knew there was no way I would be able to like this character.  She was always talking about how she went to Smith College.  She said it like going to Smith automatically made her better than every fucking person in prison with her.

Kerman seems to firmly believe that because of her stellar education, country club suit and blond hair that she shouldn't be in jail.  The thing is, no matter what Kerman believes, she broke the law.  And even though she broke the law and is doing something every other felon should have to do, she got an incredibly lenient sentence.  She served 13 months of a 15 month sentence.  11 of those months were in a minimum facility prison in Danbury, CT.  The rest were in a maximum security facility in Chicago.

Now, don't mistake me: I think serving time in prison must be very difficult.  I hope that I never have to go through that experience.  But that doesn't mean I feel empathetic or sympathetic towards the author.  I wondered many things throughout this book.  I wondered:

*Why everyone in the prison kept coming to Kerman for help with stuff.  Were they really coming to her for help or was she exaggerating because she's so full of herself?  Piper says it's because "No one else is going to do it, babe.  The feds aren't going to take care of us in this shithole.  We have to do for each other."  Yet, you never hear about Piper saying that the women went to other prisoners for help.  In the book, they all come to her.  That doesn't seem realistic.  So, either Kerman is lying, or exaggerating, or she's exceedingly arrogant.

*Why does Piper think that she can treat some people like crap and other people like the sun shines out of their asses?

*What in god's name makes Piper think that she can act like she doesn't deserve to be in prison?  With the amount of time that she spent bitching about how much she wanted to go home, she could have just sucked it up and realized that she did something wrong!

Piper talks a lot about the jobs that people have in prison, about how much she hates the electrical job she first started under and about how these jobs do not prepare women for life in a career outside prison.  In her defense, she does genuinely seem to care about the fact that many prisoners will be ill-equipped to face what the real world has going on when they are released.  That was really the only redeeming thing I found in Piper's behavior or attitude though.

I think that Pop, the kitchen cook, said it best:  "Look, Piper, things are pretty calm around here now, but that;s not always the way.  Sometimes shit jumps off.  And down the hill - forget i!  Some of those bitches are animals.  Plus, you've got lifers down there.  You've got your little year to do, and I know it seems hard to you, but when you're doing serious time, or life, things look different.  You can't put up with shit from anyone, because this is your life, and if you ever take it from anyone, then you're always going to have problems.  There was this woman down the hill I used to know - little woman, very quiet, kept to herself, didn't bother nobody.  This woman was doing life.  She did her work, she walked the track down there, she went to bed early, that;s it.  Then some young girl show up down there, this girl was trouble.  She starts with this little woman - she's giving her shit, she's hassling her all the time, she's a fucking stupid kid.  Well, that little woman, who never said boo to no one, put two locks in a sock and she let that girl know what time it was.  I never seen anything like it, this girl was a mess, blood everywhere, she was fucked up good.  But you know what, Piper?  That's where we are.  And we're not all in the same boat.  So just remember that."

Throughout the memoir, I found myself thinking just how incredibly lucky Piper is.  Had she been a woman of color or a poor person, she would have undoubtedly served much more time for her crime.  Unfortunately, none of that seems to have crossed Piper's mind.  She was just as spoiled and bitchy at the end of her experience as she was at the beginning.  It makes my heart hurt, not for her, but for the thousands of other prisoners serving longer sentences just because they weren't as lucky as Kerman.  I hope that they are the ones who can someday catch a break and see the outside world again.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Book Review - City Of Bones

***Spoiler Alert: If, for some reason, you haven't read this book yet, and don't want to know what happens, then wait to read this blog post.***

Chances are you have at least heard of the series The Mortal Instruments.  The first book in the series is City of Bones, which I've recently finished reading.  From the beginning of the book, I couldn't help by think that there was something familiar about this book.  Let me tell you a few things about this book first.  Maybe you'll agree that it feels familiar.

Characters in the book include:
*Clary Fray
*Luke (Lucian)
*Magnus Bane
*Jocelyn Fray

There are, of course, many other characters that come and go throughout the book.  These are the ones that come up most often or that you REALLY need to know.

Now, here are some of the big things in the novel:

*Valentine was a Shadowhunter.  Now he's determined to destroy all downworlders.  That includes Shadowhunters.  
*Valentine, at his high point, had a following of people called The Circle.
*Most people were in The Circle because they were scared of Valentine.
*Members trying to fight The Circle were called the Clave.
*Valentine was "killed" and now people believe that he is fighting to make a comeback.  
*The humans in this series are called mundanes, or mundies for short.
*There is a place where the Shadowhunters hang out called the Institute.  It's like a safe haven of sorts, and it's run by Hodge.
*The Shadowhunters are out to destroy the evil downworlders.  This includes werewolves and vampires who drink human blood.
*Clary hates Isabelle.  The only reason I can sense for her hating Isabelle is that Isabelle is pretty.  Really.  That's it.  At one point, she refers to Isabelle as a bitch because Isabelle didn't stop Simon from drinking some potion at Magnus's party.  The potion turned Simon into a rat, but really how could Isabelle have known Simon was going to drink it?
*Magnus cast a spell on Clary to make her forget that she is, in fact, a Shadowhunter. 

Okay, now raise your hand if any of that sounds familiar?  Raise your hand if you've read the Harry Potter books or seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer?  When I really started getting into this book, I kept thinking I was watching Buffy or re-reading a Harry Potter book.  That's not a compliment.  

I was curious, so I did a little snooping around about Cassandra Clare.  She uses a pen name that she used to spell Cassandra Claire.  After looking around, I found out that Cla(i)re was caught plagiarizing the work of another popular fanfic writer.  There was one incident, in fact, where she copied an entire chapter of said authors fanfic into her own writing.  She figured that changing the spelling of her last name would make it harder for people to figure this out.  So, after hearing about this, it comes as no surprise to me that City of Bones feels so familiar.  

In case you haven't read Harry Potter (as if those people exist!) here are some things that are similar:

1. Both have bad guys that have "died" and risen to power again.  Valentine is the Voldemort of The Mortal Instruments series.

2. Both have a group of people who follow the bad guy.  In Harry Potter, you may recognize those people as Death Eaters.  In this series, they are referred to as The Circle.  In both series, people are part of this group out of fear.

3. Humans are referred to by a name that sets them apart from the downworlders.  In HP, they are muggles.  In The Mortal Instrument, they are mundanes.

4. There are a group of people dedicated to fighting The Circle.  They call themselves the Clave.  In HP, there are a group of people dedicated to fighting Voldemort and the death eaters.  They are known as the Order of the Phoenix. 

Now, as if that wasn't enough, there are also some similarities between this book and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the popular Joss Whedon series in which Buffy slays evil vampires.  The most notable similarities are:

1. The Institute.  In this series of books it is a safe place for Shadowhunters to hang out.  In Buffy, it a is a place for Riley and his fellow fighters of evil to hang out and learn new things.

2. Buffy is out to kill vampires.  However, there is one vampire she doesn't kill because he has a soul and because she's also completely in love with him.  Angel, her lover for the first three seasons, is the one exception to the rule.  In The Mortal Instruments series, the exception is: vampires who drink animal or synthetic blood (which, now that I think about it, sounds a lot like True Blood).  If they drink human blood, they are seen as evil and therefore, must be killed.

In addition to the similarities to other fantasy books/shows, here are some other things I didn't really like about this book, including:

*It's a touch predictable. 

*Clary is rude and disrespectful to pretty much every person she meets

Now, here are some things I did like about this book:

*I like Isabelle.  Underneath her rough, Shadowhunting exterior lies someone who I see as a nice person.

*It's not poorly written.

When all is said and done, this book has a good story.  It's just too bad that Cassandra Clare felt that she had to copy other stories in order to make this book work.  I'll put it this way:  I think it would behoove Clare to come up with something unique and original.  She has the potential to be great, and she won't get there by copying other people's stories.  I would give this book a C for the story, but an F for copying.  Next time, don't be afraid to come up with something that you created, Ms. Clare.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

AMAZING! This is just like magic!

Do you remember the end of Harry Potter and The Chamber Secrets?  Gilderoy Lockhearts spell has backfired, causing him to lose his memory.  He forgets that he is a wizard and, as he is flying out of the Chamber of Secrets with Ron, Harry and Ginny, he declares: "Amazing!  This is just like magic!"  What a splendidly hilarious moment!  It reminds me of why I love the Harry Potter books so much.

I always love doing anything involving books!  This read-a-thon was long, as I spent more time reading during this one as I have in the past, but it was well worth it!

Books I finished were:
*Fruits Basket Vols. 8 and 9
*Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
*The Hunger Games

I also read part of The Chamber of Secrets, and around 3:00 this morning I read a good 60 pages of Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell.  That one wasn't on my read-a-thon reading list, but I just really wanted to find out what happened with Cath and Levi! 

I find my feet dragging today, and my eyelids aching for more sleep.  But in the end it was worth it.  Reading, friends, is always worth it!  Here are some things you can remember about my read-a-thon books until the next event:

*Harry Potter is awesome.

*Romance is great.

*So is falling in love!

*Strong female characters kick ass.

*This is just like Magic!  (Now, go read some Harry Potter.  I'll wait.)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Real or Not Real

I know many people are torn on The Hunger Games series.  On the one hand it is incredibly well written and intriguing.  On the other hand, it is violent and shows children killing each other.  Despite the deaths of children in the books, I love the series.  I love the message that Suzanne Collins sends that war is not a good thing.

In my last blog post for the day (as I plan on just spending the rest of the night reading) let me tell you what I love about the Hunger Games:

1.  Like Rowling, Collins has strong women characters in her stories.  She isn't afraid to have Katniss kick ass!

2. Gayle.  He's amazing!

3. Cinna.  I  love Cinna.

Again, I could go on and on about things I like about this book.  I am, however, anxious to get back to my reading.  So, in closing, I will leave you with a quote from Mocingjay that I think is a perfect way to describe the readathon:

"So, after then, he whispers, "You love me, real or not real?
I tell him, "Real."

Enjoy the rest of the read-a-thon!  I'll catch you all on the flipside! 

Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!

What I've done so far:

Pages Read: 550

Time Spent Reading: 6 hours

Total Books Completed: 2.5

I hung out with my writing groups a little longer than planned, but that's okay!  I just loved listening to their stories.  As a result, I am still making my way through HP and the Sorcerer's Stone.  I did, however, manage to squeeze in some reading for The Hunger Games as well.  I am really excited about the Catching Fire movie, so reading the Hunger Games series is absolutely perfect! 

Here are some things I LOVE about Harry Potter:

1. Fred and George Weasley!  They are my favorite characters.

2. Peeves. I know he can be a pain in the butt, but come on now: you have to admit he's funny.

3,  All those strong female characters.  It always makes me happy when I read stories that have strong women characters in them!

4. Hagrid knitting on the subway.  How fun is Hagrid, now?!

5. The boats floating across the lake on their own!  How cool is that?!

6. Hedwig.  I think that's all I need to say.

7. The food appears on the plates magically!

8. Halloween at Hogwarts is awesome.  I would love to be a Hogwarts witch just to celebrate Halloween there.

This list could go on and on forever, but I'll stop here.  To leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the Sorcerer's Stone:

"Is he - a bit mad?" he asked Percy uncertainly.
"Mad?" said Percy airily.  "He's a genius!  Best wizard in the world!  But he is a bit mad, yes.  Potatoes, Harry?"

To Harry Potter, with love...

Every time I read a Harry Potter book, I get so excited!  These are stories that move me to my core.  I love how exciting the stories are.  I love how excited Harry gets when he learns that he is a wizard.  I just never get enough of the Harry Potter books.

When I am reading, I always come across something that makes me laugh my ass off!  So far, the funniest things I've read are:

"There's a legend that says if you eat pink soumen, you'll become a pervert."  - Fruits Basket

"I feel so good, I could smash a car." - Fruits Basket

"No, thanks," said Harry.  "The poor toilets never had anything as horrible as your head down it - it might be sick." - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Here's my count for the read-a-thon thus far:

Pages Read: 469

Time Spent Reading: 3 hours, 55 minutes

Total Books Completed: 2

I hope you're enjoying your reading time!  (Or cheering time :)

Oh, Fruits Basket!

I started out this morning reading Fruits Basket.  I checked them out from my library, and so far, I've made it through 1 1/2 books.  That means I am going to play "catch up" and finish the second manga before I start Harry Potter.  I have my schedule, but I'm trying to be "lenient" with it, so to speak.  I just want to have fun and read! 

Things that I love about Fruits Basket:
*Even though it is written for teens, the author doesn't spare the language.  The author treats teens like people who are capable of handling the occasional  swear word or thematic situation.

*The characters are fun and intense.

*The books have a lot in them, but are easy to read!

So far, here's my count for the read-a-thon:

Pages Read: 272

Time Spent Reading: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Total Books Completed: 1 (and a half!)

Now, back to the books!  Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

My read-a-thon Schedule!

It's almost time folks!  Tomorrow is October 12th!  You all know what the means: 24 hours of reading awesomeness!  I am so excited.  I am actually going to try to stay up all night for this read-a-thon.  In the past, I have usually made it til sometime between 10 p.m. and midnight.  Here in Minnesota, the read-a-thon start time is 7 a.m, so even if I go to bed at 10, that still gives me roughly 15 hours of reading time.  However, this month, I am determined to stay up as late as I possibly can! 

Here's how I am hoping my day will go tomorrow!

Tonight: Shop for Snacks so I can have the day tomorrow to just READ!

6:00 - 7:00 am - Wake up, shower, eat breakfast.

7:00 - 9:00 am - Read: I plan on starting with something easy: the first two volumes of Fruits Basket!

9:00-9:15 - Break to blog!

9:15 - 11:30 - Reading Again:  I will be enjoying Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone!  I love the Harry Potter Books!

11:30 - 11:45 - Break to Blog! 

11:45 - 1:00 - Read!  I'll finish HP and the Sorcerer's Stone, then move on to Volume 3 of Fruits Basket

1:00 - 2:30 - Blog!  Then take a break to meet with my writers group!  (It's been a while since I've gone to the group - so this will be a much needed respite.  Plus, one of the ladies in the group is dying to know what happens next in my alien book!)

2:30 - 4:00 - Reading!  I'll be enjoying The Hunger Games during this time! 

4:00 - 4:15 - Blogging break!

4:15 - 6:30 - Reading time!  I'll finish The Hunger Games and read the 4th volume of Fruits Basket.

6:30 - 6:45 - Break time to Blog!  (This may be the last time I blog for the day.  We'll see!)

6:45 - 9:00 - Reading time!  I am going to read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets during this time!

9:00 - 9:15 - Break time!

9:15 - 11:30 - Reading time!  I'll finish Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and start reading the first volume of Me and My Brothers!

11:30 - Midnight - Knitting break.  I am working on an awesome scarf, and this seems like the perfect time to take a break and do some knitting on it! 

Midnight - 2:00 a.m. - Finish Vols. 1 and 2 of Me and My Brothers!  Start reading Catching Fire.

2:00 - 2:15 - Break time!  I may use the hours between midnight and now to drink some more coffee!  YUM!

2:15 - 4:30 - Finish Catching Fire.  Read another volume of Me and My Brothers!

4:30 - 4:45 - Break Time!

4:45 - 7:00 - Read as much of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as I can! 

Now, I have noted break times on my schedule.  HOWEVER, I really just plan on playing it by ear!  I have more books on my list, in case I finish one book really quickly.  So, I may end up reading more than what I have here.  That's okay!  I love the read-a-thon for that reason: I can do it however I want!  I hope you enjoy your reading as much as I plan on enjoying mine!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Books On the Nightstand

I'm feeling good about the fact that I've finished several books this week.  However, in my usual fashion, I've got more books stacked up on my reading shelf.  This weekend, I will be doing the 24 hour read-a-thon!  I am really excited, and this month, I am actually going to try and stay up all night.  You can see what books I am planning on reading for that event here!

In addition to the books I have on my 24 hour read-a-thon list, there are a bunch of other books I am currently reading.  They are:

City of Bones - I am almost half way through this book.  I am liking it so far, but I notice some similarities between this and other books I've read.  I'm sure you'll get to read my rant as soon as I finish reading this book!

The Snow Garden - Lent to me by a friend who really likes Christopher Rice, this is a mystery/murder novel set down south.

A Density of Souls - Another book that is set down south and is a mystery of sorts, I am really enjoying this book so far.

Ozma of Oz - Come one now, who doesn't love the Oz books?  This is one that I am reading for my Classics Club list. 

Glinda of Oz - Another pick off my classics club list, I am absolutely loving reading all about the land of Oz!

City of Ashes - The second book in the Mortal Instruments series, my requested copy just came in at my local Public Library!  I am really excited to start reading this.

City of Glass - This is the third book in the Mortal Instruments series and came in for me at the local library!  Again, another book I am super excited to dig my hands into!


A Tale of Two Cities - Who doesn't love Charles Dickens!?  This is another pick off my Classics Club list, and I find Dickens to be fascinating.  I am looking forward to reading this.

As you can tell, I have a lot of reading to do.  I am super excited to make my way through all the books I am reading right now.  What are you reading right now?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Book Review - Attachments

***Spoiler Alert:  If you are interested in reading this book and don't wish to know what happens before hand, wait to read this review until later.  Otherwise, read on!***

One day, one of my friends posted a link to the Rainbow Rowell book Fangirl (which is another book on my reading list).  I ended up picking up this book from the library first however.  I loved it!  It is a cute, charming book that looks at romance, love, work relationships, etc. The two female main characters are Beth and her friend Jennifer.  They work at a newspaper and are constantly sending each other emails about everything from Beth's boyfriend Chris to Jennifer's constant pregnancy scares.  Lincoln also works at the newspaper in the IT department.  His job is to read the emails that get flagged for being personal (because everyone knows you shouldn't send personal emails while you work, right?)  After reading the emails, Lincoln is supposed to send out a warning, but he never sends warnings to Beth or Jennifer.  This is because he finds their lives to be fascinating and thinks that he is attracted to Beth even though he's never met her.

A few things to know about this book are:

*Lincoln lives with his mom
*Beth is dating Chris who is in a band. However, they eventually break up.
*Jennifer actually does get pregnant.
*Even before Jennifer gets pregnant, she goes on these weird baby clothes shopping sprees.
*Jennifer is uncertain as to whether she even wants to have a baby.
*Beth sees Lincoln a couple times, both around the newsroom while he's fixing things and in the break room while he's talking to Doris.  She describes him in her emails as her cute guy.

During the course of the book, there are many ups and many downs.  Beth and Chris break up.  Beth actually meets Lincoln.  Lincoln finally moves out of his mom's house and gets his own apartment. 

Overall, this is a cute, charming read that I enjoyed.  I would recommend it to others if they are looking for something that's easy to read yet fun and charming!  I'd give this book a B+.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Book Review - Cress

***DISCLAIMER AND SPOILER ALERT:  Please note, this is an advanced readers copy of the book Cress.  The book was written by the ever talented Marissa Meyer, and I received this ARC copy through a contest on her website.  Now, speaking of her website, you have to check it out, because it is awesome!   This book is being released in February of 2014.  That being said, this review should not be compared to the final written book, as there may be some differences.  Chances are good that I will buy a published copy and read it.  Now, also, the major plot points of this book probably won't change much over the coming months.  That being said, if you do not want to know what happens in Cress until it is actually published, I suggest forgoing this review until a later date.  There are some MASSIVE spoilers in this review.  However, if you are dying to know what happens, read on!  Now, for the review.***

Story first:  I may have shared this story first, so forgive me if you've read it already.  About a year ago, I was posting on Facebook that I was looking for a good book recommendation.  My friend Kelli, who is an avid reader and has similar taste in books as I do, recommended the book Cinder.  I trust Kelli's judgement in books, because she reads good things.  So, after reading a summary, I thought Cinder looked intriguing, so I bought it on my kindle and read it in a matter of days.  When Scarlet got released this year, I bought it on my kindle and read through that one quickly as well.  Then I was like, oh man, I have to wait a whole year for the next book to come out.  I was so excited when I saw that Marissa Meyer was holding a contest on her blog to win an ARC of Cress.  I entered and was even more excited when I got an email from Ms. Meyer saying that I had won an ARC!  YEAH!  So, here I am writing a review for what is a completely enjoyable and fantastic book!  

If you are a fan of the Lunar Chronicles series, you most likely already know that it is a series of books set in the future and based on fairy tales.  Cinder is a futuristic retelling of Cinderella.  Scarlet is a futuristic retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.  And Cress, the third of four books, is based on the fairy tale Rapunzel.

Now, have no fear, because many of the characters from the previous two books come back in this book.  In addition to Cinder, Scarlet, Wolf and Thorne, we also have the following characters:

*Queen Levana
*Dr. Erland
*Aimery Park
*The wedding planner (Her name escapes me at the moment)

Of course, there are many other characters in the book, but these ones are really important to the story! 

When we first meet Cress, she is locked away in a satellite tower that is orbiting Luna.  She has been locked away there and used as a pawn by Sybil because she is a shell.  You'll remember that shell's on Luna are considered a bad thing.  They risk being killed if they stay on Luna.  So, while growing up on this satellite, Cress has become an expert hacker.  As a result, Sybil makes her keep tabs on anything and everything, including Cinder. 

Cinder and Scarlet, who are now "hanging" with each other and their cohorts Wolf and Thorne, in the Rampion have figured out who Cress is.  They are on a mission to rescue her from her satellite tower.  They manage to gain a comm link to her satellite and let her know they are coming to get her.  Cress is, understandably, very excited!  She is sick of doing bidding for Sybil and Queen Levana.  However, as Cinder and the gang are on their way, Sybil shows up at the satellite tower.  She find out from the vidscreen that Cinder and her friends are on their way.  Sybil and Jacin manage to take Scarlet, while Thorne and Cress escape to Earth.  Cinder and Wolf land on Earth as well, in the city of Farhafra. 

When they land, Cress and Thorne are in the desert in Africa and Cress is fascinated.  She thinks that this is just about the coolest place she's ever been.  Thorne, however, has been blinded, literally.  He has hit hit head so hard that it's caused him to lose his eyesight.  Well, anyway, Cress and Thorne spend days traveling across the desert before finally landing in an oasis.  They meet Jina, Neils and their friends, who feed them and take them to Kufra.  BUT, then Jina kidnaps Cress and brings her to Farhafra, where she meets Dr. Erland and also runs back into Cress and Wolf.  Thorne manages to follow them to Farhafra and find the group as well.

While all this is going on with Cress, Cinder is learning that the people of Farhafra absolutely love her and think she is basically the bee's knees.  While in Farhafra, they bring her things and help her paint the Rampion to disguise it.  After all, the giant lady on the side makes it rather noticable.

Some other things in the book that you need to know are:

*We learn who Cress's father is. 
*Iko gets a new body
*The wedding planner comes up with the brilliant idea to have escort droids at the wedding between Kai and Levana.  After all, Lunars can't manipulate escort droids.
*Scarlet gets tortured.
*The name Winter comes up in this book.  No worries, that story won't really come about until the fourth book!

Now, I know I've given a lot away, but I promise, this is all I am going to spoil.  I have to say: I LOVE this book!  I love the way that Marissa Meyer weaves together these stories so seamlessly.  There is intrigue in this book.  There is wonder and mystery in this book.  It will keep you riveted.  You will find this book fascinating!  It has an incredible plot.  I think it is amazing the way that Marissa Meyer manages to make each of her Lunar Chronicles books so full and amazing.  They are all woven together so well.  When this book finally gets published, you won't be able to put it down!  I would give this book an A+ all the way!