Thursday, January 24, 2013

BLOG TOUR! Scarlet by Marissa Meyer: Guest Post + GIVEAWAY!



I'm over the moon to be hosting today's stop on the
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer Blog Tour!

I think we can pretty much all agree that if we've read and loved Cinder, it feels like forever that we've been waiting for it's follow-up, Scarlet. Thank goodness the wait is almost over, everyone! Like many of you, when I read Cinder for the first time, I fell in love. It had so many of the great things I love about fairy-tale re-makes, but  it was in a completely, absolutely never-seen-before new package and just...wow. 

Well, you guys, Marissa Meyer has done it again. I'm not sure how she was able to top Cinder, but Scarlet is like Cinder-plus-some. This time, she's taken Little Red Riding Hood and given it a makeover. I had no idea I would be able to like this companion book as much as the first one, but I do. Cover-to-cover, it's nothing but fantastic. 

(You can read my thoughts on Scarlet HERE.) 


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Author Marissa Meyer has stopped by my blog today to talk about one of my favorite elements of a book: setting! She's discussing the real-life town behind one of her settings from Scarlet.

I'm so happy to have Marissa Meyer talk about this on my little blog because you know how I get squeally great settings. This little town in Scarlet is such a cute, visual, and dreamy place, you guys!
 

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Rieux-Volvestre: The Real-Life Town Behind the Fictional Rieux
By Marissa Meyer


Scarlet takes place in the French countryside. Just saying the words French countryside seems to call up visions of weathered farmhouses, the smell of fresh-baked breads, and the taste of garden-fresh herbs, and—I don’t know about you—but it immediately fills me with a sense of longing. Scarlet herself lives on her grandmother’s farm and runs deliveries to restaurants and grocers in nearby towns.

However, my choice of setting posed a few problems for me when I started writing the book. Namely, I’ve…uh… never been to France. Sure, I had plenty of fantasizes of what rural European towns might be like, but it was still a bit of a crapshoot trying to choose a location that would have that small-town feel I wanted but still allow me the flexibility to be creative.

Lucky for me, my inability to travel to France and explore the countryside myself was somewhat mollified by having connections. My French editor agreed to take an early look at the manuscript and offer feedback on my setting, for which I will be eternally grateful. (Thank you, Xavier!!)

In that early draft, I was using a “placeholder” town called Bessou. I’d found it by spending way too many hours staring at a Google Maps satellite image. Bessou—a real town—seemed small enough that not too many readers would question its legitimacy, and yet close enough to the larger city of Toulouse, which I needed for certain plot points.

However, my French editor wasn’t thrilled with this choice for Scarlet’s hometown. He never explained why, but I wasn’t about to question him.Instead, he pointed me toward a town called Rieux-Volvestre. Population: 2,401.


The wonderful thing about changing the inspiration town to Rieux-Volvestre was that there was a lot more information available about it. In fact, the town has a lovely web site filled with pictures of buildings, both interior and exterior: http://www.mairie-rieux-volvestre.fr/(At the time that I was researching there was also a travel documentary detailing one of their town festivals, although that now seems to have been removed.)

In order to maintain distance between fact and fiction, and be able to keep creative control over the setting, I called Scarlet’s town simply “Rieux,” and of course, many of the specific businesses are entirely of my own making (such as the Rieux Tavern where we first meet Wolf, and the nameless parts store filled with everything from tractor engines to spaceship power converters).

But I was able to use the pictures and information I found on Rieux-Volvestre’s web site to get a much better feel for what small town living might be like in France. Buildings fused together, streets became narrower, concrete turned to cobblestone, olive trees spanned the alleyways over arched windows and flower boxes. These are the details that can bring a fictional city to life, after all.

Both Paris and Rieux-Volvestre are now high on my Ultimate Travel Wish List. But in the meantime, I very much enjoyed getting to explore the semi-futurized yet still adorably quaint town of Rieux, France, in the European Federation. I hope readers will too. 


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Make sure you check out the rest of the Blog Tour

Monday 1/21   Alexa Loves Books
Tuesday 1/22  Alice Marvels

Wednesday 1/23  Mermaid Vision Books
Thursday 1/24  Into the Hall of Books
Friday 1/25  Supernatural Snark
Saturday 1/26  Anna Reads
Sunday 1/27  A Backwards Story
Monday 1/28  Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday 1/29  The Book Rat
Wednesday 1/30  Makeshift Bookmark
Thursday 1/31  Book Sake
Friday 2/1  Making the Grade
Saturday 2/2  Birth of a New Witch
Sunday 2/3  Two Chicks on Books
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Thank you for being here today, Marissa Meyer!
I'm ONCE AGAIN on the edge of my seat for the next book
in the Lunar Chronicles Series, CRESS.


Check out these other websites
!

Marissa Meyer's Website/Blog 
Marissa Meyer's Tour 
Lunar Chronicles Facebook Fan Page





More Scarlet-Related Information
Have you pre-ordered Scarlet? If you send in your receipt: the first 1,000 people who do will get a Scarlet-branded lip gloss! US only! Details here: goo.gl/yycA5
Download the short story Glitches (Lunar Chronicles #0.5): http://goo.gl/ggtcJDownload the short story The Queen’s Army (Lunar Chronicles #1.5): http://goo.gl/bmX4z
Download the first five chapters of Cinder for free onto your e-reader: http://goo.gl/XqLWGDownload the first five chapters of Scarlet for free onto your e-reader: http://goo.gl/S2Bcs
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GIVEAWAY!

Author Marissa Meyer & MacMillan Publishing are offering
one paperback copy of CINDER & one hardcover copy of SCARLET
 ONE LUCKY WINNER!
(US/Canada Only) (ends February 6)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! 

86 comments:

  1. Just reading this post made me want to go to France. Loved the new settings in Scarlet! :D

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  2. Great interview!

    I can read a book with minimal emphasis on the setting and still enjoy it. BUT when a setting is really well developed, it enhances my reading one hundred fold. I've been to Paris, but never to any rural parts of France (Provence is on my bucket list!) so reading about Rieux-Volvestre was a real treat:)

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  3. I am hyperventilating over this book! Seriously!

    Settings are definitely important to me. I really like getting a good sense of place whenever I'm reading a book. I like knowing what kind of world the characters are in as I think it adds more to the story if you can imagine the place!

    Oh, and the book trailer is making me hyperventilate even more! I cannot wait!

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  4. For me character is a lot more important than setting, but a good setting just makes things all the better! If it's a fantasy or sci-fi, then the setting becomes much more important to me because it's a world where I can't easily fill in the blanks myself.

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  5. Setting is important, but not as important as character and plot development. I do need to know where I am though when I'm reading, so I do prefer lots of details!

    The trailer is AMAZING. I seriously need this book!

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  6. Well, I would like to read this series since I read good things about it. I love the covers so much.

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  7. A good book definitely needs good world building! And Of course I love the Scarlet trailer. Can't wait to read this book!

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  8. So fun to see the actual town itself! It really took on a life of its own in SCARLET.

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  9. LOVE IT. i love marissa meyer and all her books <3 and you!

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  10. I am soooo pumped about this book and cannot wait to read it XD

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  11. I haven't read Cinder!! But -- it's at our school book fair -- I suppose I should make it my purchase!!
    Love the review...eager to read the series.

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  12. Setting is very important to me. I need world building. The trailer is wonderful. Cannot wait to read this one!!

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  13. I really like the book trailer. As for the setting, well, it’s very important to me, because I feel like it adds to the overall world building. Thanks for the chance to win! :)

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  14. Some settings I can't get out of my head, while other's are a bit meaningless. I love it when the setting is an integral part of a story, especially if it's one that I love or have been to.

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  15. This was really fun to read! I have had Cinder on my TBR FOREVER! Can't wait to get to it and Scarlet!

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  16. I happened to read the review of Scarlet as well and is sounds really really great! I can't wait any longer *scream of excitement* only one week and five days left!!!!!

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  17. Setting is important. But as long as the book is interesting ... to me that is more important.

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  18. I'm usually more engrossed in the characters but I am loving Meyer's settings!

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  19. I love to get lost in a setting, especially when an author makes it jump off the page like another character. I am really looking forward to learning more about rural France.

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  20. What a fun interview and thanks for posting the trailer. I hadn't seen it yet. :)

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  21. A great setting really adds to a scene and I love trailers!!!

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  22. A good setting really gets me into the story!

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  23. I think the setting should be treated as if it were a character in the story. It should be very important!

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  24. I can't seem to will this book into my grabby hands fast enough. Ugh. I think Marissa's plan to ground the story in the reality of a real city will give it the authentic feel the story needs, and help the reader experience the city and the story simultaneously. I can't wait to smell and see and touch and taste it all. That trailer rocks. I can't wait to read SCARLET and review.

    Thank you for the great post and giveaway! :D

    @gdcribbs

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  25. I enjoy when an author shows me a setting that I would like to visit. Never been to France, YET!
    The trailer is amazing. I'm very excited to read Scarlet now! I loved Cinder.

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  26. Setting is hugely important to me, and can make or break the entire book.

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  27. For me, setting is important, but definitely not as important as the characters. I find setting to be most important SF and fantasy books. I need the world building for things to be believable!

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  28. A well-drawn setting is important, but I still place most value on well-drawn characters.

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  29. The town looks fascinating with such interesting nook-and-cranny possibilities. I'll enjoy picturing fictional Rieux (sp?) even more now. Thanks!

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  30. Okay, the setting sounds cool, and your review made me even more excited to read Scarlet than I already was. Ahhhh!

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  31. This setting is so cool! I love all the photos. I wonder why the Editor changed the setting? Maybe he's more familiar with the second town or he knew there was more information available online about it. Fascinating!

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  32. Why is Europe so adorable?! I'd love to live somewhere that could be described as charming and quaint.

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  33. A great setting can certainly help set up a good story with interesting characters. It's pretty important to me that I get a strong feeling from where the story takes place. I thought the trailer was OK, maybe a little short for me.

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  34. I really can't wait to read Scarlet. Everything I keep reading about it only makes the wait that much harder to wait.

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  35. "Cinder-plus-some" ?? This makes me so happy! I can't wait. :)

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  36. I LOVE a good setting. It's not a deal breaker, but it certainly does enhance the awesome!

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  37. Setting is really one of the important things that make a book for me. I want to go places where I have never been before. Thanks for the awesome giveaway. =]

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  38. The importance of the setting depends on the book for me. If the book is about the people and some sort of relationship/ drama the setting can rank pretty low in terms of how much they interact with it and how important it is (When I say setting here I mean the overall town/ country, not just the house/room the people live in). However, if the story is about more than the people and involves them interacting with the setting a lot (for example the various settings of Cinder play a larger role in how I as the reader sees the actions of the characters. They couldn't DO specific things unless they were in certain settings) then the setting needs to be clear and well described. Long winded way of saying... it depends on the book. ; )

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  39. I don't really care too much for settings unless the book mentions somewhere specific.

    The new trailer is amazing!!!

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  40. I think the importance of the setting depends on the book itself, because sometimes it'll play a big role, sometimes it won't.

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  41. The setting is very important to me. Boring settings make me less enthusiastic about reading the book (not always though). Thanks for the giveaway (:

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  42. the importance of setting depends on book but it helps

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  43. I have be able to visualize it but I don't want to be overwhelmed by over detailing that can drag a story.

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  44. The importance of the setting, for me, depends on the book. But I think that it is really important. The setting helps visualizing the story. Sometimes it feels like the setting isn't important but when there is some importance if the setting is boring, the book isn't as good.

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  45. LOVE the book trailer!! and setting is really important– I've fallen in love with gorgeous descriptions and the "feel" of the world which Meyer created in CINDER as I'm sure she does in SCARLET as well :D

    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!

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  46. Setting only really matters to me in Historical fiction and futuristic novels. Otherwise I don't give it much thought.

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  47. Setting and worldbuilding makes the story so much more vivid to me, so while it's not a necessity (especially with contemporaries.) I still love it in a sci-fi/fantasy novel.

    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

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  48. Setting is important in any book to me. Can't wait until Scarlet comes out! :)

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  49. The setting is really important to me. If it's not well described or well written, then I lose interest in the book. Love the trailer, and thanks for the giveaway!

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  50. When an author does a great job describing the setting, it can make the story 10x better! Book trailers are so much fun! I like that they are becoming more popular!

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  51. I love the trailer. Getting really setting is great but it's not necessarily a deal breaker. It's just that some types of books like dystopian and fantasy need the great setting work because it's a whole new world.* In those books, setting can totally make or break.


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    (*Totally started singing the Aladdin song after I wrote that.)

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  52. I really do not mind what setting it is. It really depends what the book is about.

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  53. I love a good setting especially one that is brand new to me and so creative and Marissa Meyer created a wonderful world.... It's probably the biggest reason I love reading and rereading the Harry Potter Books.

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  54. I loved the Trailer!! It was so awesome and it made me want to read these books even more!! Can't wait for scarlet!!

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  55. I'm more of a character-driven gal, but I'm willing to fall in love with an exceptionally evocative setting. Fantasies are great for that. :)

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  56. Nice trailer. Setting's not that important

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  57. Oh, man that's so interesting! How awesome is that that she ended up with an actual French person to back her shizz up so no one can say she didn't know what she was talking about?

    I can't wait to see what the world-building is like in Scarlet. In fact, this just adds to the endless reasons why I need this darn book NOW.

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  58. Setting is important, but not as important as overall great storytelling.

    Great job on the trailer-- it's short, but it advertises well!

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  59. I love a very well created world. Some of my favorite books are fantasy because when authors create these beautiful places it makes me want to visit them!!!

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  60. I am more for the character rather then the setting. I have to love the character I don't need to love the setting.

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  61. I love a setting that adds to the story rather than overpowers the story. It can be as big as the whole planet and outspace or as small as a single room. However, I do love places that I can look up online and learn more about!

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  62. Atmosphere is so important. It really looks like this will be perfect. It won't be overbearing, just enough to feel like you're there!

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  63. I think the setting sets so much of the story into place. Marissa is amazing when it comes to creating a fantastic setting!
    This trailer is crazy amazing!!!

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  64. Setting is important, but that said, sometimes I totally forget where a book is set because I tend to focus on characters/story way more.

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  65. Trailer= AWESOME!

    Setting is not as important to me. I am more about falling for the characters and their backgrounds. If the book does not have relatable characters, I tend to stray from the story. With that being said, I LOVE THE LUNAR CHRONICLES!

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  66. Setting is important to me in certain situations where it's relevant. If the book is mostly about people and their emotions, then not so much. But in a fantasy where the setting is created in the author's mind, I love it when they can make me see it in my mind.

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  67. Setting atmosphere shape the whole story for me. They are vitally important! Loved the trailer :D

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  68. Super excited fo Scarlet! This seriesis just so unique and I absolutely love it

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  69. It would be really nice to win!

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  70. I think the setting is extremely important. It's one of the things that draws the readers in and captures their attention.

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  71. Setting is SO vital to any good book! Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, which I read last year, was an amazing example of beautiful attention to detail when it comes to setting. I really felt like I was pulled right into the world of that story.

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  72. I like a good setting especially when it acts like another character in the story! Can't wait to read Scarlet!!

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  73. The setting is very important, as books draw you into the world of the characters. If the setting isn't right, it draws away from the book. If the facts about that place aren't right, it drives me nuts and distracts me.

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  74. I think the setting is very important in a book, but I usually tend to focus more on the characters. Love the trailer!

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  75. Settings can set a great mood but the characters and plot are most important to me :)

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  76. For me, setting only really matters when the author messes it up. Otherwise, it all fits in together with the other parts of the story.

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  77. Setting and plot have always been the most important aspects of the story, for me. Although, I'm generally referring to the overall setting (advanced technological society, Europe) instead of the smaller aspects. Rieux wasn't the most important part of Scarlet's setting for me because I'm generally not the best at picturing what the other intends. My mind just threw together this small town with a few shop a muddy streets. I know, I have no idea why either :P

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  78. I am incredibly excited for Scarlet!!

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  79. The setting is great - it can really set the tone for the story.

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  80. I care about setting only because I have traveled across North America, Central America, and Europe, and reading about places reminds me of my travels. I have been so Southern France, so this setting just makes me think of the train rides along the coast of France.

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  81. I am so so so excited for Scarlet! I have been waiting for it ever since I opened Cinder.

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  82. Love that her setting is everywhere and nowhere. Love these books!

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  83. I love the post! And the setting is France! :) Oh the city of love <3
    There is something overrated yet intriguing in choices of settings, and of course, France is one of the place which is very compelling to have as a setting. And not only do the people have an idea about the place, with the book, a person discovers more about the place. Which is not really seen if your just strolling or a tourist. Sometimes a locals' eyes are much more eye-opening and when someone indulges to one place there are a lot to discover. Like a photographer's eye in taking pictures, for him/her there is something beyond the naked eye. And for a writer to choose a setting, characters and plot that will all relate and create a beautiful novel, setting is important to note and we can see from that writers' eye what she wants us to see and imagine :)

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  84. I still haven't read Cinder (I know) but I'm super excited about Scarlet if you think it tops the first book. I imagine that means there is SO MUCH GOODNESS coming my way + I have lots to look forward to. Now, I just need to read Cinder...

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  85. This book was flawless. Marissa Meyer mixed together old and new into the perfect savory story. My one regret is not reading it sooner. The plot was a gripping roller-coaster of love, betrayal, and secrets. I cannot wait till the next book comes out.
    Recommended Alaska fishing lodge

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