Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Thoughts On: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2
Published by Feiwel and Friends
Publish Date: February 5, 2013 
464 pages
Source:  Publisher for Review

Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-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 and 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 has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.
As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner. -(from Goodreads) 

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

My Thoughts:  I feel like I've been waiting forever for this book, and I know I'm not the only one! I'm just gonna cut right to the chase and say this: Scarlet is every bit as good as Cinder, and then some. That's high praise, considering how much I love Cinder.

The first thing you need to know is this:
I am THRILLED at how often Cinder shows up in this book.
Cinder is everywhere. And HOORAY for it.
I was really nervous to start reading Scarlet because I thought (for some reason) that Cinder wouldn't play a very big part in this book. I think it's because this book is more of a companion than a sequel. But my thoughts were that if Cinder didn't play a huge part, certainly Kai wouldn't be around, and I'd be heartbroken - I feel like after just recently re-reading the book, I'm more connected to them now than ever. (Yes, I realize they aren't real. Please just let me live in my own little world and be BFF with fictional characters.

In all seriousness, I was SO EXCITED to see that Cinder's character plays a HUGE role in this book. Like, a really big role. Why was I worried? I don't know! I trust you completely with my fictional friends from now on, Marissa Meyer. You're kind of awesome. 

The second thing you need to know is this:
I INHALED this book.
I have no words to tell you how much I enjoyed it. Honestly.
 

I read Cinder over a year ago and loved the heck out of it. I just re-read Cinder about six weeks ago and I loved it even more. Seriously, re-reading that book is one of the best bookish decisions I've ever made. Every weekday morning, I start out my day at 5:00 a.m. by reading - when I was reading Cinder, I couldn't wait to go to bed so I could get up the next morning and read. YOU GUYS, I'M NOT EVEN KIDDING. 

BUT WAIT. Please believe me when I say that reading Scarlet was like being a kid and being turned loose onto a playground. 

See, there are all of these incredible characters - ones that I've known and loved PLUS ones I've just met! AND AND AND they're doing all of these things that end up getting them in all of these messes and they're running from all of these people and...I found myself gripping the book and urging them to run faster! or Sssshhhhh! or Oh no oh no oh no! or That Doggone Queen is THE WORST THE WORST THE WORST!!!! 

*grits teeth as I say* Do. You. Know. How. Much. I. Love. Books. Like. These? DO YOU? 

If you've followed this blog for long, you probably do. If not, you'll probably get accustomed to it pretty quick. Scarlet is full-on fun with the added bonus of an A-HA moment that I had at almost half-way into the book, which caused me to leap up and shout, making all of the eyes in my house look in my general direction like I'm a crazy person. Oh, it was SO GOOD to me. 

The third thing you need to know is this:
Then there's WOLF. 
Okay. Okay. We've all been waiting on this book. We've all seen people that read it earlier on rave about it. But I remember seeing all of the BUZZ online about this character, Wolf. What's the deal with this dude? The answer is: 

YES. Wolf is grrrrreat. 

That is all. 

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Scarlet by Marissa Meyer made me insanely happy in a bookishly geeky kind of way. It's one of those fairy-tale do-overs that make me want to high-five the world and shout to everyone READ THIS. It's one of those books that - if you had maybe a lukewarm feeling about the first book in the series, you should still not give up on The Lunar Chronicles, because the second book is even better than the first one. Marissa Meyer gets it right again. I cannot begin to imagine what she has in her crafty little mind for us in the coming years with the next two books in this series. I cannot imagine it. 

As I mentioned earlier, I was elated to see how much of a role Cinder played in this book. I was already warm to her character - having read her book now twice - but this strong heroine only proved herself stronger. Her story line takes her all over the place - all over the Earth and in space - and she is snarky, smart, fiesty, and incredible. I just love her, again. She has a couple of sidekicks that are super loveable as well. And Kai and the evil, super mean Queen are back again too. 

Scarlet, Scarlet, Scarlet. What a gal. She, too, is fiesty. And strong. And snarky. She reminds me of Cinder so much. The thing I loved about Scarlet's character - LOVED ABOUT HER - is that she didn't judge people and she didn't think too much about what people thought of her for it. She had her own thoughts, even though they went against what the majority thought, and she stood by them. She's a fantastic heroine. I cannot wait to see more from her. 

And Wolf? Where the heck did he come from?
It's not just that he's was the supposed love interest of this book, although that was nice. It's not that he's a hunk in the book trailer (HERE). Wolf kept making me smile over and over while I read because he was just a really cool character. He's kind of like the Big Bad Wolf, only he isn't. This is yet another place in the huge story arc of The Lunar Chronicles where Marissa Meyer has amazed me - her take on the Big Bad Wolf and the story of the wolves in general, how she incorporated them into the story. 


With great characterization all over the place, you would think I'd be happy enough, but that wasn't all I found to love about Scarlet. I loved the setting too - or I should really say settings (plural) because the parallel story lines each had distinct settings - Rieux, New Beijing, space - all very visual to me, which is something that I really connect with and love about a book. And again, fantastic world-building. 

I can't say enough great things about this book. It's an extremely strong sophomore effort, in my opinion, which makes me now say that this is a strong series thus far. I am giddy with excitement over the release of this book. I can't wait until more people read it. I can't wait to see the reaction of the world in general to Scarlet. I think people will be happy - I'm thinking people will like it more than Cinder, which is not to speak negatively of Cinder at all, but to speak very highly of Scarlet

I recommend Scarlet for fans of fairy-tale re-tellings, dystopians, science-fiction, wolves, cyborgs, and all-around great stories. It's a winner. It was like playtime for me. So great. 

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Scarlet will appeal to fans of:

YA Dystopian/Science-Fiction
Fairy-tale Re-tellings: Little Red Riding Hood
Romance: Pre-existing and also new romances! No triangles. 

Alternating POV's with parallel plotlines

Fantastic characterization 
Fantastic world-building

Action-driven plot

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
will be available for purchase on February 5, 2013.

*I received a copy of this book for review from Feiwel and Friends. I received no compensation for my thoughts. Thank you Feiwel and Friends!

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MacMillan Audio has provided a sample of what
the book will sound like in audio format. 


Click HERE to sample
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
in audio format!


 I will certainly be listening to this for my re-read next year! 
Thank you, MacMillan Audio! 

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Is SCARLET on your to-read list?

Have you read CINDER?
What did you think?


74 comments:

  1. Oh God oh God oh GOD. YOU TOO? This is like a culmination of everything I have heard and all that I still wanted to know IN ONE GIANT DOLLOP OF AWESOME REVIEW. I'm hearting you so hard right now. Because even though you've bumped the agony of the wait to Soul Cooked Over Smoldering Fire status, I can forgive you for making it sound that much more awesome!

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    1. Thank you! This book is really that good. It's a ridiculous amount of fun and also WOLF. You need it in your life ASAP.

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  2. Wow... it's not like you made my wait any harder! I can't wait to get this one! I am so freaking excited!

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    1. YAY!! I'm sorry to make it harder but I can't help gushing over a book that is so much fun! I loved this one a TON.

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  3. YAY!! Love this book so much. Totally agree with all your points, and yes, I did enjoy this one more than Cinder (which I liked a whole lot too!)

    Loved Scarlet, Wolf ( my heart goes thump, thump, thump, over that one) and Thorne! And loved that Kai was back as well as Iko.

    I am not always a fan of fairy tale retellings but Marissa Meyers has done such an amazing job with these re-imaginings and if Scarlet is any indication than the next books in this series are just going to get better and better. I can't wait to see how Scarlet and Cinder's stories continue in Cress which takes place on THE MOON! I am so excited to finally be getting to see that place after all the talk:))

    Love this review. I got excited for the book all over again while reading it!

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    1. I almost felt guilty at times because I liked Scarlet more than Cinder, but I think I'm getting over that (that's another of my weird book quirks - it's liking picking favorite children, picking a favorite in a series).

      GAH, Wolf! What's the deal with that guy? He's SUCH A FANTASTIC character, isn't he? He's more than the hunky love interest. I loved the entire backstory from The Queen's Army (which I didn't even mention - boo to me!) and the way he was such a fighter and how he was different than the rest of the wolves. Just so great. I'm as excited for Wolf and Scarlet to be in the next book as I am to see Cinder and Kai in the next book...PLUS whatever next characters are introduced!

      I'm BLOWN AWAY at the imagination of Marissa Meyer. I read this book with the big, goofy Asheley grin because it just made me happy, just like my Cinder re-read a few weeks ago. Don't you just love it when a book just makes you plain ole' happy? And yes, THE MOON!! I cannot wrap my head around what is coming next! I have no idea!

      I can't wait until next year for my re-read of these two books in anticipation for Cress. Maybe I'll audiobook them? I don't know. They're so much fun in print. We'll see, but they're definitely re-read material for me.

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  4. Scarlet was AMAZING. I've been gushing all about it ever since I had the opportunity to read the ARC. I enjoyed it thoroughly and am now dying to read Cress and Winter!

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    1. ME TOO, Alexa, ME TOO! It's hard to believe it's gonna be another year before Cress! And two before Winter!! OH THE WAIT!! But I'm definitely gonna plan on re-reading these two before Cress comes out because I enjoyed my Cinder re-read so much!

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  5. I am so glad to hear that Cinder will play a big roll in Scarlet. I too thought of this as more of a companion book that a sequel and its good to know that I am wrong! Thanks for the super fun and good review!

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    1. Oh yes, me too! When I got to Cinder's first scene, i actually closed the book and looked around on the cover a little bit and re-read the first few paragraphs of the chapter to make sure it was Cinder doing the narrating - and then I was OVERJOYED!! I had spent so much time thinking her story was pretty much over but it just made the book come so much more alive with her in it because I love her so much. PLUS Scarlet is so great, just as great as Cinder, so it was like lucking out double-time. I can't wait for you to read it and love it too. :)

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  6. Oh my dear sweet freaking Jesus! I am so excited for this book! I need to get it. now.

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    1. THAT is exactly the way I felt when I was reading. I was so ridiculously excited the entire way through. It was humorous, I'm sure, if you would've been watching me.

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  7. YES!!! You have no idea how exciting this is. I loved Cinder so much. It was one of my favorites of last year. Cannot WAIT to read it!!

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    1. Vivien, I think you'll really like this one. I know it's still early in the year but it's so much fun it SURELY will be a favorite of mine. So great!

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  8. You've made me so excited to read this, Asheley, even though I didn't even enjoy Cinder all that much! I think I'll still give this one a try before giving up on the series as a whole, so thanks for such a convincing review! :D

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    1. You know, I'm really interesting in seeing the thoughts of the people that didn't outright LOVE Cinder as much as I did - how they react and feel toward Scarlet. I thought it so much better, even though I fell head-over-heels in love with Cinder's originality and concept. But this one is just a completely different fairy-tale, a different setting (well, multiple settings), just an entirely different story with overriding characters. I can't wait for you to read it and I want to KNOW what you think, honestly! I'll be watching for your thoughts!

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  9. I believe that the setting can become like a character in the novel - looking forward to getting to know more about Rieux!

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    1. Oh! Rieux is such a fun little town. Marissa Meyer did such a great job making it come alive in the story. I loved it. I felt like I could visualize it so easily, and I love the parts of the story that took place there. :)

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  10. Actually I wrote a comment about this on the blog tour but I will say it again, I can't wait! And yes, setting is important, I have never been to France either and so am even more excited to feel the small town enviroment that Marissa gives in Scarlet.

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    1. The small-town feel definitely comes through for the scenes that take place in Rieux! I loved that setting! And I think Scarlet is wonderful and can't wait for you to read it when it comes out in a few days!! :)

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  11. Okay I can only skim your review because I hate knowing spoilers for books i am dying to read. But I really cannot wait to read this book. Super excited. It is so interesting to me how the book will be about Cinder but also be about the Little Red Riding Hood story. Can't wait to see how that works out.

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    1. It is a wonderful re-working of Riding Hood but I LOVE how it incorporated Cinder into the story, and her spot in the story is a big one - so those of us that are big fans of hers will not be disappointed in the least! I can't wait for you to read it - I think you'll be so thrilled with what Meyer has done! I was so surprised and happy. I can't wait to read it again!

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  12. I'm glad to hear that Cinder makes an appearance in this book! Your review makes me super excited to read it!

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    1. I'm so glad, Jenny! I was happy that Cinder was involved too! Can't wait for you to pick it up. SO GREAT!!

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  13. Thank you for talking about Cinder. I was confused for so long about how the companion books would work, when the last one ended with a pretty big cliffy! Everything I hear makes it seem like this world is about to be fleshed out more and more, and I LOVE a well developed fantasy world. I cannot wait to meet the infamous Wolf too. I love when well known stories are re-imagined in new and exciting ways!

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    1. You know, I was so brokenhearted for the longest time when I mistakenly thought Cinder wouldn't really be in Scarlet, but she was in this book A TON. She had her very own parallel story line that had its own setting. Scarlet had her own story line with her own setting (the one in my tour post, Rieux, which sounds LOVELY), and then there is Kai in New Beijing, although he is not in the book as much as the others I've mentioned here. There are some new supporting characters that are fun and I've warmed to, and some return and I'm thrilled about them as well. I honestly think that you'll probably like this one better than Cinder. These three parallel story lines kind of tend to intersect at one point toward the end when the action is at its peak. I read and imagined how Meyer might throw them together, but the end result was better than I could have anticipated. And the next book? On the moon? PLEASE. I just can't wait. While I know this is a very dramatic post, I genuinely had a great time reading this book. It was just an all-around good time. I'd love for you to talk to me about it when you read it too if you want to. No pressure about loving it. But Wolf's character is so interesting - the way the wolves and the Queen's army is integrated into the story - so imaginative. I do recommend, as did Heather, that you read The Queen's Army. I'll email you the link so you don't have to pay for it.

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  14. I loved Cinder. But, thanks to your excellent review, I cannot WAIT for Scarlet! I pre-ordered it earlier this week and...CAN IT BE FEBRUARY NOW, PLEASE? I am so relieved to know that Cinder plays a big role in this book because I had the same worry - I wondered how in the heck it could be a book about a new main character and also continue with Cinder's story. You have no idea how happy that makes me, Asheley! :)

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    1. I'm finding that a lot of people had the same worry that I had about Cinder's role in the book. But alas! She's in there a ton. It's so awesome. I just tweeted a link to @BeckandRandi - it's the novella backstory for Wolf, the big character for Scarlet. You can buy it for your ereader, but Tor.com published it on their blog for free, and that is the link to read it for free. So you can choose how you want to do it, buy for 99cents or the link takes you to the blog post. I read the blog post. Either way it is fine, but his backstory is pretty good! It helps you understand him a little better, I think, if you read it. :)

      I just know you'll love it. I know I say that to you a lot, but this book is tons of fun and if you loved Cinder, you'll love this one x 2. Promise.

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    2. Yay!! Thanks for the link! ;) I can't wait to have Scarlet in my hands!

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  15. I loved Cincer and so excited to know she is back in Scarlet. The trailer hooked me and now there's going to be a third! Yeah.
    I'm excited to meet Wolf and see the interplay between him and Cinder.
    Your review has convinced me the author has written a new chapter for me to fall in love with!
    Thanks so much for sharing:)

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    1. I know, isn't that trailer exciting! I HAD to throw it up there.

      Man, Wolf's character is so interesting and it IS interesting to see how Wolf/Scarlet interact with Cinder. I think you'll be pleased, though, and it makes me even more excited for the next book except AAAHHH an ENTIRE year before we can read it!!!

      I'm SO INVESTED in this series! It's so good. Can't wait until you can read it. :)

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  16. Yes to all of this! I didn't think Cinder was going to be in Scarlet like AT ALL--I SWEAR that was stated at some point early in MM's writing of Scarlet, so that may be why you thought as much. My heart was broken into little tiny pieces for Kai in this one--yes the queen is THE WORST, and I love love love Wolf. Seriously, it IS like being let loose on a playground. I love your enthusiasm, Asheley, because I share it!

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    1. You know, Heidi, it must have been stated somewhere because in all of these comments, people are echoing my thoughts. I was SO PLEASANTLY surprised. Elated, even. Yes, I agree with what you say about Kai, BUT BUT BUT I'm wondering where it will go in the next book - I can only expect more from him and his story?? And it's bound to get PRETTY DOGGONE interesting, no? After this series is said and done, if it keeps up like it is, it'll be WAY up on my favorites probably. It's just complete and total fun. My kids (9,9,7) have watched me reading it - super excited - and they even want to read it now.

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  17. I am really excited to finally get to read this one. It feels like I've waited forever. I love the world that Ms. Meyer created and am so excited to see what she's done with Little Red Riding Hood. I really wish it was February 5th already!

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    1. Oh, it won't be long! And then you can read it and fall in love too! It's such a well-written book. The best parts of Cinder are integrated so well into this story, and I can imagine she may do the same thing from Cinder and Scarlet into Cress next year - I can't wait!

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  18. Wahoo! I am so excited to know that Cinder will be in Scarlet. I was worried about that, but it looks like I have even more to look forward to now! Thanks for the great review.

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    1. You're welcome! There is a ton of Cinder to enjoy all over again, and I think you'll love her even more. Plus Scarlet is AWESOME herself. The both of them together is just fun fun fun!!!

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  19. Ash - the fact that you love this so much makes me like 300x more excited for it. I'm reaching epic levels here.

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    1. The epic levels are totally warranted as this is one of the best things I've read in a long time. This book is just ridiculous fun. RIDICULOUS FUN. You will lurve.

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  20. YAY I'm glad to know Cinder still plays a big role in Scarlet! I would have been really sad if it had been otherwise.

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    1. Me to, Caitlyn! In fact, I WAS sad because for some reason I assumed her story was pretty much done. But she has almost as bit a part in this book as Scarlet, so you will get to know a whole new awesome heroine while living the next awesome part of Cinder's story. The two of them together in one book is just incredible.

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  21. Oh I can't wait for Scarlet with only a little over a weekend left I'm dying counting down! I loved the prequel novella for Wolf and I can't wait to meet him. And Yay!! Cinder is in this book too, I need to know what happens next for her and Kai!! Thanks for the awesome review!

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    1. You're welcome!! Not too much longer!! You'll love this one for sure. I'm so glad to see you've already read Wolf's story - he is such a GREAT character, definitely a favorite (if not THE favorite) of mine in this series, and I know you will love this book so very much!!!

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  22. I'm really glad you enjoyed it. As with most sequels/continuations, I was getting nervous to see if this book would be as good as Cinder. I can't wait now to read it.

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    1. Yes, I think you'll be happy with the part that Cinder plays in the book! She's in there enough to make me happy, but she gives plenty of space to Scarlet. The two of them together are great co-heroines! I hope you love it!

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  23. I can't wait for Scarlet! This is like one of my all time favorite series and I LOVE THE TRAILER!! It makes me want to read this book even more!

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    1. I agree! The trailer is so much fun! I've watched it several times. I think you'll really enjoy Scarlet too. Only a few more days!

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  24. Asheley, stahp. Seriously. Cut it out. I can't read any more. I had to stop. I can't finish.

    HOW DARE YOU GET ME THIS EXCITED WHEN I CAN'T READ IT YET!! You turd.

    (But really, great review. I'm going yo go curl into a fetal position now.)

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    1. Read it ASAP if you haven't already. It's SO GREAT. As if you couldn't tell by my RIDICULOUS gushing. Sometimes when you love a book, you just have to gush, ya know!?

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  25. Fun review, especially about the characters.

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    1. Thanks! The characters are SO GREAT in this one. I mean, I loved them in Cinder, but Scarlet includes the Cinder character PLUS adds a bunch of new, neat ones. I can't imagine how FILLED with great characters the next two books will be. :)

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  26. You INHALED this book?!? Makes it more enticing for sure!

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    1. I ABSOLUTELY inhaled this book. I ate it up.
      Read it as soon as you get the chance!

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  27. I am just tickled reading your fangirl review. I am looking forward to reading Scarlet. Maybe not as much as you because I wasn't quite as in love with Cinder as you were. Thanks for the fun review.

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    1. The great thing about Scarlet is that it is a little better than Cinder, so it's like a second chance to fall in love with this series. Trust me. Hope you'll love it at least half as much as I did.

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  28. Whew - you reassured me. I was worried Cinder wouldn't be in this book as much, because I thought it was more Scarlet's story. Fun review, and I like your style!

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    1. Thanks Leeanna!

      I was worried too, which made me actually put off reading this book until almost the last minute. BUT I was so excited and surprised that I am actually wanting to re-read it. I liked it that much!

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  29. Well thanks for making me more antsy to get this (; haha I really really enjoyed Cinder. I have been in serious anticipation mode to get a hold of Scarlet! Your review was great! It has just put me in an even bigger frenzy to read this book lol. Thank you for the review and good luck to all the contestants!

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    1. Haha Ashley! I hope you get to read it super soon. You have a good reason to be in a frenzy. It's totally frenzy-worthy. So good!

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  30. I want to leave a meaningful comment, but I haven't actually read Cinder yet and I don't want to read your review for fear of spoilers. So I will just say, I love this cover even more than Cinder!

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    1. I agree - it is a great cover! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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  31. As I haven't read Cinder yet, I didn't want to read your review in case there were spoilers. I hate finding things out before I read books. It ruins the surprises.

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    1. I understand! I hope you get to read them both pretty soon and I hope you love them! Thanks for stopping by!

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  32. I haven't read Cinder yet, but I heard nothing but great things about it and now with all this great buzz about Scarlet, I think I have to start this series ASAP! :)

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    1. You definitely should start the series ASAP! It's really a ton of fun. Way different than anything else that's out there right now! Hope you enjoy it!

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  33. I loved Cinder and have been hearing nothing but great reviews for Scarlet. So glad you enjoyed it. I can't wait to meet Wolf. :)

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    1. All of the reviews on Scarlet have been pretty amazing! Everybody seems to really love it - I know I did!

      And I think you'll absolutely love Wolf! He's such a great character and all of the hype about him is completely justified!

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  34. Sooo jealous. I loved Cinder and CANNOT WAIT for Scarlet! Wolf sounds epic :D I read the 5 chapter sample and OH BOY I AM EXCITED

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    1. WOLF IS AMAZING. What a great character! Hope you love the book when you get a chance to read it!

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  35. I love your review! I haven't read Cinder yet, but your excitement over the series has me dying to read it!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I got really excited about telling everyone how fun the book is. I already want to read it again. :)

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  36. I didn't read this too closely since I haven't read Cinder yet, but I will say that you've definitely made me more excited about reading about a cyborg Cinderella. Especially if re-reading it was one of your best bookish decisions lately :)

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    1. Cinder and Scarlet are both just so odd in their execution but it works. So well! They're both so much fun, so much. I can't wait for the next book to come out so I can re-read them again.

      Scarlet is one instance where the hype and buzz is completely warranted. Scarlet is THAT GOOD. Cinder was that good too, but believe it or not, Scarlet was even better. I have no idea what else to do about these two but GUSH.

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  37. I think it's a great series for teenaged girls to get into. I highly recommend this book ~ for you and your daughters... Even your mom... Anyone who loves Fairy Tales will love this re-telling!

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