Scarlet: This sure isn’t your typical Little Red Riding Hood retelling (My thoughts on book #2 in The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer)
Now that I’ve finished reading and reviewing Emma Chase’s Legal Briefs series (Overruled, Sustained, Appealed), I’ve decided to read and review the rest of the Lunar Chronicles basically back-to-back-to-back. Admittedly, I originally thought about doing that when I read and reviewed Cinder back in January, but I ultimately decided to hold off on doing that since I wanted to do the same thing with the Legal Briefs series; that being said, here are my thoughts on Scarlet.
Right off the bat, I have to admit that while I loved Scarlet, this book ended up being very different from the way I was expecting it to be. I was really expecting the titular Scarlet Benoit to be featured in this book front and center with her being the protagonist of the book, and Wolf basically being the co-lead character of the book. However, this book ultimately ended up feeling like more of an ensemble piece than anything else. That definitely really took me by surprise as I was reading it.
While I’ve always thought that three of the most important tasks that the first book in a series is supposed to accomplish is to introduce the main characters, introduce the premise of the series, as well as establish the status quo for the series; I feel like this book did a much better job of establishing what I can expect from the Lunar Chronicles as a whole. Sure, Cinder did a great job of introducing the characters Cinder, Kai and Queen Levana, as well as various aspects of the series such as how the characters are dealing with the threat of the letumosis plague; but as I said, I was originally expecting each book in the series to focus primarily on a different character, with the characters from the previous books being featured in a rather reduced capacity. However, Scarlet really ended up coming across as an ensemble novel that focused on a variety of characters instead of focusing primarily on Scarlet, along with Wolf.
Sustained: Emma Chase did it! She topped Tangled! (My thoughts on Book #2 of the Legal Briefs series by Emma Chase)
If you’ve read my review for Overruled, you’ll know that I said that I thought that it might be very difficult, if not impossible, for Emma Chase to top Tangled when it comes to deciding which of her books is my favorite and how I would rank each of them. The reason I’m bringing this up is because I’m very excited to say that Emma Chase did it. She completely topped Tangled with Sustained, and I definitely think that Sustained is her best book yet. That being said, I’ll admit that perhaps I’m being a bit premature in saying that Sustained is Emma Chase’s book yet since I haven’t read Appealed at this point in time. However, if I had to say which of her books is my favorite at the moment, it would definitely be Sustained; that being said, I’m totally open to the possibility that I’ll end up thinking that she topped herself yet again once I read Appealed.
Based on Overruled and Sustained alone, I have to say that I definitely think that the Legal Briefs series is even better than the Tangled series. As much as I love the Tangled series, it’s not without its flaws, and I feel like the quality of the writing for the Tangled series as a whole definitely had its share of ups and downs. Emma Chase’s writing for the Legal Briefs series on the other hand is definitely a lot stronger and better than even her best writing for the Tangled series was, in my opinion. Things that I felt could have been handled better in Twisted and Tied in particular are handled a lot better in the Legal Briefs series.
For starters, I’m really glad that she switched back and forth between Stanton and Sofia’s points of view throughout Overruled instead of writing most of the book from one character’s point of view and then suddenly switching to a different character’s point of view towards the very end of the book for the epilogue like she did with Twisted. Plus, as I said in my review for Overruled, I thought that Stanton’s dislike of JD was much more understandable and easier to sympathize with than Drew’s dislike of Billy was after Tangled. If you ask me, the resolution of Stanton’s issues with JD was also handled a lot better than Drew’s hatred towards Billy was resolved in Tied.
When it comes to Sustained, there really is a lot to love about this book, and it’s honestly kind of hard for me to know where to start when it comes to talking about what I love about this book. For starters, one thing that I’ve always felt that Emma Chase really excels at when it comes to her books is being able to pretty much instantly get the readers interested and invested in the story right off the bat. Whenever I’ve read one of her books, I’ve always been able to get invested in the story within the first few paragraphs, if not the first few sentences of the book, and that was definitely the case with this book. It’s definitely a good thing that Chase’s books aren’t the kind of books where the reader has to power through approximately 50 or more pages before the story finally starts to get interesting, especially considering the fact that her books are all less than 300 pages long. That’s something I’ve really come to appreciate about Chase’s books since in addition to all of the books that I’ve reviewed in roughly the past three to four months, possibly longer than that, I’ve also been reading the book The Swan Gondola by Timothy Schaffert so I can review it as well. I’m currently seventy pages into the book, and I’m just now finally starting to get into the book.
Cinder: Get ready to see the story of Cinderella like you’ve never seen it before (My thoughts on book #1 of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer)
Let me start off this review by saying that much like Veronica Roth’s Divergent, Cinder is a book that I’ve wanted to read for a very long time. Thankfully, it didn’t completely disappoint me like Divergent did. I’d even say that Cinder actually exceeded my expectations. That being said, I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t aware of the fact that Cinder is the first book in a series called The Lunar Chronicles until very recently when I saw reviews for the third book in the series, Cress, and a review for the fifth and final book in the series, Winter, on one of my favorite book review channels on YouTube, Bookables. With that said, here are my thoughts on Cinder.
One of the reasons why I’ve always wanted to read Cinder is because I’ve always been a huge fan of retellings or “reimaginings” of fairy tales. I love the movie Hoodwinked, but admittedly I still need to see Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil. I’m also a huge fan of the TV shows Once Upon a Time and Grimm. Much like those examples of fairytale retellings, Cinder is an awesome new take on the story of Cinderella. Another reason why I love this book so much is because I’m also a fan of science fiction books, TV shows, and movies. This story definitely contains some elements of science fiction given the fact that the character Cinder is a cyborg and people apparently live on the moon in the Lunar Chronicles world.
Linh Cinder, who’s usually simply referred to as “Cinder” in the book, is a very fun and likable character. I love how she really has a tendency to be sarcastic. At the same time, she’s definitely a character that has a lot of heart and compassion for others, despite the fact that her stepmother, Linh Adri, and her stepsister, Linh Pearl, are both quite mean to her. Cinder clearly cares a lot about her other stepsister, Linh Peony, who was also a great character. I was definitely very sad about the fact that Peony died after she contracted the letumosis plague.
The interaction between Cinder and Dr. Erland as they worked together throughout the book to try and find a cure for the letumosis plague was a lot of fun to read, and one of my favorite aspects of the book. I’m really hoping that Dr. Erland will be featured in the other books in The Lunar Chronicles series in some capacity. The fact that the citizens of New Bejing were dealing with the threat of a plague definitely added a really interesting element to the story and created some very compelling drama in the story as well, with Peony and Prince Kai’s father, Emperor Rikan, sadly both dying from the plague.
Overruled: Good news, Everybody! Emma Chase is back with a new book series, and I couldn’t be happier. :) (My thoughts on Book #1 in The Legal Briefs series by Emma Chase)
Right off the bat, I have to say that I really wish that I had read Overruled a lot sooner. I got it on Amazon as soon as it was released back in April of 2015, but I didn’t read it until now. That being said, I loved this book so much that I ended up listening to the entire audiobook version of Overruled in less than a day when I read it this past Tuesday. I immediately got sucked into the story, and I quickly became determined to finish the book before I went to bed that night. I’ve seen a number of people who do book reviews on YouTube describe various books as being “book crack” before, and I’d definitely say that this book was definitely “book crack” for me. A line that I’ve used in the past to describe my enjoyment of various books is, “This book is more addictive than cigarettes”, and this is definitely a book that I would use that description to describe what I thought of it.
Emma Chase has definitely become one of my favorite authors, and one of the main reasons why she has become one of my favorite authors is due to the fact that a lot of her books are written at least partially, if not entirely, from the guy’s point of view. That’s one of the reasons why I say Chase’s writing has often felt really fresh to me. Writing romance novels from the guy’s point of view isn’t something that I saw writers doing with romance novels until I discovered Emma Chase’s Tangled series. I’ve been a huge fan of romance novels for years, but there’s no denying that it’s a genre that’s full of clichés and is rather lacking in originality. By writing a lot of her books from the guy’s point of view, I feel like Chase is really offering people something new.
Being a guy, I think it’s pretty safe to say that I don’t fit the target audience for romance novels, but I still love them. I’ve always been a real sucker for romance novels and movies that are romantic comedies, because I’ve definitely always been a bit of a hopeless romantic. However, when it comes to Emma Chase’s books and the fact that she has written quite a few books from the guy’s point of view, it really makes it easier for me personally to relate the protagonists of her books compared to a lot of the protagonists of other romance novels out there. Plus, I feel like she really does a great job of capturing the way men think with her writing.
When it comes to the overall writing for the book, I love this book almost as much as I loved Tangled, which is definitely my favorite book in the Tangled series. If you’d like to read my review for Tangled, you can read that here. That being said, despite the fact that I didn’t like this book quite as much as I loved Tangled, I’m not sure that I would call Tangled “book crack” for me personally. I didn’t get so sucked into it that I decided to devote almost an entire day pretty much just to reading Tangled like I did with this book; that being said, there’s probably always going to be a special place in my heart for Tangled.