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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)

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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.

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Entwined with You: Oh, for the love of God! Do Eva and Gideon ever stop having sex? (My thoughts on Book #3 in the Crossfire book series by Sylvia Day)

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Let me start off by saying that I really went back and forth on trying to decide when I would read and review Sylvia Day’s Entwined with You since it was a book that I was very interested in reviewing given the fact that I had already reviewed Bared to You and Reflected in You, I really enjoyed them, and my reviews for both of those books have gotten a lot of page views. Plus, it has been somewhat of a goal of mine to review both this book and the fourth book in the Crossfire series, Captivated by You, by the time the fifth and final book in the series, One with You, is released on April 5th. That’s definitely going to be coming up before we know it, so I decided to go ahead and listen to the audiobook version of Entwined with You this past weekend; that being said, here are my thoughts on the book.

 

Right off the bat, I have to say that while my feelings about Reflected in You were definitely mixed, my feelings regarding Entwined with You are very, very, very mixed. One of the things that bothered me the most about Reflected in You is the fact that there was so much drama and angst going on between Eva and Gideon in that book, and the story itself was rather lacking when it came to there being truly happy and romantic moments between them, which really made me question whether or not I should actually be rooting for Eva and Gideon’s relationship to work out. Fortunately, I feel like Sylvia Day did a somewhat better job of including, or least trying to include, enough moments between Eva and Gideon in Entwined with You that showed me why I should root for them as a couple.

 

While I do think that Sylvia Day does a better job of showing why the reader should be rooting for Eva and Gideon in this book, reading this book makes me think that Day’s idea of including lots of happy moments between Eva and Gideon in the books is to have them have lots and lots and lots of sex with each other, all the time. Reading this book made me feel like when Day was writing this book, she must have thought about the expression “sex sells”, and decided to cram as many sex scenes into this book as she possibly could, and just went completely super duper ultra mega overboard with how much sex is featured in this book. I get that the Crossfire series is considered erotica, but I still think there needs to be an actual plot and some subplots as well in erotic novels. Sure, there were definitely quite a few sex scenes in Bared to You and Reflected in You, but there were still plenty of clearly defined plots and subplots in those books.

 

When it comes to Entwined with You, I feel like there are so many sex scenes in this book that it kind of feels like the concept of having a clearly defined plot for the book was sacrificed as a result of there being so much sex in this book. I’m kind of tempted to make jokes about how trying to describe the overall plot of this book is a lot like looking for a needle in a haystack, but I think that would be a bit of an exaggeration. If I had to say what the plot of this book is about, I’d say that this book mainly focuses on Eva and Gideon trying to move past what happened in Reflected in You, with Gideon killing Nathan so he wouldn’t be able to hurt Eva again. However, their entire plan for how they would gradually publicly get back together seemed awfully convoluted to me.

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Hey, Everybody! Have you ever wondered what Jean Louise “Scout” Finch would be like as an adult? Well, you’re about to find out. (My thoughts on Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee)

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Let me start of by saying that originally I was planning to wait a while before I was going to read and review Go Set a Watchman. However, much like J.R. Ward’s The Bourbon Kings, I was simply too excited to wait until I got to the point on my reading list/schedule where I had originally planned on reading and reviewing Go Set a Watchman to read it. Plus, I kept coming across other people who were talking about the book, especially my Facebook friends, and seeing them all talk about the book really made me want to know what they were talking about, so I decided to go ahead and read the book now.

I should probably mention that I decided to read To Kill a Mockingbird again in preparation for reading and reviewing Go Set a Watchman after reading a lot of comments from my Facebook friends where they talked about how they thought that Go Set a Watchman felt like a rough draft of To Kill a Mockingbird. I hadn’t read To Kill a Mockingbird since I was in the ninth grade, and I was either 15 or 16 years old at that time. I’m 28 now, so I definitely needed a refresher on the book. I’m really glad that I decided to do that because as I was reading To Kill a Mockingbird again, I realized that I remembered next to none of the details about the actual plot of To Kill a Mockingbird. What I remembered the most about To Kill a Mockingbird over the years were the themes and moral lessons that were explored in the book; that being said, here are my thoughts on Go Set a Watchman.

Right off the bat, I have to say that I have incredibly mixed feelings about Go Set a Watchman. On the one hand, when I was reading To Kill a Mockingbird again, I found myself constantly being annoyed by Jean-Louise “Scout” Finch, but I absolutely loved seeing the person that she had become as an adult in Go Set a Watchman. I’m going to go right ahead and say that I’ll be referring to her as Jean-Louise in this review, because I felt like the characters rarely called her “Scout” in the book, she’s an adult in this book, and “Scout” really does seem like a childhood nickname to me.

What I liked the most about Jean-Louise in Go Set a Watchman is that she really came across as being an incredibly strong-willed young woman, but she still had a vulnerable side to her, which is something that I really appreciate about this book. The way she was written in Go Set a Watchman felt very consistent with how she was written as a child in To Kill a Mockingbird, while also showing how she’s grown and matured now that she’s an adult. It would have felt rather disappointing if she was written in such a way that made her seem like a completely different person in this book. However, I’d be lying if I said that I hadn’t thought that Jean-Louise was rather annoying at times in To Kill a Mockingbird when I was reading it again. The thing that made Jean-Louise seem really annoying to me at times in To Kill a Mockingbird is that while I really liked that she was strong-willed child, her strong-willed and assertive nature often times made her come across as a major brat who was prone to throwing temper tantrums. I felt like that aspect of Jean-Louise’s personality was handled a lot better in Go Set a Watchman though.

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