marissa meyer


BooksKristina PinoComment

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

This book is a spin-off within the Lunar Chronicles series, which tells the backstory of its main villain, Levana. Where Cinder got its inspiration from Cinderella, Scarlet from Red Riding Hood, and Cress from Rapunzel, Fairest takes its inspiration from Snow White, a theme which is continued in the latest major installment of the series to date, Winter. Levana's story is an interesting one: she's totally twisted beyond repair, a ruthless leader, an expert strategist. But she's also hopelessly in love with someone who will never love her back, and she's more than a little bit vain. Great read for any fan of the series, especially if you, like me, love to get more information, backstories, and generally just like to play a little more in the universes that authors create for us. I wish more sci-fi and fantasy series authors wrote spin-off novels - even when they're as tragic as Levana's story.

Grounded by Megan Morrison

Grounded is a retelling of the story of Rapunzel, blended with the story of Jack and the Beanstalk and a dash of The Wizard of Oz. Rapunzel is happy to stay up in her tower, and she fends off all the princes and otherwise curious folk who try to rescue her. That is, until the day Jack tricks her into climbing down, and she sets off on a journey. There's magic, and there are fairies, and this super old tree she's got to find in order to learn truths about herself and her Witch. There are a few things I rather liked about this book: Rapunzel keeps a firm grasp on her agency throughout the story, lending her own logic to the circumstances and situations she's in. Though some folk dismiss her as ignorant, her central character trait is her innocence, and the way other characters handle that says more about them than it does about her. I liked the way she stands up for herself and the resourcefulness with which she proves herself to others, too. This is a nice read for youngsters and I was also happy to note it's the first in a new series.


An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

I finally found a John Green book I truly love. If you've read another of his works and weren't sure you wanted to try again, try this one. We follow the story of Colin Singleton, who takes off on a road trip of self-discovery with his best friend Hassan following a break-up with one of the many Katherines he's dated. This isn't really a story about break-ups or loss or angst or whatever, it's really about relationships (and friendships) in general, and the funny way our brains work, and how any little thing can remind you of a person, or a place you've been to, or some other memory. The narrative meanders to and fro much in the same way our memories and experiences do, and the whole thing is just lovely.

As someone who appreciates linguistics and word play, I also loved all the tidbits and trivia I picked up from this book, such as this:

Just lovely.


BooksKristina PinoComment

Cinder by Marissa Meyer (book #1 of Lunar Chronicles):

I was hoping that even though this book is part of a series, it would be able to stand alone. It happens sometimes. But it ended in a cliffhanger, which isn't a deal-breaker, just annoying because I have so many other things I'm getting to before I can read the next book, haha. And boy do I want to know what happens next.

Anyway, Cinder is a loose retelling of Cinderella, except it's way in Earth's future and Cinder is a cyborg mechanic, which is totally awesome. I mostly picked it up because of my previous sentence, and I kept reading because it's well-paced and not overly complicated. If you're into sci-fi with lots of depth and mystery and detailed explanations, this isn't it. It's a little predictable, but I don't need every book I read to be anything other than fun or entertaining. Also, I really enjoyed the romance between Cinder and Prince Kai.

This book basically had my number (robots, fairy tales, and shifting perspectives between main characters).

Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace (listened on audio, narrated by Peter Altschuler):

I picked this book up partly on a recommendation from Jeff at Book Riot, and partly because of my inherent interest in almost anything related to Disney. Creativity, Inc. is the story of PIXAR: what led to its founding, and what's happened with the company/studio through the years in terms of its evolution, inside and out. The book is presented as a sort of guide to good management, but it contains so, so many great nuggets of PIXAR and Disney history, which I appreciated.

From the management perspective, Catmull has so much to give. If you're in a position to make policy changes at the company you work for (or own), you can probably apply a lot of great advice given by the author. I had thought that, not being a particularly powerful position at any company, I wouldn't really learn much about being a manager, but this applies to anyone working in any sort of creative job. Employees should never feel like they can't talk to management about their work-related problems, and sometimes the little guys have to be that gentle push that gets the ball rolling.

Great read for creative business insight, and equally great read for Disney and PIXAR history fans. I highly recommend it if you fall in either of these categories.

Tempting Fate by Amalia Dillin (Novella, book 1.5 of Fate of the Gods):

I don't remember when this novella appeared in my eReader, but I finally read it the other day in pretty much one sitting. I didn't know it was part of a series, and I haven't read the other books in Fate of the Gods. That in mind, I should say that I didn't feel confused or left out, or like I was missing information at any point. Whether it was intentional or not, any confusion I felt during the story was shared by the main character, Mia, who is meeting a whole new set of people for the first time while attending her sister's wedding, and feeling frustrated by all the secrets around her.

Tempting Fate is a brisk read and the very definition of whirlwind romance. It also jumps a bit between the perspectives of two different characters, which is something I really like in my reading. It's nice to get Mia's thoughts as she's being swept up, but it's especially delightful to see what the other party is thinking, too. Also, I really love stories that weave myths and legends with "reality" (for lack of a better word). 

This story takes place at some point in between the covers of the first book of the series, Forged by Fate. It might actually be a good thing I read this first, that way I have an introduction to the sort of thing to expect for the main event. Also, as with Cinder, I just really want to continue reading the series and I wasn't prepared for the extra load on my TBR.