Thursday Thoughts: Cinder Book Club at the Library

As most of you know, I’m a Young Adult Librarian. I’ve posted about some of the programs I host and you guys always seem to enjoy when I talk more about my job. One of the things I’ve been doing is posting about the teen book clubs I do every month. Cinder by Marissa MeyerWe’ve read THE RAVEN BOYS and MOSQUITOLAND and THE YOUNG ELITES (but I realized I forgot to post about that one, so I’ll do that soon). During the book club I ask my teens to describe the book and each of the main characters using only one word. It’s a lot of fun for all of us and it gets them to use their vocabulary. Plus, I think you guys like seeing these. Right?

This month we read CINDER by Marissa Meyer. I just read this series for the first time a few months ago (and finished WINTER recently), so I was really excited to talk about this book with my teens. We talked about the persecution of cyborgs, what cyborg ability they’d like to have, the morality of what Dr. Erland did, the setting, the fairy tale parallels, and more. Everyone seemed to really like/love the book, and we had a good discussion. And then we got to our one-word part. Here we go:

THE BOOK

beautiful // perfect // amazing // fascinating // favorite

CINDER

outcast // independent // relatable // sassy // b.a. // sarcastic

KAI

This was the only response – *giggles and blushes* – literally, one of my girls giggled and blushed

IKO

sassy // adorable // fierce // sweet

DR. ERLAND

wise // smart // deceptive // secretive // protective

PEONY (spoilers!!)

awwwwww // sweet // lovable // not one word, but (very seriously while also being silly): taken from this world too soon

LEVANA

ugly // psycho // controlling // manipulative // a witch

ADRI & PEARL (we grouped these together)

bleh // horrible // rude // not a fan // manipulative // cold

What do you think of my teens’ descriptions?

Waiting on Wednesday: Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Stars AbovePublisher: Feiwel & Friends

Author:  Marissa Meyer

Release date: February 2, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The enchantment continues….

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

Read a synopsis of each story on Goodreads.

Why I’m excited: I read the entire Lunar Chronicles series in the last five months. Cinder blew me away and made me question why I ever waited that long to read these books. I’m finishing up Winter today or tomorrow, and I just want more! More stories, more Thorne, more retellings, MORE. Please and thank you!

Mini Audiobook Reviews: Scarlet, Cress, and Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Check out my review of Cinder, the first book in the Lunar Chronicles series, if you are interested.

Author: Marissa Meyer
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Genre: Young adult, sci-fi, retelling
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (book) / Macmillan Young Listeners (audiobook)


ScarletSCARLET (Book 2)

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

Audiobook length: 11 hours and 19 minutes

Jesus. I just really didn’t like this one. After the incredibleness that was Cinder, I was completely underwhelmed by Scarlet, both the book and the character. The narration of Scarlet was whiny, and I’m not sure if that’s because the character was or just because the narrator read her that way. Either way, I was annoyed, and I almost stopped listening several times because of it. I found Scarlet to be completely obnoxious as a character. Plus, I just kept wanting the POV to switch back to Cinder so I could see what was happening with her. I did like Scarlet and Wolf together – probably because I thought it was a cool retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.

My favorite character is Thorne – I adore him.

I want to eventually reread this series in physical format, especially this one, because I think it’ll be nice to hear a different voice for Scarlet.

CressCRESS (Book 3)

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

Audiobook length: 15 hours and 40 minutes

Cress redeemed this series for me. After the disaster (in my opinion) that was Scarlet, I really needed a book that would hook me back in.  And this one did not disappoint. This book has a bunch of POVs, but none of them felt unnecessary and they all blended together into one cohesive story. Meyer is really great at making each POV distinct as well, which is the main problem I usually have with multiple POVs. Plus, the narrator does a wonderful job with each character’s voice – they are all different. However, I’d just like to point out how annoying I still think Scarlet is. Although I do like her character a bit more in this one.

I think my favorite part is that I can see how much Meyer’s writing has evolved since the first book. The characters are sharper, the plot is tighter, the writing is even better. The characters are flawed and not flat, and I enjoyed getting to know each of them better in this book.

FairestFAIREST (Book 3.5)

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

Audiobook length: 6 hours and 36 minutes

I don’t have much to say about this one except that Levana is certifiably insane. Although she really got on my nerves A LOT, Meyer does a fantastic job of developing this character into the crazy villain we know in the rest of the series. It was interesting to see how she got to be where she is and watch her crazy grow.

Have you read this series? Which book is your favorite? Look out for my review of the last book in the series – WINTER – soon.

Audiobook Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa MeyerAuthor:  Marissa Meyer

Narrator: Rebecca Soler

Genre: Young adult, science fiction, retelling

Publisher: Macmillan Young Listeners (audiobook); Feiwel & Friends (physical book)

Audiobook length: 10 hours, 6 minutes

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

The book:

Cinder is a retelling of Cinderella in a dystopian, Asian world in which Cinder is a freaking cyborg! How cool is that?! I was a little nervous for this one just because of the huge amount of hype surrounding this series, but I honestly wish I would have read it years ago! I feel like there isn’t much I can say about this book that hasn’t already been said, but let me point out a few of my favorite things:

– Queen Levana is exactly what a villain should be like – manipulative, creepy, horrible, and just deliciously evil.

– The way Meyer took this well-known and sometimes overdone story of Cinderella and completely transformed it into her own story was amazing. Yes, sometimes you’d be able to predict what was going to happen, but for the most part, it just read as a quick nod to the original story and then she’d take it somewhere else. It was fascinating.

– The world that Meyer has created is incredible, original, and all around captivating. I just wanted to know EVERYTHING about it. The politics, science, technology – all of it was SO cool, and I was completely engaged with the story and world from the beginning.

– There were a few parts that felt a little long/drawn out, and the main reason I’m not giving this a TOP rating is because I figured out the big “twist” pretty early on, and while I definitely didn’t want to stop reading because of that, it made reading/listening a little less fun.

The audiobook/narrator:

I absolutely LOVED Rebecca Soler’s narration. There were a few times in the book that I think would have…bored me during the story but her narration kept me completely enthralled and I didn’t want to stop listening for a second. I wanted to start the next book right away.

The bottom line: I can’t believe I waited this long to read Cinder, but I’m glad I finally did. A fascinating world, wonderful retelling of Cinderella, perfect villain, and fantastic writing all mix together to create a book I didn’t want to stop reading for a second. I figured out the twist early on, but the book was so good I didn’t really care that much.

Rating: 8 – freaking fantastic

I’m participating in The Lunar Chronicles Read Along hosted by the lovely Brittany from The Book Addict’s Guide!