Review: Cress

Warning: Lots of fangirling and some spoilers ahead!

RapunzelI want to apologize to Alice in Readerland, because I decided to write a review with Tangled and Star Wars GIFs before remembering she did this as well. But it’s hard to avoid! Hope you don’t mind the similarities, Alice! Now on to the review…

cress

I really enjoyed Cinder and Scarlet, but they were both 4 star books for me ultimately. I preferred Cinder to Scarlet because I connected with the characters and romance more, but knocked off a star for how crazy predictable it was. Well, Marissa Meyer has proven herself to be growing as a writer as she managed to surprise me multiple times throughout Cress. I do most of my reading at work during lunch and sometimes breaks, and I rarely react out loud to my reading, but at lunch one day while reading I actually said, “Oh no…!” out loud in complete shock that Dr. Erland is Cress’ father! What?! Did not see that coming! And that was just one of several surprising twists!

I wanted to focus largely on the characters, because really and truly, this is Meyer’s greatest strength. How in the world can all these characters be so perfectly unique from each other and well-rounded and likable?! OK, maybe it’s not too terribly unbelievable because I have seen it done before, but very rarely to this scale of a cast of characters or this well. Though I was one of the few who didn’t care for Wolf much in Scarlet (because I never fully trusted him), he really redeemed himself for me in Cress.

Scarlet doesn’t get a lot of  “screen time” in this book, which I can see would be frustrating for big fans of her, but I feel her part of the story was important and don’t feel any moments with her were wasted. Cinder continues to grow as she comes to accept more responsibilities, and I was always happy to see what Kai thought of his impending marriage and the whole situation. We are also introduced to Jacin, who is a little prickly but has some potential, and Winter, who seems a little whacked-out, but the fact that it’s because she’s not using her powers is very interesting to me.

Now let’s talk about Cress and Thorne.

So I loved Cress as a character. She’s a lot like Rapunzel in Tangled, which of course makes sense, and I loved seeing how her range of emotions was very similar to Rapunzel’s as she discovered the excitement and dangers of life on Earth.

tangled-bestdayever

tangled-hidingI thought it was so cute how she was quirky and had fantasies about how she and Thorne would fall in love at first sight and go on epic adventures together. She was also quirky enough for someone who had been cooped up in a satellite for so long but not so much that she was completely unrelatable.

And then the interactions with Cress and Thorne. SO CUTE. He really seized the opportunity to be just oh-so-Thorne around her, but he was also very mindful of how naive Cress was. Really, the two really needed each other in the desert and through everything they went through, because they could help each other in different ways. And of course they had some great exchanges.

“Captain?”
“Yeah?”
“Do you think it was destiny that brought us together?”
He squinted and, after a thoughtful moment, shook his head. “No. I’m pretty sure it was Cinder.”

tangled-fatedestinyhorseNow THORNE. I already loved Thorne from Scarlet, and I was thrilled by just how much of him we got in Cress! And of all the hardships I’ve seen characters go through, something about Meyer making Thorne go blind just really hit me. I just kept thinking, This is essential for his character growth. It’s perfect that he’s dealing with blindness. I think it teaches him to rely on others, as well as his instincts and other strengths. But I’m also really looking forward to his sight (hopefully) being restored so he can look Cress in the eyes again, with a whole new meaning. 🙂 All in all, Thorne is as charming as ever, but he also grows a lot.

hansolo-winkSide note: My husband and I just re-watched Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, and I literally laughed out loud while we were watching the catina scene, and explained to my husband it was because Han Solo was SO MUCH LIKE THORNE. Really, Thorne is…

tangled-flynnhi+

hansolo-smileI am definitely a member of the Thorne fan club.

cress-quoteBut let us not forget our other couples! Wolf proved to me in this book that he really does love Scarlet, as I alluded to before. And Cinder and Kai, finally! I really only have two complaints about this book, and one of them is why didn’t Cinder tell Kai who she was as soon as she entered his room?! She kept saying, “Trust me, trust me!” and then on the ship he had to drag it out of her. JUST TELL HIM YOU’RE PRINCESS SELENE! He didn’t seem to have a problem believing her, once he decided to believe that she was not using her powers on him, so she should have saved him from being tranquilized! And she really lucked out that Torin was as trusting and accommodating as he was.

My other minor complaint may have been a result of how I read it, though it happened more than once so I’m not sure, but I had a problem following the action sequences at times. I would be confused about what exactly was happening and where everyone was placed. But I do seem to struggle with this, so it might have been entirely my lack of comprehension. I was just reading so fast because I wanted to know what happened next!

Lastly, I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Iko, who literally made me laugh out loud, once again in public, more than once. She is fabulous. And Dr. Erland! My heart hurt for him so much!

Meyer managed to craft a third book in a series that flowed seamlessly, never grew boring, and with an amazing cast of characters that I adore so much! I wish I could read Winter now! There’s nothing I could give this book other than…

5stars2Content Advisory: Some violence. Otherwise, squeaky clean! 

What was your favorite thing about Cress? Who’s your favorite character of the series so far?

The Top 10 Authors I Haven’t Read Yet

AKA, I promise I don’t hate male authors.

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is Top Ten Popular Authors I’ve Never Read. There are a lot of authors who have received a lot of love, and I just haven’t gotten around to reading their work yet. And when I compiled my list I was floored by just how many of these authors were men, hence my subtitle. I really do read male authors as well, but apparently I have a lot more to read! This week’s list is in no particular order.

And BTW, I know many of you out there are super passionate about these authors and these works, which is why I want to read them. However, insisting I must read so-and-so RIGHT AWAY! will not change their placement on my TBR list. I’ll get to them when I get to them. I know they’re AMAZING but my TBR priorities are set in a way that works for me.

1. J.K. Rowling

author-rowlingYes, I know, it’s crazy. But I fully intend to read Harry Potter one day! Let’s move on…

2. Rick Riordan

author2-rickriordanThe Percy Jackson books aren’t super high on my list since they’re more middle grade , but people seem to really love the characters so I want to check the books out.

3. Brandon Sanderson

author3-sandersonEveryone seems to love Brandon Sanderson and I even listen to his sage writing advice on a podcast (called Writing Excuses, in case you’re interested), but I haven’t read him yet. Steelheart is patiently waiting in my Nook though, so it will be read sooner rather than later.

4. Neil Gaiman

author4-gaimanI don’t know which Gaiman book I’ll turn to first – it seems everyone has their own favorite. But I do intend to pick up one of them one day. I did see the episode of Babylon 5 he wrote called “Day of the Dead.” That counts for something, right?

5. Philip K. Dick

author5-philipkdickPhilip K. Dick is a highly revered science fiction author whose works have often been adapted into movies. I definitely want to read one (or more!) of his books!

6. Stephen King

author6-kingI’ve never had an interest in Stephen King because I don’t do scary, but at the very least, I would like to read his writing memoir. After all, he is a master of the craft.

7. Ally Carter

author7-allycarterI don’t know where my random interest in the Gallagher Girls series has come from, but they seem like light, fun reads I might enjoy, so I hope to dive into them sometime.

8. Scott Westerfield

author8-westerfieldScott Westerfield’s Uglies series has intrigued me for a while, and he has other books that sound interesting too. One day I’ll get around to reading them!

9. John Green

author9-johngreenI have a confession: I tried reading some John Green and deemed it not for me. It was a sampler of a few chapters of each of his books that I got for free. I will say that I am pretty much totally turned off from Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines, but I do want to give The Fault in our Stars a shot.

10. Patrick Ness

author10-nessThe covers of Patrick Ness’s books all look like they belong in the horror genre, but that does not appear to actually be the case, and everyone raves about them. So one day, I’ll be sure to check out one of his books for myself.

What popular author have you not read yet but intend to?

We Meet Again, Audiobooks

I know a lot of people don’t care for audiobooks, and I’ve never been that great of a listener (fact: in elementary school when we took standardized tests, I always did the worst on listening. And science.), so I never thought it was something that would interest me. When I got into the workforce, I discovered podcasts. When you work a desk job that involves data entry, they are a savior. I have found several podcasts that are interesting and make me smile and think all while doing my job. Sometimes when I run a little low on podcasts (fact: I’m never actually low on podcasts since I deliberately stay at least a week behind on most of them, and with the ones that are almost daily I am several weeks behind) I start to feel a little panicky because most of the time, music just won’t cut it. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy music, but most of it doesn’t occupy my mind quite in the same way.

headphones

Art by Michelle Lawrence

I also commute an hour both ways to and from work. I listen to a radio show in the mornings that I enjoy, but in the afternoon my routine varies. Sometimes I begin to think of how I wish I could listen to audiobooks.

I tried it out once when I went on a weekend trip. The narrator was good, I had no problem following the story, and it was all grand. But since I had downloaded the book from my library directly from my iPhone’s Overdrive app, it was apparently eating up my data plan. I had to stop listening to The Prestige somewhere around 60-75% through the story and still haven’t finished it.

OMC_logoI thought there had to be a better way that didn’t involve draining my data plan, but I never made the time to figure it out.

Then I got antsy again about my podcast number again. And then my co-worker asked me to help her do something with her Nook tablet. I have one too, though hers is newer and the operating system is a little different on it, and the question she was asking about had to do with her Overdrive app on there. I was able to figure it out even though I was unfamiliar with it, but suddenly I realized:

There’s an Overdrive app for Nook.

The Nook only has wi-fi, and we don’t actually have wi-fi at work, so…

There’s a way to listen to books without wi-fi or 4G.

I mean, it’s not complicated, I just didn’t bother to figure it out before. What I found out was that if I had just downloaded the books to my computer first, and then transferred them to my phone (or apparently my Nook as well), I can listen to the books at work in my car without using up any data. I tried it this week with one of the two books I actually had downloaded for free over the summer and viola! It worked beautifully. And to think I could have done this a long time ago!

So once I finish Sherlock Holmes, my current audiobook listen, I believe The Prestige and I are going have to pick up where we left off so I can finally get some closure. And then who knows after that? I’m keeping an Excel spreadsheet on what the library offers that I might be interested in.

I’m so excited to dive back into the world of audiobooks, and hopefully I’ll stick with it this time. While it’s not my preferred way to “read” a book, it’s convenient for a busy lifestyle.

Are audiobooks part of your life? Please feel free to recommend favorites!