Book Review

Book Review: Gilded (Gilded #1) by Marissa Meyer

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA/NA Fantasy Retelling
Length: 512 pages
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: November 2nd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Long ago cursed by the god of lies, a poor miller’s daughter has developed a talent for spinning stories that are fantastical and spellbinding and entirely untrue.

Or so everyone believes.

When one of Serilda’s outlandish tales draws the attention of the sinister Erlking and his undead hunters, she finds herself swept away into a grim world where ghouls and phantoms prowl the earth and hollow-eyed ravens track her every move. The king orders Serilda to complete the impossible task of spinning straw into gold, or be killed for telling falsehoods. In her desperation, Serilda unwittingly summons a mysterious boy to her aid. He agrees to help her… for a price. Love isn’t meant to be part of the bargain.

Soon Serilda realizes that there is more than one secret hidden in the castle walls, including an ancient curse that must be broken if she hopes to end the tyranny of the king and his wild hunt forever.

Marissa Meyer, #1 New York Times-bestselling author, returns to the fairytale world with this haunting retelling of Rumpelstiltskin.

MADE SOME CHOICES.

As someone who [at the time of reading] didn’t know the FULL story of Rumpelstiltskin, I gotta say, most of this story took me by surprise, holy wow. After catching up on the tale and what happens, I muuuuuch more clearly understand the artistic choices here and made me look back and enjoy it more.

I adored Serilda as the main character. She was brave and wily. I love the spinning of tales and how she just lied. And rolled with it. She was somehow a bit morally gray, and completely the hero at the same time and that’s the kind of characters I love. I wish there was a bit more depth with her romance with Gild. They didn’t get a lot of page time, meaning I didn’t get enough pages to love them.

This is a dark and twisted tale. And the chapters focusing on the actual moon cycle were good, enthralling, and kept me going. All of the stuff in-between? Eh. I found the pacing here much slower causing me to feel like this book draaaagged itself through the middle.

It was a wild set-up at the end and I have MANY QUESTIONS and answers needed. Can’t wait for the next book because as always, I love Marissa Meyer!

Overall audience notes:

  • YA/NA Fantasy Romance + Retelling
  • Language: some
  • Romance: closed door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: blood/gore depiction, multiple children murdered, loss of parents, kidnapping, torture, murder, animal cruelty

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance / Magical Realism
Length: 400 pages
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel &Friends
Release Date: November 3rd, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In this young adult contemporary romance, a girl is suddenly gifted with the ability to cast instant karma on those around her—both good and bad.

Chronic overachiever Prudence Daniels is always quick to cast judgment on the lazy, rude, and arrogant residents of her coastal town. Her dreams of karmic justice are fulfilled when, after a night out with her friends, she wakes up with the sudden ability to cast instant karma on those around her. Pru giddily makes use of the power, punishing everyone from public vandals to karaoke hecklers, but there is one person on whom her powers consistently backfire: Quint Erickson, her slacker of a lab partner and all-around mortal enemy. Soon, Pru begins to uncover truths about Quint, her peers, and even herself that reveal how thin the line is between virtue and vanity, generosity and greed . . . love and hate.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the audio book in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own!

IT WAS CUTE.

Since I read this an audio book ARC, I wanted to mention my thoughts on the audio. I thought the narrator was great and found it to be easy listening. I kept it at 1.5x – 1.75x depending on what I was doing at the time while listening. Definitely would recommend reading it as an audio book if you enjoy that option!

I love Marissa Meyer’s books. I am a big fan of her fantasy books. Reading her first contemporary romance? ALL OVER IT.

This was a cute Beatles-inspired young adult romance. I loved the beach setting and marine ecology aspects. It felt relevant without being pushy and I learned a lot just from the setting alone. There was knowledge of rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing multiple marine animals and the center goes about achieving their ultimate goal of getting these animals back to the wild.

Prudence was our dear main character. Oh, how I struggled with her for 80% of the book. I kept expecting some more character growth from her, but felt it happened too close to the end. She leaned towards selfish and so completely single-mindedly focused that I wanted to jump in the book and tell her what she’s missing. With all of the damage done before getting to some evolution in her character it became a bit of a let down.

Quint was precious. And I’m genuinely amazed he was cool with Prudence being rude to him over and over again. I loved his interactions and banter. Quint had a great back story and was clearly devoted to helping the sea creatures in his care. I loved his nature and passion.

I did love their initial at last they kissed moment. It came at the right time and was sweet. I would have loved a longer ending with more of them because by the time I was really feeling it, the ending had arrived.

It’s overall a fun book and I’m happy that I read it. I love Meyer’s writing and will continue to read all the books by her. I’m also hoping for maybe more books with Pru’s brother, Jude (who I adored) and maybe even her friends? I thought there was some open options for more contemporaries in this world and I would love to read those too.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary romance
  • Language: very little and light
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: injured sea animals that washed ashore, someone breaking their leg from a fall

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Book Review

Graphic Novel Book Review: Gone Rogue (Wires and Nerve #2) by Marissa Meyer

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy/Sci-fi Graphic Novel
Length: 324 pages
Author: Marissa Meyer [Illustrators: Stephen Gilpin and Douglas Holgate]
Publisher: Fiewel & Friends
Release Date: January 30th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Iko – an audacious android and best friend to the Lunar Queen Cinder – has been tasked with hunting down Alpha Lysander Steele, the leader of a rogue band of bioengineered wolf-soldiers who threaten to undo the tenuous peace agreement between Earth and Luna. Unless Cinder can reverse the mutations that were forced on them years before, Steele and his soldiers plan to satisfy their monstrous appetites with a massacre of the innocent people of Earth.

And to show he’s serious, Steele is taking hostages.

Cinder and Kai, Scarlet and Wolf, Cress and Thorne, and Winter and Jacin all feature in this epic new battle. But it is Iko who must face her deepest fears when she uncovers the truth about her own unusual programming.

LOVED THIS.

This was such a great conclusion y’all. I loved the artwork, the story, the characters. Ah, it was nice spending a bit of time back in this world.

I adored the addition of the new characters and getting to understand Iko’s humanity. I love her personality and sass. And just how incredibly great of a person she really is. Kinney and Iko definitely have that spark between them and it was precious seeing their friendship grow.

Smitten with all my fav characters all over again. BUT HELLO, where was my Cinder and Kai wedding? Honestly, only thing missing [Scarlet and Wolf were pretty dang cute though]. These are a must read if you love the original books. These are engaging and action-packed and I feel actually add to the original story. There’s a chance to see an in-depth look at what Luna and Earth are like post Levana.

Short and sweet (just the way graphic novels are). The plot is dynamite, Iko is the perfect main character for this volume and you get to see all of your old friends again, what’s not to love?

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy sci-fi graphic novel
  • Language: none
  • Romance: a few kisses
  • Violence: swords, physical (not depicted in an overly gory/bloody way)

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Book Review

Graphic Novel Book Review: Wires and Nerves (Wires and Nerves #1) by Marissa Meyer

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy graphic novel
Length: 238 pages
Author: Marissa Meyer [Illustrators: Douglas Holgate & Stephen Gilpin]
Publisher: Fiewel & Friends
Release Date: January 31st, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers’ leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the series.

LOVED THIS CONTINUATION.

Yay for my library having this book because I have been looking for a chance to continue this series! What beautiful artwork and well put together graphics. Definitely easy enough to read in one sitting and feel wrapped back up in The Lunar Chronicles.

I loved the way everyone was portrayed and that this story focused on Iko. I think she totally deserves her own book and doing it as an illustrated book was such a great idea. I love her personality and love for her friends. Iko is funny, witty, and incredibly loyal. She’s an easy heroine to love and cheer on.

Getting to see the cast of TLC again was also fantastic. I love that series and getting to have them also in this book was perfect. Those couples are just precious and I could always use more of them. Seeing Cinder as Queen and working towards a better future of Lunar was impressive. This book worked on multiple levels, tackling the story from many different pieces.

This is a cute and fun read. Highly recommend if you enjoyed the original novels to check out this book!

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy Graphic Novel
  • Language: none
  • Romance: a few kisses
  • Violence: werewolf/hybrid solider attacks, guns, physical

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