Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – Review

April 7, 2015 Reviews 45 ★★★★★

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – ReviewScarlet by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2
Also in this series: Cinder
Published by Feiwel & Friends on 2/5/13
Genres: Fairy Tales Legends & Mythology, Retellings, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 454
Source: Purchased
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing)
My rating:
5 Stars

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

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My Take

***NOTE: This review is for the second book in a series and may contain spoilers for Cinder, the first book. Click here to read my review of Cinder.***

I really enjoyed Cinder, but for some reason I wasn’t all that desperate to read the second book in this series. I don’t exactly know why except that I think I wasn’t crazy about the idea that Scarlet would focus on different characters (and a different fairy tale). Well, it turns out that I loved Scarlet even more than I did Cinder. I don’t know why I waited to read it!

What I LOVED:

  • Integration of characters. I loved the way that Meyer interwove Scarlet’s story with Cinder’s and tied everything together. I actually didn’t see the connection coming, and I loved being taken by surprise! The story switched back and forth between Cinder’s story and Scarlet’s. While Cinder was working on escaping from prison and figuring out how to stop Levana from taking over the earth, Scarlet was focused on rescuing her grandmother from a group of wolves – or something like it. The stories are mostly told separately, but eventually a connection was revealed!
  • Scarlet. Scarlet was no innocent little girl in this book. Instead, she was a tough, smart woman who wouldn’t give up until she found out who took her grandmother and why.  When things got strange, Scarlet hung in there, always hopeful that she would be able to salvage the situation. I instantly liked Scarlet and connected with her. And I loved her story!
  • Wolf. Wolf was the perfect tortured bad-boy, but his story wasn’t completely typical – there were definitely some surprises. From the first moment that we met Wolf, I suspected there was more to him than met the eye, but I didn’t ever suspect what was actually up with him, so I ended up loving his story that much more. Wolf was both fierce and endearing, just the way I like my heroes!
  • Thorne. Another fun new character who’s introduced in this book! Thorne was complete comic relief – and he did a fantastic job at it!

The negatives:

  • Loosely based on Red Riding Hood? I felt like this book was more loosely based on the original fairy tale than Cinder was, but maybe I missed some of the references? (Feel free to point smaller details that came from the original story – other than the obvious wolf and granny characters.) I still loved the connections that were there, but I would have liked even more!

I don’t know why I waited to so long to pick up Scarlet, but the one benefit was that I didn’t have to wait at all to read Cress!  I give Scarlet 5/5 stars.

About the Author

Marissa MeyerI live in Tacoma, Washington, with my fiancé and our two cats. In addition to my slight obsession with books and writing, I’m big on road-tripping, wine-tasting, and hunting for antiques. I’m represented by Jill Grinberg.

CINDER, my debut novel, is a futuristic re-envisioning of Cinderella in which Cinder is a cyborg mechanic. Release date: 3 Jan 2012.

Author Links:

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45 Responses to “Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – Review”

  1. S. J. Pajonas

    You know what I liked about the later books of this series (Scarlet and Cress) is that there was just a HINT of the original fairy tales. I much prefer a nod to the fairy tales than just a re-telling. I like the face that they were just a jumping-off point! I think Cress is my favorite of the series so far. I could not put it down 🙂

    S. J. Pajonas recently posted: My Top 10 Wind-Down Drinks
    • Nicole

      I agree that I don’t want a complete re-telling, but I like seeing lots of little elements sprinkled in, almost like tiny inside jokes. Of course, there may have been more of those than I realized because I don’t remember the original fairy tale all that well!

    • Nicole

      Yes! That was me too – I don’t know what took me so long to get caught up. I still need to read Fairest.

  2. Bregje

    I also really enjoyed Cinder but somehow never read the sequel. You made me really curious again! I’m interested to see how those two stories would weave together.

    • Nicole

      I guess I’m not the only one who did this. You should definitely continue the series – I loved both Scarlet and Cress!

  3. Jenny @ Supernatural Snark

    WOO HOO!!!! I loved this one so much too Nicole! Especially Wolf:) You might fall even more in love with him in Cress, I know I did. I agree that this one felt like a more loosely related version of Little Red Riding Hood, but the way she combined Cinder and Scarlet’s stories was so well done. I can’t wait to see what you think of book three!

  4. Jessica@Lovin' Los Libros

    I read Cinder so long ago and while I enjoyed it, I never felt the NEED to get this one. Too many other books I suppose! Still, I keep hearing Scarlet is better than Cinder, so one of these days I will definitely pick it up!

    • Nicole

      That was kind of me too. I even bought Scarlet, but never actually picked it up. I’m glad that finally did, though!!

  5. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    Awesome review Nicole^^ YAY I’m so happy you enjoyed this one as well 😀 I think everyone loved Scarlet even more than Cinder which is rare but also very cool. Like you, I remember not being sure how I’d love this one because of the change of focus and new characters, but I ended up worrying for nothing. And if you’re like me, you’ll love Cress even MORE!!

    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted: Review: Dealing with Dragons
  6. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    I didn’t love Scarlet as much as Cinder (but Cress is my favorite so far!) but I definitely loved how Meyer integrated the two stories together – and I can see that this was a looser retelling of the Red Riding Hood tale, it didn’t bother me as much but I do think it is always fun when there are little unexpected references to the original work sprinkle throughout a retelling!

    Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy recently posted: Review: The Magicians and Mrs. Quent
    • Nicole

      Yeah, I wouldn’t say that the loose retelling bothered me (I still definitely felt like this was a five star read!), but I do enjoy those little hints at the original story!

  7. ShootingStarsMag

    I really liked Scarlet as a character- she’s very feisty and willing to fight for the people she cares about. I hope you enjoy Cress; I can’t wait for Winter!! It took me awhile to read ANY of these books, but I’m glad I finally got to them.

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted: Waiting on Wednesday: Skyscraping
    • Nicole

      Yes – I’m so behind the times when it comes to this series. Now I need to read Fairest!! (But I’m having that internal debate about buying it because I have all the other books in paperback … ah, the problems of a book blogger!) 🙂

  8. Liza Barrett

    My absolutely favorite part of this book was seeing the multiple, seemingly disjointed, character plot arcs coming together seamlessly. It was beautiful! And I felt like each character (both new and old) developed really nicely in this book. I LOVE when Scarlet freaks out at Cinder for not doing anything all this time before giving Cinder a chance to explain that she didn’t KNOW she was anyone important. That little rant just had me grinning 🙂

    • Nicole

      Not everyone loves it, but it does seem to a lot of praise! This is my type of series anyway, so that definitely helps!

  9. Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales

    I am glad you picked this up,Nicole!I loved Scarlet,even more than Cinder,and I love how interwoven this series is.It reminds me of Harry Potter.
    And the characters are amazing.I think I loved Cinder more in this book,and Scarlet was everything I normally love in my heroine-fierce,brave and sassy.
    Plus I adored Wolf.And Thorne was a piece of work!I loved his chemistry with Cinder,if not for Kai,I would’ve started to ship them together.

    Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales recently posted: Reading in public.
    • Nicole

      Yes, I definitely loved both Wolf and Thorne – they’re kind of overshadowing Kai at this point, but hopefully we’ll get more opportunities to love Kai in Winter! 🙂

  10. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    Ah, you have now made me really want to read Scarlet! I was the same- I read Cinder a long time ago, and I liked it, but I didn’t *need* to read Scarlet immediately (clearly, since I haven’t!) but now… ugh, now my overextended reading schedule may need this. Plus, I don’t even care about the retelling part, so the negative isn’t even a negative for me! Great review, even though you have made me need to read it 😉

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted: Burn, Rewrite, or Reread?
  11. Terri M., the Director

    I read Cinder right after Scarlett came out and just a couple months before Cress was released. I thought it was a trilogy. I nearly screamed outloud in the bookstore when I bought Cress and saw it was a 4 book series! And that is why I waited so long to read Cress. I was mad!

    I’ve loved all the books so far, including Fairest. 🙂

    Terri M., the Director
    Second Run Reviews

    Terri M., the Director recently posted: Book Release: Travelers & Shifters & Fey, Oh My!
  12. Bruna

    I love this series! Scarlet/Wolf is my favorite ship, but I really love all of them. It just keeps getting better – Cress is awesome, and I can’t wait for Winter!) I saw some of the elements of the Little Red Hiding Hood tale (though it is a bit loosely based). But you can see things, such as; Scarlet is looking for her grandmother (like Little Red), one of the wolves pretends to be her grandmother, and also Wolf stirs her away from the path, all like in the original story.

    I actually like the fact that these stories are more inspired by the fairy tale than an actual retelling, because I love my fairy tales, but I like to see them get mixed into other things – and the Lunar Chronicles is a great example of that.
    Great review!

    Bruna recently posted: Review: Promposal by Rhoda Helms
    • Nicole

      You’re definitely right that sometimes a loosely based tale is better than an actual re-telling. I felt like I saw more parallels to the original story in Cinder, but that obviously didn’t cut down on my enjoyment of this one much!

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