All the Answers by Kate Messner

All the Answers

What if your pencil had all the answers? Would you ace every test? Would you know what your teachers were thinking?

When Ava Anderson finds a scratched up pencil she doodles like she would with any other pencil. But when she writes a question in the margin of her math quiz, she hears a clear answer in a voice no one else seems to hear.

With the help of her friend Sophie, Ava figures out that the pencil will answer factual questions only – those with definite right or wrong answers – but won’t predict the future. Ava and Sophie discover all kinds of uses for the pencil, and Ava’s confidence grows with each answer. But it’s getting shorter with every sharpening, and when the pencil reveals a scary truth about Ava’s family, she realizes that sometimes the bravest people are the ones who live without all the answers..

All the Answers by Kate Messner
Published January 27, 2015 by Bloomsbury
Format: Netgalley* e-book; 256 pages
Childrens/Fantasy/Magical Realism
Also By This Author: Capture the Flag, Over and Under the Snow, Marty McGuire
Goodreads | Amazon | Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

Before I get to my review, I have a little story for you all. Around three and a half years ago when I became a book blogger I joined a site called Netgalley. If you’re a book reviewer, you are probably familiar with this site, but if you’re not, it’s where book bloggers can request ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) of prepublished books, and publishers will accept or deny these requests. Netgalley only releases e-books or e-galleys of ARCs, not hard copies. For anyone who has used Netgalley, you will be able to relate to me: it is SO TEMPTING to request ALL THE BOOKS. That’s basically what happened to me when I first joined. Since I was brand new, I assumed I would maybe get approved for a book or two. So I requested 20+ books during my first week on the site. I was only denied 6. Fast forward three years and I still have 6 books from 2014 to review (and I want to review them all, so here I am, ticking away at those stragglers).

On a whim last week I decided to finally read All the Answers. It’s been a while since I’ve read any Middle Grade books (the last one being Serafina and the Black Cloak, which I was really disappointed in), but this one just sounded interesting. It’s a light fantasy book, and that’s not really a good description for it because it’s more in the realm of magical realism, a genre I actually really enjoy. The few things I’ve written personally have been in the magical realism genre.

All the Answers was refreshing. I always enjoy reading novels with themes of mental health, and reading about Ava’s journey as she struggles with anxiety reminded me of my own early teenage years. Ava is a worrier; she worries about math tests, she worries about falling down in front of classmates, but most of all she worries about her family. Sometimes she worries so much that she has an anxiety attack, and she is seeing a counselor to help her overcome these attacks. I should say that while this book focuses on Ava’s battle with fear and anxiety, it’s done so in a realistically encouraging way.

As a protagonist, Ava was so easy to like and relate to. She has a good heart and a strong mind, and she would make an excellent role model for any preteen struggling with worrying and anxiety. Middle School is a tough time for every teenager, and I’m glad that there are positive novels like All the Answers for them to turn to.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own!

 

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Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising.jpg

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies…even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown
Published January 28, 2014 by Del Rey
Format: Hardcover; 382 pages
Science Fiction/Fantasy/Dystopian
Also By This Author: Golden Son, Morning Star, Iron Gold
Goodreads | Amazon | Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

There is SO MUCH packed into this novel that I am not even going to attempt to write out all of my thoughts. Instead, I am going to play a little game (since this book revolves around a game of sorts) called Top 3 Takeaways (I just made that up but I like it so I’ll probably use it for future reviews).

Top 3 Takeaways from Red Rising

  1. Nothing is black or white, everything is grey, and all’s fair (but not necessarily forgivable) in love & war: That’s a mouthful, so let me break it down. Red Rising is about war and revolution. It’s messy. It’s tragic. It’s violent (trigger warning: there are scenes involving rape, murder, torture, and enslavement). But both sides are shown and analyzed and the protagonists and antagonists all have realistically complex motives, making this novel full of grey lines. Sometimes Darrow does some unforgivable things. Sometimes you want his enemies to survive. In no way is this an easy novel to read. As Joey from Friends would say, it’s a “put it in the freezer” kind of book.
  2. Character building is better than world building: It took me a while to get into Red  Rising because the first several chapters are mostly world building, which can be rather boring and overbearing at times. I had to push through until Darrow made some frenemies, and then the novel started to get interesting. Those characters are what really grew and challenged Darrow, and the chapters when he is collaborating and conversing with the Golds are far more enjoyable than the first third of the novel when readers are learning about Mars and the Society and the mine where Darrow is from. If you’ve already read this novel, I will let you know that Chapter 36 is my favorite because of the brilliant way in which Darrow is stretched and empowered as a leader and a revolutionary.
  3. A book can be good or enjoyable without being original: The best way to succinctly describe Red Rising is by calling it a cross between three other dystopian science fiction novels: The Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies, and Ender’s Game. During a few moments in this book I honestly felt I was reading about The Capitol of Panem, and The Institute that Darrow “studies” at is just a high school, co-ed version of Lord of the Flies with much more violence and savagery. Darrow is also very similar to Ender Wiggin, an outsider prodigy who doesn’t play by the rules. I found both characters to be slightly untrustworthy at times, unlike Katniss Everdeen who is steadfast, moral, and a character I could trust with my life.

Overall, this book produced good and bad reactions out of me, but I think its praise is deserved, even if the dystopian Society is reminiscent of other novels. Red Rising will still keep you up until all hours of the morning with cliffhanging chapters and unpredictable characters.

You May Also Enjoy

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (for the dystopian society)
Lord of the Flies by William Golding (for the psychology behind war & survival)
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (for the sci-fi and war games)

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Renegades.jpg

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both

Renegades by Marissa Meyer
Published November 7, 2017 by Feiwel & Friends
Format: Netgalley* e-book; 556 pages
Young Adult/Fantasy
Also By This Author: The Lunar Chronicles Series (Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter, Stars Above), Heartless
Goodreads | Amazon | Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

When a book makes me cry during the prologue, I know I’m in for a fantastic read! I tend to rate books based on the emotional impact they have on me, and I have given books an extra star rating before just because they’ve managed to make me cry. The prologue to Renegades connected me instantly with the antihero, Nova, and I can honestly say she is one of the most interesting characters I’ve encountered in a book before. She is fierce, intelligent, and confident, and even though she’s intimidating to her enemies, I would love to be friends with her in real life.

Nova is an Anarchist, a group of exiled rebels who have been living in abandoned subway tunnels ever since the Renegades defeated them ten years before the novel takes place. The Renegades are Gatlon City’s beloved superheroes, leaders, politicians…basically they do everything and are loved by everyone, except the Anarchists. Nova hates The Renegades, and would like nothing more than to shatter their perfect image that the city idolizes. Adrian is a Renegade legacy, and he is good (honestly, he’s such a pure character, like a perfectly compassionate All-American brainiac with glasses–too many adjectives?). It’s no surprise that Nova feels conflicted about her mission the more time she spends with Adrian.

When I finished Renegades, I had SO MANY QUESTIONS. It’s one of those books that stays on your mind for a few days afterwards while you unpack and analyze everything. This book ends on a major cliffhanger that seriously had me questioning one character’s entire point of view (not really a spoiler, but I felt like one character was revealed to be an unreliable narrator, which of course had me as a reader feeling betrayed!). The sequel (and conclusion) to Renegades had already been announced before I started reading this book, so a cliffhanger wasn’t a huge surprise for me, but the actual cliffhanger was shocking and I did not see it coming. I’m definitely excited to read the finale later this year!

Read This Book If…

…you are a fan of The Hunger Gamesor other dystopian novels that feature a fierce female main character (seriously, Nova is awesome).
…you love superhero movies!
…you enjoy reading books from the POV of a villain or antihero.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own!

The Delphi Resistance (The Delphi Trilogy #2) by Rysa Walker

Delphi Resistance

Struggling with evolving psychic abilities, seventeen-year-old Anna Morgan and her equally exceptional friends are on the run from the ruthless Graham Cregg, leader of a covert operation known as the Delphi Project. Cregg has already killed repeatedly to test Anna’s ability. Now, he and his father, a presidential contender, will stop at nothing to recapture the Delphi adepts, whom they see as weapons to be controlled—or destroyed.

Navigating an increasingly hostile landscape, Anna and her friends form a resistance to rescue those still in the Creggs’ fatal grip. As more gifted kids vanish and public awareness of the Delphi Project grows, so does the opinion that getting rid of the adepts may be a necessary evil.

Yet even as they face off against cold-blooded killers, government operatives, and a public intensely afraid of their psychic powers, the greatest threat to Anna and the resistance may come from within themselves—and their own mysterious abilities could spell their ultimate downfall.

The Delphi Resistance (The Delphi Trilogy #2) by Rysa Walker
Published October 24, 2017 by Skyscape
Format: Netgalley e-book; 456 pages
Young Adult/Paranormal/Fantasy
Also By This Author: The Delphi EffectTimebound
Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Thoughts:

First off, I love this cover. The splotches of blue and purple look so well together (also, they’re my two favorite colors!), and the sphere in the middle reminds me of a black hole, even though this book series has nothing to do with black holes or space travel.

My favorite thing about this series so far has been the characters, especially the ones with special abilities. In The Delphi Effect, we mostly see Anna with one “hitcher”, as she calls them. Towards the end of the book, however, as the plot and conspiracies grow deeper, Anna takes on multiple hitchers and her self-control and focus are pushed to the limit as she tries not to be pushed to the backseat of her consciousness. In The Delphi Resistance, Anna consistently has multiple hitchers, but she has learned how to keep control, even during stressful situation (these hitchers are more friendly than some of the ones we met at the end of Delphi Effect.

Similarly to its prequel, The Delphi Resistance has more exposition scenes and fewer high-intensity action scenes, although there are two really suspenseful ones in this novel. The characters spend weeks researching, investigating, and, in Taylor’s case, tracking down key people in the Delphi Project. I believe this reflects Rysa Walker’s own writing habits, as I know she is a history buff who loves researching real events for her novels. It’s one of the biggest things I admire about her as an author :)

The ending to The Delphi Resistance came suddenly, and I’m anxious to read the final installment of the series next year. I’m really excited to find out what’s going on with some of the “gifted” characters, like Daniel, and the boy Anna first encounters at The Warren.

You May Also Enjoy:

mara dyerdivergentMarvel’s X-Men

The Mara Dyer series by Michelle Hodkin

Divergent series by Veronica Roth

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of The Delphi Resistance in exchange for an honest review. These thoughts are my own!

The Delphi Effect by Rysa Walker – Audiobook Review

The Delphi Effect

It’s never wise to talk to strangers…and that goes double when they’re dead. Unfortunately, seventeen-year-old Anna Morgan has no choice. Resting on a park bench, touching the turnstile at the Metro station—she never knows where she’ll encounter a ghost. These mental hitchhikers are the reason Anna has been tossed from one foster home and psychiatric institution to the next for most of her life.

When a chance touch leads her to pick up the insistent spirit of a girl who was brutally murdered, Anna is pulled headlong into a deadly conspiracy that extends to the highest levels of government. Facing the forces behind her new hitcher’s death will challenge the barriers, both good and bad, that Anna has erected over the years and shed light on her power’s origins. And when the covert organization seeking to recruit her crosses the line by kidnapping her friend, it will discover just how far Anna is willing to go to bring it down.

The Delphi Effect (The Delphi Trilogy #1) by Rysa Walker
Published October 11, 2017 by Skyscape
Format: e-book/e-audiobook; 379 pages/12 hours
Young Adult / Fantasy / Paranormal
Also By This Author: The CHRONOS Files Series (Timebound, Time’s Edge, Time’s Divide)
Goodreads | Audible | Amazon Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 

Thoughts

Once again, I bought a Rysa Walker book and then didn’t start reading it until MONTHS later. Let’s just say I was waiting until book 2’s release date was close so that I wouldn’t have to wait long in-between (this is true! I just received an advanced copy of The Delphi Resistance, which comes out next month, so I’ll be starting that ASAP!). My husband actually finished this book before me, and I’m so glad that we both enjoy Rysa’s novels because it’s fun to discuss and digest them together.

This series is more fantastical than I had been expecting. Her previous series is a solid sci-fi tale, and while The Delphi Effect can definitely be classified as sci-fi, it was more in the fantasy/paranormal realm. Our protagonist Anna is able to converse with spirits, particularly spirits of deceased persons who are unable to move on. I guess you can say they are stuck in purgatory, and they try to convince Anna to help them with their unfinished business. Sometimes that unfinished business is easy, like finishing a crossword puzzle or making sure someone’s beloved pet was adopted. But other times Anna has difficult, even dangerous hitch hikers. Such is the case with Molly, a murder victim, and who unintentionally catapults Anna into a secretive government conspiracy.

Rysa Walker is very skilled at world building. She is a history buff, and she always weaves her stories into real-life events. I also love how detailed and intricate she makes her characters’ powers. In The CHRONOS Files, the main character has the genetic ability to time travel. In The Delphi Effect, Anna and many of the characters she meets have supernatural abilities: ability to converse with spirits, power of persuasion, visions of the future, etc. I really enjoyed visualizing all of these different abilities, and I’m very much looking forward to reading more of this series. The Delphi Resistance comes out in October, and the final book, The Delphi Revolution, will probably be released next year.

Audiobook Review

If you’ve ever hesitated about buying a Kindle, let me persuade you (with my supernatural powers of persuasion…): Amazon has this feature called Wispersync. When you buy an e-book, you are then able to purchase the audiobook (at a much cheaper price) and switch back and forth between reading and narration within the Kindle app. I had already bought the first two CHRONOS Files novels when my husband wanted to read them as well, and since he prefers audiobooks so he can listen at work (he does drafting so lucky for him he can put in headphones and tune the office out), I went to buy the Audible version and found out about Whispersync. It cost me between $20-$25 to buy three e-books and the corresponding audiobooks! It usually costs that much for ONE audiobook. I don’t know if this feature is available for every e-book, but it’s worth a try. I don’t even think you really need a Kindle; just an Amazon account and the Kindle app.

Now, onto the audiobook review. Kate Rudd narrates this series, and she narrated The CHRONOS Files as well. I love her narration. She does a great job with the characters’ different voices and accents, and I would be highly inclined to listen to any audiobook that she narrates. Even though I only have an advanced e-book version of The Delphi Resistance, I still plan on buying the published e-book/audiobook copies via Whispersync, especially so my husband can continue listening to the series. I will probably be rereading these books sometime. I already want to reread Timebound because Kate Rudd’s voice reminds me (unsurprisingly) of that story and how much I absolutely adore it.

You May Also Enjoy…

18108877mara dyerAnya's GhostTimebound by Rysa Walker

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Time Reavers (Time Reavers #1) by Jacob Holo – Audiobook Review

Time Reavers Audiobook Cover

The monsters are real, and time is their weapon.

Fed up with bad teachers and daily fights with her sister, 16-year-old Nicole Taylor yearns for something better. Sadly, she’s in for a letdown, because the world ends next week.

Nicole discovers she has a rare gift. She can bend time around her and even stop it completely. With her powers awakening, she must face the Reavers: horrific killing machines that exist outside our time.

Plagued with nightmares and ambushed by monsters at every turn, Nicole has one chance to stop their genocidal invasion. With help from a chain-smoking pyrokinetic, a neurotic sword-wielding assassin, and an icy goth chick with a crossbow, she may stand a chance.

But the Reavers are tireless foes, and time is on their side.

Time Reavers (Time Reavers #1) by Jacob Holo
Published 2017 by Holo Writing
Format: e-audiobook; 8 hours, 36 minutes
Science Ficition / Urban Fantasy / Young Adult
Also By This Author: The Dragons of JupiterSeraphim Revival Series
Goodreads | Audible | Amazon Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥ ½

Thoughts

When I first heard about this Audiobook tour from The Audiobookworm, I jumped right on it, because I’m game for any time travel book. Time Reavers is more about controlling/stopping time than it is about traveling to the past or future, but from the very first chapter we are thrown into the action of the Time Reaver world, and the pace never really slows down.

The heroine, Nicole, is a misfit high school student, struggling with self-confidence, who is catapulted into the hidden world of time bending while on a field trip in Russia. Although Nicole is a relatable protagonist, the supporting characters are really the more interesting ones, especially Daniel, a trench-coat donning assassin who teaches Nicole about her new powers. He’s extremely charismatic and roguish, and the voice narrator Tess Irondale uses for Daniel makes him seem especially geeky, too (win!).

Time Reavers is packed with action in nearly every chapter. If you enjoy fast-paced sci-fi/fantasy novels, you will really enjoy Time Reavers. Personally, I prefer when there is more build up and suspense between battles and life-or-death situations, because that is when characters experience personal growth and deepen relationships with other characters. Aside from some minor details, that was the one thing I felt was missing from this novel. The writing was excellent and I only had to rewind a couple of passages to be able to clearly understand what was happening (let’s be honest, even if I’m not listening to an audiobook, I normally reread passages in most sci-fi novels, including two of my favorite books, The Martian and Timebound).

About the Author

Author Jacob Holo PhotoJacob Holo is a former-Ohioan, former-Michigander living in sunny South Carolina. He describes himself as a writer, gamer, hobbyist, and engineer. Jacob started writing when his parents bought that “new” IBM 286 desktop back in the 80s. Remember those? He’s been writing ever since.

As a fun way to get to know him better, here is a list of This or That? questions for author Jacob Holo :)

  1. Waffle Fries or Curly Fries? Either’s fine as long as they have Cajun seasoning.
  2. GIF with a hard g or soft g? Soft G. It’s not a peanut butter.
  3. Fantasy or science-fiction? Science fiction, because good science fiction makes my brain happy.
  4. Superman or Batman? Batman. BECAUSE HE’S BATMAN. Also, because even with all his training and gadgets, he’s still just a human being like the rest of us.
  5. Text message or call? If it’s important enough to be communicated, it’s important enough for a call.
  6. Pancakes or waffles? Waffles. I like syrup, and waffles are nothing but big syrup grids.
  7. Doctor Who or the Walking Dead? Doctor Who. Even though a lot of its episodes are misses, when it hits, it resonates in a unique way because its canvas is so limitless.  I also enjoy that when it does become stale, it’s able to revitalize itself by switching out characters and actors to keep things fresh.
  8. TV Shows or Movies? Movies. They’re over faster, so I can get back to writing.
  9. Facebook or Twitter? Neither. I have a Facebook account, but it’s been a year since I logged in…
  10. Alice in Wonderland or Robinson Crusoe? Alice in Wonderland. It’s closer to what the inside of my brain is like.
  11. Being too warm or too cold? Too cold. You can put on clothes when you’re too cold, but you can’t take off your skin if you’re too warm. (Not without difficulty, anyway.)
  12. Netflix or Hulu? Can I add an option? For an anime nerd, CrunchyRoll is fantastic.
  13. Work Hard or Play Hard? Work hard. I’ll play hard when I’m done. If I’m ever done.
  14. Passenger or Driver? Passenger. My wife’s better at handling the crazy drivers in her home state than I am.
  15. Amusement Park or Day at the Beach? I’m more of a day on the couch kind of guy.
  16. Honesty or Other’s Feelings? Honesty is the best policy, though politeness goes a long way, too.
  17. Movie at Home or Movie at the Theater? Movies at home, because if someone in the audience talks too much it’s easier to lock them in another room.

Audiobook Review

Tess Irondale does an exceptional job at narrating Time Reavers. There are even multiple times when she has to voice the Time Reavers themselves, which basically consists of high-pitched screams. If you think that would be annoying to listen to, it wasn’t; I was actually rather impressed with her narrating skills.

While listening to science fiction and fantasy audiobooks, sometimes it’s hard to get through long, detail-filled passages, especially when names or scientific terminology is difficult to picture visually. The pro is that you don’t have to worry about how specific names or places are pronounced, because the narrator does that for you. Tess Irondale narrates clearly and emphatically enough that I was able to understand what she was reading, even if I didn’t know until halfway through the novel that Nicole was on a journey with Tau Guards and not Tal Guards.

Version 2About the Narrator: Tess​ Irondale​ is a professional audiobook narrator and voice actress, credited with bringing ​nearly ​5​0 titles to life. ​She ​specializes ​in ​Fantasy, Adventure, and Erotica, although ​her​ work ​has covered​ nearly every genre including Young Adult, Humor, Spirituality, ​LGBTQ, Sci-Fi, Self Help and ​Mystery​. ​She is on Audible’s in-house voice roster, and ​also works directly with authors through ACX.​ When not in the recording booth, she can be found hiking in the woods or hunkered over a crossword puzzle.

Giveaway!

Time Reavers Giveaway: Signed Copy of Time Reavers

Liked this review? Check out the tour page below to find other bloggers’ reviews!

Time Reavers Tour Banner

DisclaimerI received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jacob Holo. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

Stars Above

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—Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles #4.5) by Marissa Meyer
Published February 2, 2016 by Feiwel & Friends
Format: Hardcover; 369 pages
Science-Fiction/Fantasy/Young Adult Romance
Also By This Author: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter, and Heartless
Goodreads | Amazon | Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

Stars Above was the book I really wanted to read last year but was unfortunately unable to do so; therefore, it was my first priority in 2017! I think it ended up being a great way to start off the year, and sci-fi/fantasy novels always seem to me to be appropriate winter reading. I enjoyed reading all of the short stories, but here are the four that made the biggest impression on me:

The Queen’s Army was probably my favorite short story in the book. It was definitely the creepiest, because it showed graphic insight into Wolf’s transformation and training to become one of Levana’s biologically altered soldiers. Wolf is one of the most mysterious and interesting characters in the Lunar Chronicles series, so I really enjoyed reading his “origin story” and understanding more about where he came from.

Continuing the same themes of creepy yet intriguing, Winter’s prequel story, The Princess and the Guard also helped me respect and appreciate Winter more than I already had. This short story is similar to Queen Levana’s prequel, Fairest, only The Princess and the Guard was much more enjoyable to me than Fairest was. It was easier to sympathize with Winter and I really enjoyed learning more about her friendship with Jacin.

Something Old, Something New was a really fun story, and technically it’s the epilogue of the entire series. All of the other stories take place before the start of Cinder, but Something Old, Something New is set a year after the end of Winter. It’s a warm and light-hearted story and the best part is that we get to see all eight of our characters together to celebrate a wedding (whose wedding? You’ll have to read it and see–no spoilers here!). I loved the way it ends the series on a heartfelt note.

My other favorite story in this book was The Little Android, which is only slightly connected to the rest of the series in the fact that it takes place in The Lunar Chronicles universe and we get a glimpse of one of the characters from the main books. Other than that it is a completely new retelling of the classic fairy tale The Little Mermaid, and it’s my favorite type of story: tragic and bittersweet! (Yes, I’m a masochist).

“I will accept any amount of monsters my mind wants to give me, but I will not become a monster myself.”

Read This Book If…

…you love The Lunar Chronicles series.
…you enjoy short stories.
…you’re a fan of prequels and epilogues.
…you have a hard time letting go of your favorite characters.

“Politeness, it turned out, was almost as effective when you wanted someone to do something for you. And kindness went further toward lasting admiration than any amount of mind control.”

Final Musings

If you’ve already read all or part of The Lunar Chronicles series, Stars Above is a great book to add to your list, as well. You can even read the individual stories in between Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter. Here’s the breakdown of where all the novels take place on The Lunar Chronicles timeline:

Cinder (#1)
Glitches (#0.5)
The Little Android (#0.6)
The Mechanic (#0.7)
Scarlet (#2)
The Queen’s Army (#2.5)
The Keeper (#2.6)
Cress (#3)
Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky (#3.1)
After Sunshine Passes By (#3.2)
Fairest (#3.5)
Winter (#4)
The Princess and The Guard (#4.1)
Something Old, Something New (#4.5)

Just make sure you save Something Old, Something New for last!