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!

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October Highlights!

Hello! It’s been a while! But I have the most amazing excuse for why I haven’t blogged in a month…

I HAD A BABY!!!

Introducing Killian (aka “Little Baby French Fry,” as I’ve been calling him the past nine months):

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Isn’t he the most precious thing ever? (Yes, I’m biased. I’m a mom) One of these days I will get around to sharing my birth story, but right now I’m trying to frantically publish this highlights post before Baby K wakes up from his nap!

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October Highlights

I read 2 books:

Scarlet  Cress

Not bad considering how occupied I was last month with checking off last minute items from my to-do list, having a baby, and spending time with visiting family members :)

Also, I’m in love with The Lunar Chronicles series. I feel kind of bad that I waited until now to start it, but at the same time that means I didn’t have to wait impatiently for the sequels to be released. Win! All I have to wait for is my turn to check out Winter at the library (I’m ~10 on the waitlist).

I’m still behind on some reviews, but I’ll get them up eventually!

Most Popular Posts:

August & September Highlights
Ever After’s Château de Hautefort (I love that this post is still so popular after a year!)

What I Watched:

Sleepy Hollow

I finally had time to catch up on 3 seasons of Sleepy Hollow! I started watching this show when it first came out, but then I got too busy and I was already watching so many other shows that I decided to save it for a rainy day, or in this case the last weeks of pregnancy/late night nursing sessions with Killian. I’m still finishing up the second season but I. Am. Obsessed. Colonial literary character from one of my favorite gothic short stories + fantasy and crime drama = happy Maggie. (Also, I love teasing my husband about how cute Ichabod Crane is. To be honest, though, my husband could totally pull off the cosplay)

Highlights:

  • Having a baby! – It was the hardest, most painful experience of my life (childbirth is no joke, especially sans pain medication), but nothing can compare to the love I feel for my little french fry!
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  • Visits from family members – My mom, who was there with me in the delivery room, stayed with us for the first week and a half of Killian’s life, which was extremely helpful, especially in the mornings/early afternoons when she held him so I could shower and eat. My dad also visited for a couple of days when we were at the hospital. Killian came 4 days early but really he came at the most perfect time because my mom and husband were able to be with me constantly those first few days and also we were able to get settled in at home before my in-laws arrived from France. Having them visiting was special and helpful because we haven’t seen them in over a year and also my mother-in-law cooked every meal for us for a whole week (man, did we miss French cuisine!). The months leading up to my due date I had been so worried and stressed out about having people visiting, but it ended up being the best thing because I had so much help at home which led to me recovering pretty quickly and I also had company so I didn’t get any long-term baby blues (I did have a couple crying fests in those first few days but everyone totally understood and related). My sister also visited this week and she had a lot of fun snuggling with her nephew :)
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    A picture with both sets of grandparents :) Solo was too distracted to look at the camera…

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    This photo was snapped just after Solo gave me and my mother-in-law sloppy wet kisses.

  • Spending time with friends – I love autumn and lots of quality friend & family time. In October I went to a friend’s Pinterest party and we continued to host our Marvel movie nights (where our fellow geeky friends come over each week to watch the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies with us).
  • Simply enjoying life :) – Becoming a parent seemed like the scariest thing ever until it actually happened; everything changed but it wasn’t hard to transition. My life now revolves around my sweet baby & I wouldn’t want it any other way. Also, baby cuddle time is the best!

Looking forward to in November:

  • More family time :)
  • Thanksgiving – we’re hosting it this year!
  • Reading – I’m in a really good reading mood so far this month, which is awesome because I have time to read while I’m nursing (Killian takes his precious time nursing, which is actually a good thing because he rarely spits up).
  • Star Wars marathon – like our Marvel marathon, our friends in town are hosting a Star Wars marathon each weekend to gear up for The Force Awakens next month. I love movie marathons with friends!

What were some of your biggest highlights from October? Any good book or tv show recommendations?

August & September Highlights!

Happy Saturday everyone :) If you’re like me and you live on the east coast, it’s probably a rainy Saturday, but doesn’t that make for perfect reading weather? Today I’m hoping to finish Scarlet by Marissa Meyer while watching some college football. Yay for fall!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been pretty absent lately. Everything’s fine, just a little pregnancy fatigue (Little Baby French Fry is due in just over 3 weeks), but I did have some fun highlights from the end of the summer that I wanted to share!

August & September Highlights

I read 6 books:

Amelia Elkins Cinder senseandsensibility

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban The Duff

I still need to write my review for Sense and Sensibility, but I’m hoping to get to that this month before the baby is born.

Most Popular Posts:

Monday Updates
Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’ve Read the Most

What I Watched:

CSI

The past week or two I’ve been binge watching the latest seasons of CSI (one of my long-time favorite shows that just ended last weekend after 15 seasons). I liked how the show ended, and Ted Danson was a great show runner for the past few seasons. I’m gonna miss new episodes :( but I’m thinking about giving CSI: Cyber a try.

Highlights:

  • Friends & family visiting – In August my sister visited us for a weekend and it was fun getting to show her around town.

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    Kilwins!

  • Meeting new friends! – Last month I was able to meet with my online friend Alise @ Read. Write. Repeat for lunch since we only live a few hours away from each other and it was so nice to chat with her for a bit! I don’t have very many friends in “real life” who are readers and/or bloggers, so it’s always a special treat when I can meet online friends who are also huge bookworms. She was also sweet enough to buy Little Baby French fry this book of nursery rhymes:
    Alise
  • Baby Shower! – My family & friends threw me a lovely tea party themed baby shower last month and it was absolutely beautiful! I’ve always wanted to have a tea party with friends and this one was extra special because we got to celebrate our little French Fry. He’s already loved so much!
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  • Maternity photo session with my best friend Jae – My wonderful friend Jae drove down from Pennsylvania to spend the weekend of my baby shower with me and right before she left she took some maternity photos for us. Jae also did our engagement pictures which are AMAZING, and the maternity photos she took are just as beautiful! Here’s her website if you live in the PA area.
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  • Fall & football – It’s finally football season! You can ask my husband, most Saturdays I spend in the living room with a game on. Sometimes I read at the same time, but if it’s a team I care about I’m usually cheering or yelling at the TV ;) Our dog doesn’t like football season for this reason…
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  • Final weeks of pregnancy – There are only 3 weeks left until I hit my due date! I’m hoping the little guy comes early because not only am I running out of room in my belly, but my in-laws are visiting the week he’s due and it would be really nice to have at least a few days to get used to parenting before we have visitors. No matter how happy I am to have friends and family visiting, I’m the type of person who will always gets stressed out about it. I’m just that type of person…

    35 Weeks

    35 weeks pregnant.

Challenges:

  • Hormones – This has been my biggest struggle the past month. I anticipated it, considering how the beginning of my pregnancy went, but it’s still hard when you start crying for no reason or have trouble falling/staying asleep each night. I’ve also gotten to that point where I really don’t like how I look. That’s what it means to become a mom, I guess.

Looking Forward to in October:

  • BABY MONTH!
  • Halloween, cooler weather, and fall festivities – It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
  • Matt’s parents visiting from France! – We haven’t seen them in over a year and they’re visiting us for a week, mainly to see their new grandson (hopefully he comes on time!).

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I Want To Start

toptentuesdayTo be honest, I don’t read that many book series. It’s not because I don’t like them–I really do! Sometimes I love a book so much I wish it could have endless amounts of sequels. And my favorite book of all time, Anne of Green Gables, is the first book in an 8-book series, which I still wish could have been longer ;)

I think the reason I don’t read very many series is because I don’t want to wait for each installment to be released. I’m not the most patient person… Usually when I read a series I wait to start it until all of the books have been published, or until just before the last book is to be released. The only exception that comes to mind is Harry Potter, which I started reading after the third one came out.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday meme gives me a chance to list some of the series I have been thinking about starting. I added some TV shows into the mix as well.

Top Ten Book and TV Series I Want to Start

MazeRunner PercyJackson LegendCinder SomethingStrangeDeadly Delirium

The Maze Runner series by James Dashner – Just bought the 4-book box set so I’ll be reading this soon!
Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan – This has been on my TBR for a while.
The Legend series by Marie Lu – I’ve only heard great things about this YA dystopian series.
The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer – I haven’t read very many science fiction books!
Something Strange and Deadly series by Susan Dennard – Getting ready to read this first installment for my book club, actually!
Delirium series by Lauren Oliver – Another YA dystopian series (I’m addicted)

Blacklist VeronicaMars
supernatural3 BeautyBeast

The Blacklist – My mom keeps raving about this series and about how much I’d love it. My husband has already watched the Pilot and he agrees. I only haven’t started watching because I don’t have the time right now. During the winter TV hiatus I’ll probably binge watch it.
Veronica Mars – So many of my friends loved this show and I think I’d like it, too.
Supernatural – Like Doctor Who and Sherlock, I know this show has a huge fan base. I’ve always been interested but I don’t really know much about the show so I’m saving it for a rainy, let’s binge watch Netflix kind of day.
Beauty & the Beast – I watched the Pilot earlier this year because my sister-in-law likes this show. I really love Beauty and the Beast adaptations, so I’m going to watch this show soon.

 

What are some book and television series you’ve been dying to start? I’d love any other recommendations as well!