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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Top Ten Tuesday: Best Reads of 2015

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2015 is almost over and that means it’s time for me to reflect on all the wonderful books I’ve read this year! I’ll probably have another post up in a couple of weeks highlighting all my bookish thoughts from the year, but for now let me leave you with the best books I read over the past 12 months! These are all 5-star reads for me :)

Top Ten Reads of 2015

earnest

“A trivial comedy for serious people.” The Importance of Being Earnest is an absolute joy to watch/listen to/read (it’s a play though, so the best way to experience it is out loud). The characters are charming, witty, and hilarious. I chuckled and smiled to myself so many times while listening to a performance of this Oscar Wilde play.

mara dyer

This is one of those novels that kept me up at night because I HAD to know what happened next. Parts of Mara Dyer’s story are creepy, other parts are really suspenseful, and the characters are funny and interesting and blushingly romantic (Hello, Noah!). I loved The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer so much I bought a copy for myself right after returning the library version I had checked out.

Jurassic Park

Do-do-do-do-dooo. I’m a 90s kid so of course I love Jurassic Park (the film). I wanted to be Alan Grant when I grew up. I finally read the book this past summer and wow! Despite the heavy scientific and theoretical language, I flew through it. The story was altered a bit for the screen, but the underlying themes remain and the characters are relatively the same (except for John Hammond, who is not a lovable grandfather figure in the book).

Wives and Daughters

The only disappointing thing about Wives and Daughters is that Elizabeth Gaskell passed away before she could finish writing it! There were probably only a few chapters missing, so most of the story is there and it’s very enjoyable. We just have to imagine for ourself how the happy ending would have played out.

Cress

I finally read The Lunar Chronicles series this year (except for the final book, Winter, because I’m still on the hold list at the library) and Cress, although not my favorite character, is my favorite of the series so far. I loved following all of the characters, especially Thorne because he’s like Han Solo meets Flynn Rider so of course I loved him. There was also a lot of action and things happening in the novel that made it really fun for me to read right after having my son.

Me Before You

So many tears! But also, lots of smiles and happy feelings. Me Before You kind of wrecked me. It deals with sensitive subject matter that I won’t talk about here because of spoilers, but I wouldn’t recommend it to all readers. I decided to read it after finding out a movie is being made with Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke. Now I don’t know if I want to even see the movie because I’m not sure if I can handle all those heart wrenching feelings again.

Persuasion

This is the only reread on this list. I also reread Sense and Sensibility and the first three Harry Potter novels (all of which are 5-star reads for me), but Persuasion is rather dear to my heart. It’s not my favorite Austen novel (Pride and Prejudice is hard to beat, although Persuasion comes very close), but Anne Elliot is my favorite Austen heroine and who doesn’t love Captain Wentworth?

The Martian

I can’t rave enough about The Martian. The movie was great and the actors were all perfectly casted, but it’s still not as phenomenal as the book. Andy Weir’s writing style just blew me away. Anyone who can write 3/4 of a book in journal format and still make it a laugh-out-loud page turner definitely deserves all the praise. This novel is Macgyver meets Castaway on Mars and it’s hilarious.

openroadsummer

Swooooon. This is without doubt the most romantic book I read this year, but it will also make you want to hug your BFF and forgive the last person you had a fight with. I loved how real all the characters seemed; they all had issues, especially Reagan, and it was easy to find something to relate to. I only wish I had read Open Road Summer sooner!

Hello Goodbye

just finished Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between a couple of days ago and I am still dying to write a review. I was incredibly surprised by how much I loved this book. It started out cute but the premise of Aidan and Clare thinking about breaking up just because they were going to different colleges didn’t quite make sense to me until the end, and by that point I had already cried a few times (and anytime a book makes me feel something that much, I always give it 5-stars!).

What were your favorite reads from this year?

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?