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?

30 Days of Thankfulness: Days 26-30

thankfulnessI have been rather busy this week and every night, by the time I get home, I have barely enough energy to put myself into bed. So my apologies for slacking so much on my thankfulness posts. I am still thankful for many things! So here are the last 5 posts of the month, all wrapped up nice and neatly in one simple blog post:

Holidays that revolve around family – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter…it’s always fun to celebrate holidays surrounded by family (and family also includes close friends!). I’m once again thankful for being able to celebrate Christmas with my family in the States this year! It has been 2 years since I’ve seen most of them!!

Seasons – I LOVE seasons. In Florida our seasons are limited: there’s summer, hotter summer, and then if you live up north you’ll get a cold, dry winter for a couple of months in between a short autumn and an even shorter spring (literally less than 2 weeks). But where I live right now we have equal seasons! What a concept :) I just love seeing nature change constantly but slowly throughout the year.

Owning a car – You don’t really need a vehicle to get around over here in the Grenoble area, but it has been such a blessing to us to own a car this past year. We went for about 6 months or so without owning a car and I remember quite vividly having to walk to the train station every other week because half of the tram line was out of service during the summer. But now we have a car :) and we’re able to drive other people around as well, something that I have always loved doing since my freshman year at FSU when I was dependent on other people giving me rides. So thank You God for blessing us with a car!

Christmastime – I admit, we decorated our apartment for Christmas Monday night, the day after our first Thanksgiving celebration of the week. I will try to have that post up tomorrow hopefully :) I have already been listening to Christmas music since mid-November! I couldn’t stop myself after the first snow fell, but we abstained from buying a tree until this week so we could have 3 full weeks of Christmas decorations in our apartment before we leave for the States.

All of you readers! – And last, but certainly not least, I am very thankful for all of you who read and comment on my blog! I am thankful for the friends I have made and the conversations I have enjoyed having through the blogosphere. I’ve had this blog for nearly 2 years now, but until this year I didn’t really keep up with my posting but I am thankful for doing that now :)

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving and a wonderful November! May the rest of your year continued to be filled with thankfulness and blessings :)