Monday, January 26, 2015

Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

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I received this book for free from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Fairest by Marissa MeyerFairest by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3.5
Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 27th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, YA
Source: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Buy on Amazon

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

If you thought Queen Levana was evil before, you will see just how corrupted she really is! I don’t often read novellas, but this one is a bit longer than average and completely worth it to be able to see Levana’s childhood and how she grew up to be who she is. It also gives us a glimpse at our beloved characters’ childhood so we get a real 360 look at what happened in the past.

Despite her evil ways and sometimes shocking delusions, Levana’s story is just plain sad. This hard-edged personality of hers was built from a tough childhood that lacked real parental guidance and, most importantly, love and affection. The fire tragedy that brought about her scars was horrifying, and some might consider it the beginning of the end. Having such a low self-image cost her a lot. She even becomes so deeply lost inside her own delusions that she’s missed out on so much – love and happiness for one. Her craving what she thinks is love only makes her more blind to what she’s actually denying herself – she’s lost in a vicious circle of her own doings. It’s sad and not entirely her fault, even, having grown up with a twisted view of love. I found this novella to be an incredibly in-depth and revealing look at her character. While I won’t ever sympathize with her, it make us at least understand the “why” behind her actions, her wants.

Even though this novella is ultimately a character study, we also get to see the plot of the whole series take root. The virus sent to earth and her plan to blackmail, the beasts they’re breading out of shells, the reason why some want to escape Luna – it just gives the whole series an extra layer of foundation. It’s interesting to see that it doesn’t all come from pure evil, there were some good intentions in Levana. If she attacked problems in a more… humane way, I’d even say she was a very good Queen for her people. She cares about her planet, about the future; her ways to reach her visions just happen to be quite… destructive. Like whoa!

I do recommend you read this one after you have read books 1-3, just so that it makes it all the more interesting. When you know the characters in the present, it’s all the more fascinating to read about their past. But if you really wanted to read this one first it would still all make sense. You just wouldn’t be able to appreciate all the connections, and the potential “spoilers” would probably not be noticed by someone who has no idea what’s pertinent to the series. All in all, whether you’re a fan of novellas or not, fan of the series should definitely read this one. I mean, is there anything better than an in-depth look at the villain of a story?


4.5 Hot Espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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29 Responses to “Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer”

  1. JennRenee

    So happy to hear this one rocked. I am so excited to get to this one. I like to read from the evil’s side too, especially in fairytales. It just makes everything make sense and I often feel sorry for the evil…. until they turn evil that is.

  2. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    I don’t read novellas either, but this is one I’m really excited about reading. I like that we can finally get a full grasp of Levana’s character. I already feel bad for her a little bit, but I’m kind of excited to see her change!
    Lovely review, Giselle.

  3. Alreem

    Ooooooooh I’m so happy you liked it, I did not know if I should read this book or not but thanks to you I guess I willl give it a try I loved Cinder so I guess I will 🙂

  4. Rashika

    When I saw this review I definitely had an ‘oh shit’ moment. I still haven’t read Cress and the fact that this book is almost out (TOMORROW), reminds me that Winter is almost out and gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Winter is going to make me curl up into a ball and cry isn’t it?

    I have to admit, I wasn’t planning on reading this book… buttttt your review has pretty much changed my mind (I say pretty much because considering everything else I need to read there is a possibility I may end up skipping it just so I can get to Winter when it comes out).

    I am excited about getting into Levena’s psyche considering how interesting a villain she has proven to be thus far. I am really glad to hear that in spite of everything, this book wasn’t trying to make you sympathize with her character… just understand her instead.

    Lovely review as ALWAYS, hon! 🙂

  5. Jessica @ a GREAT read

    OOOoh nice! I’m excited for this one! I need to preorder it as well! But naturally, the gift card I have in my wallet isn’t enough to cover it and ALL my extras are at home! 1.5 hours and I can preorder it right! Great review! Excited to see this other side to Levana!

  6. Pili

    Wow, I’m so glad that you loved this one Giselle! I love when books makes us understand better where villains are coming from, because just black and white villains are no fun, it’s better when they’re complex and have some humanity to them!

  7. Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook

    I’m definitely excited to read this one, and I’m so glad that you enjoyed it. I was a little nervous, because it’s about Levana, who I do not like. But it seems like I will be missing out on a lot if I don’t read it.

  8. Nova @ Out of Time

    I am actually SO EXCITED for this. I have a thing for books written in the villains point of view. I feel like there’s always another side of the story that some authors fail to acknowledge. Plus, it’s Marissa Meyer so standards are high! So glad you loved <3

  9. ShootingStarsMag

    I’ve pre-ordered my copy, but I won’t get it until Saturday…though I’ll be able to meet Marissa and have her sign it, so waiting is worth it. I’m glad you felt this was a well done “novella.” I’m excited!

  10. Aylee

    The absolute best villains are the complex ones obviously so I’m so happy to hear that this one presented a truly in depth look into Levana’s backstory! I was disappointed that Winter had been pushed back, but hey – can’t complain when we’re placated with other compelling books in the meantime!

  11. Kayla @ The Thousand Lives

    I’m so excited to pick this one up! I grabbed my copy last Friday night (yay!) and now it’s just sitting, waiting for me to pick it up. Although it’s good to hear that you think it’s best to read this book after the first three; I’ll remember that when I’m recommending the series to people!

  12. Precious

    Hi Giselle! Technically I shouldn’t be reading this because I haven’t read book 2 and 3, so I skimmed your review to prevent further spoilage, haha. 🙂

    Overall, I think it’s time to continue reading this series. Thanks for posting!

  13. Helen

    Oh my gosh! The book just came out today (at least in the US)! I loved Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, and I have been waiting for this novella for quite a while (it’ll hopefully tide me over ’til Winter comes out – SQUEEEE!)! I’m glad you liked it, because I am a die-hard Lunar Chronicles fan! THANK GOD (or goodness) FOR MARISSA MEYER!!!

  14. Laila BC

    this review is making me stoked! i can’t wait to get my hands on this one. Even though Levana is never gonna be my favorite but it always pays to know what makes her tick. Even villains have a story to tell.

  15. Lisa (Fic Talk)

    I had to admit that in the beginning I wasn’t sure I would want to read about Levana but once I really got into the series I felt that it would be very interesting to read about her and how she became the way she did.

    Great review, Giselle!

  16. Hannah

    I was pretty sure Levana had to have some tragic back story to explain how she became such a villain! It will be great to have something to keep me going while we wait for Winter to come out!

  17. Cait @ Paper Fury

    *flails forever and always* YAAAY! I AM SO GLAD IT’S WONDERFUL. Although Marissa Meyer has NOT disappointed yet, so I’m pretty 99% confident I’m going to love her work now. x) SQUEEE! I cannot wait till I buy this one!

  18. Laura Plus Books

    I’m so glad you loved this one! Your review is motivating to get a damn move on. I still haven’t read Cress and I have no idea why it’s taking me so long. I adore this series so much!

  19. Dreams

    My first review of Fairest! (I caved and finally had to read one since it might be a few more days before I can snag a copy myself.) I am so glad you loved this book. Even though you are only one reviewer, it’s like a weight has been lifted. Someone loved it. (Not that I expected otherwise.)

    I glad that you mentioned it makes us understand her. I may not want to root for the baddies, but I love being able to understand them and their motivations.

  20. Cynthia

    I’m glad you loved that one! I STILL have not read that series. I am thinking I will now because all the books in the series have come out. No waiting on the next one. 🙂