Book Review of Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Posted January 21, 2013 by Kara in Uncategorized / 32 Comments

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: February 5th, 2013
Pages: 464
Genre: Young Adult-Dystopian
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher.

Description from GoodreadsCinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Review: I’m not great at gushing. In fact, I suck at it. For me, writing five star reviews is sometimes more difficult than writing one star reviews. So writing about all the love I felt for this book is going to be pretty awkward. Just know that I very, VERY much enjoyed it and I am going to keep this review fairly short. 
I enjoyed Cinder very much when I read it last year. But there was something missing for me. I don’t know if I lacked that emotional connection to the text or there was that extra spark missing, but whatever it was, it wasn’t present in Scarlet. Everything that makes a book perfect for me was present in Scarlet. Well-developed characters, suspense, kick-ass writing, tight plotting, even pacing, EPIC world-building, etc. I cannot say enough times how much I loved this book.
Cinder was a wonderful character in the first book and her growth continues in the second. But the NEW characters that were introduced in Scarlet absolutely bowled me over. I loved Wolf, and I adored Scarlet Benoit. Wolf is a swoonworthy bad boy without being threatening and staker-like. He’s flawed, deeply developed, and written in a way that will make almost any reader sympathize with his character. Same with Scarlet. YA bloggers are always asking for heroines we can root for. Heroines with strength, emotion, and the ability to stand on their own two feet. This is Scarlet. She is not flawless and sometimes she needs Wolf. But who doesn’t have to rely on their friends from time to time when things get tough?
There were many things I loved about Scarlet but I think my favorite was the writing. I fell for the author’s style immediately; her word choices, sentence structure, and flow are perhaps some of the best I have seen over the last couple of years since I have been blogging. I love the way she paced the story, wove the chapters together from different POVs (which is not easy to do), and managed to make it all come together in the end. This was a beautiful book with breathtaking world-building by a wonderfully talented author.
Reviewing sequels is difficult because there is not a whole lot I can say plotwise without ruining the story for someone who hasn’t read it. But that’s okay because I think I managed to convey how I felt for this book. It kept me turning the pages late into the night in awe over the voices of the characters, the brilliant dialogue, and even the fonts that headed up the chapters. I was a fan of the series before, but it has become one of my absolute favorites. Fairytale retellings have never been so good.
5/5 Dragons

32 responses to “Book Review of Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

  1. Sam

    I felt the same way about Cinder! I enjoyed it well enough, but it was never a favourite, and I haven’t been desperate for the sequel. I’m glad to hear this one managed to impress you though. Wolf and Scarlet sound like great characters. Lovely review, Kara!

  2. I’m good at gushing and ranting but the meh it was okay reviews I AM AWFUL AT.


    YES! Scarlet IS indeed the heroine I have been waiting for all my life.

    And also, isn’t it great how after her debut Marissa Meyer actually improved, like I thought she really knocked Scarlet out of the park. So good.

    • See, I like being constructive and pointing out positives and negatives. I’m just not a perky person in real life so it’s hard for me in text too.

      I knowwww!

      She is awesome! I loved her!

      Yes, and now I am dying for Cress. I will knock people over to get my copy. I’m not even kidding!

  3. You are so good at gushing! Wonderful review. I loved this one so much too. I loved everything about it just like you, the characters were awesome and the writing had this perfect flow to it that kept you from putting it down until you had devoured it all. I NEED CRESS!

    • Aww, thanks! This was such a fantastic book. I swear. I am so glad I read it and requested it. I felt like I was really right there with the characters and it’s rare when I book can do that for me these days.

  4. I wasn’t a huge fan of Cinder, but from what you’ve said, I think I might like this one better. I did hear that it was predictable and the romance was under-developed, but maybe the rest of it will work out for me, somehow? We’ll see. Fantastic review, Kara! 😀

    • I thought it was better. Most of the plot was predictable, but it’s a fairytale retelling and we know how it ends up anyway. But it did actually surprise me a few times. I did not think the romance was under-developed at all actually. I thought the tension was great and they took their time which is what we are always asking for. 🙂

  5. Amy

    Ahhh 5 dragons!! I cannot wait to read this!! I have it pre-ordered. I really loved Cinder and I can’t wait to meet Scarlet and Wolf!! Your review has me all excited. You did an awesome job at gushing!!

  6. You seem pretty good at gushing. And wow, I’ve read nothing but rave reviews for this one. Wolf and Scarlet and Cinder and Kai and Ms. Meyer’s writing and the world building and aaah!! I can’t wait for my pre-order to arrive. You’ve got me so excited :).

  7. 5 star reviews are my favorite to write. I just let go. But so many people have the same problem as me. For me it’s the 3star ones I’m always like.. Ummm. Well. Ummm. Haha. Anyways, I really enjoyed this one too dude Wolf was a fantastic character wasn’t he? I thought he was a great love interest too. I wanted more romance though that part didn’t grab me as much as some. This is easily my favorite retelling series!! Great review, muffin cups!

    • Really? See, I think I am good at being constructive. But my natural personality is not to fangirl and be perky.

      I thought there was plenty of romance, flirting, and tension. Besides, does every YA book need a romance? 😀


  8. You are so right, 5-star reviews are the hardest. It’s easy to articulate why you dislike things, but when it comes to explaining what’s so good about something, for me it’s damn near impossible.

    I tried reading this and made it about halfway through before I abandoned it. I’m glad to hear this picks up though. I really loved Cinder; I’ve never read a better fairy tale retelling.

    If you like this series, though, I really recommend A Long Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan. It’s a sci-fi retelling of Sleeping Beauty.

    • Yes. You are like me. It’s hard to put that into words.

      I hope you give it another shot! I really loved this one.

      I definitely have that book on my list. It sounds awesome!

  9. You’ve done a fantastic job of reviewing the sequel, Kara! I find writing about books I love difficult, too. It’s hard to justify why you loved a book than it is to list the faults of a book you disliked.

    I am so glad this is as good (or better!) than Cinder, I can’t wait to read this now 🙂

  10. I liked Cinder just fine but I didn’t love it like a lot of other bloggers so now I’m hoping to really adore Scarlet and find it just perfect.

    I definitely prefer writing books where I have a very strong point (or two…) to critique and comment on. I’m so bad at 5 star reviews.

  11. I”m so glad you loved Scarlet! I totally agree, writing gushingly positive reviews can be the hardest—I never feel like I can do the book justice. Your review did a wonderful job though. 🙂

    I just finished reading it myself, and I have to agree that Scarlet is a better book than Cinder. Love Wolf, double love Scarlet. I need to write my review, but I’m procrastinating because it’s too hard to get beyond “omg SOOOOO good you guys.”

    • Thanks, Lauren!

      Yeah, it was a really hard review to write. Because it just blew me away and it was pretty unexpected to be honest. I expected to like it the same as Cinder but I loved it far more than that.

  12. WOLF. WOOOOOOOLF. Seriously, I love him. A lot.

    And a big hell yes to Meyer writing heroines that are badasses, but not always because they have powers. Though Cinder does have helpful powers, she also has smarts and willpower. Scarlet’s just a person and she kicks ass too. LOVE.

    • I know!!! I loved him!

      I know. I love the strong heroines that she writes. They are females that kick butt. We need more of THAT in YA. Hopefully it becomes a trend. Doubt it, but I am crossing my fingers and ankles.

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