Cress: A Book Review - Reading List

Cress: A Book Review

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Marissa Meyer

Let's talk about Rapunzel today. Grab a warm drink and relax with me, because I want to bounce some thoughts off of you.

You see, when I was a child, Rapunzel was a classic fairy tale with a horrible witch keeping the beautiful young girl in a tower. One of the few Grimm's tales that I was always drawn to because I didn't really know any other versions.  Then as I got older I saw a similarity to the Lady of Shalott - don't know that one? Check it out here.

Then Disney put out Tangled.  Rapunzel became a wide eyed, scared teenager.  I can no longer picture her without Flynn Rider and Pascal at her side.  Are you with me?  Have you seen this princess movie? Granted it's adorable... but so much has been lost to the classic fairy tales of generations of storytelling...

Anyway,  in this third book of the Lunar Chronicles, Meyer takes on the Rapunzel story (Cinder and Scarlet are more obvious...).  There is no doubt in my mind that Meyer's first source of inspiration stems from Disney's young princess. The wide eyes and timid behavior seem too coincidental.  Yet her love interest is an interesting character if you have the Flynn Rider character in mind as you read....

Cress By Marissa Meyer  A Book Review on Reading List

Story Overview 

The Lunar Chronicles continues the saga in this third book. Cress** picks up soon after Scarlet ends, which is a good thing, as many read this series straight through now that the waiting for new books is over.  Cress is a shell, which means she was born Lunar, but never developed the gift.  Meyer allows her vantage of seeing both worlds (Lunar society and earth's societies) - so in this transition book, a ton of the details of the worlds are filled in.

Cress is the Rapunzel character - and therefore her character is more of the damsel in distress type princess.  There are times when these stereotypes seem as bland as the ink on paper can be.  The thing is that somehow Meyer allows Cress to be the type of character that immediately demands to be loved.

The pace of this book ebbs and flows and there is quite a bit of background and world creation going on.  But fans of Cinder and Scarlet won't be let down, as all the characters return are still integral to the story. 

Personal Likes

The best part of this series has to be the way Meyer creates characters that fill the void of the page.  She makes them come alive, and therefore, you have to keep reading to find out what happens to each them.  Cress is no exception.  While her character can be explained in a way that appears boring on page: a timid young girl who dreams of a better life since she has been trapped in a "tower" her whole life. Yet there is something about the descriptions of her dreams and wishes that makes you want to keep reading and see what happens to this innocent girl.

I also appreciate the way each character, Cinder, Scarlet, Wolf, Thorne..., is still an important part of the progression of the action in this third book.  Even as new characters are introduced and the story grows in complexity, the overall story stays on track.

Personal Dislikes

There were parts in this book where I wished there was less exposition.  Maybe it was just because I had gone straight into this book, but I wanted more closure and less pages.  Looking back (I read this book about eight months before writing this) those pages were needed to help develop the backstories, but still it felt a bit much at the time.

I wanted more from Thorne as well.  Somehow, his character is the one that you love to hate... and that at times got under my nerves. I wanted more of a princely like characters, but again, like I said above, I have a feeling Disney's Rapunzel influenced Meyer quite a bit on this fairy tale.

Reasons to Read

This series is a must pick up for all fans of fantasy and fairy tales.  There are so many original takes on classic tales, which makes this a great read.  For those who enjoy science fiction, and dystopian stories, you should consider picking up this series.  

Clearly this is a part of a series, and in this case, you need to read each book in order, at least read Cinder... and yes Scarlet is an integral part of the progression... well I guess you just can't jump in with Cress and be satisfied. 

Reading List Rating

Five heart rating on Reading List

I'm in love with this series.  It's great fun, and full of adventure.  I know some do not enjoy the fantasy of the story.  I'm keeping this book with the others, at a five heart rating.

My Suggested Audience

This is a Teen/YA fiction, and it would be find for teenagers to read.  There are violent scenes and some love interests, but neither of those paths go further than one would expect for the category.  So the question is, how young?  Well mature preteens could handle this, but I would recommend mom or dad read along and then have open discussions just to allow for the harder scenes to process better.

Again, while the original audience is teens, there is no reason why adults couldn't get swept up in this series.  It is fun, full of complex characters and many plot twists and advancements.  For all fantasy, sci-fi & dystopian fans, this could be your next favorite series, no matter how many years have past since you left your teen years.

"I promise I won't let you die without being kissed." #Cress #LunarChronicles What a promise!@Marissa_Meyer @Reading_List1

Are you a fan of the Disney adaptions of fairy tales? Or do you prefer the classic, often more graphic, versions?

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!

Marissa @ Reading List

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