Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5) by Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publish Date: January 27th 2015
Page Amount: 222 Pages
Price: $17.99 Hardback
ISBN: 1250060559 (ISBN13: 9781250060556)

"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." (Goodreads Description)

I do not have words to express how captivating this story is. I do not have the words to express my love for this story It was that perfect.

But before I go spewing into my review of the plot elements and the characters, I would like to talk about how easy it was to read. Now, I find it hard to find a book that is so easy to jump into, that does not leave the reader questioning every single detail, nor does it require the reader to re-read several sections of the book more than once. Fairest satisfies all of these ideas. Fairest contains a story that is easy to jump into, and (if the reader has read the other novels in the series before reading this one - which you should) extremely easy to understand characters, their motives, and how certain events connect between Fairest and the other books in the series. You will find Fairest extremely hard to put down; it will almost be impossible.

On top of the ease of reading the story, I absolutely adored the plot. Queen Levana's story is dark, and readers of the Lunar Chronicles knew that from the start of the series. While I loved the darkness and the depth to Levana's story, it was not awkward to read. Levana's story was dark, but it wasn't scary or a thriller. I think that this contributed to the ease of reading it as well. It takes true skill to write a dark story that is not necessarily a thriller. There are tons of horror elements and events with in the story. The terror that Marissa crafts into this story will make your skin crawl. I will probably have nightmares about this story. But that doesn't make it scary. The story was extremely dark, but I still found the ability to pick it up and keep going. I wasn't scared that the story was going to be "too much" for me to handle. Marissa Meyer has a way with words that is hard to explain. Marissa knows how to write a dark story with a flawed character, that will keep both your mind and your heart captivated until the very end.

If you have been following the Lunar Chronicles Series since the beginning, you likely already know that Marissa Meyer has a gift for writing flawed characters, and this gift shines in Fairest. Levana is one of those characters that is flawed from the start, and that her flaws only begin to make her life worse as the story continues. Levana does not seem to have a good bone within her body, and that is one of the reasons why I love to not like her.

But, I have to say that Ms. Meyer does an extremely good job of making the reader "pity" her, even if the reader knows her actions are inexcusable and what she does (in the future in Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, etc.) is horrible. Levana is broken, and she had an extremely rough up-bringing. Her sister, Channary (which means "full moon") is extremely rude to her about her glamour and does not ever care about Levana's input in any situation. Levana is clearly suffering from a mental disorder due to the trauma of her childhood (explained later in the book). Personally, I felt absolutely terrible that Levana had to live through these things, and so I feel for her in respect of these events. But, when it comes all of her irrational actions in the second half of the book, all of that pity disappeared. It was no longer about trying to live a normal life, but trying to get revenge on the Kingdom for making you suffer in the first place.

The introduction of new characters to the series was one of the best things about Fairest. Evret Hayle, a castle guard, and Solstice Hayle are introduced within this new story, and these characters do a ton to drive the plot of the novel. Levana finds herself obsessed with these characters, I really found her obsessions and interactions with these characters unique - and it was really hard for me to put the book down even after the chapter breaks, because I wanted to see how Levana's obsessions and planned events would play out. 

In terms of these new characters themselves, I am really happy that they do not fit the general "mold" of YA characters. These new characters are older. They are not teenagers like the rest of the characters in the story. They have completely different experiences and thoughts than any other character. They have a different way of perceiving the struggles between Luna and Earth. These characters are adults. I loved these characters so much because they were already set in their ways, They already went through the troublesome phase of being teenagers, but they are still struggling as adults. I loved seeing this new cast of characters because it shows that, even when a person is an adult, there are still some things that they are discontent with or have to abide by in order to not be punished. While they are adults and have different viewpoints and experiences, they are still connected to the younger characters in the book. Marissa Meyer does a great job of making sure that every reader finds a character that they can connect with. 

This also comes into the personalities and physical characteristics of the characters. There is a large diversity of characters in her Lunar Chronicles Series (not just in Fairest). Winter is a person of color, Cinder is of mixed ethnicity. Scarlet is curvy. Wolf appears to be more middle-eastern. Cress is slender and has pale skin. (If you don't believe this, it is coming straight from Marissa Meyer's website). Fairest, by bringing out even more new characters, contributes to the physical diversity as well as the diversity due to age. 

Overall, I really loved Fairest. Fairest is extremely well-written and had me hooked from the first page. Marissa Meyer once again crafts a unique story. Fairest leaves the reader guessing and awe-struck after every turn of the page.  Fairest is full of struggling characters, the kind that Marissa Meyer writes the best. I am so excited (and sad) to see how the series will wrap up in Winter. I don't know if I can wait until November!

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars :)


  1. I'm in line for Cinder at the library. So many good reviews of the series from the blogosphere finally convinced me. Eee I'm excited to read it, and I had no idea about the diversity in Meyer's characters. Props to her!

    1. I'm so happy that you are going to experience this series for the first time! It definitely takes you on a wild ride!

      I also want to say thank you for looking to the bloggers/reviewers of these books! This is exactly why we do what we do - we want to spread our love for books to other people! Thank you for letting this love spread, and being open to newer books and ideas.

      Yes, Marissa Meyer has a large diversity in her characters that I have not seen before. This diversity is not as high in Cinder as it is in Scarlet, or (at the highest) Cress and Fairest. I can only imagine the diversity will grow when Winter is released this November.

      Thank you again for reading, and please do tell me what you think about Cinder once you have it!

  2. I'M READING THIS AT THE MOMENT AND IT'S SOOOOO GOOD. XD But disturbing. VERY disturbing. Being inside Levana's head is creeping me out, but it's just SO fascinating! I mean, she's the VILLAIN and she's so awful...buuuut I feel really sorry for little 15-year-old Levana :/

    Great review and new follower via GFC and Bloglovin!!

    Ella @ Once Upon a Bookish Time


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