Cinder (Lunar Chronicles) By Marissa Meyer [Review]

Hello!

First, before I get into my review of Cinder I would like to apologize for my absence from writing. With three English classes this semester and a very heavy reading list I’ve been pretty busy. Sadly, it’s kept me from making any new blog posts. But with the end of the semester well within sight, I’ll be able to devote more time to this blog and maybe even some relaxation time. When I say relaxation time, I mean wine and reading. Ahhh…. I can’t wait!

Now, without further ado, here is my review!
(That rhymed!)

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer
Genre: Young Adult

I was assigned this book in my Feminist Readings in Literature class and from the very first chapter I was in love. Scratch that, from the very first page! Take a little bit of science fiction, some fairy tale lore, and a realistic (even if she is part cyborg) female character and you have an awesome book! Marissa Meyer takes the Cinderella story and does more than modernizes it – she fast forwards into a thrilling future full of dazzling, yet dangerous aliens and a very tech-filled tomorrow.

Cinder acts as Cinderella but with a more modern twist – she’s a talented mechanic who happens to be part cyborg. She was adopted as a young girl but before her new father could take her home he dies. This leaves the responsibility on her new mother who is less than pleased to discover her husband adopted some strange child without her knowledge. Needless to say, Cinder’s life doesn’t go so well as she struggles to support a family that hates her with her mechanic business. Another issue is that in this futuristic world, cyborgs have less rights that a normal human. This leads to Cinder being more or less owned by her cruel adoptive mother. Something that will surely complicate Cinder’s hopes of escape.

Just when things couldn’t stand to get more complicated, Cinder gets a surprising client – the prince himself. Then she gets taken by the cyborg draft to be experimented on for a cure to the deadly disease that is rapidly killing everyone on Earth. Pair that with the Lunars, the dangerous aliens from the moon coming to Earth to supposedly broker peace – yes, very intense times.

As you can tell, this world is very complicated. But it makes for the perfect plot to suck any reader into a world of suspense. There are funny moments, bad ass moments, and very sad moments. All of which makes for a good book. I really, really enjoyed reading this book and fully intend to buy the rest in the series. I simply adore Cinder and it’s no wonder this book was chosen for my Feminist Readings class. Cinder is an amazing female character who goes from being enslaved to empowered. A beautiful journey indeed! I highly, highly recommend this book! Especially if you are a fairy tale junky! This book is a must!

Without a doubt – five out of five!11235712

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Tales of an English Major: Week One, Busy, Busy

Whew!  Week one was a whirlwind of classes and homework.  This is the first semester that I have had classes every day of the week, all in the morning.  To be honest, the most difficult part is trying to get used to the new six a.m. schedule while trying to keep up my night life – aka gaming.  I may be super tired all the time, but it’s worth it.

My favorite class so far is my Feminist Reading and Culture class.  I’ve been reading some classic Cinderella stories and have started Bound.  It’s amazing how gruesome some of the old stories were.  Doves plucking the eyes out of the mean sisters, incest, and even the boiled body of the evil sister being sent to the stepmother!  The more twisted it is, the more interesting.  In regards to the more modern version, Bound it is equally as twisted and interesting.  I’m far ahead in the readings and nearly done with it.  Next on the reading list is Cinder.  As soon as I finish Bound, I’ll post a review.

 

Meanwhile….  In Shakespeare….

I didn’t post the reading list because it’s nothing special, just your typical Shakespeare textbooks with the plays in them.  We’ve started with The Midsummer Night’s Dream and it’s proven to be quite funny, complete with some darker realities of love.  I already have a paper due for it on Tuesday.  A simple critical essay on my thoughts for another essay written on the play.  

 

I’ve also already written an essay for my Feminism Reading class. A personal essay about my view on feminism and how I think fairy tales influenced my understanding of gender roles.  Lots of interesting subjects going on this semester!

 

Keep Reading, Keep Writing,

V.V. Giedosh

 

Tales of an English Major: Back To School (Fall Semester)

As much as I love the freedom of summer, I’d much rather be busy with my nose in a textbook. Yes, sometimes college can be stressful and the workload gets heavy.  But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t secretly love it. There is something about learning that makes  me feel alive, as though I’m doing something worthy of my existence.  Mind you, I am far from a work-aholic.  The truth is, I only enjoy school so much because I’m an English Major and I love it!  On my way home today from classes, I was lost in thought about how amazing it is that English is something you can go to school for.  Thank the powers that be, because without it I’d be lost.  I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.  All I want is to read books and talk about them.  This is what will make me happy.  Well, that and lots of chi tea.

This semester I have three English classes, two of which I had today.  The reading lists sound amazing and I look forward to every single page.  I’m going to post the list for each class now and talk a bit about my expectations.

 

Non-Western Lit

Required Books:

Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books

-I’ve already started reading the section entitled Gastby. Apparently, teachers want to get the ball rolling on the first day. Either way, I’m enjoying the first eight chapters.  The author talks about her life in America and Iran during the Islamic Revolution.  She was an English teacher in love with American literature trying to survive the chaos that surrounded her on a daily basis.  

According to my teacher, the author runs into a lot of mixed opinions about The Great Gatsby when she has her class read it.  We are to focus on their reactions and try and understand it from their viewpoint. In class we wrote down these two questions to consider:

Which aspects of American Culture (American way of life) are reflected in the Great Gatsby?

Which of those aspects the Great Gatsby seems to promote, which ones the text seems to attack.

I’m really looking forward to seeing how the students reacted to her assigned reading and why it bothered them so much.  We will also be watching the first film adaption of the Great Gatsby starting Wednesday. Being as I’m super obsessed with the most recent remake (I pre-ordered it), I’m excited to see it since my teacher said it’s almost spot on with the book itself.

-Young-Bruehl, Global Cultures

I’m honestly not sure what to expect from this one.  It holds an eerie serious, droning textbook vibe to it.  But, never judge a book by it’s cover!  Only time will tell what it’s pages hold!

-McClatchy, Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry 

Who isn’t excited about poetry?  I’m interested to read poems from around the world and the different cultures.  I saw there were some Russian poets on the list, Joseph Brodsky and Yevgeny Yevtushenko.  I have a soft spot for anything Russian and am looking forward to their work especially. 

 

Feminist Reading of Culture

Required Books:

The Classic Fairy Tales. Norton Critical Edition. Ed. Maria Tatar. 

-Anything to do with fairy tales has my complete attention.  We’ve all seen the adorable Disney takes on these stories.  However, to be honest, I haven’t read any of them myself.  I’m excited to see how they translate on the page without all the Disney magic.

 

Donoghue, Emma. Kissing the Witch.

– This one sounds interesting and full of comedy.  Apparently the author has taken the classic tales and weaved them into something more modern and risky.

 

Meyer, Marissa. Cinder. 

– This one has me the most excited, a completely futuristic take on fairy tales.  I’m looking forward to see the cyborg lady in action!

Napoli, Donna Jo. Bound.

– I’m also looking forward to this one as well.  For some reason it has that tragic vibe of Memoirs of a Geisha (a book I’ve always wanted to read).  For some reason I love stories about struggle, perhaps it helps to see someone else going through a tough time and overcoming it in order to have the will to make it through my own battles.  Either way, I’m super excited for this class the most so far.

 

Anyone else hear about or read any of these?  What are your thoughts?  No spoilers please! No worries though, I’ll be posting a review for each of the novels.

 

Tomorrow I’ll be posting the reading list for my Shakespeare class!

 

Keep Reading, Keep Writing,

V.V. Giedosh 

Tales of a Writer: Book Update

It’s been a week since I started my book in a month project and I must say the exercises have been a huge help. However, they can be a bit spotty with what they are expecting you to do. Apparently, I was supposed to have been writing by now. I’ve been busy creating character sheets, plot lines, scenes, and acts. So, I thought I was on the right course because I was doing what the book told me to do. Now, I just feel so far behind because I was to have the first act done already.

I’m trying to get my motivation back because I feel so off track now. 

Keep Reading, Keep Writing,

V.V. Giedosh

Tales of a Writer: Book Update

As promised, I am here with an update on my current progress on my book in thirty days project! I’m super excited to inform you that all is going well and I am on day two. Turns out there was a lot of beforehand reading. Now, the book says that you can skip it but I believe it’s well worth a look-see. These beforehand chapters really break down the writing process and help you look at why your writing may have failed before. I found the exercises included in these chapters very useful as well!

So, I’ve set my writing goals for thirty days, two hundred pages. Now, according to the book the first thirty days are only for a rough manuscript. You aren’t really writing a complete, polished book. In reality, it will take sixty to ninety days to write a finished project. Which is still a small amount of time to write a book! Either way, these realizations don’t phase me in the least. The book I am working on isn’t meant to be a rushed best-seller. I’m doing this for me, both to hone my writing skills and to see my characters come to life on page.

These first two real start days of the thirty day project have been easy, requiring only about an hour (if that) to complete. I’ve written a single sentence description of my story and listed major and minor characters. That was all that was required of me the first day. On the second day I wrote out the basics of ten scenes on flash cards. Before I started doing so, I was super nervous and didn’t think I had enough of my story plotted out to have even five scenes. However, it turned out to be far easier than I had thought! I’m well on my way and I’m finding myself excited for tomorrow!

 

Keep Reading, Keep Writing,

V.V. Giedosh

Tales of a Writer: Update on Book in a Month

So, there may be a small delay due to a few chapters of required reading in the beginning of the book. I have started the reading though and I love what I’ve seen so far. The author really lays it out to you in a positive, yet direct way. I’m no longer nervous, but once again fully excited about my writing project! Although, I’m sure I’ll be going through a roller coaster of emotions the next month or so! 

It might also be good to note that the first thirty days are for your first manuscript and it will take another thirty days to refine it. At least, that’s my understanding so far. I’m learning lots already and will be sure to keep my blog updated!

 

Keep Writing, Keep Reading,

V.V. Giedosh