Review | Winter by Marissa Meyer

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“See that eye roll? It translates to, ‘How am I possibly keeping my hands off of you, Captain?”

descriptionPrincess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

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That’s it! The Lunar Chronicles has become my favorite young adult series ever.

I got to meet the author! Read about it, here.

Winter was frustrating! Heart-wrenching! Exhilarating! Romantic! And so much more! After finishing it, I couldn’t help but a) tip my hat off to Ms. Meyer for somehow managing to write 824 pages of a book without once having a boring moment, b) patting myself on the back for actually finishing an 824 page book within three days, and c) let out a broad smile, because this book had a real conclusion! Yes, with closure! It’s something that a handful of authors seem to forget to include.

I have an incredible urge to bombard this review with nothing but quotes (however illogical that sounds), because this book has so much noteworthy dialogue. Cinder, Kai, Iko, Cress and Thorne were amazing as usual, but Jacin and Winter! Ah, yes! I had my doubts with Jacin in Cress

“One more fling with your toy before he becomes Levana’s property? You were swooning over him an awful lot at the— ”

Cinder punched him…“Next time I’ll hit you with the metal fist.”

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We weren’t exactly simpatico at the moment…

But, that has certainly changed! Jacin and Winter are perfect; I love when she tries to get his attention and he tries so hard to ignore her. Ha ha. And did I mention that Winter takes place on Luna?! LunaBeing both the astronomy geek, and lover of dystopias that I am, let’s just say that Luna is my dream setting that I never bothered to construct a story around. It’s perfect! Like the rest of this marvelous book. And the writing! TEACH ME YOUR WAYS, MARISSA MEYER! Nothing irritates me more, then a poorly written story. I’m definitely not the best writer myself, but I can recognize the difference between mediocre and adept writing, and Meyer’s assuredly falls in the latter category.

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“They were just ashes…She’s our lost princess. And she’s coming home.”

Note to self: Reading the preview chapters of a book that doesn’t release for another ten months is a bad idea. Very bad idea. Especially, when those first few chapters end immediately after a character gets flogged. Yes, you heard me, flogged! How dare you, Meyer, how dare you! I do however, forgive you, because the book was just plain fantastic.

Cinder and the Rampion crew are heading to Luna, where they will start a revolution, overthrow Queen Levana, and reveal that Cinder is Princess Selene, the rightful heir to the throne. Meanwhile, Princess Winter, the queen’s step-daughter, resides within the glimmering palace of Artemisia. Winter may be considered the most beautiful girl on all of Luna, but she is gradually letting her sanity slip away, as a side-effect of her refusal to use glamour. The only one who seems to care about her is Jacin – a palace guard, who has been her best friend since childhood.

Strap yourself in, my friend, and brace yourself for the ride.

With over 800 pages and 10 point of views, you’d think it’d be a boring book, eh? Well, if you thought that, then you thought wrong! There is so much going on in this book. I mean, literally, so much is happening! One second they’re all snuggling in the Rampion, then next, BAM! Someone gets shot. There are gun fights, revolts, escapes, and ah!!! You see my point. I was scared for all the characters! So, so scared! I’ve persisted with the characters for 3 books already – I’m way too emotionally connected with them to handle the sorrow if any of them died.

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Tapping a finger against the flesh of her elbow, she deadpanned, “Jacin Clay, there is an assassin under my bed.”

Winter.

Ooh, Winter, Winter, Winter. I was super excited to read about Winter, because well, she’s mad! It can’t get any more interesting than that. She’s the Snow-White parallel in this story, so it’s no surprise that she was insane. *cough* burn *cough* I’m not going to lie, Snow White is one of my least favorite fairy tales. She let the Evil Queen nearly kill her three times. Really?! Not to mention, it’s down-right creepy that the young King asks the dwarfs if he could have Snow White’s dead body. What stalker wants to stare at a dead girl in a coffin!?

As much as I dislike Snow White, I thought Winter was incredible. She was such a fascinating character! And her relationship with Jacin was fantastic! I love the scene where she asked him if he thought she was beautiful.

“May I request a new uniform? A towel seems inappropriate for the position.”

Jacin.

Oh man, why are there so many awesome guys in this series?! Not that I’m complaining…I loved him. They way he cares for Winter, I think will make any girl’s heart flutter, yet Winter isn’t even aware of it! He’s madly in love with her, and she thinks he doesn’t see her in that way. Jacin’s confidence, loyalty, and dry retorts make him a remarkable character.

“You’re a good guy, Thorne.” She paused. “Well, you have your moments.”  

Cinder.

Maybe this is just me, but for some reason protagonists seem to become unlikable, whiny, and annoying by the last book. I’m  not saying this is the case for all books, but I can list quite a few young adult protagonists who make me want to rip my hair out. Cinder, however, seems to get better and better every book! I love her so much. Her character really develops throughout the series. In the first book, she’s insecure, a little reclusive, and ultimately, scared of how Kai would treat her if he knew she was a cyborg. By Winter, she strong. I don’t mean her tough persona, but strong in the way she acts and the choices she makes.

“You mean she doesn’t intend to blow me up before the ceremony?” said Kai, taking the box.“How disappointing.”  

Kai.

I forgot how much I missed Cinder and Kai together! Sure, they have quite a bit of attraction to each other in Cinder, but throughout Scarlet and Cress, they’re separated and geez, I didn’t realize what I was missing. It seems like he has the easiest job to do, but in reality, it’s just as hard as everyone else’s. And of course, his snarky remarks were perfect.

***MAJOR SPOILER BELOW***

Highlight over section to read spoiler:

I literally screamed when he married Levana. I remember reading that sentence over and over and over again, just letting those last few words soak in. I almost cried.

***END OF SPOILER***

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“What did you bring me today? Delusional mutterings with a side of crazy?”  

Scarlet.

To be perfectly honest, Scarlet has been my least favorite of the crew. Not that I don’t like her, I do, I really do, but she’s just not as interesting as Cinder or Winter, amusing like Cress, or arrogant (in the best possible way, of course) like Thorne. I like her spunk, but she did annoy me occasionally, with how she treated Winter. Her and Wolf are really sweet together, though.

“She shot me in the arm once.” This confession was said with as much tenderness as if Scarlet had given him a bouquet of wildflowers rather than a bullet wound.

Wolf.

Aww, poor Wolf. He’s still suffering from Scarlet-withdrawal and is a bit of a, ah, loose cannon. I really feel bad for him. I mean, it must be pretty awful, not knowing whether a loved one is alive or dead, tortured or imprisoned.

***MINOR SPOILER BELOW***

Was it just me, or was when he was introducing Scarlet to his Mom, one of the best parts of this book? Ha, I loved it!

***END OF SPOILER***

“Somehow, Thorne’s inability to talk about his attraction to Cress spoke so much louder than an outright confession. After all, he had no trouble making suggestive commentary about Cinder.”

Cress.

Oh. My. Gosh. Cress and Thorne, just…

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I don’t use ship names. Ever. In my opinion, they sound cliché and more often than not, stupid. However, I love Cresswell so much, that I will be hypocritical and use the ship name. Their names flow perfectly! Ha ha. The moment Cress constructed a romantic fantasy between her and Thorne, it was the start of someting beautiful. That one scene, was so perfect… *dreamy sigh*

“I’ve been waiting for you to admit you wanted my body.”

Thorne.

Oh Thorne. *smirks* Just stop. Why are you so perfect? Why? Has there ever been a more charismatic, arrogant, and hilarious character in all of young adult literature? It’s no surprise that some of my favorite scenes were of him and Cress, because let’s face it, they were the best!  However, my absolute favorite Thorne scene was when he was talking to Kai.

“No. She will never be queen.” She swayed toward him, and he felt like he was being encircled by a python, smothered and choked.”

Levana.

HIDE YOUR CHILDREN! Stars, Levana was a demon from hell. What. A. Lunatic. (pun intended) I wish she had the decency to die say, in the first chapter?

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Luna was spectacular! S-P-E-C-T-A-C-U-L-A-R. I really like the concept of dystopian societies. Key word: concept. The execution can be done poorly. This was not the case for Winter. If you’re going to write an 800 page book, the world building has to be decent, and Winter’s was phenomenal. Coming from the person who worships The Lord of the Rings, I have no problem with a complex setting. The utopian city of Artemisia, where only the aristocrats and royalty live, the slaves forced to (quite literally) do their every bidding, and the all workers of the outer sectors…perfection. The society was so detailed that I had a really vivid depiction of it.

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Yep, that’s what I’m going to leave it at – unless you want to hear my excessively long, all-caps, ramble.

 

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Stars, it’s over, guys!

I don’t want it to be over!

It really is over!

This series is just so amazing. I don’t want it to end! It was definitely my favorite of the series (Cress is pretty darn close) and even though it was 800 pages, I wanted more. I can’t let go of these wonderful characters! I just can’t! Cinder and Kai, Scarlet and Wolf, Cress and Thorne, Winter and Jacin, you guys feel real to me! Thank you Marissa Meyer for giving me the joy of reading such a wonderful series. Farewell!

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