Scarlet

Scarlet - (Full review can be found on my blog, Paper Riot.)I want to sit by a campfire and listen to Marissa Meyer tell stories all night long. I want to have a sleepover and have her tell ghost stories, or listen to her read bedtime stories. And I don't even care that this sounds creepy as hell. The woman is such a gifted storyteller. Dang it, I bet she can even make my phone bill sound interesting. Because let's be honest, both Cinder and Scarlet were a lot to handle. There's fairytales, but also cyborgs and androids and people living on the moon and a deadly plague. These books probably shouldn't have worked. And yet, Meyer never made it feel like anything was too much. If that doesn’t make you an amazing storyteller, I don’t know what does.To be honest, I was a bit uncertain whether this book would be just as good as Cinder (which I adored). I had fallen in love with Cinder and Kai and Iko and to just have these characters be replaced broke my heart a little. Lesson learned: never doubt Marissa Meyer. From the first page it was obvious that these stories come together flawlessly. Don't worry if you read Cinder ages ago, because Meyer does an amazing job reminding us what happened. It might have had something to do with the fact that most of the world-building had already been explained in Cinder, or with the fact that Scarlet is just more action-packed from the start, but unlike Cinder, this book drew me right in.Scarlet introduces us to three new characters, and I loved all of them. Our new MC is Scarlet Benoit, who is now battling with Rose Hathaway and Katniss Everdeen to become my favorite kick-ass heroine of all time. Seriously, I LOVE SCARLET. She is strong and determined and badass and refuses to let other people tell her what to think, but cares a lot about her grandmother at the same time. I'm not comparing her to Cinder, because both are on my list of favorite female protagonists. I loved Cinder's parts in this story as well. She obviously has a lot to come to terms with, but she does it with a new-found determination and badassness that I really like about her.And then we have the guys: Wolf, Thorne and Kai. Kai is struggling in this book, and my heart ached for him. I loved his parts, because they showed how conflicted he was about his feelings for Cinder, and made me root for them even more. Wolf, on the other hand, was complicated. I never knew what to expect with him, and though I loved him, I was always suspicious when he came along. And then we have Thorne, who made me laugh so many times. I am so glad Meyer introduced him, because some moments definitely needed a little lightness. The best thing about these characters is that they all have their own voice and that, in a story as complicated as this one, makes me admire Marissa Meyer even more.What I loved most about this book, besides the characters, was the way everything came together. So much more was explained throughout this story. It was a roller coaster ride of mystery, with little clues adding up to big revelations that made my jaw drop or made me want to hit something. Every piece seems to fit the puzzle, just like every one of these characters has their own purpose in the overall story. But at the same time, Meyer leaves us with even more questions. Though a lot was explained, at least twice as much was left to be solved in Cress and Winter.Maybe it was the characters, maybe it was Marissa Meyer's brilliant storytelling, or maybe it was just the realization that both of these books are part of a bigger story we can't quite get a hold of yet. But I loved every single thing about Scarlet and it surpassed my expectations in a way I couldn't even imagine. Now if only Cress could come out tomorrow...