Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, book 2 in the Lunar Chronicles | A Review

In the second book of the Lunar Chronicles we are introduced to Scarlet, her grandmother has went missing and nobody seems to be taking it seriously. Even the police have blown her off. When she encounters Wolf, who claims to have knowledge about her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has to trust this suspicious man. We also still get to follow Cinder, continuing on from where she left off at the end of her own book.

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3/5 stars

I had been worried, before I’d checked, that we wouldn’t get to carry on reading from Cinder’s point of view. I had really enjoyed her story and was pleased to find out I’d get to read from her again. There are a lot of different points of view throughout this book, and I imagine that is only going to get more intense as the series progresses and more characters are introduced so if you don’t like reading from multiple viewpoints this might not be the series for you.

I love the extra world building that we get in this novel, as it was a little lacklustre in Cinder. We are at two opposite ends of the world as we begin the book, as well as having the Moon come into play, so this allowed Meyer to naturally build a lot more upon what we had shown to us already without info dumping. I also like the extra little bits of character building that develop for all those we already met in book one.

The new characters that were introduced were a lot of fun, I love the platonic and romantic chemistry between so many of them and how they have to work to gain each other’s trust and respect. So often in YA that is skimmed over. I’m really looking forward to seeing how they all interact with each other in the future books, as well as what the new characters I’m assuming will appear will add to the narrative.

I do have to say that the writing was lacking in points. There was one sentence in particular which used the phrase “very special glass” that had me shocked that it made it into the final edit and the published book. At points, with writing like this, the book does feel kind of trashy. Now this doesn’t mean that I’m not enjoying the book, but the writing isn’t the best and that can draw me out of the story at points. It’s not going to stop me from reading the rest of the books but it’s definitely something that I want to mention.

I’ll definitely have to pick up Cress at some point and I’m really looking forward to learning more about this world, the characters in it, and seeing the plot resolve itself finally in book 4! I just hope the writing improves a little bit!

A Review of Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

I first read Six of Crows at the beginning of 2019 and fell in love with the rag-tag gang and their dynamic. I was nervous to start Crooked Kingdom, it’s a big book and had a lot to live up to. Carrying on from the end of one big heist and probably moving towards a second, there was a lot that could go wrong.

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At first, I didn’t enjoy it! I tried to read it in June and could just not get into the book at all. I ended up DNFing to read another time. But thankfully Noria’s Fuckathon prompts of fuck capitalism and fuck ableism fit beautifully with Crooked Kingdom and I just knew that I needed to read this book for that. When I picked the book up again I still wasn’t loving it, I just wasn’t jelling with the dynamic. Eventually I made myself sit and read it in bigger chunks, and that’s what did it for me. I was hooked.

I adored how the group dynamic had shifted ever so slightly, I loved the camaraderie between all of the characters and their intricate relationships. It did feel slightly weird when I remembered they were supposed to be teenagers, in my minds eye they were very much 18-25 years old. The writing just did not feel like kids to me, but then again I’m 23 so maybe I’m just becoming old and annoying before my time.

I had been spoiled for a major plot point at the end of the book from Twitter (damn it!!!) and so that did take away a little from my enjoyment as I was waiting the whole time for it to happen. I didn’t know where in the book it would occur. That was really annoying but even despite that I was really loving the book. The end third was absolutely gorgeous as you see all of these carefully placed cogs fall and either hit their mark or miss and the eventuality of that.

I definitely have to read the Grisha trilogy at some point, I’ve heard mixed reviews with some liking it more than the SoC duology and some liking it less but I just hope I enjoy them! I’ll also probably pick up King of Scars now, as I’ve heard Nina is in there and I need more of her! Nina, Inej and Jasper are my faves!

Have you read Crooked Kingdom, or any of the Grisha books? What did you think of them? Comment below!

Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

A classic of British YA literature, I first read Noughts & Crosses when I was 10 years old from my school library. I’m a little surprised that it was in my school’s library because this covers some incredibly heavy topics but I’m grateful that I was able to read it. I reread it for both the BookTube ReReadaThon prompt for July which was a book that had taught me something, and also the fuck white supremacy prompt for the Fuckathon.


This book took a long time for me to get through. I hadn’t been expecting that, because rereads are usually quick reads for me. It was too tough for me to get through. My depression was pretty bad whilst reading this and the dark topics just really triggered it and made it a hard read. I’m still glad that I read it again though, as there were a lot of things I didn’t remember or hadn’t quite gotten the nuance of when I was younger.

I’ve heard some criticisms of this book in that it’s “just a reversal” of real life and that it doesn’t capture the nuances of what really would have occurred if Black people had taken on the role of the white oppressor. I, however, think that this is silly. This is a book intended for children, for the YA audience. It’s a heavy topic and Blackman would have known that most of the children reading this would be white British kids, they had never experienced racism and had probably never been taught about it in school. Changing up too much, making it too unrecognisable for those children, would’ve lessened the impact that was had on them. They wouldn’t have been able to see the parallels between this book and real life. That was the important part of this book.

Nowadays this topic is more common, on social media and sometimes even in schools. And of course the series made its way across the Atlantic where racial differences are a hot button topic every day, week and year. You can write more nuanced books for kids nowadays, for American kids back then. But for white British kids in 2001? This was exactly right to open their eyes.

I’m really glad that I re-read this book and I’m definitely going to be carrying on with the other three books in the series. I’ll be waiting a little until I know my mental health can handle it though.

Delving into a different aspect of WWII

We’ve all heard the same sort of stories from WWII, fighting on the front lines, the fighter pilots and the blitz in London. What I haven’t read anything about before, which is my own fault, is what was happening in Africa. Despite this being a World War, most literature, both fiction and non, is based within Europe. That is understandable to an extent, this is where things kicked off. But to have read nothing from Africa? Well that changed after I read Devil Darling Spy by Matt Killeen. The sequel to Orphan Monster Spy, this book follows our protagonists from the first book into Egypt and beyond as they attempt to track down a lethal disease that seems to be man made.

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(this post is spoiler free for both books)

I think the way that Matt Killeen portrayed racism within this book was well done, it explored the white saviour trope and how our main character Sarah has implicit bias. I also enjoyed the “letters” that Sarah wrote in her head when things were getting too much. This book was a great progression on from the first book, whilst still taking things in a completely different direction. I adore Matt Killeen’s writing, he is able to evoke powerful images in my minds eye as well as allowing you to empathise will all of the characters and their emotions.

I really do recommend picking both of these books up. Orphan Monster Spy delves into the life of young German girls, and Devil Darling Spy explores the less talked about aspects of the war and of white colonialism. Important topics to learn about and remember. I can’t wait to read more from him.

Who’s really the monster?

This is one of the few books that I have impulse purchased at full price… and then I took almost a year to read it. Yup, that’s me! I learnt about this book at the NYALitFest 2018, where I saw Matt Killeen on some panels at the con and found myself intrigued. Then I learnt that his book was about WWII and I was sold, hook line and sinker. So I bought it! And I got it signed! And it’s pretty! But it took me a while to read the damn thing. Eventually, though I have, in the space of two days, and I gave it 5/5*!

There are so many different nuances within this book, there is, of course, the main plotline of a young Jewish girl, with no parents to look after her, attempting to escape the Nazi’s clutches. Somehow (I won’t say how here as I enjoyed finding out within the plot of the book) she ends up in a Nazi boarding school for girls, as a spy. I had expected this school to be nice, I was so incredibly wrong and I found it fascinating.

Along with this main plot, however, there are also various subplots behind it that carry on throughout the book. I also would like to give a trigger warning (if you don’t want to see it, don’t read the inset below, I’ve made it a very faint grey).

Paedophilic rape 

These subplots really add an extra dimension to this book, without taking away from the main story, and I was so completely engrossed throughout this whole book. If you are at all interested in WWII or just a dramatic and intense historical fiction that draws you right into the MC’s world, then give this beauty a go! I honestly have no bad words to say and I look forward to reading so much more from Matt in the future!