There is a new gold standard for me in YA, and it is Marissa Meyer’s incredible Lunar Chronicles series. These sci-fi retellings of fairy tales feature a cast of characters that defy your expectations in the best ways.
The first installment, Cinder, is the story of a cyborg Cinderella. Scarlet is a bad-ass Red Riding Hood character with a pretty amazing rebel grandmother.
Cress, the third story, finds the characters from the earlier books needing help from a girl with ridiculously long hair who has spent nearly all her life in a satellite in orbit around the Earth. This Rapunzel retelling is far from the norm, with Cress being a genius-level computer hacker who has seen the world through only the vid streams she watches, making her incredibly naive and socially awkward.
All of this is set in a future Earth that is battling a deadly plague with no cure, whose best hope is a treaty between Earth and the Lunars, who possess incredible telepathic gifts and the ability to glamour themselves. (I’ll touch on the Lunar queen, Levana, later in the month.)
While there is a big reveal at the end of Cinder that I figured out around 20 pages in, that didn’t detract from the experience of the book for me. I finished it in the middle of the night right after Scarlet came out, and I couldn’t wait until morning to go to the bookstore, so I bought the e-book and dove right into it. I seriously can’t remember the last time I’ve been this excited about a series. Each book improves on the last, so much so that I think I’ll need to take time off when the final installment, Winter, comes out this fall. Read them all, you won’t be sorry!