Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles)

Scarlet - Marissa Meyer This is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles, and is definitely no standalone, so if you haven't already, definitely read Cinder first. The conceit of the series is that they're based on fairy tales, the first "Cinderella" and this one is "Little Red Riding Hood." But Meyer has managed so far (there are at least two more planned) to make this a truly connected series and without it feeling forced. What's more, I liked her futuristic reimaginings are not, as you might expect, fantasy, but science fiction. I could nitpick at some aspects of her created world, but I loved her characters, and despite these being based on such well-known tales, her books weren't predictable but felt fresh--something a lot of retellings of fairy tales don't really pull off--and when one reveal came, what struck me wasn't simply that it wasn't predictable, but it was just perfect in a way that worked with the world already established. If there was anything that, at least at first, made me impatient with this book is that after having already become attached to Cinder, I wanted the focus to be on her, not this new Red Riding Hood character Scarlet Benoit. That's all the more the case given that Cinder left us with a bit of a cliffhanger. And while Cinder showed off its creative take with the first sentences (Cinder is a cyborg, her "glass slipper" an ill-fitting mechanical foot) what was immediately apparent about Scarlet is her ever-present red hoodie. I mean really. But Scarlet grew on me, and I eventually found more facets to Scarlet and Wolf than first seemed apparent. A very fun read--in the end my big complaint is that I'm going to have to wait till next year for the next book in the series.