Yes, I’ve come up with yet another new feature. If you didn’t know (which seems unlikely, if you read pretty much any book blog other than mine), January marked the release of the third Lunar Chronicles book, Cress. I think I can safely use the word “literally” when I say that literally every blog that I read which reviewed it loved it. I’m sure there are some negative reviews or even just neutral reviews, but I didn’t see them at all, which was kind of disheartening for me. I’ve read the first two books, Cinder and Scarlet, and was kind of unimpressed with both of them. Normally, when this happens, I at least see a couple of other reviewers who feel similar to me, but that just wasn’t the case here. So, that’s what this feature is for.
You’ve probably heard the term “black sheep” on some blogs or Goodreads – you know, that one person or one of the few who didn’t like the book/series that everyone else seems to praise on a weekly basis. We probably all have at least one book that fits this category, and that’s what this feature is for – to look at the popular books or series that I didn’t love in an attempt to figure out why. Why the name then, you ask (and if you didn’t, who cares – you’re going to hear it anyway!)? Well, I wanted to come up with a name that’s slightly different, plus I couldn’t find a cute picture of a sheep, and I have a black cat of my own, so why not?
The Lunar Chronicles
OK, so what is The Lunar Chronicles? It’s a sci-fi/paranormal retelling of various fairy tales (Cinder = Cinderella, Scarlet = Little Red Riding Hood, and Cress = Rapunzel); each new book adds new main characters and a broader scope to the world in general. There are cyborgs, evil and magical people on the moon, an awful plague, and plenty of futuristic technology and such. Oh, and there’s plenty of romance – every main character so far has some love interest, and I’m sure the fourth book will be no exception.
So Why No Love?
Just looking at the brief summary that I wrote myself, this seems like something that I should at least like, if not love. I mean, so many different reviewers, with different interests and problems, love the books – why don’t I? Well, there are a few reasons:
1. Unsurprising Twists When I read Cinder, there was a big reason I couldn’t enjoy the story very much – I figured out all the twists in the first 50 or so pages. I really don’t know how I did it – I’m the type of person who normally misses the twists until the big reveal, or only figures out one and end up being shocked by all the rest. For some reason, though, I had no trouble figuring them out in this book. In some cases, I enjoy reading about the protagonists trying to figure out what I already know, but this is one of those cases where I can’t enjoy myself because I’m too busy yelling at them for not opening their eyes and just figuring the damn twists out already. If I can figure them out, then why can’t they?
2. No Connection with Characters I haven’t read either of the first two books really recently, so I can’t pinpoint exactly why I didn’t really connect with any of the characters. I might have disliked Cinder because I unconsciously (or consciously – who knows, considering how much this book seemed to mess with me) thought she was a bit of an idiot for not figuring out all the twists (what do you mean that you’re in real life and these coincidences would never happen in real life? Figure out your tropes already, dammit!), but I don’t quite know why I disliked the other characters as well. Yes, even Iko or whatever Cinder’s little friend was. Another pretty much universal love is that of little sidekick Iko, but when I was reading Cinder she just never seemed all that different from countless other little side characters. I don’t know if I actually disliked her, but I definitely didn’t consider her a favorite.
3. Uninteresting Romances I also just didn’t care about the romances in the first two books at all. Since I wasn’t a fan of Cinder and Kai seemed kind of “meh,” I wasn’t rooting for them to get together. I mean, I wasn’t rooting against them, but I also wasn’t waiting anxiously for them to kiss or anything. With Scarlet and Wolf, I was kind of rooting against them. I actually liked Wolf for the most part, but I didn’t like Scarlet all that much and didn’t like listening to Wolf moon over her or whatever, so I didn’t want them to have a relationship. I might have actually liked the romance in Cress since Thorne was pretty much the only thing I liked about Scarlet, but since I don’t plan on reading that book unless I find someone who hated the first two books and then loved the third, I guess I won’t know.
4. The Hype When I read Cinder, there wasn’t too much hype around it, so it was just the not-so-twisty twists that frustrated me with that book. When I got to Scarlet, though, hype was starting to build up for these books and I was kind of feeling the pressure. I didn’t go into the book wanting to dislike it. I wanted to be one of the many who love this books, I really did. But it just wasn’t interesting me from the beginning, and the fact that everyone else loved these books began to work against them because I began resenting them or something after a while. If there had been no hype or obsession, then I might have left these books with a simple “meh” or “decent,” but with all the hype, I just can’t help but look back at these books with a slight glare for not being as amazing for me as everyone else.
So Why Bother?
The point of this new feature isn’t to turn the few who haven’t read and loved these books against them, despite how much it might seem like it. No, it’s to figure out – for myself and anyone else who happens to care – why these weren’t the books for me. You definitely shouldn’t just take my word for it since I don’t really know of anyone else who doesn’t love these books. These are just a few reviews of Cinder that you should check out before deciding whether these are the books for you – or you can just jump into them yourself and see.
Fellow Dark-Hued Cats
Like I’ve said, I’m not sure I know of anyone who doesn’t at least enjoy these books, so I don’t really have any lower reviews to include in this section. If you know of anyone or you are one of those people, feel free to comment so that I know I’m not alone!