Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Scarlet is the second installment in Marissa Meyer’s Cinder series–you know, those books that basically the entire world except me has finished? Yeah…those… Anyway, Scarlet switches setting and story to 18-year-old Scarlet (Little Red Riding Hood) who’s dead-set on finding her beloved grandma’s kidnappers and is joined by street fighting bestial hot boy, Wolf, who aids in her quest.
I absolutely adore Scarlet. She’s forward, determined, and won’t take shit from anyone. She’s also an inherently good person and vehemently defends Cinder to everyone despite that she’s a lunar and even though they’ve never met. Just because it’s right. She’s got a lot of spunk–more, I’d argue, than even Cinder in the first–and even when things start to go sour she never once seriously considers bailing. There’s no ‘either save my grandma or nothing at all’ because the nothing isn’t an option–there is only saving her grandmother.
It’s not altogether often that you get a love interest who is genuinely shy. Sure, they may not act on their affection for whatever reason but rarely is the love interest a deterrent for the actual love. Wolf is different. Wolf is mysterious and reserved. He wants to impress Scarlet but shies away whenever things heat up…until he doesn’t. Hot DAMN. But more than that, he’s sweet and devoted but also willing to do what it takes to help Scarlet, even when he risks himself in the process. What’s interesting is that while he’s not a beast exactly, he has certain animalistic instincts and features like claws and sharpened teeth and the agility senses of an actual wolf. He’s got a savage side that’s ridiculously sexy and a soft side that makes me swooooooooon. Even as Wolf himself starts to change and questions what he’s been raised to believe, he doesn’t lose either side of himself. It’s surprisingly hot. He’s surprisingly hot. I thought I liked Kai but damn Wolf, now you might be edging to the top!
Scarlet also welcomes back Cinder and Iko and while I can’t say much more about Iko except that even with her personality chip stuck inside a massive spaceship instead of an actual robot body, she’s just as hilarious as ever, Cinder on the other hand improves. I’ve read a lot of reviews that hated a bit on Cinder but I didn’t. In fact, I genuinely liked her the first time around. But I didn’t realize that I could like her even more in Scarlet. Her hesitations and insecurities have mostly been obliterated–I guess being a fugitive will do that to you–and what’s emerged instead is a determined bad ass through and through. Get ready, Levana–you’re going so far down you won’t even be able to see your precious moon anymore.
We also get to meet the sarcastic Thorne, sexy smuggler and captain-who-is-really-a-cadet. He’s hilarious. He and Cinder are hilarious. Honestly, his existence just made the whole book so much more fun. And it’s great to see a major male character who doesn‘t serve as the love interest–friends are so underrated.
Kai also gets revisited periodically in his own chapters so you get to see how things are holding up on his end–oh, and how much he’s still thinking about Cinder. One line: “I don’t see that her being cyborg is relevant.” I am DEAD. ACTUALLY DEAD. ❤ ❤ ❤
So many great guys, Meyer. GIVE ME ALL OF THEM!
Plot-wise this books moves pretty fast. Scarlet’s story doesn’t waste much time in getting to Paris to her find her grandma and once she’s there it all KICKS INTO SERIOUSLY INTENSE GEAR. Cinder’s story also progressed in good time, as did Kai’s ongoing struggle. The way all the stories connected was revealed slowly and surprisingly. Instead of figuring out the surprise early on and waiting with rolling eyes for the MC to finally catch on, in Scarlet it’s more like ‘oh my god is it this? did I get it? I think I got it this is intense I just want to know OH FUCK YEAH I WAS RIGHT GO ME!’ And there are other pot twists. Intense plot twists. Gut-wrenching plot twists. Bolt-upright-and-reread-over-and-over-again-to-make-sure you’re-reading-that-right plot twists.
AND THAT ENDING?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
I AM STILL NOT OKAY.
Look, I loved Cinder. Really loved it, and I didn’t think we could get much better than that. But wow. I absolutely adored every single second of Scarlet. I’m floored. I think I’m in love.
Click here for the book synopsis on goodreads!