THE LUNAR CHRONICLES SERIES REVIEW *MINOR SPOILERS* // Cress x Thorne is kind of problematic??? Kai is boring???

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Hey everyone, welcome back to my blog! Today I’m coming at you with my review of the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer! I started buddy reading this series with my bookish bestie Rebecca in January of this year and just finished reading it last month! Overall, it was such a positive experience and I can’t wait to buddy read a new series with Rebecca as soon as we can make it happen!

Main TW for the entire series: death, manipulation (emotional, physical), murder, rape, loss, non-consensual kisses & relationships, abuse, injury, loss of limbs/body parts

↣ Just in general, the series can get pretty dark especially in Fairest and Winter

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Age guide:

↣ Wolf – 23
↣ Thorne – 20
↣ Jacin – 19
↣ Kaito – 18
↣ Scarlet – 18
↣ Winter – 17
↣ Cinder – 16
↣ Cress – 16

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Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

Cinder

3 ⭐

I didn’t LOVE this re-read but it is so much fun to be back in this world!

I have read CInder a total of three times now and I’ve had a different reaction to it each time, which is not something I can say for most books I’ve read. The first time I read it I loved it, the second time I felt completely the opposite and really disliked it. But, third time’s a charm, because this time I fell sort of in the middle but leaning more towards really enjoying it, just not enough for it to stay a favourite of mine.

I think if I ever re-read this again, it will be more for the nostalgia factor than anything else, but I definitely hope to read the rest of the series again sometime in the future (excluding Fairest and Stars Above which I’ll talk about later).

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)

Scarlet 

3.75 ⭐

I really enjoyed this! I actually enjoyed Scarlet and Wolf a lot more this time than I have in the past and I thought the plot was really interesting. Reading this made me super excited to get to the rest of the series, especially after being so disappointed by Cinder.

In the past, I haven’t been a big fan of this one, and have only really enjoyed the series while reading Cress and Winter. But, funnily, enough with age comes wisdom and this time around, I loved Scarlett and possibly even more than her, I loved Wolf!

My old gripes with this were that Scarlet was annoying and inconsistently violent and that Wolf was just… too much. But, this time around I LOVED Scarlet as a character and didn’t mind the little inconsistencies because honestly, this shit would be scary irl and I would not have a chance, so kudos to Scarlet, honestly. Also, I didn’t like Wolf??? Yikes, 15 yr/o me was clearly too sleep deprived while reading this because he’s high-key one of my favourite characters in the series now and I completely understand why Scarlet loves him! Also, just straight up, he’s cute af.

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

Cress

4 ⭐

I have 5 pages of notes on this book I HAVE THOUGHTS. I loved this book but it also grossed me out a bit with the main romance.

I’m going to really dive into my thoughts, but first of all I just want to say that I love Cress as a character and if I knew her irl I would absolutely adore her. BUT, and this is a big BUT, she has a total crush on Thorne in this book. I included an age guide at the start of this post, but in case you don’t want to scroll back and look, Cress is 16 years old and Thorne is 20. Which is fine, age gaps are totally allowed – all of the romances in this series have an age gap of some kind, and Scarlet and Wolf, my favourite couple, have the biggest age gap out of everyone (5 years). But, there is a big difference between Scarlet & Wold and Cress & Thorne, the main one being that Cress is underage. And, adding to that, she’s grown up practically, all alone with only net shows (basically, soap operas) and a hologram for company – she is VERY naive and acts a lot younger then she is, no matter how intelligent she is around computers.

My point is that it’s a cute romance and all, but if this book had been published now and not in 2014, this would probably be a bigger issue, or at least, more people would be vocal about it. I wanted to talk about this because, as much as I love this book, the implied future romance between the characters (they do kiss in this book) left me really uncomfortable while reading this book. Basically, my main thing is this: have you ever met a 16 yr/old (mature or not) who was “adult enough” to be in a relationship with a 20 yr/old man? I’m really interested to know your guys’ thought sso please let me know what you think in the comments!

[You can find the rest of my notes I had for this book here because I really did have a lot to say and I can’t fit it all in here without writing less about the other books.]

Other than the romance I really did enjoy this book and found to be a lot more of a quick read than the first 2!  I also really enjoyed Thorne’s character development, because he was kind of sleazy in the previous book.

I would just like to add in here, that I am honestly shocked that the relationship I always disliked the most (Wolf and Scarlet) has surpassed my love for Cress and Thorne. I think that’s mostly down to the weird age gap though, because god damn, it makes me uncomfortable to think about it.

Fairest - Levana's Story (The Lunar Chronicles)

Fairest

3 ⭐

I think through this one we see how dark the series really is. And, it’s dark – I honestly don’t think that 15 year old me actually understood how dark the events in this book and the next really are because a lot happens in this book and pretty much none of it is good. Especially since at some points in the book, I was feeling bad for a character who was completely okay with manipulating people into fitting her narrative. See the TW for more on that, because it was honestly, disgusting.

This was definitely an interesting book, especially because I feel like we rarely actually get a glimpse into the villain’s life. That being said this was incredibly distressing to read and I won’t be picking it up again. MAJOR trigger warning for rape and non-consensual kisses & relationships.

TW: Descriptions of murder, death, mentions of execution, abuse, physical disfigurements, nonconsensual relationship & kisses, rape, murder

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)

Winter

4.5 ⭐

Honestly, this might be one of my favourite series finales of all time. There’s A LOT that happens in this one and I was definitely not let down. Also, I listened to like, 80% of it one night while writing out my notes for an assignment – there was a lot of coffee involved but it was SO worth it!

I think, while I love the romances and book 3 was the easiest to read, Winter really sums up why I love this series. It’s dark, there are actual stakes, the characters have a great group dynamic (I live for found family dynamics!) and it never feels like the story is going to wrap up in a pretty red bow! I may like some characters more than others, but really, this is an amazing series and the finale really does show off everything I love about the series so much. Also, straight up, there is so much Wolf, Jacin and Winter in this book and it makes my heart so happy, even though they definitely suffered a lot in this book, and the series as a whole! Also x2, it was really interesting to see more of and to learn more about Lunar in this book. It was really interesting to learn more about how the citizens of Lunar felt about Levana, honestly, it just made me realise how much I love politics in the books I read.

The only thing I really didn’t like about this one, and also Cress, was that there really wasn’t enough of Scarlet. She’s a great character – a total badass and a great leader, so having her be in the background of straight up not there for so many events throughout the book was really sad.

Oh, actually, no – I lied. There is another thing that I wasn’t a fan of in the series and that’s Kai. I don’t dislike the character I just thought he was boring, most of the time he just felt like he was just sort of, there. Like, he didn’t really have much of anything to d and most of the times he was just a plot device which was a big shame because I felt like he could’ve been more.

Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles, #0.5, 0.6, 1.5, 3.1, 4.5)

Stars  Above

2.5 ⭐

The first time I read this I rated it a 4.5 stars but this time I can’t get myself to rate it any higher than a 2.5. I have a very complicated relationship with this book. I enjoyed it, because of course, I did, I love the characters but, overall I enjoyed this because of course, I love the characters but, overall this felt off to me. I’ve enjoyed all the books in this series, even Fairest, but I felt disconnected from this bind-up as a whole.

I think my problems with this short story collection are purely that it comes across as a huge cash grab, more than anything else. I didn’t dislike the stories, and I love the characters but the collection as a whole felt disingenuine because we already knew most, if not all of the information in the collection. Aside from 2 stories, we had heard all the stories before, throughout the series.

There were 2 stories that stood out, The Little Android (a new take on The Little Mermaid) and
Something Old, Something New. The Little Android, however, felt more like a random thought or a deleted scene/character that never made it to the final cut. And, Something Old, Something New was the only story that I really felt connected to because it occurred 2 years after Winter (book 4) ended.

Honestly, I feel like this anthology would have benefitted a lot more by just being a couple of stories set 2 years after book 4 (like the last story) and showing where all of the characters are individually – starting with Something New, Something Old, instead of ending with it. Especially, since I’m pretty sure, at the time this came out, all of the other stories had already been released on Kindle anyway.

If you want to read my individual story reviews then check out my Goodreads review here.

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My favourite characters:

↣ Jacin! He’s honestly my favourite – he would do anything for Winter and honestly hard SAME. Just in general, his love and devotion to Winter make me love him and they were just too cute in Winter and I really couldn’t handle it.
↣ Winter! Yep, who saw this coming. She deserves the world and I love her a tonne. Honestly, I wish we could have seen her more in the series! If I could get my way, Stars Above would have included more about her and how she’s coping post-War/Finale.
↣ Wolf! He’s a cutie and has suffered too much. Just let the man live in peace on his farm with Scarlet and his tomatoes. Honestly, just writing this little spiel has me wanting to re-read the books again just for the Wolf scenes.

Characters I Really Don’t like:

↣ Kenny – I’d already read the graphic novels and didn’t want to reread them because honestly, I know that Iko and Kenny are supposed to be hinting at a romance but he seems super uncomfortable by Iko and just in general, is rude to her and I’m not a fan of him. Basically. I don’t think any of that was coherent but, I think he still has some major prejudices against androids and I think Iko should set her sights elsewhere.

Overall, I rate the series as a whole 4 stars because of nostalgia how much I enjoyed the darkness of the series. Also, I had so much reading Cress and Winter that I don’t want Stars Above to impact my review of the series too much, because I don’t really think it should count, because it was released after Winter.

4star

Have you read The Lunar Chronicles? Do you like Cress and Thorne? Am I totally over or underreacting about any of these books?

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11 thoughts on “THE LUNAR CHRONICLES SERIES REVIEW *MINOR SPOILERS* // Cress x Thorne is kind of problematic??? Kai is boring???

  1. Hmmm, I never realized the age gap between Cress and Thorne! to me, it was always so much like the relationship in Tangled and I adored Thorne for being so much like Flynn, and I never picked up on the age gap. Now, I wish Meyer had written Cress as older because now, it’s like, no, that’s not a good idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think I ever realised it when I read the series originally either! As I was re-reading the first couple of books I kept being surprised by how young all the characters were whenever their ages would come up so I think I was extra aware when I read Cress – it was definitely a big shock!

      I did really enjoy Thornes character I just didn’t appreciate the romance – I thought they were super cute though, so the age gap makes me extra uncomfortable because of that. I did realise for the first time why Thorne is named Thorne lol, I never made the connection between his name and the original story until this re-read which amuses me!
      I agree about Cress – I think she still would have worked as a character if she’d been older!

      Like

    1. I think this is the main thing I’m realising as I re-read series now so much later after reading them for the first time! So much of the stuff we read so long ago wouldn’t fly these days!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I never realized how young Cress was compared to Thorne! I was really young when I read this series too, so that’s probably why it flew over my head—I just wanted a happy ending without thinking too much of the details of the relationship. Thinking over it now though, you made a good point that Cress has been sheltered all her life. That detail, combined with fact that she’s underaged, puts her at risk for being taken advantage of. I haven’t met any 16 year olds who are mature enough to be in a relationship with a 20 year old (but that’s because high schoolers don’t typically hang out with college students). I know my friends used to act older because that’s how they wanted to be seen, but we were all still children. There’s still a big difference between a sophomore in high school and a sophomore in college. It is interesting to see how Meyer got away with writing this relationship only several years ago, but I guess us younger readers didn’t know enough to notice there was something off about the age gap.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never realised it when I originally read the series either, so I don’t blame you!

      Yes, I think had Cress been at least 18 (which still would have fit with her character) I would have been more okay with it, but her being a minor + being sheltered her whole life was a really terrible idea and did not age well book-wise.

      I completely agree I have never met a 16 year old mature enough to be with an adult, even a 20 year old!
      Exactly, I wonder why no one ever brought it up when the books first came out, and why I never noticed it either, but was constantly thinking about it this time around!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I originally read Cinder when it was first released, and because I’m forgetful af, I totally forgot about the series till recently. I was planning on just picking up with the second book and finishing the series, but your reviews made it very clear to me that I don’t remember anything except the vaguest details 😂 So I’ll definitely have to start from the beginning. Great reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I recommend starting from the beginning and then bingeing them and if you’re having trouble motivating yourself to read them the audiobooks are great!
      Thank you, Chana! 💕💕 I hope you enjoy the series!

      Like

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