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BOOK REVIEW: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

Title: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: YA

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive. 

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. 

When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. 
As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

After I finished Cinder (my review here) and griped about its wicked cliffhanger, I knew I had to get my hands on the second book in The Lunar Chronicles. It took a few days, but thankfully a beautiful, hardcover copy of Scarlet was alllll mine to devour—and devour it, I did.

I thought I really liked Cinder, but I loved Scarlet. Marissa Meyer exceeded my expectations in this second installment to The Lunar Chronicles. As some of you may (or may not) know, the Lunar Chronicles are based on fairy tales. Cinder was based on Cinderella, and Scarlet was based on The Little Red Riding Hood.

But this is Little Red as you've never seen her before—same goes for the hottie Big Bad Wolf! This book had a perfect balance between keeping the essence of the original Little Red Riding Hood story, but creating brand new, loveable characters, engaging storylines, and an explosive plot.
“Besides, if you are who you claim to be, that makes you my true queen. Therefore, you have my loyalty.”

Immediately starting the book I was swept away. No longer was I staring at jumble of words plastered to a page, but I was a citizen of Earth during a time when andriod and humans lived side by side; a time when an evil Lunar Queen threatened to take over.

Although we still get to follow the characters from The Lunar Chronicles #1 (like Cinder and Prince Kai), this book centers around a farm girl named Scarlet and her quest to find her missing grandmother. We are introduced to new characters—some of which I loved even more than the characters from the first book!
“Did you know that she was cyborg?” asked a woman in an unhidden tone of disgust.
Kai stared at her, appearing confused, then let his gaze dance over the crowd. He shuffled his feet closer to the podium, a wrinkle forming on the bridge of his nose.
Cinder bit the inside of her cheek and braced herself for adamant disgust. Who would ever invite a cyborg to the ball?
But instead, Kai said simply, “I don’t see that her being cyborg is relevant. Next question?”
Cinder’s metal fingers jolted.” 

Hands down the best part about this book was its characters. Innocent little red riding hood is no more! Scarlet (the 'little red riding hood' in question) has grit, and was my favored heroine so far in The Lunar Chronicles. Her loyalty is admirable, and her determination to save her grandmother is moving.
"They said I could only have my freedom if I found what your grandmother was hiding."
But it was when Scarlet became entangled with the character Wolf that the story really got interesting. He was tall, dark, and handsome—everything a good book boyfriend needs—but held an air of danger and mystery around him. Through the whole book I kept wondering: "Is he really lying?" 

The plot itself didn't disappoint, and there is enough going on throughout the story where I was never bored. I had a major OMG, jaw-dropping moment when the mystery of Wolf was revealed. My heart warmed and it broke, then it warmed again ...
“Her mind emptied of everything but the gusting wind and how fragile Wolf looked in that heartbeat, like one movement could break him open.”
The end of Scarlet was... wow. Just wow. It left the stakes higher than ever for the characters of The Lunar Chronicles. My major concern with Cinder was the cliffhanger, but while there is an ongoing storyline, Scarlet does wrap up its plotlines in a way that satisfied me.

For all of this and more, I give Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer 5-Stars.