This fantastic review popped up in the Shelf Talker newsletter yesterday! Twelve more days before the release!!
(FYI – it’s a tiny bit spoilery, so if you really hate having advance information, I suggest skipping this one!)
Cress by Marissa Meyer (Feiwel & Friends//Macmillan, $18.99 hardcover, 560p., ages 12-up, 9780312642976, February 4, 2014)
Marissa Meyer continues her brilliant bending of classic fairytales in her Lunar Chronicles with this riff on Rapunzel.
Cress lives imprisoned in a satellite, rather than in a tower. She is a shell–with none of the powers of most Lunars–but is also a skilled hacker and tech wiz. In Cinder, Cress warned the cyborg mechanic of the intent of Levana, Queen of Luna, to marry Emperor Kai, kill him and, from her seat as heir to the Commonwealth, take over Earth. Thanks to Cress, the Lunars have a complete surveillance system to track the emperor’s comings and goings. But that also means Cress knows how to dismantle the system.
As she did in Scarlet, Meyer crafts a self-contained story in this third volume, while building on the overarching tale of Cinder, whose impossible love for Emperor Kai and devotion to her adopted homeland, Earth, drives her to halt Queen Levana’s plan. If it is possible to ramp up the suspense, Meyer does so here, beginning with a failed attempt by Cinder and Captain Thorne to rescue Cress from her satellite. As with Rapunzel, the witch (here Levana’s chief thaumaturge, Sybil) lies in wait. The rescue turns into a part kidnapping (Sybil kidnaps Scarlet; Sybil’s pilot winds up on Cinder’s ship), part fortuitous mishap: Captain Thorne and Cress are thrown together, and both Cinder’s and Cress’s conveyances wind up on Earth.
Meyer takes the discussion of earth’s inhabitants, cyborgs and lunars, to a new level, drawing parallels to modern society’s fears of immigration and of “the other,” and the perils of information-gathering, eerily akin to the N.S.A. debate (Cress “knew intimately how much access Queen Levana had to Earth’s net and all those comms that Earthens mistakenly believed were private”). Meyer once again creates nuanced characters that grow in complexity–as Captain Thorne develops a moral backbone, Cinder discovers a dark side to her potential power (“More than anything, I’m afraid that… the more I fight [Levana] and the stronger I become, the more I’m turning into her”).
Meanwhile, Levana and Kai’s wedding date edges closer. Cinder discovers unexpected allies–and foes. Dr. Erland returns, paying a key role in revelations about the rampant letumosis plague, for which Levana possesses the antidote. Events unfold at a breakneck pace, and we won’t know for sure if Cinder’s audacious plan to halt Levana will work until the fourth and final installment, slated for February 2015. Readers will be anxiously orbiting until then. –Jennifer M. Brown
Shelf Talker: In Marissa Meyer’s third installment of the Lunar Chronicles, Cress, trapped in a satellite, holds the key to thwarting Queen Levana’s diabolical plot to rule Earth.
I saw the hashtag #DressforCress on Twitter a few days ago and got SUPER excited. (Pajamas and costumes making up my two favorite dress codes.) What better way to show your Lunarcy and celebrate Cress’s launch than dressing for the occasion?
Whether you’re coming to the Launch Party in Tacoma, WA, or any of my signings during the tour, or just heading to your local bookstore to pick up your book, here are some ideas for Lunar-izing your ensemble.
(And remember, if you wear a costume to the launch party, you could win a prize!)
Keeping It Simple
Red is the color of the series, and red hair accessories are particularly fitting for our Rapunzel tie-in! Choose from hats, ribbons, bows, and barrettes to represent Cress, or hark back to Cinder and Scarlet with red shoes or hoodies!
You could also cyborg yourself with hand-painted prostheses (for the artistic types) or these completely awesome android leggings.
Can’t go all crazy like? Hint at your geekdom with your favorite mechanic-worthy accessory, like this cool wrench pin:
For those of you who like to broadcast your awesomeness to the world, go all out with a Lunar Chronicles costume!
Cinder is all about the utilitarian, with cargo pants, work gloves, and a handy messenger bag.
Or get gussied up with a ball gown and silk gloves . . . just don’t forget the grease stains!
Scarlet, farm girl that she is, can generally be found in dirty tennis shoes, torn jeans, and, of course, her signature red hooded sweatshirt.
Cress is all about comfort in her satellite prison, with worn cotton dresses and bare feet . . . and long, long, long hair.
Or be devious with a villain costume! Levana and her veil or the thaumaturge coats (for those of you with sewing skills) could be really cool. If I do say so myself.
No matter how simple or complex you decide to go, I hope to see some fun outfits at the launch party and on tour! If you #DressforCress on February 4,please tweet me a picture—I want to see!!!
I get such a kick out of writing the blog tour posts every year! It’s like sharing all these quirky behind-the-scenes things that I’ve been hoarding all year long.
The CRESS blog tour kicks off today! Here’s the full list of stops. On top of my guest posts, the tour is also full of giveaways, reviews, and more, so make sure to stop by each blog for the full Lunar Chronicles experience. Enjoy!
Monday, January 20 : That Artsy Reader Girl
In which I explain why I almost named Cress “Arugula” . . .
Tuesday, January 21 : Mermaid Vision Books
In which I share my “Ode to Spaceship Captains.” Yes, I wrote an actual ode.
Wednesday, January 22 : MacTeenBooks
In which I get a little nostalgic over the music that inspired the book . . .
Thursday, January 23 : Refracted Light Reviews
In which Meg Tao, Kai’s fan club president, is devastated.
Friday, January 24 : Love is Not a Triangle
In which I *squee* over some of my favorite Lunar Chronicles fanart . . .
Monday, January 27 : YA Bibliophile
In which I talk about my experience riding a real-live camel for research.
Tuesday, January 28 : The Irish Banana Review
In which I explain how I relate to Cress’s character . . .
Wednesday, January 29 : Forever Young Adult
In which I discuss the challenges of writing a quartet (and the third book in particular).
Thursday, January 30 : Alexa Loves Books
In which I talk about food. A LOT of food . . .
Friday, January 31 : FicFare
In which I discuss 10 things that changed from Cress’s early drafts . . .
Monday, February 3 : Mundie Moms
In which you can take a quiz to find out which Lunar Chronicles heroine you are . . .
(Posts from previous blog tours can be found on my blog posts Pinterest board.)
I *might* be biased, but I’m fairly certain that I have the most talented audiobook narrator in the history of… audiobooks. Rebecca Soler is AMAZING, deftly weaving in accents and voices for, oh, about EIGHT BILLION CHARACTERS. There are times when I’m writing a scene with lots of characters and feel legitimately guilty when I think about poor Rebecca, but she handles it with so much talent and energy and I just . . . I am really, really impressed.
Listen to the first chapter:
The CRESS audiobook releases the same day as the hardback – February 4! You can pre-order it now wherever audiobooks are sold.
Or enter this giveaway for a signed copy!
Three weeks! I can’t hardly believe it, but Cress comes out in just three weeks . . . and guess what! So does the paperback edition of Scarlet, which will also be hitting bookshelves on February 4.
There are fifty pages of bonus materials in the paperback edition, including: “The Queen’s Army,” a companion short story; a Cress teaser; Q&A with yours truly; book discussion questions; and a we love bloggers! appreciation page.
In celebration, all this week is a special Scarlet blog tour—complete with lots of opportunities to win great prizes and free books!
Monday January 13: My Shelf Confessions
On the Lunar Chronicles’ science-fiction / fairy tale twists . . .
Tuesday January 14: Reader of Fictions
On some seriously swoonworthy boys . . .
Wednesday January 15: Scott Reads It
On one terrifying villain . . .
Thursday January 16: Michelle and Leslie’s Book Picks
On the Lunar Chronicles’ global settings and their futuristic glory (and chaos) . . .
Friday January 17: Book Brats
On our strong and inspiring heroines . . .
For your best chance to win copies of Cinder and Scarlet, be sure to follow the complete blog tour and enter all the giveaways!
But that isn’t all—you can also win awesome prizes by joining in two, that’s right, TWO read-alongs happening this month.
(Visit http://www.macteenbooks.com/ya/join-the-scarlet-by-marissa-meyer-readathon/ for details.)
Both read-alongs are drumming up plenty of Lunartic chatter, fanart, and fun, and both come with prizes! So grab a copy of Scarlet and get reading (or re-reading) today!
I am SO EXCITED to be posting the details for the CRESS launch party! If you live anywhere in or near Western Washington, I highly recommend making the drive, because it will be worth it.
WHAT: Celebrate the launch of CRESS: Book Three of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer! Be entertained, eat some food, and get your books signed!
WHEN: Tuesday, February 4. Doors open at 6:30. Show begins at 7:00. Book signing to follow.
HOSTED BY: Garfield Book Company at PLU
WHERE: Karen Hille Phillips Center (formerly Eastvold Hall) at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA
PARKING: There are two parking lots on the corners of Garfield & Park Ave. (On this map: Mortvedt Lot and Harstad Lot. The event will be held at #25 Eastvold Hall.)
TICKETS: Due to limited seating, this will be a ticketed event. See below.
Q: I can’t wait!! How do I get a ticket and ensure a seat at the event?
Get your ticket by pre-ordering CRESS from Garfield Book Co. Each CRESS pre-order comes with one event ticket. Each person must present a ticket to be admitted into the launch party.
OR you can purchase just the event ticket for $5.00 online at http://www.garfieldbookcompany.com. (Tickets for children under 10 are free.)
Q: I’m from Seattle/Portland/Oklahoma. Is this party really worth the drive to Tacoma?
Abso-friggin-lutely! The CRESS Launch Party will include:
- Marissa Meyer talking about her inspiration for The Lunar Chronicles, telling at least one fairy tale (Marissa-style), answering questions, and generally making a great hullabaloo about the fact that she’s written three books now, holy cow, when did that happen?
- Special Lunar Chronicles balloon art by Dr. Twistin
- Hand and body paintings by local henna artists
- A costume contest
- Salon Ish facilitating donations to Locks of Love
- Raffle prizes
- Book signing
- FREE FOOD! <~ if that didn’t convince you, you may be a lost cause.
Q: I’m coming to the party and I’m psyched!! How can I be a part of the festivities?
All guests are encouraged to wear red hats or hair accessories. (For Cinder everyone wore red shoes, for Scarlet it was red scarves—it’s a super fun way to dress up for the occasion!)
If you don’t have any red hair accessories, or you forget—never fear! We should have special CRESS hairbands available for purchase, hand-made by my own mom, who also made the special Scarlet scarves from last year, because she’s all amazing and stuff.
Overachievers are encouraged to wear Lunar Chronicles-inspired costumes. Depending on participation, we’re hoping to host a costume contest, where you could win a really awesome prize!
Do you have un-bleached hair longer than 10 inches? Consider donating it to our Locks of Love campaign! In return, you’ll receive awesome Lunar Chronicles goodies and free swag from Salon Ish in Puyallup. If you aren’t sure if your hair fits the requirements, our volunteer stylists will be able to help.
PLUS, if you would like to volunteer your hair during the livestreamed show, you will win an even bigger prize! Please comment if you’re interested.
(Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that provides high-quality hairpieces to children in the United States and Canada suffering from long-term medical hair loss. What better way to celebrate Rapunzel’s lovely locks?)
Q: Can I buy additional copies of CRESS and/or CINDER and SCARLET for signing?
Yes, indeed! Bring and purchase as many books as you like. I’ll sign until my hand falls off. Or PLU kicks us out. Whichever comes first.
Q: I can’t come to the party and my heart is breaking! How else can I be a part of the fun?
Never fear, Lunartics! The CRESS launch party is going to be livestreamed, so anyone far and wide can partake in the entertainment.
Details are still being worked out. For now—mark your calendar for Tuesday, February 4, at 7:00 PST.
You will also have the opportunity to ask questions during the livestream. If your question is chosen, I’ll answer it on-stage, and you could even win a special VIP prize.
I’ll post more information on that once I have it.
Closing statement: Eeeeeeeehhhh I can’t wait!!
Last year I posted about my writing business plan and my goals for 2013, so today I thought I’d look back and see just how much I did (and did not) accomplish, and also give some insight into my upcoming year.
My 2013 Business Plan
- Launch and promote SCARLET (success!)
- Final revisions/edits for CRESS and early promotion (success!)
- Turn WINTER in to my editor
- Turn the Secret Nano Project (a.k.a. HEARTLESS) in to my editor
- Brainstorm and outline whatever will come next (semi-success)
- More regular updates to the Marissa Meyer Facebook fan page (esp. while traveling) (success!)
In the end, it turned out that I way, way, way (way way way way WAY) underestimated how much time it was going to take me to revise WINTER. This book has been about ten times the headache that the first three books were. Not to worry. I am nearing the end (finally!) and I’m hopeful that I’ll have it off to my editor soon, but… yeah. It definitely did not happen in 2013, and the thought that I’d hoped to revise both WINTER and HEARTLESS last year is seriously laughable.
But! I did write two short stories and a novella tied in to the Lunar Chronicles universe, and those hadn’t been on the initial business plan, so all in all, I’m pretty pleased with my progress last year.
My 2014 Business Plan
- Launch and promote CRESS (one month to go!!!)
- Final revisions/edits for WINTER and early promotion
- Turn HEARTLESS in to my editor
- Final revisions/edits for HEARTLESS? (publishing schedule TBD)
- Outline and draft at least the first book in my next series. (Come November, if I’m feeling ambitious, I may attempt to draft two or even three books, like I first did with TLC. But . . . we’ll see. I might decide to take a 30-day nap instead.)
- Start a book club.
- Go on my first group writing retreat.
Which sounds like a crazy-fun productive year!
Interested in making your own writing business plan? Check out my original post for more strategies.
And feel free to post your own goals for this year in the comments!
I didn’t read nearly as many books as I’d wanted to in 2013 (acknowledging that I could read 500 books in a year and still not be satisfied), but there were definitely some great ones!
Total books read: 61 (29 fewer than 2012, despite all my best efforts)
Young Adult: 45*
Nonfiction: 8 (4 memoir, 2 self-help, 1 on adoption, 1 writing guide)
Graphic Novels: 3
Middle Grade: 1
Fantasy / Literary: 1
*YA can be further broken down into:
YA Paranormal / Horror: 13
YA Sci-fi / Dystopian: 10
YA Romance: 9
YA Fantasy: 8
YA Thriller: 5
My Ten Favorite Books I Read This Year
(In alpha-order by author. Series grouped together.)
1. Of Triton by Anna Banks
I am so smitten with Anna Banks’s writing voice, and both Of Poseidon and Of Triton came with the perfect mix of humor, action, and romance. I’ve heard through the grapevine that the conclusion of the series, Of Neptune, is even BETTER, and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.
2. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
I had no idea that I could care about a vampire book, but this one entirely swept me off my feet. The concept was both unique and familiar, and I was hooked from page one. It doesn’t hurt that I happen to be painfully in love with Gavriel…
3. Texas Gothic and Spirit and Dust by Rosemary Clement-Moore
I just discovered Rosemary Clement-Moore this year and since then I have tried to force these books onto every person I know who enjoys fast-paced books filled with ghosts and witches and mysteries and seriously hot guys. Seriously. I love them so much.
4. Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
This book has been out for a while and I finally got around to it last year and, in true Shannon Hale form, I adored every page. Both the story and the voice read like a fairy tale and I loved watching the protagonist grow over the course of the story.
5. Prodigy and Champion by Marie Lu
Marie really left us hanging at the end of Prodigy so it was such a relief to be able to dive into both books in 2013. Day! June! My heart! Also – who else so could not have predicted the epic world-building from Antarctica? I kind of want a spin-off series to be set there. *nudges Marie*
6. Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
The moment I heard about the His Dark Assassin series—teenage girls who are nuns secretly trained to be assassins—I knew that I would love these books. And I was absolutely correct. Robin’s knack for combining historical details with brilliant protagonists and one seriously terrifying villain is mind-blowing.
7. Nerve by Jeanne Ryan
This was another book that sold me on concept alone, and it exceeded every expectation. Maybe it spoke to my nostalgia for “Truth or Dare” games? Either way, it’s so full of twists and suspense I couldn’t put it down.
8. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
Oh. This is one of those books that every time I think about it my heart sighs. It should be required reading for everyone who has ever felt like an outcast. (Which I suspect is… everyone.) So much love for this book.
9. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Another heart-sighing book, this one continues to give me gushy feelings even months after I read it. I can be an enormous sucker for meant-to-be romances, and this book manages to fill that need without ever feeling melodramatic or clichéd. A perfect pick-me-up.
10. The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Without a doubt, these are the books that left me with the biggest book hangover in 2013. So, um, HOW LONG do we have to wait for the next one?! (She asks with irony.) I am so crazy in love with every single character in these books and on the edge of my seat to see how certain seemingly-doomed plotlines will be resolved. Unless Maggie Stiefvater plans on breaking my heart. *cries*
There you have my favorite reads of 2013. And for an added bonus, here are:
The Top 10 Books I Didn’t Get To But Am Seriously Dying to Read in 2014
1. Splintered by A.G. Howard
2. Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood
3. Vicious by Victoria Schwab
4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
5. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
6. The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson
7. The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats
8. Transparent by Natalie Whipple
9. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
10. Everything on Rosemary Clement-Moore’s backlist.
Game on, 2014!
Feel free to post your favorite reads of 2013 or most anticipated book for 2014 in the comments!