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I decided to start a book club with my friends to discuss our choices for the 2016 Reading Challenge. Only one of my friends could make it to the first meeting, but we still had a good time discussing our book choices and a few other topics. For February, we chose a book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller. We expanded the category to include books recommended by a blogger because some people in the group don’t have easy access to a library or local bookstore.

At the end of January, I talked to my favorite librarian (Hi, Anna!) and got several good book recommendations. I decided to read Cinder (Book 1 of the Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer for February. Since I started this book at the end of January, I actually had time to read the entire Lunar Chronicles series during the month of February, which includes Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, and Winter.

CinderAmazon’s summary of Cinder: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

I enjoyed Cinder and the rest of the Lunar Chronicles. The author did a good job of universe building. Cinder had themes related to racism and prejudice with cyborgs being treated as less than human, even though they started out as humans. These themes pop up in the other books as well. All of the books had a fractured fairy tale feel to them, which I liked. I always enjoy a retelling of a classic fairy tale, and I’m glad the author went with some of the ones done less often (Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel).

One thing I didn’t like about Cinder and the rest of the Lunar Chronicles was the ages of most of the characters. Most of the main characters fell into the 16-19 age range, and I think they acted with an unrealistic maturity for their age. I think it would have been better to add five years to each of their ages. This actually bothers me about most young adult fiction: Teenagers step up and take charge in ways real-life teenagers would probably never would. Overall, I would recommend the series to people who enjoy young adult fiction and/or science fiction and fantasy books.

The books my friends read for this month’s challenge include:

  • Somewhither by John C. Wright
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  • Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde

This is the second installment of a twelve part series. To read the first post in the series, click here.