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Mirror, Mirror

Get to know the girl behind the glamour in Fairest, the latest in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series.

Mirror, Mirror

BOOK REPORT for Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5) by Marissa Meyer

Cover Story: Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody ...
BFF Charm: Nay
Swoonworthy Scale: -3
Talky Talk: No Excuses
Bonus Factors: MOAR Lunar Chronicles, Hello <New Character’s Name>
Anti-Bonus Factor: Manipulation
Relationship Status: Still a Revolutionary

Danger, Will Robinson! Fairest is part of the Lunar Chronicles series. Although there aren’t major spoilers to the rest of the series in this book (because it’s a prequel) you might not want to read it until you’ve read the first three books in the series–Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress–as it does hint at some pretty major plot reveals of the main storyline. If you have read the first three books, however, feel free to continue below. I will refrain from major spoilers in my review, but there might be hints at plot points and details about the series.

Cover Story: Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody ...

This cover is seriously freaky, you guys. It’s perfect for the story within, but man, I would not want this starting up at me from a nightstand. (Or at me from out of a mirror.)

The Deal:

Queen Levana has not always been the maniacal and ruthless leader we’ve come to know and love to hate. At one point, she was merely a lonely child with a vicious sister and a confused heart. But even the worst upbringings do not always beget terrible people. In Levana’s case, sadly, the opposite is true.

BFF Charm: Nay

Although getting to know the young woman who eventually grew to become the hateful Queen Levana was interesting, even when she was younger, she was kind of terrible. There are reasons for her personality traits, but they’re not something someone with a moral compass that tends more toward the good wouldn’t be able to overcome. Levana is a woman who is used to getting her way, no matter the cost. I just don’t think I’d be comfortable having to be on tiptoes around her all the time.

Swoonworthy Scale: -3

Levana did have a relationship when she was younger, and truly believed that she was in love. However, her partner in said relationship was never on the same page as her (more on that in a bit). Reading about their involvement was uncomfortable, to say the least.

Talky Talk: No Excuses

In the Lunar Chronicles, Marissa Meyer has created a complex world (universe?) full of complex characters. And even when she’s just being the Evil Queen, Levana is one of the most complex. This short novel goes a long way toward expanding her character, but it never makes me completely understanding of her faults. Yes, she was horribly mistreated as a child. Yes, she had awful parental figures. But none of that forced her to be as awful as she was. None of that forced her to keep becoming more and more awful as she got older. I don’t think Meyer’s intention with this novel was to illicit sympathy, however. It seems to me that it was more to expand on a great (albeit evil) character who simply hasn’t gotten enough air time.

Bonus Factor: MOAR Lunar Chronicles

I am totally in love with the Lunar Chronicles books, and I will be so sad when they finally come to an end. I am already dreading the release of the final book in the series, Winter, as much as I am excited for it, so anything that I can get my grabby little hands that expands the universe is a bonus in my book.

Bonus Factor: Hello <New Character’s Name>

I’m not going to spoil things for you, but there’s a new character introduced in Fairest that will certainly come into play in the final book. It was fun reading his/her origin story.

Anti-Bonus Factor: Manipulation

If you’ve read the rest of the Lunar Chronicles, you know that Levana is gifted with the ability to mentally manipulate her appearance and the thoughts and feelings of those surrounding her. Fairest tells the story of her earliest—and I think, absolute worst—manipulation. There are some things (i.e., affairs of the heart) that no one should mess with.

Casting Call:

Thandie Newton as Levana

(Check out the Book Reports for Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress for the casting of other characters in this series.)

Relationship Status: Still a Revolutionary

You tried your hardest, Book, to get me to side with Queen Levana. She’s had a hard life, you said. She’s misunderstood, you said. I say, nay! I’m sticking with Cinder et al. They’re much less likely to make me throw myself off a cliff for the slightest perceived insult. You were a great date, though, regardless of the hard sell.

FTC Full Disclosure: I bought a copy of this book with my own money, and I received neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Fairest is available now.

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.
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