Tag: Cinder

Three Young Adult books everyone should Read

A winner in my book - not just Pulitzer's
A winner in my book – not just Pulitzer’s

Feel the wind in my hair. See the passing scenery. Experience the joy only the telling of a good story births in my heart, soul and mind.

Books too numerous to name have impacted me. Some of them changed my opinion or beliefs. Others resonated on a spiritual level. Many made me weep and many others made me bust out laughing.

Only a select few meet my desire for authentic characters facing realistic foes in a story line that offered just enough tension to keep me turning pages. Even fewer have all this and poetic prose that ignites my imagination.

I won’t say that the five books I’m mentioning here have all of those things. What they do offer: a thoughtful message in a bottle within a framework that makes it enjoyable to read.

The other disclaimer I have is that these are books I’ve read in the past two years. They don’t represent the most important literature every young adult should read. Nor are they the most amazing books from that genre I’ve ever read.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Lee Harper

It’s a Pulitzer Prize winner, but that doesn’t guarantee anything. This coming of age story paints a realistic portrait of small town life, sibling rivalry, friendship, single parenthood and the importance of being true to what you believe.

  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I’m not a fan of stories set during the Holocaust; they’re just too heavy. The original voice gives this book an edge over all the others. If it didn’t have a happy ending, it wouldn’t be on my list. The characters are tried by fire and come out refined.

  1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Not just another Cinderella story, this book tackles important issues like discrimination, governmental controls, and defining the fine line between medical research and murder. If a person has some cybernetic parts, does that mean they are less than human? This is the only “fantasy” on my list.

If you’ve read these books, I welcome your comments about whether you agree with the “must read” status I’ve granted them.

Sound off readers of YA books. What books would you add from the YA category that you consider “must reads” for all young adult readers?

Take a Trip to the Moon! Series Review: The Lunar Chronicles

Fairy tales are for children. Or not. I’m pretty sure I never imagined Hansel and Gretel the way they were portrayed in a recent film.

If you’ve read the Grimm brother’s tales, you know a dark side exists. Fingers and toes being hacked off. Blood and gore. Not happy bedtime story material.

Not that I’ve read a ton of them, but I haven’t been too impressed by the books based on these tried and true tales made famous (and sappy) by Disney. After all, isn’t an author supposed to think up their own story line?

Enter The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I put off reading them for a couple years even though my students rated them as engaging. “You would like this, Mrs. Hughson.” Sometimes those kids are right.


Not the tried and true Cinderella story here. I never imagined Cinderella as a cyborg. I don’t think even the Brothers Grimm could have come up with that one.

Of course, that makes her less than human according to society. She’s even bought into the lie. She has no rights but to serve her wicked stepmother (not really even that- just a legal guardian).

There is a handsome prince. There is a ball. Even the promise of marriage hangs over the story. But not in any way similar to the original fairy tale. All of it fresh and new with a dash of fantasy and a boatload of science fiction.

Yes, there are aliens and spaceships. The series is named The Lunar Chronicles for a reason. And “don’t call it magic because it empowers them” gives you a hint about the mysticism involved.

I was happy I had checked out the first and second book. Last page read in Cinder led directly to opening the cover and reading the first page of Scarlet.


Once again, this isn’t the Little Red Riding Hood story your mother told you to scare you away from talking to strangers.

Unless the wolf was really a mutant alien. Maybe the grandmother in your tale was former military with a secret that’s about to threaten her life? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Scarlet wears her red hooded sweatshirt all the time. She hates that people think her grandmother’s crazy and is beyond irritated when the police decide she just ran off. Scarlet knows someone has kidnapped Grandma.

Enter the Wolf and an alliance that leads to much more than either Scarlet or the mutant alien could have imagined. Fight scenes, romance scenes, chase scenes and the revealing of a diabolic plot designed by the Lunars.

The story switches between what is happening with Cinder and Scarlet’s quest in a nearly seamless timeline. The reader knows they’ll meet up in the end. And they do, but that isn’t what anyone expects either.

I wanted the next installment but it was spring break and the librarian was on vacation. I had to wait before reading Cress.


“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your golden hair.”

Or in this case, Crescent, Crescent, your satellite is going to fall out of the sky. And her long hair will wind her up tight with the Prince Charming sent to rescue her.

This girl stranded and nearly forgotten in a satellite seemed the most vulnerable of the three heroines. She’s a programming genius and has been spying for the Lunar Queen for seven long years. No outside contact with anyone but the cruel woman who locked her away in the first place.

As before, Meyer weaves the stories of the other characters in seamless timelines along with Cress’ discovery of Earth and love. For those who think Carswell Thorne is a crack up (I laugh almost every time he opens his mouth), you’ll be happy to see him as the object of Cress’ desire.

My favorite part: Cinder finally gets her kiss from her Prince (now King Kai). Things get rough for Scarlet. People we’ve come to know and love (or hate) die in this book. You can’t have a violent manhunt without someone paying the ultimate price.

I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment – Winter. We get to meet the little princess at the end of Cress. I think it’s going to be a Snow White story unlike any we’ve ever imagined.

Five stars across the board for this series. Find it. Read it. You won’t be sorry.

Any readers of this series checking out this post? What did you think of the books?