by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2
Publication Date: 5 February 2013
Puffin, Paperback, UK, 452 pages
WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR CINDER.
This is not the fairytale you remember.
But it’s one you won’t forget.
Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. The police have closed her case. The only person Scarlet can turn to is Wolf, a street fighter she does not trust, but they are drawn to each other.
Meanwhile, in New Beijing, Cinder will become the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive – when she breaks out of prison to stay one step ahead of vicious Queen Levana.
As Scarlet and Wolf expose one mystery, they encounter Cinder and a new one unravels. Together they must challenge the evil queen, who will stop at nothing to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner . . .
Finishing Scarlet while in my school hall was the one of the hardest things I’ve done – praying to God I won’t start sobbing then squealing like an idiot infront of my schoolmates. But I couldn’t stop. Reading, that is, not sobbing and squealing (though I did have a fair share of minor sniffling and cooing episodes with JZ who was sitting beside me reading The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, which she was also sniffling and cooing over). Scarlet was simply captivating, suspenseful and action-packed. Though not lacking any emotion in all that flurry.
Picking up immediately where Cinder left off, Scarlet was told from multiple POVs, mainly Scarlet and Cinder. I loved Scarlet’s fiery attitude from the start and the fact that she’s a redhead made me like her even more. Have I mentioned how much I wish I was born a natural redhead? Even if it meant I would no longer have my tan skin. Anyway, another character I loved from the beginning was Wolf. He was completely endearing yet mysterious. Who knew, the fact that he had never ate a tomato before meeting Scarlet could be so enchanting?
However, I sort of knew what Wolf was before even starting the book. I’m pretty sure anyone who paid attention in Cinder would know, actually. But that’s not very bothersome. As for Cinder, because her adventures were being told right beside those of Scarlet and Wolf, it was a little dull in comparison. But maybe that’s just me being too big a fan of Scarlet and Wolf and hence, was impatient to get back to them. Kai’s POV was also shown and though still not as good as Scarlet’s POV, it gave insight into the whole situation with Queen Levana.
After all that gushing about Scarlet and Wolf, it’s no surprise they’ve made it onto my unwritten (as yet) list of favourite couples. They completely complement each other and though the span of their time together could not have been more than a week, the connection they shared was still so strong. Scarlet – an intense, intelligent and brave mademoiselle. Wolf, an adorable and shy alpha male (no pun intended) who’s crazy hot. Together – I think I have just died from overexcited fangirling.
Soon I would probably start babbling to JZ about finding the Wolf to my Scarlet.
Regarding Cinder, although I did find her scenes a little bland at the start, I connected with her again as the story progressed. It hit me that she was the same age as me and already have so much pressure put on her. The fate of the Earth did, in a way, lay in her hands. I admire Cinder so much for handling things proficiently. Even when a majority of the world was on the hunt to capture/kill her and the boy she liked probably hated her, Cinder was able to get her priorities right and made the best choices she could, given her situation. It didn’t hurt either that her emotional reaction to a particular occurrence near the end showed that although tough, she was still a 16-year-old girl after all.
An excellent retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, the futuristic element in Scarlet unexpectedly brought great depth to the fairytale. Who knew sci-fi and fairytales went together so well? Marissa Meyer is no doubt something of a genius. Touching, adventurous, mysterious and exciting, I positively gobbled up Scarlet and would recommend it to everyone. I would also never see tomatoes and wolves the same way again. Just like in the synopsis, Scarlet is not the fairytale you remember, but it would undoubtedly be a story you won’t forget.
P.S. For all those out there who prefer audiobooks, Scarlet is also available as an audiobook from Macmillan Audio. Here’s a clip from it. Enjoy!