Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Friendly Advice {February’s Chatterbox}

Happy Wednesday! Today I’m participating in a delightful linkup hosted by Rachel Heffington at her just as delightful blog The Inkpen Authoress. Do go check it out. She just released her first book, Fly Away Home, and it looks absolutely scrumptious. I’m dying to get my hands on it.

Anywho, this linkup is called Chatterbox in which each month she gives a topic for you to create a conversation between your characters revolving around said topic. (Or at least I think this is how this thing works, I’m new to it, so hopefully I’m doing it right.) This month’s topic is: Criticism. Because every character could use a good dose of criticism. *nods* If you’d like to join and linkup to this event you can go HERE. Because we’ve still got a couple of days left of February, right?

Being as how I’m obsessively working on the first draft of my dystopian novel, Fallen Matter, I’ve chosen to write a random scene between two characters from that novel. Instead of my two main characters though, I’ve taken two others who I’d like to explore more, and who may or may not already be my favorite characters. Lykan and Cyrus. Cyrus is the younger brother of one of my MCs and has yet to actually appear in the novel yet, but he should be appearing in the next chapter so this is a good practice to get to know the fellow. And Lykan, well, let’s just say when he randomly appeared on the pages I almost scrapped the whole novel and started it over with him as the main character. Some charries just take the show, don’t they?

Anyway! Enough of my chattering, I’ll let my characters take over.

Friendly Advice Collage

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Lykan prodded the mush on his plate with his fork.

Canned food. What a surprise.

It was almost worth fighting those oversized buckets of rust just with the knowledge that if they were destroyed the war would be over. And then he could start eating actual food.

Reaching for his cup, he took a swig of the tepid, perhaps even slightly muddy, water. Clean water would be a plus, too.

"Lykan, right?"

Peering over the brim of his cup, he watched the twelve or thirteen year old appropriate the seat across from him. Eyebrow raised, he carefully set the cup back down. "Yeah. You're Bat Boy's little brother. Cyril or something?"


"Right." With a quick examination of the underground cafeteria, Lykan saw at least half of the seats vacant. "There are lots of other places to sit, you know." This kid didn't even have a tray of food with him. Instead, he pulled up his port and set the rectangular, electronic device in front of him.

"I see why you're sitting alone."

Lykan snorted. "I could get any one of these people to sit with me if I wanted some company."

"Mhm." The boy pulled out the stylus from the side of his port and began tapping the device with the tiny pen. His free arm lied out on the table in front of it, blocking Lykan's view of the screen. After a moment, he looked back up at Lykan, a glint in his eyes. "But that doesn't mean they want to sit with you."

"Is that so? Got some chips on you kid? Or are you even old enough to bet?" He eyed the boy up and down. He resembled Bat Boy well enough just...smaller. And the lack of wings made a difference.

The boy appeared almost amused. "You want to bet me that someone wants to sit with you?"

Lykan scanned the crowd. There was already a blonde eyeing him. He gave her a wink. Giggling, she brought those blue eyes back down to her food, her cheeks crimson. Turning back to Cyrus, he took a bite of his own food, smiling past his mouthful. The kid wasn't even looking at him though, he was again occupied with his port.

"You know, one day you could be fat and bald."

Lykan nearly choked at the sudden statement. "Excuse me?"

There was no doubting the amusement this time. He pointed his stylus at Lykan, gesturing towards his hair. "It's true. Ten years from now, all that hair could be completely gone."

"Bald? At thirty? Really?"

He shrugged. "It happens. So you probably should start working on your personality and stop relying so much on your looks." He tilted his head, eyes squinted. "Although I'm not so sure what girls see in you that's so appealing."

Try as he might, Lykan couldn't hold back his laughter. "I think that's the first time anyone's ever implied that I'm unattractive."

"I was thinking ugly, really, but whatever word makes you feel more comfortable." He continued waving the stylus at Lykan's face. "Your eyebrows are too bushy and your face is all...pointy." Looking as if he was holding back a smile, he returned his attention to his port, vigorously running the pen across the screen.

Shaking his head with a chuckle, Lykan leaned back in his seat. "I've still got my irresistible charm going."

"You mean your manipulative one?" The jesting tone was gone.

Lykan straightened, stabbing his fork into the pile of mush on his plate. "I've been...persuasive long before those gens turned me into one of their lab rats."

Cyrus didn't even react, his hand flowing endlessly across the port screen. What was he even doing? Drawing? Elan had said something about his little brother being used as an artist for war diagrams or something or another. Finally, he paused and looked up. "Exactly. You've been manipulating people for so long, I bet you don't even know how to just act normally."

Squeezing the handle, Lykan twisted his fork around in the food, turning it into more goop. "You don't know anything, kid."

The boy merely shrugged. "Maybe. But I don't think it'd hurt anything for you to at least try making friends without turning on your charm. Like I said, you might not have it one day to use as a crutch."

Crutch? Lykan let his tense muscles relax. This kid was just trying to push his buttons. He took another bite, smiling after he swallowed. "This face is no crutch."

Cyrus glanced up from his port again, that mischievous glint back in his eyes. "I guess not entirely. It's so pointy, you could use it as a weapon."

Lykan flicked a scrap of his mushy lunch off his fork at the boy.

"Hey!" Cyrus wiped the gooey mess off from where it landed on his cheek, grimacing, though there was still a hint of amusement in his eyes.

Smiling in satisfaction, Lykan returned to eating.

"You sure do take some friendly advice the wrong way."

Lykan raised an eyebrow. "Friendly advice? Oh, you mean when you sat here uninvited to blatantly insult me, is that what you're referring to?"

"The first step to fixing your flaws is knowing what they are."

"Is that more friendly advice?"

The boy just grinned.

This was enough. "Look, kid, I'm trying to eat my..." Even after consuming nearly half of it, he still wasn't entirely sure what the substance on his plate actually was. "Lunch. So if you could just toddle off"—he waved his fork towards the exit—"and do whatever it is you do, I'd appreciate it."

"You got a port?"

Dropping his fork, Lykan looked up from his food to find Cyrus still utterly consumed on whatever he was doing with his device. His nonchalant expression looked as if he hadn't heard a word Lykan had said. Or chose to not hear. Lykan rubbed his eyes. This kid didn't know when to stop. "Yeah."

"What's your number?"

"First you insult me and now you want me to give you my port number?"

"I've got something to send you."

"No thanks." He resorted to just ignoring the boy and finishing his lunch, but he could feel those expectant eyes on him. Try as he might, he couldn't help glancing at Cyrus's own port, but his arm was still in the way. He knew the boy had been working on something this whole time. Unfortunately, curiosity won out. He heaved a sigh. "10-27-84-3."

"Got it." Cyrus tapped his stylus across the screen with finality and then slipped the port into his pocket. Standing, he flashed Lykan one last grin. "See you around."

"If you say so."

And just like that, he was gone.

Weird kid.

A vibration and a muffled ping coming from Lykan's pocket brought his attention to his own port. Pulling it out, he saw a message flash in white letters across the screen. New Message from ID# 17-88-54-7. Tapping the accept button, he watched as an image covered the screen.

The boy had been busy.

Lykan stared at a cartoon of a guy, of himself. The digital art, though obviously hastily put together, was still very good.

"Kid's got talent."

He took a closer look at the cartoon. The portrait had him drawn from the chest up. At the sight of the drawing's tousled hair, he ran his fingers through his real hair. When he examined the face closely, he frowned. The eyebrows—over excessively bushy in his opinion—were drawn far over drooping eyes, giving his cartoon face a very sad appearance. A hand was held up to his face, appearing to be in the process of taking off a mask of...his face? The mask held out to the side of the drawing's face looked like his own face, but with a smug expression. Scrawled letters read out on the bottom of the drawing: It's okay to take off the mask sometimes.

Lykan's fingers immediately slammed the delete option on the top right hand side of the screen.

Confirm: Yes? No?

Movement in the corner of his eye brought his head up to the entrance where Breighly was just walking through, a tray of food in her grip. Her gaze took in the cafeteria until they settled on him. She looked hesitant as their eyes locked.

Something made her turn and then Lykan could see Elan coming up from behind her, his black wings spread out behind his back like some freakish bat. They said something to each other, and then each gave Lykan another glance before moving towards a table on the opposite side of the room.

Jaw tense, Lykan set his eyes on the drawing again. Was that a tear on his drawing's cheek?

He smashed the confirm option.

Watching the cartoon vanish from his screen, he then slid the port back into his pocket and resumed his lunch.

Stupid kid didn't know anything.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

I may have had FAR too much fun writing that and I would love to actually use it in the book somewhere. Unfortunately, it’s a first-person novel through Breighly’s point of view, so not sure how that would work. But maybe I can figure something out.

Hope you all have a wonderful day! And don’t forget, a little friendly criticism isn’t always a bad thing. ; )

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sunflower, Dearest?

The absolutely wonderful Sarah from Sarah Plain and Average has awarded me! If you don’t follow her blog, you must! She’s delightful!

So we’ve got two awards going, both the Liebster Award and the Sunflower Award, so I’m going to copy Sarah here and sort of combine them.

Liebster Blog Award Button

~ The Rules ~

1.  Link the blog that nominated you for the award.
2.  Choose eleven bloggers to nominate that have less than 200 followers.
3.  Answer the questions given to you.
4.  Let the people who you've nominated know when you've done so.
5.  You can't nominate the person that has nominated you.
6.  Create eleven questions for the bloggers you've nominated to answer.
7.  You must follow the blog that nominated you.

~ My Questions ~

Here are the questions Sarah asked for her nominees to answer.

Where were you born?
In a hospital. I know, amazing.

If you could meet any ONE fictional character, whether from a book or movie, who would it be?
*blinks* SARAH?! Y U DO THIS TO ME??? Just ONE??? Goodness gracious me. . . Does the Doctor from Doctor Who count? He’s not from a book or movie, but it is a TV show. Of course, he’s real, not fictional. What was I thinking? Silly me. Um. . . *thinks hard* Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle? He may or may not be my favorite fictional character after the Doctor. *cough*

Do you prefer coffee or hot tea?
Er. . .neither? I don’t really like either of them. Sweet tea, yes! But not so much hot tea. I wish I liked coffee and hot tea, but, sadly, I don’t. I guess if I had to have one or the other I prefer hot tea. Coffee is just kind of gross despite its heavenly smell.

If you had (or do have) an abundance of money, what is your ideal dream vacation?
Hahaha! I definitely don’t have an abundance of money! But ideal dream vacation would be to New Zealand to see all the places The Lord of the Rings and Narnia movies were filmed (Hobbiton especially!).

If you could travel to any time period (Medieval era, western 1800s, 1950's, etc), where would you go?
Medieval era would be AWESOME to visit! Now, I wouldn’t want to live there, it probably wasn’t pleasant at all, but just for a little visit, that’d be great.

Medieval or Futuristic?
*Points to above answer* Medieval all the way!!! (Says the girl who just started a futuristic story. . . I don’t know how that happened.)

Would you rather travel cross country in a plane or car?
I would LOVE to go in a plane! I’ve never been in one and I love heights, so that would be awesome!

If you could be either an Elf, Dwarf, or Hobbit, which would you be?
Hehehe. I’m an elf, of course!

Do you prefer to play a musical instrument or simply listen?
Oh man. . .that’s a tough one. I think it just depends on what mood I’m in, or the circumstances. While alone I love playing the piano, but in a group I’d much rather listen. I hate playing in front of people. *shudders*

Who is your best friend?  (This isn't a test, it could be (me!) a sister, Pippin, or a pet--which, if this is the case, you seriously need to get out in the world more.)
*cough, cough* So having a poodle as your best friend is bad? Oh. Is fictional people bad? Ahem. All right, in all honesty, I actually have many best friends! You guys know who you are! And my sister definitely counts as one of them!

What is your favorite TV show?
This question hurts me sometimes. I have three: Merlin, Doctor Who, and Sherlock (yes, all BBC shows), and sometimes I say that’s the order they’re my favorite. But then some days I’m all obsessing unhealthily over Sherlock, and then others I have my nose pressed against the window waiting for the TARDIS to appear in our front yard, and then there are those times I’m crying in a dark corner over Merlin. So I think I’ve decided I love them all equally, it just depends on what mood I’m in. (Right now it’s a Sherlock mood, although I was thinking about Merlin yesterday. . .)


Sunflower Award Button

~ The Rules ~

1.  Share 11 facts about yourself
2. Answer the 11 questions set by your nomination blogger- Nominate 11 bloggers
3.  Set questions for the nominated bloggers.

~ The Facts ~

1. I have a flare for the dramatic, I actually like it when movies and such make me cry. Weird, right?
2. I’m really hungry right now and probably should get a snack instead of blogging.
3. I have this thing for hot air balloons. Riding in one someday is one of the top things on my bucket list.
4. I don’t actually have a physical bucket list, but I’ve got it all down mentally. *taps head*
5. I also love pretty watches and clocks and such. (Notice my blog banner has these things in it. Hehe.)
6. Even though I love clocks, I can’t stand the sound of a clock ticking. It drives me nuts! I’ve always sympathized with Captain Hook.
7. Did I mention I love Peter Pan? Because I LOVE Peter Pan.
8. I have absolutely no plans to grow up. *nods firmly*
9. Into the Glorious by Christy Nockels just started playing. A dear friend gave me one of her CDs for my birthday a couple of years ago and I’ve loved her music since.
10. I’ve always wondered why these awards always use 11 things (11 facts, 11 questions, 11 nominees). 10 is so much better, guys. 10 is a perfect number.
11. See? I can’t even think of a 11th fact. I don’t like uneven numbers. Oh! There. An 11th fact. *grins*

~ My Questions ~

Since this is a combined award, Sarah only asked five more questions.

What color are your eyes?
Green. But sort of a dark, hazel-ish green with brownish flecks, and outlined in blue. It’s like my eyes are trying to be three different colors at once. But, overall, I’d definitely say green.

Would you rather read a book or watch a movie?
Read a book, most definitely! Then again, I guess it depends on which book and which movie, but I still say I like reading best. I don’t watch movies a whole lot.

Who is your favorite Disney princess? (Elsa and Anna count!)
Belle from Beauty and the Beast! Wait. . .argh. Actually, Rapunzel from Tangled might has replaced my love for Belle. I love Rapunzel way too much. But I still adore Belle! I’ve always been able to relate to her since, well, we’re practically the same person personality-wise. But after seeing Tangled for the first time, Mom said Rapunzel was just an animated version of me, looks and personality-wise, sooo yeah. I don’t know, I love them both! Also Cinderella, she’s fabulous.

If given the choice, would you rather write a letter or talk on the phone? One or the other, texting is not a choice in this question.  :]
Meeeeeeep!!!! All right, guys, honesty time. I. . .I. . .hate writing letters. *hides* *peeks out* Erm, yeah, it’s true. You’d think a writer would love to write letters, but I really don’t. I don’t enjoy it at all. My handwriting is atrocious and I never know what to say and just, ugh, it’s a mess. But, also, I hate talking on the phone. It terrifies me!! So this question is just bad all around. I guess maybe actually I’d choose the telephone, which is shocking, being as how much I despise that fear-inducing device. But once I do it I realize it’s not actually that bad. So yeah, probably the phone. . . .Maybe.

If you could do something drastically awesome, and wouldn't have to worry about being judged by others, what would it be?  (i.e. get a haircut you normally wouldn't choose, buy an expensive something you've wanted all your life, etc.)
Wow. This is a hard question. Um. . . Move to London and have my own little bookshop there! Eheh. That might just be a dream, but honestly, if I had the opportunity to do that, I totally would!

All right, since I’m combining these two awards I’m going to do only one set of questions:

~ YOUR Questions ~

1. Would you rather have the ability to fly, turn invisible, or have perfectly clean teeth where you never have to brush them again? (Of course I’m serious.)

2. Do you have a water buffalo?

3. Do you have a pet of any kind? (Siblings count. Juuust kidding! ;P)

4. What advice would you give to that poor old woman who lives in a shoe?

5. Favorite song? (Yes, I know I’m evil.)

6. If you had to change your first name, what would you choose?

7. Cake, pie, ice cream, or cookie?

8. What are three simple little things in life that make you happy?

9. Do you have a bucket list? If so, what are your top three things on it?

10. What’s your favorite fairytale?

11. Who’s your favorite fictional villain? (It can be from a book, show, movie, or whatever.)

~ The Nominees ~

I shalt pass on these awards to these lovely ladies. . .


Kiri Liz
Jenny and Julia (These two sweet sisters share a blog, but I’m counting them each as two separate nominees.)
Jessa Bri

Since there are two awards, I’m going to do this a little differently. For those of you that have been nominated and prefer coffee over hot tea, the Liebster Award is yours. But if you like hot tea over coffee, then that means you’ve won the Sunflower Award. (And yes, I did get this idea from one of the questions I was asked. *cough*)

Thank you so much for passing this along to me, Sarah! I had a blast doing it!

(And, just so you all know, I think Liebster means “dearest” in. . .German? I’m not sure, some other language, so that’s where this post’s title came form. It’s not totally random.)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Joy, Love, and Giveaways

It happens from the very beginning. We gather our dolls and stuffed animals, dressing them all up for the big "wedding" of Mr. and (soon to be) Mrs. Bear. We borrow Mother's dresses and have a make-believe ceremony under the tree in the backyard. As we get older we get even more serious about it. We hear a song that would be perfect for the big day. We make pinterest boards to plan out our entire wedding. (Yes, I have one of those.) We wonder how many kids we'll have and already start naming them, middle names included. (I already have some of those too.) From the time we even know what marriage really is, we begin dreaming about our own, yearning for it, even sometimes obsessing over the idea. . .

God has really been teaching me to spend these precious single years glorifying His Kingdom, not sitting around waiting for “the one”. Sweet Kiri over at Lianne Taimenlore allowed me to share how I’m learning to be Joyful Now, Not "One Day" on her blog today as part of her Dear Love party.

Joyful Now

The party is still going on all the way to Friday. There have already been many absolutely beautiful and uplifting posts by just as beautiful, godly young ladies, and more to come, so please head on over there and join in on the fun!

Dear Love Collage

And don’t forget about the giveaway!!! A beautiful infinity love necklace and a “How Deep the Father's Love” art print are being given away. These things are GORGEOUS. The winners will be announced on the 14th, so hurry on over and get yourself ENTERED!

Hope you all truly do have a beautiful Valentine’s Day!

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8: 38-39

The One Who Made It

Monday, February 10, 2014

Dear Love Valentine’s Party

Dear Love Collage

Exciting things are happening NOW!!!

The absolutely wonderful Kiri Liz is having a big, grand St. Valentine’s party on her blog over at Lianne Taimenlore, from February 10th (today) through the 14th. This is no sappy, lovey-dovey Valentine’s nonsense though. This is a party where young ladies can learn the TRUE meaning of love, about God’s love for us.

Many young ladies have written posts that will be featured throughout the week. In Kiri’s words, this party is FOR young Christian ladies and BY young Christian ladies. It’s a fun chance to fellowship together and grow in our relationship with our true Prince Charming, Jesus Christ.

Oh yeah, did I mention there are TWO giveaways!!! Yes, that’s right TWO absolutely AMAZING prizes. You can learn all about it, see the awesome prizes, and get yourself entered HERE. Seriously, you’re going to want to check out the beautiful things.

To see a line up of all the wonderful blog posts to come, you can go HERE. I’ve had the honor of participating in this awesome party myself and will be featured on the 12th.

It’s going to be a fabulous time, and I know there will be some beautifully encouraging posts by just as beautiful ladies. So, please, head on over to Lianne Taimenlore this minute and join in on the fun!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Don’t forget Who loves you the most.

“As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My love." John 15:9

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Cinder Book Review

Cinder Book CoverSynopsis
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.


Cinder is the sci-fi, dystopian-ish debut novel of Marissa Meyer. And let me just say, this lady needs to keep writing! She’s got talent!

I kept seeing this book floating around and it piqued my interest, so when I stumbled across it on sale, I couldn’t help but snag it. I wasn’t sure what to expect from it. This is quite literally a story about a cyborg Cinderella. Yeah. Far different from anything I’ve ever read, but I think that’s why I loved it so much. It’s got a very unique feel that I just soaked up.

Meyer has a very distinct writing style that really made the story. The simple, fast paced, and witty flavor kept me turning pages. What I really loved was her ability to tell the whole story without ever once info dumping. I don’t know how she did it. With just a couple of sentences, she would explain very crucial things. You would know exactly what was going on without having to dig through paragraphs and paragraphs of information. It all flowed quick and smooth. Not to mention she tells very intriguing stories!

The story is set on Earth far in the future sometime after World War IV, following the story of Cinder, a 16 year old cyborg forced to live under the rule of her “wicked stepmother”. Cinder is a very skilled mechanic. When Prince Kai himself needs her help to fix a broken android and worms his way into her life, she can’t help but fall for this charming fellow. But cyborgs are not thought well of in society, and being one herself, Cinder knows she could never have anything with the prince.

Things get even more complicated when one of her stepsisters falls ill with an incurable plague devastating the population, and Cinder is blamed for bringing this disease to her sister.

But the plague is not the only thing putting the world into turmoil. A mystical society living on the moon known as the Lunar people are threatening war against the Earth, hoping to claim it for themselves. Prince Kai is desperately searching for an escape, but everyday this takeover appears to be more and more inevitable.

When it’s discovered that Cinder oddly cannot catch the disease, her world flips upside down as deadly secrets of her past unfold.

I’ve seen a lot of people say this book would have been better if it wasn’t bogged down by the Cinderella aspect of it, but actually I think that’s why I loved it so much. Yes, it does have a unique story that could have been told perfectly well without trying to weave in a Cinderella retelling, but I personally felt like that was what made it so intriguing. I might be a tiny bit biased though because Cinderella is one of my absolute favorite fairytales. Still though, it takes some real talent to make a futuristic, sci-fi tale with war and plagues and whatnot threatening the world and turn it into a Cinderella story, a cyborg Cinderella story. I loved it! It was so interesting and a really fun read. Because even though you do have a bunch of different things going on, the core is still a Cinderella tale, and I thought that was great.

What I found fun about this book was the world itself. Sometimes I get bored with over the top explanations of how things work, and info dumping on what this device is, or how that government works, so on and so forth. There was none of that in this book. You get the feel that it certainly is far, far in Earth’s future and much different from our world now, but there were no long descriptions of any of that. Yet somehow you just know how it all works, and what these strange devices people are using are, and how the society functions. I really don’t know how the author managed to do that without ever really giving descriptions on things. I wanted to take notes! It was really well done.

Now one problem with the plot was predictability. I basically knew from the start what was going to happen, there wasn’t too many surprises along the way. It was still an enjoyable read though.

Meyer did a fantastic job making her characters feel real. I could hear every conversation in my head perfectly because it just felt so realistic. I never once felt as if the characters were too flat or inconsistent.

Overall I liked all the characters, except the most important one: Cinder. I still haven’t made up my mind about her. I didn’t hate her at all. A lot of times I liked her a lot. She did feel very real and there were a lot of moments where I could relate with her. She just wasn’t very. . .Cinderella-ish. Cinderella is one of my favorite fairytales because of Cinderella herself. She always has such a sweet spirit. Even though she’s treated so cruelly, her life is so unfair, she never really lets it make her bitter. She holds on to hope and love and really cares about people. Fictional character or not, I’ve always looked up to Cinderella. The way she handles her circumstances is inspirational. But in Cinder, I didn’t get that at all.

This version of Cinderella is almost the opposite. She can be pretty bitter, and is feisty, and really doesn’t have a sweet spirit. I guess I’m so used to your stereotypical Cinderella, this one took me by surprise. Don’t get me wrong, she’s not this horrible person, she has a lot of good traits, I just wish she had been a bit of a better person. I’m okay with messed up protagonist when in the end they’ve grown and become good people, but Cinder never really changed. This is a series though, so maybe she’ll grow in the next books. Although I’m not holding my hopes too high.

The rest of the characters were lovely. Prince Kai, ah, Prince Kai. He was fantastic. He was absolutely “Prince Charming” but not in a Gary Stu sort of way. Like I said, these characters felt real. Those flawless princes fairytales are so prone to have get on my nerves. But Kai was nothing like that. Yes, he was super nice, but he was also just a guy. Not some mystical, perfect knight in shining armor we see so much in fairytales. He was fun, charismatic, sometimes had a temper, but still just a lovely character all around.

The “wicked stepmother” felt real as well. Yes, she was a horrible, horrible person, but still human, not merely wicked just ‘cause. When her daughter gets the plague, we see her shed many a tear. She was not a completely heartless being. . . .Just mostly. Eheh.

My favorite character was actually probably an android named Iko whose personality chip had a “defect”, which actually just meant she had a personality and wasn’t simply a robot. She was so much fun.

And the villain was properly creepy. Seriously, she gave me the shivers, which is exactly how a villain should be in my opinion.

All around, Meyer did a splendid job on her characters. Cinder herself just personally didn’t impress me much.

Appropriate Ages
Normally I try to avoid these popular, secular books because more likely than not there’s going to be something inappropriate in them. But Cinder actually surprised me. The majority of it was perfectly clean. There were really only two things that I very much wish hadn’t been in it. At one point Cinder cursed, she said a certain word twice. It surprised me because I was already past halfway through the book and hadn’t seen any language at all. In fact, it was around that time that I was thinking how pleased I was that there was no language. Usually in these kind of books there’s always some, which is one of the reasons I avoid them. I was very proud of the author, and then boom a curse word. Cinder was really, really, really upset at the time, but I still don’t condone cursing. Thankfully, though, that was the only time cursing occurred in the whole book.

The other thing was a couple of mentions of “Escort androids”. I won’t go into details about what these are, but if you think about it you can probably figure it out. These weren’t part of the story at all, and when mentioned it was just a passing, very vague comment about them. Still though, I wasn’t happy about the idea.

Other than those two things, the rest of the book was pleasantly clean. There was hardly even any lovey dovey stuff despite it being a Cinderella retelling.

It wasn’t too graphic either. At one point we see the hospital where the plague patients are kept, which isn’t all that pleasant because it’s basically a huge room full of dying people. Also, there’s a part where an android cuts out a chip from a dead person’s wrist. I think that was the most graphic scene.

We do have to remember, though, that Cinder is a cyborg, and she doesn’t really think much about just popping her cyborg foot off and on. That didn’t bother me, but I guess the idea can be a bit disturbing if you think about it. It doesn’t hurt her though. It’s not any different from changing a robot part really.

The villains are also pretty creepy, as previously mentioned. They have the ability to bend people’s will, hypnotize them basically. It’s not really magic though, I don’t think. There was a bit of a scientific explanation for it. I think these people were once human themselves, they just evolved over the years. Still, it was a bit weird.

All in all though, this wasn’t a too hefty book. Nothing ever went into overly graphic details. I still wouldn’t recommend it to real young readers. 15 and up, maybe?

Cinder is a very interesting story, veering far from the norm. Marissa Meyer’s unique style, realistic characters, and one of a kind plot grabbed me from the beginning. I devoured this book and instantly marked it as one of my favorites. For a YA secular book it stayed pretty clean (because we all know there’s SO much junk in the YA department right now), and overall it was just a lot of fun.

Word of warning though, this is the first book in a series, and the ending isn’t exactly “happily ever after”. You’re probably going to want to get your hands on the next book, Scarlet, after reading this one. I know I do! I’m dying to get my hands on the second book! It apparently still follows Cinder’s story but is also a Little Red Riding Hood retelling. Yeah, these stories are so cool!

And this review got way longer than I meant it to. In summary: I LOVED THIS BOOK.

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