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Chapter by Chapter

A mostly Young Adult book review blog run by a mother and daughter team.

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Fairest - Marissa Meyer

MaryAnn's Review:

You know when you read a book or a series, and there’s a character in there that is just so terrible that you wonder what her deal is? What happened in her past that made them become this terrible person?

Fairest by Marissa Meyer, which tells the story of Queen Levana before the start of the Lunar Chronicles is just that. It answered the questions that I had brewing in my mind about her and why is the way she is! And I absolutely loved this book!

Fairest gives the readers the details that are not at all touched on in the Lunar series. Author, Marissa Meyer, shows the reader the tough life that Levana had starting from a very early age and slowly progresses the story to lead up to the going ons in the series.

Levana has a reason that she uses her glamour so much. She is a completely scared up girl who has had to live with the way she looks for as long as she can remember. Why does she not like mirrors, as mentioned in the Lunar series? Because she hated what she saw.

You can’t help but feel for her in this book! You find out early on that she really just wants to be a regular girl, and to the have the man that she loves love her back. But of course, there are obstacles. For one, the love of her life (Evret) is married…and expecting his first child. And as the story progresses her love Evret turns into an obsession. And from everything starts to spiral and starts to form her into the Levana we love to hate.

The writing is true Marissa Meyer style. Addictive and fantastic, and quickly drawing you into this world she has created. The characters, as always, are unforgettable and all written with their own unique personalities. I know that I’m supposed to hate Levana, due to the Lunar novels, but in Fairest, I felt sorry for this lonely girl. And I loved that ever so slowly, Levana’s true colours start to come through, and slowly my hate for her surfaced, and this was all done to perfection.

Of course, once the end comes near, the full evilness of Levana comes to light, but not without a last touch of “pull the heartstrings”. The heinous thoughts and actions of Levana totally had me glued to the pages. Just how far she would go to get what she wanted… Such an amazing character to read more about.

I loved how little pieces of the puzzle (storylines in the series) started clicking together, and how we actually get to “meet” the characters who were just merely mentioned in the other books, or witness how people got the position they are in, in the other books. I did, however, feel that some of the parts were rushed and could have used a little more description, and some things just ended rather quickly.

Fans of The Lunar Chronicles will absolutely adore the story of Queen Levana in Fairest by Marissa Meyer. You will become completely absorbed in everything, even in the littlest details like the colour of a beverage. And also, O.M.G. to this cover! Every time I look at it, I keep expecting the image of Levana to move or shift. It’s so eerily lifelike that this alone will pull people to the book, and hopefully, draw them in to get the other books. And the artwork inside is simply amazing.

And bonus! The first 3 chapters of the next book can be found at the end! I cannot wait for the final book to come out in the Fall of 2015. The story of Winter? Bring it on!

 

Gabby's Review:

I’m starting to feel like I’m one of the few people who hasn’t picked up author Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles. I’ve heard nothing but good things and have to admit that I’ve been meaning to get around to reading the first novel in the series—Cinder—but never got around to it. But when I was told that I absolutely had to read Fairest because it was insane and incredible and spoiler free for the rest of the series I figured ‘Eh, why not?’ I have to admit that after reading Fairest (and all in one sitting I might add) I am currently dying to read the rest of Meyer’s books. Definitely need to find time for that.

Fairest introduces readers to Levana, a fifteen-year-old princess whose parents have recently been murdered. Through an unfazed mourning period Levana encounters the handsome Evret Hayle and his pregnant wife Solstice Hayle. Beautiful, pregnant, insignificant Solstice Hayle. While watching her unworthy sister ascend to the throne, Levana finds herself growing slowly more and more enraptured by Evret Hayle. As a Royal Guard, Levana sees him everywhere. His kind heart and his kind gestures toward her can only prove what she already knows: Evret is falling in love with her. It’s the only logical explanation. After Solstice Hayle gives birth to her daughter, Winter, Levana is prepared to claim Evret as her own. If there’s one thing Levana will not face it’s the ugly truth laid out in front of her or the appearance beneath her glamour.

As a person who has not read the rest of the novels in Meyer’s series, I was surprised by just how addictive Fairest was. Every chapter felt like it was better than the last. My heart broke. I laughed. I cried. I stared in horror at the story being laid out in front of me. Everything about it just worked. Honestly, it was brilliant. All I could do was read and feel like I was inside the story watching Levana’s transition from bad to worse to wicked. The worst part was that I could empathize with her and I could feel sorry for her while also despising her at the same time. Meyer’s writing has me hooked and I’m sure that I won’t be able to get enough of it. This was just such a beautiful origin story.

For readers who haven’t read the novels like myself, I definitely do feel like this is a good novel to give you a feel for Meyer’s world. Is this a series you want to invest yourself in? Does the genre work for you? Can you and the series click? I definitely feel like this is a good way to gauge the series but also a great way to prepare yourself for what is to come. We’re getting a first look at the series antagonist. Do I feel like if I start reading the rest of the books I’m totally going to be cheering on the villain from afar? Probably. But do I think that will lessen my reading experience? Probably not.

The best part of Fairest for me anyways was seeing what a sociopath Levana really is. From what I’ve learned in school about psychology, she totally exhibited major tendencies. It’s pretty awesome to see how accurately portrayed her disorder is. Levana’s already on my list of badass female characters. Her cunning and ruthlessness are absolutely unforgettable.
I would recommend Fairest to any readers who are considering reading the Lunar Chronicles. To any readers who are already keeping up with the series I’m just going to assume this is already on your TBR list (because seriously if it isn’t what is up?). Any readers who want a beautifully written story that they can easily finish in one or two sittings should also give Fairest a read. Let’s give the Evil Queen some much deserved love.

 

Source: http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/gabbys-review-of-fairest-by-marissa-meyer