Feb 13, 2015

Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Title: Fairest
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publishing Date: January 27, 2015
Pages/Format: 222, Hardcover
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In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now. 

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

Book in One Word: PSYCHOIST.

In Fairest, we get to see the origin story of Queen Levana, the super evil, curtain-mask wearing queen we met in Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress. And because Levana is based off the evil queen in Snow White, we wonder if she is the fairest of them all. AND SHE IS NOT. Levana is actually the psychoist of them all.

Fairest begins with Levana as a young and somewhat innocent girl surrounded by not-so-innocent people: her adulterer father, her not very caring mother, and her bitch of an older sister Channery who, like their father, likes to keep her bed warm. Levana thinks she would be best fit to wear the crown, once her parents are no longer wearing it, but since she's the second child, she'll never be the heir: her sister is next, and then her sister's children, and so on. But when opportunities arise, young Levana--who always a glamour so people can't see her fire-ruined face and body--starts to use her glamouring for different things, and so that she may, for once in her life, get in her way.

It's hard to say much without giving away different plot points, but Levana constantly tries to justify--wrongly--what she does. (Spoiler Alert: I'm sorry, but I'm pretty sure glamouring yourself to look like your crush's wife, then glamouring your crush to have feelings for you and, in turn, sleep with you, is like rape. End Spoiler.) She thinks what she's doing is okay, and that if her actions need to be spoken for, the endgame is worth it. She's doing this to make Luna a better place and to make things better for her people. She thinks she will be the best and fairest queen Luna has ever had. (She's probably the evilest.)

It was interesting to see the roots of the villain of the Lunar Chronicles, and to read it from the villain's POV and in a way that wasn't dark. (Does Marissa Meyer even write dark?) It was like, "Hi, I'm Levana, I'm fairest of the all, now meet my crazy." She's preeettyyy batshit crazy. But I think it runs in her blood because her family wasn't all that peachy either. You kind of want to feel bad for Levana--I mean, you're in her POV, you want to find someone reason to be in her head--but it's hard when she does all this stuff that should put her in the moon's loony bin. We also got to see Winter and Jacin, which was cool. (I am so excited to read the eight-hundred page Winter and finale to this series.) I was kind of surprised with where the story ended, because I thought we'd see all the stages of Levana's descent into Total Craziness and Mega Cuckoo Evil Bitchiness, but the story was still good. But seriously. LEVANA IS CRAZY. Obviously, nobody ever taught her how to be, well, a person and have some humanity. (Maybe it's a moon thing?) But if there's one thing this book showed readers, it's that Levana absolutely will not give up and back down from what she wants--absolutely will not--and that does not bode well for the good characters of the Lunar Chronicles. (PLEASE BE NICE, WINTER.)

Did I like it? Yes!
Did I love it? Not really, but it was good!
Would I reread it? Possibly.
Would I purchase it? Already did!
Who would I recommend it to? Definitely fans of the Lunar Chronicles and fairy tale retellings, and people who like reading from the villain's POV (though it may be best, though not exactly necessary, to read the first three books of the series first).

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