Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
This is one of my reads for my #TBRTakedown as hosted by Shannon! (Which, I know, finished on June 7, but I am behind)
Scarlet picks up where Cinder left off (and since I read Cinder SO LONG AGO, I had to reread the last bits of it to remember what was going on). We immediately jump into action: Cinder is breaking out of jail, Kai is trying to make Queen Levana semi-happy, and Scarlet is on the hunt for her grandmother. There is a lot of changing perspectives in this one because we already know Cinder, but we had to be introduced to Scarlet. There was a semi-connection between the two of them which meant that eventually their stories would intersect. However, I wasn't a huge fan of the jumping around. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had been like a prologue of Cinder breaking out of jail and then just following Scarlet around until their stories connect but still getting updates on Cinder through the news. Then when she meets up with Scarlet, Cinder can tell her just how difficult it has been to find her for "X" reasons. I also don't think Kai's story was really necessary for this one until closer to the end, but again, that could have been shown just via news updates.
I liked Scarlet -- to an extent. I liked that she wasn't willing to give up searching for her grandmother and that she fully believed in herself and her ability to get shit done. I also liked that she continued working while searching for clues to find her grandmother instead of just wallowing up and not being able to cope. I even liked her and Wolf together -- until the very end. Can I just say I sometimes do not like insta-love? And this is one of those cases. Because we never got a chance to see it develop because we were constantly flipping back and forth between stories -- and they never really got a chance to develop because it was a couple of days.
Cinder was still pretty awesome. But I missed having her and Kai together. They had such good chemistry together! I understand that this book was to develop new characters (aka Scarlet, Wolf, and Thorne), but it felt like the already introduced characters were semi-static because they weren't as developed in this one. Hopefully that will change with Cress, but I'm a little afraid that the focus there will also be on new characters and the older characters will just keep doing what they are doing and not really get developed.
I do have to say though, I did enjoy this one much more than Cinder. I liked Cinder, but I wasn't a huge fan and I think that is why I waited so long before reading Scarlet (even though I have owned it since a couple months after it was released). Like it took me two years to read it...
Overall: somewhere between a 3.5/5 and a 4/5 for me. It was interesting and I loved the take on the fairytale in this one, but it was also sort of meh to me.