AIIIIIIEEEE IM NOT A COHERENT PERSON RIGHT NOW. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Ok. So I read Winter, the fourth book in the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer and IT. WAS. FREAKIN. AMAZING. I wrote a post about not wanting to write book reviews a while ago but … NAH THERE’S NO WAY IM NOT GOING TO WRITE A REVIEW FOR THIS.
This won’t be a normal review, though, but a sort of commentary on the ENTIRE book, because IT’S THAT GOOD. Eeeeeeekkk! This post is also uber long, at more than 3000 words! I just really need to talk about it, ya know?
(Spoilers for Winter … and the previous Lunar Chronicle books. This IS the fourth book in the series, after all. You can skip to the end of the post for a non-spoilery conclusion of my feelings for this book.)
(Also – warning: This post contains A TON OF CAPS.)
– AHHHHHH First of all, the cover is GORGEOUS. I didn’t really like it when I first saw pictures online, but when you see it on the book itself, in lifesize, IT WORKS SO WELL.
– The first scene in the book is beautifully done, with Winter witnessing the trial and execution of an innocent man (I mean, innocent Lunar,). I love the way Meyer describes Winter slowing freezing during the trial. It really gives you a feeling for her character and the horror of the whole event.
-Jacin is on trial! I mean, I know he’s gonna survive because I read this chapter in a sneak peek in Fairest and there’s like 800 more pages of the story to go but I’M STILL SCARED.
-AGH I hate Aimery so much. I want to … like, throw him off the moon. Hate him more than Levana.
-ooooh Winter’s using her madness to fool her guards into letting her out.
-EEEEEEEP. When Jacin and Winter first appeared in Cress, I had no idea if I would like them, as individuals AND as a couple. BUT THEY TURNED OUT TO BE MY FAVORITES! I love them as individual characters and I SHIP THEM SO HARD TOGETHER. I just have ALL THE FEEEEELS about them. I do love Cinder x Kai but Winter x Jacin is definitely my favorite ship in the series. I wonder if this has to do with the fact they’ve known each other since they were children whereas all the other couples met during their books. Winter and Jacin’s relationship is so real and you can really get a sense of how they feel for each other. They’re JUST PERFECT OKAY?
-Awwww, Cinder and Kai. I must admit, I do cringe a lot at how lovey-dovey their conversation is getting though. Like, sure, you guys make a cute couple but enough with the PDA!
-Cinder doesn’t want to control Kai – I love that! And then she comes up with a code word so he’ll always know if she’s controlling him.
-“Scarlet scowled. ‘Suck up.'” I MISS SCARLET.
-You know, the handwritten message in the candy box is sweet and all but if there are cameras in the menagerie, is it worth the risk? The note didn’t even have anything important on it that Winter hasn’t already told Scarlet. ***shrugs***
-“‘You will have a chance to tell your Wolf that you love him.'” This is why I love Winter. That honesty, man.
-Oh, I forgot about Emilie. She’s still in the story?
-I must confess, Cress x Thorne is my least favorite pairing. I love Thorne by himself and Thorne and Cinder’s friendship! And Cress is sweet and relatable. But I honestly don’t see how they work together! Is this just me? I don’t get any connection between them beyond friends. It’s probably why Cress is my least favorite book as well!
-Oh, Jacin should have been a doctor! I mean, he’d have to work on shells, but guards have to kill people so … it’s not a bad tradeoff.
-I love how Jacin is able to make his mind totally unreadable!
-Ok, we get it, Levana. You loved your dead husband very much. You don’t have to keep saying that. (And besides YOU KILLED HIM.)
-I never feared Levana in the first three books, tbh. She just didn’t seem like an intimidating villain but I’M REALLY SCARED OF HER NOW. All this intrigue and politics in Artemisia is killing me. And Jacin and Winter are caught right in the thick of it – get out of there!!
-Aw, Winter brings her model to the hallway so she can be with Jacin. And then she pretends not to see him just like how he’s ignoring her. SHIP SHIP SHIP.
-Thorne: ‘See that eye roll? It translates to “How am I possibly keeping my hands off you, Captain”.’ Cinder: ‘Yeah, keeping them from strangling you.'” I miss Cinder and Thorne banter!
-Cress STOP BEING SO SHY. You were in the desert with Thorne for days! Although to be fair, I get captivated by my own fingernails a lot, too, so I really shouldn’t talk …
-The whole Kai and Thorne ride to earth is nice but Thorne’s character development seems rather sudden … I don’t know! I don’t get Cress and Thorne’s characters at all!
-Why is Jacin so surprised Winter can embroider? He’s all like, when did you learn to EMBROIDER? It reminds me of when people have nothing to talk about so they just mention something they have absolutely no interest in to make small talk, like – “Ooh, your phone case is BLUE.”
-I LOVE how Jacin and Winter understand how they feel for each other! They’re not separated by misunderstandings or being too shy to confess their feelings and whatnot. It’s because of Levana that they’re separated. But they actually have decent communication skills! Can we give them a round of applause for that?
-Woah, Jacin. The way he threw the flower crown and yelled at the children … I feel sorry for those poor kids but I totally understand why Jacin did what he did! Still, he could have done it in a nicer way ….
– Torin being all protective over Kai: “Your face! … She promised me- …” He’s like a mother to Kai.
-The Kai and Levana phone call is packed with so much tension. You can just feel the psychotic vibes radiating from Levana.
-Um, that’s sweet how much you love Scarlet, but don’t you think you’re being a little obsessed, Wolf?
-“I’ll have a whiskey on the rocks.” Stupid Thorne is stupid.
-Awww, Winter asking Jacin if he thinks she looks pretty … And Jacin’s like, “Are you trying to drive me crazy? … I’m busy protecting you from unknown threats.”
– Go die in a hole, Aimery. (PS There’s no freaking way Winter is going to marry you.)
-Winter to Kai: “With your upcoming nuptials, you’re practically my father”. Laughing out loud here.
-AHHHH Levana’s gonna find Cinder and her crew and Kai’s going to be in such trouble! (I was freaking out while reading and my little sister was just looking at me like ‘lol wut?’)
-Cinder: “Do I have permission to take control of you first? Just your bodies, not your minds.” Thorne: “I’ve been waiting for you to admit you wanted my body.”
-Iko protecting Cress … Iko is a good protector.
-***gasp*** I forgot there would be a huntsman!
-Oooh, Winter is smart, pretending to be enamoured with presents to hide how she’s helping Cress. Also, phew. Cress is safe.
-Wolf is reunited with his mother!
-AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHH! OH NO! Jacin’s supposed to kill Winter???? Levana’s all like, “And you are going to kill her.” And Jacin says, “No,” before he can stop himself. Then he begs Aimery to ask Winter to marry him again or banish her … Only when Levana threatens to get Jerrico to do it then he agrees. AHHHHHHHHHHHH.
-Jacin: ‘You don’t know who I am.’ Scarlet: ‘Sure I do. I can’t get the princess to shut up about you.’
-OMG THIS SCENE. IS. AMAZING. It’s easily my favorite scene in the whole book. Jacin gets Winter to meet him in the menagerie and she’s hoping he’s going to confess his love for her, etc. But then she sees he looks all gloomy and grim. And Jacin’s like “I was stupid to think I could protect you forever.” And then he tells her Levana wants to kill her and Winter’s more disappointed that Jacin ISN’T confessing his love than that Levana wants her dead. And she realises Jacin was asked to kill her and SHE DOESN’T even think of herself. She’s upset Jacin is being forced to do it because she knows it’s painful for him but she’s relieved it’s him because she knows he would never want to hurt her. And then she’s like I’m going to die so what does politics matter? and she kisses him and he’s like I’m never going to see her again so I’m gonna kiss her like it’s my last day and then Winter thinks he’s going to stab her but he kills the wolf instead !! And Jacin: “The next time someone says they’re going to kill you, don’t just let them.” AND OMG. I was internally screaming throughout this whole scene. I WAS SO TERRIFIED AND EMOTIONAL. THIS SCENE IS JUST WRITTEN SO BRILLIANTLY WITH SO MUCH TENSION AND PAIN. AND THEN THE WHOLE KISSING THING IS LIKE YOU CAN FEEL ALL THE PENT UP ROMANTIC TENSION BEING RELEASED.
– “I’m giving you five seconds to get your act together and decide to help me or else I am leaving you behind with your dead wolf and bleeding walls. Got it?” Gotta love Scarlet.
-When Winter and Scarlet see a man and woman being all intimate, Winter’s like: “That was not her husband.” and Scarlet’s like “I really don’t care.”
-I love Scarlet and Winter’s friendship!
-LEVANA IS STUPID. Like, Jacin frickin loves Winter. Then he’s like I killed her and I BURNED HER BODY. THERE’S NO BODY, WHAT? Doesn’t that just scream suspicion? Don’t you remember what happened with Selene?! Of course he didn’t kill her! And sure maybe Levana doesn’t realise. But you would have thought Aimery or Jerrico would have been smarter and realised something was up. I thought they were smarter! But, I mean, it’s algood if they believe him! It’s just …. stupid villains.
-“It was amusing to see such emotion revealed when it was normally so impossible to aggravate him.” I love this scene though, no mistake.
– “I’m not sure you have to DO anything to earn Levana’s wrath.” Absolutely correct.
-YES SCARLET AND WINTER ARE SAFE.
-I’m kind of sad that Winter and Cinder never became good friends like they were as children but I guess that’s to be expected. They’ve both changed a lot. At least we have Winter and Scarlet!
-“Thorne cleared his throat … there was an edge to his expression, like he didn’t trust anyone who was more attractive than he was.”
-Awww Wolf’s mother is so sweet.
– Pearl is still in the story?
-Scarlet: “Good speech.” Cinder: “Thanks. Kai wrote most of it.”
-“What about Winter?” AHHHHH. With everyone else, I’m like, they can deal with a little wear and tear. BUT NOT WINTER. SHE IS MY PRECIOUS.
-Aimery? You again? I thought I told you to go away.
-I feel so bad for the poor girl whose brother was singled out in the crowd. I totally don’t hold it against her that she gave Wolf’s mother away.
-OMG?!!!! They made Maha break her own fingers!!!
-Cinder and Wolf are captured?!
-Oh, that was smart of Thorne to pretend to be going to attack Scarlet so the guards would leave them alone.
-SCARLET COULD HAVE KILLED AIMERY. But I understand why she didn’t! Still … I would have cheered if she had …
-WOOHOO! Get em Iko!
-Iko is seriously awesome. She can’t be controlled, and it’s hard to injure her … I LOVE HER. And then she’s like “Bite me.” And Jerrico is like “Tempt me.”
-NOOOO NOT WINTER.
-Oooooooh, we have a new ally in Kinney! Also, I like the name Liam so I can’t help but be biased toward him …
-Ok, I get that Levana wants to make a statement by killing Cinder on her wedding day. But seriously? Seriously? YOU SHOULD ORDER HER TO BE KILLED ON SIGHT IDIOT. She was so close to death when Aimery decided they would kill her later … When will villains grow brains?
– What? Cinder imprisoned with Pearl and Adri?!
-Ooh, Winter has a dream where Levana gives her the comb! That makes so much sense. I didn’t think they would have Levana trick Winter multiple times so having the first trick happen as a dream is PERFECT.
-AHHHH SOMEONE DISCOVERED CRESS.
-Oh, it was just Kinney.
-I love this scene. Like, yes, Kinney’s helping Jacin! And they bond over how much they both hate Jerrico!
-I was so confused in the wedding vows scene! Like, they started calling Levana Cinder, and then I thought Cinder had been glamouring herself as Levana and Kai didn’t know or he DID know and wanted to see if he was being tricked, but it turns out, Levana was glamouring herself as Cinder! THE LUNARS AND THEIR GLAMOURS ARGH. Also, Kai could have killed Levana! But ok, I get that that’s just not him … Plus there’s still half more of the book …
-Jacin DID sell them out on earth, and Thorne DID say he’d punch Jacin. Still NOBODY TOUCHES JACIN.
-Still hate Adri and Pearl. Especially Adri.
-AGH I hate these Lunars. It’s not just Queen Levana and her thaumaturges. The whole crowd wants blood!
-Aimery: “I am afraid I must inform Your Majesty that there has been a disturb-” Levana: “Clearly there is a disturbance!” Man, I love how Levana is gradually getting annoyed at Aimery’s simpering.
-Ouch. I’ve read about CPR and reviving a person and you have to be careful to put enough pressure but not SO much that you’ll break the person’s ribs. Ouch.
-Winter: “I will get you your pack.” Oooooh, so is Scarlet going to be like the alpha female and control all the wolf-men? That would be awesome, buuuuuut I’m really not confident with this plan … I do sort of think the soldiers are going to want to eat Winter and Scarlet …
-Woohoo! Go Scarlet! I love how she’s all no-nonsense and as fierce as any wolf-man.
-WOAHHHHHHH. No way! No way! It’s a miracle! Just like that, the wolves are turning on the thaumaturges! THEY’RE JOINING WINTER AND SCARLET.
-“Winter … who could make a rock fall in love with her if she smiled at it the right way.”
-OH! OH! I have a prediction! I remembered that the stepmother gives Snow White a poisoned apple. I’m 99.9999% sure that Levana will give Winter a candy apple that will give her the mutated plague!
-Iko: “Cress and I are geniuses.” Thorne: “I helped.” Iko: “He held the lamp.” Thorne: “Jacin did nothing.” Iko: “Jacin checked … pulse and breathing.” Thorne: “I could have done that.” Never change, Thorne. Also, I love how jealous Thorne is of Jacin.
-MY PREDICTION IS CORRECT. Also AHHHHHH Now Winter and Scarlet both have the plague!
-OH NO POOR WOLF. He’s been genetically modified AGAIN to be even more wolfish. And the way the thaumaturges punish the soldiers … !
-Oh man, the Lunar magic what with all the controlling and glamour is the WORST. You can’t trust yourself to do what you want and you can’t even trust other people – THEY MIGHT NOT BE WHO THEY LOOK LIKE.
-“Now eat your meal like a good dog.” I’M RAGING SO HARD HERE.
-Kai is a good emperor! He might not be the smartest person but he genuinely cares for his people and I’m so glad he has a backup plan in case Cinder’s doesn’t work (even if that plan DOES end with him dying)!
-YAYY THEY’RE GETTING THE ANTIDOTE.
-Hmm. Yeah. I mean, the whole Cress x Thorne resolving their miscommunications scene is sweet and all but I’m not feeling it. I’m just not feeling it.
-I love how Cress gets a laughing fit when Thorne tells her to act natural because that’s totally what I would do!
-Now Jacin is driving super fast and dangerously because he’s desperate to get to Winter in time! AHHHHH YES HURRY UP JACIN!!!
-YESSSSSSS WINTER IS HEALED AHHHHHHHH YESSSSSS PHEWWWWWW. AND I SHIP WINTER AND JACIN SO BADLY ARGH LIKE STOP BEING SO CUTE GUYS
-When Cress is in the elevator and a group of Earthens enter, you realise the contrast between Lunars and Earthens. I mean, sure, there are terrible humans but they just seem like – I dunno – harmless puppies compared to Lunars.
-“The Brooch of Eternal Starlight.” Yeah. You’re a great liar, Kai.
-“Kai barrelled down the hallway, glad no one was around to see him sprinting in his coronation finery.” Kai in a sentence.
-At the coronation … Levana: “It seems they found one of Cinder’s accomplices … Carswell Thorne. I don’t suppose you know what he was attempting to accomplish here?” Kai: “Perhaps he felt slighted at not receiving an invitation.”
-Cinder: “They’re on our side.” Strom: “We grow impatient to shred Levana and her court into tiny, bite-size pieces. We will suck the marrow from their bones and drink their blood as if it were fine wine.” Iko: “Good thing they’re on our side.”
-Wolf could have killed Levana!
-Levana is a horrible person, it’s totally true, and she’s deceiving everyone by always using her glamour. Still, when everyone is shocked at the video … I feel it’s really superficial. Levana should be seen for what she’s DONE not for how she LOOKS. I do feel sorry for Levana, that everyone judges her for her natural looks.
-Awwww. Scarlet and Wolf are so sweet! Wolf’s been modified again until he’s even more animalistic but it doesn’t matter at ALL to Scarlet. She isn’t even ashamed or upset about it. And then when Wolf says, “I am so sick of the taste of blood” …. just AHH. IT’S SO SAD. And so touching how he’s still the same at heart even though he’s been modified.
-Kinney: “You’re that disturbing robot.” Iko: “Wow. He’s pretty and smart.” YES I SHIP IT. Even if shipping a Lunar with a robot is weird … I STILL SHIP IT.
-Guard: “When she catches you, my queen will eat your heart with salt and pepper.” Cinder: “Well my heart is half synthetic, so it’ll probably give her indigestion.”
-AHHHHH It’s Aimery! And he’s making Winter kill Jacin! Ahhhh now he’s gonna control Scarlet!
– OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!!! Winter is using her mind control powers! AND MAKING SCARLET STAB AIMERY.
-The chapter after that …. OMG. It’s so vivid and you can feel the madness in Winter and the pain and guilt as she loses control and becomes consumed in killing Aimery. “She knew she would have kept stabbing and stabbing and stabbing and stabbing and stabbing until Aimery was nothing but chopped bits of flesh and smiles.” And “Reality disintegrated. The world was a thousand cumbersome pixels tearing apart.” The scene is written so well and IT IS SO CHILLING. IT’S AMAZING.
-Levana: “Why do you want to take everything from me?” Cinder: “You’re the one who married MY boyfriend!” Cinder finally admits it!
-When Levana explains how she got her scars … YOU CAN’T HELP BUT FEEL SORRY FOR HER. No child should have gone through what she went through and it’s easy to understand why she is psychopathic now.
-I read in a few reviews for this book that the ending was anticlimactic or too easy so I was a little apprehensive. But I actually really love the ending!
-OMG Thorne stabbed Cress IN THE STOMACH!! That could easily be fatal. And Cress shot off two of his fingers! And Thorne is sobbing and apologising and Cress is biting him.
-The final showdown between Cinder and Levana is amazing! They’re fighting Lunar style so they’re struggling to control each other’s minds. I’m pretty sure such a fight scene is VERY difficult to write but Meyer does it flawlessly. The whole scene is full of tension and excitement.
-NO CINDER DON’T TRUST LEVANA. HAVEN’T YOU LEARNT THAT BY NOW? Sure enough, Levana goes and stabs Cinder once Cinder stops the mind fight and then Cinder shoots Levana and they both go falling off the throne room. But of course Levana dies in the end. It had to happen and honestly I’m not sorry!
-Aw, Emilie. She’s so human. I love it. She reminds me of real girls I’ve met.
-I’m so happy Scarlet and Wolf get their happy ending. Although I am a little concerned for Wolf. Isn’t he still perpetually hungry after they modified him?
-Kai: “With all that was going on, we never even had time to consummate.” Cinder: “Unnecessary information.” xD
-“Hello, snow girl. I’m glad to meet you too.” ***sighs happily***
-Cinder as a Queen is hilarious. She’ll make a wonderful ruler though.
-THORNE GETS THE RAMPION YAYYYY. Also … Thorne’s like “The actual president of the American Republic … made the deal. You should have seen how unhappy he looked about it.” Oh, man I’m gonna miss Thorne so much and how much he manages to annoy everyone.
-I love Thorne’s honesty when he tells Cress he’s told twenty-three girls he loved them. And then Cress is thinking, she doesn’t even KNOW twenty four people … I STILL don’t really see their relationship working out long term but as individuals, I think they’re very developed characters.
-I WANT A SPINOFF STORY ABOUT KINNEY AND IKO. Can we have that, please?!
-THAT WAS CRUEL KAI. Like it seemed like he would propose and he just gave Cinder her foot!
-Cinder: “I’m going to make it a law that the correct way to address your sovereign is by giving a high five.” Kai: “That’s genius. Me too.” That IS genius.
In conclusion, this was a FRICKIN AMAZING book. I was hooked from beginning to end. I think it’s very well written and considering the many POVS and storylines, that’s a huge feat! it’s also hard to write good series finales so props to Marissa Meyer! I loved all 800 and something pages. Sure, the book’s long, but IT NEEDED THOSE PAGES. I’m totally satisfied and this is definitely my favorite of the four books in the series. The writing was great; it made me feel things and kept me turning pages desperately and it was really beautiful at some moments. The characters were wonderful and I WILL SHIP WINTER AND JACIN FOREVER. It also made me laugh a lot.
THIS BOOK JUST HAS EVERYTHING PEOPLES.