Cress by Marissa Meyers:
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
I was drawn into Meyers’ Lunar series from the minute I saw the cover of Cinder. That cyborg foot in the high heel, with a very futuristic spin on the old Cinderella story. I HAD to read it. Now here I am, finished with the third installment in the series, Cress. This cover was reminiscent of Rapunzel. Cress joins up with Cinder and the gang, and has a sweet side romance with Thorne. I won’t spoil the story for you, but I will say that I loved that Iko gets a body. I would love to see this series turned into a movie. Iko would provide all the comic relief! My heart broke for Scarlet and Wolf, and I can’t wait for more on that story in the fourth book. It looks like this one will be reminiscent of Snow White.
I happened upon this book like with all my audio books, at the library. I didn’t know what to expect, having never read anything by Sarah Addison Allen, and I was blown away. I loved her story telling, and I felt drawn into the magic of the garden. Garden Spells is the story of a woman named Claire Waverley, who is a bit of an outcast/oddity in her small town in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She lives alone in her late grandmother’s house where she and her sister were raised, after their mother abandoned them. Her sister Sydney following in her mother’s footsteps, has long since skipped town, and Claire hasn’t heard from her in over ten years.
The Waverley’s are a legend in their town, known for their odd garden, which sports an apple tree that is rumored to be magical, and the women in the family who each have special gifts. Claire’s elderly cousin Evanelle has a compulsion to give people things, which turn out to be exactly what they didn’t know they needed. Claire has a gift for cooking and baking, and she turns that gift into a successful catering company. Her food uses edible flowers and plants from her garden, and when cooked in a specific way, contain a little bit of magic. Pansies for keeping children thoughtful, nasturtiums for helping to keep secrets, roses for love, and so on.
Claire’s life is going along just fine, even though it’s a bit lonely for her. Then Sydney unexpectantly shows up on her doorstep with a daughter of her own, seeking refuge from her abusive ex, and Claire’s whole world turns upside down.
This book gives an old fashioned magical element to it’s romances. I love that there’s a little bit of magic in an otherwise everyday story. When Claire gets mad she literally wilts plants with the heat fumes coming off her. When her neighbor Roger falls in love with her, he has little purple lights coming off of him that only the Waverly’s can see. It adds a fun element to the book, and it left me wanting to read more by Allen.