Winter by Marissa Meyer | Book Review

Hi everyone. I’m Rincey and this is Rincey
Reads. Today I’m going to be doing a book review on Winter by Marissa Meyer. This is
the fourth book, technically, in the Lunar Chronicles series. Maybe considered the fifth
book. I’m not completely sure how that works. The first book is Cinder, the second book
is Scarlet, the third book is Cress, and there’s a prequel novella called Fairest, which is
why I’m not completely sure how numbers work in this scenario. This one just came out a
couple of weeks ago in November and I picked it up immediately and started reading it immediately
because I love this series so much. I will have links to reviews of all of the other
books down in the description so you guys can check that out if you are interested in
seeing my thoughts on any of the books specifically. If you haven’t read any of the books of this
series I would recommend not watching this video because at this point it’s really hard
to talk about the books without potentially running into spoilers for the other books.
But I will make sure not to spoil anything major about this book specifically. And I
will actually have a spoiler section so if you have read the book you can check that
section out and comment on that. Or if you haven’t read the book yet you can skip over
that section completely. So as you guys are probably aware, each book in this series is
a fairy tale retelling and the retelling in this book is Snow White, if you couldn’t tell
by the wonderful apple on the cover. In this story the main character is Princess Winter
who is basically like the Snow White character. She is beloved by everyone in her kingdom.
She is considered like extremely beautiful. Everyone just like falls in love with her
immediately and wants to befriend her, be kind to her, things like that, which is obviously
something that Levana is not a big fan of. And of course Winter isn’t really a big fan
of Levana either because Levana controls her and forces her to do things that she doesn’t
want to be doing. So her, along with her guard, Jacin, who they actually grew up together
in the castle, and so they’ve been friends for a really long time. So together they end
up actually joining forces with Cinder and the rest of the crew in trying to overthrow
Levana. Now one of the things that’s really interesting about these stories is that yes,
they’re all fairy tale retellings. But there’s also this underlying story going on of Cinder
trying to overthrow Levana and trying to remove her from the throne because, as you have learned
at this point, Cinder is actually the rightful heir to the throne. And one of the things
I really enjoy about this series is the fact that Marissa Meyer is able to do this fairy
tale retelling while also telling this other story that’s happening, like this larger overarching
story. Now this book is like 800 plus pages long and while it is young adult so the font
is a little bit bigger, this is kind of a long story because she is telling multiple
narratives in here while also trying to wrap things up. So this one took me longer than
the other books because there’s so much happening in here. But I actually didn’t mind that because
Marissa Meyer puts a lot of detail and thought into preparing for this giant battle that’s
going to be happening towards the end of the book and also preparing the characters. And
you get to see the preparation happen. You get to see the characters try different things
and fail at them and mess things up and have to start over and do all of these different
things. This book is long because the characters go through a lot of trials and a lot of different
scenarios and everything doesn’t always go well. And I think that is to its benefit because
if it was too easy it obviously wouldn’t be very enjoyable. One of the criticisms that
I’ve seen about this series or at least about Cinder is that it follows the fairy tale retelling
a little bit too closely or it follows the Cinderella storyline a little too closely
to the point where it becomes kind of obvious what’s happening in the book. And one of the
things that I liked about this one is the fact that Snow White is a very well known
story at least in the United States. Marissa Meyer does a really good job of taking certain
elements of that story and drawing that into this. She doesn’t follow Snow White’s story
exactly, which is really nice, but there are times when you could see her making references
to certain things or having certain things happen because of how they happened in the
original Snow White story. And so it brings you back to that retelling part of the book
without it being just like a straight Snow White story told over again. If I have any
criticism with this book, which of course I’m going to have because no book is perfect,
the one that I would have is that the story feels a little bit convenient, or at least
parts of it feel kind of convenient. I feel like that is necessary in almost any story.
But there were certain parts of this story where I wasn’t completely on board I’ll just
say. That doesn’t deter me at all from this book. I still loved it. I still gave this
book a 4 out of 5 stars and I really enjoy this series. I’m just going to say now that
we’re going to go into spoiler-y territories so if you don’t want to know anymore, uh,
skip ahead. I’ll put an annotation on the screen so you can skip ahead by clicking that.
Or just skip ahead to when you don’t see me holding the book up anymore. But yeah, the
entire ending I had a little bit of a difficulty with. The story is all leading up to this
one giant battle scene. And one of the pros, for me, was the fact that it takes really
long. It doesn’t make the battle seem easy and it doesn’t make the fight scene easy.
But there’s the final scene where Cinder and Levana are going at it and I don’t understand
it. I have a hard time in general understanding the Lunars’ powers of being able to control
other people because sometimes it seems like they can do it really easily and sometimes
it seems like they have a really hard time doing it. I don’t really understand how they’re
able to control multiple people at one time. There’s a lot of like details about those
things that I had a really hard time with. So the final battle where Cinder and Levana
are going at it and Levana is controlling Thorne while also controlling a couple of
other people here and there, it just, I was having a really hard time following it and
it just seemed really weird the way she gave up or the way things ended. Like I wasn’t
super crazy about the way just the final battle scene went. I will say that I do like the
fact that there is consequences to everything that happens in this story. Cinder is very
aware of the fact that she has killed people and that people have died and there are going
to be consequences for these actions. I will say that the final meeting that she has with
the earthen leaders was a little weird because it felt a little bit too easy, that’s another
situation where it felt like everything just came a little bit too easily. There is acknowledgement
of the fact that relationships aren’t going to be perfect right away and things aren’t
going to be easy right away. And even though these characters do get their happily ever
after, there are still scars left behind from everything that they had to deal with which
I think was really great. So yeah, like I mentioned before, I gave this book a 4 out
of 5 stars. I highly recommend this book and this series if it at all sounds interesting
to you. I think it’s just a really fun series. Cress is still my favorite book out of the
entire thing. I think it’s just because I love Cress and Thorne so much. Even in this
story, Cress and Throne were my absolute favorite characters for sure. And the final scene with
them, you know, I won’t spoil anything, but the final scene with them I read like multiple
times because I thought it was great. So yeah those are my quick thoughts on this book.
If you’ve read this book, feel free to leave a comment down below letting me know what
you guys thought of it. Or if you haven’t read this book yet, but you’ve read some of
the others, feel free to leave any comments or questions that you have about it down in
the comment section below. I will say that if you are going to comment on anything slightly
spoiler-y, maybe put a spoiler warning or something. So yeah, that’s all I have for
now and thanks for watching.

10 thoughts on “Winter by Marissa Meyer | Book Review

  1. Glad you enjoyed it Rincey!
    I felt more or less the same towards it, down to the flaw of convenience, but I felt myself being more lenient with that aspect because it was to be expected. Well it was for me at least!

    Potential Spoiler
    Also, regarding the final battle between Cinder and Levana, you said you found it weird that it ended with her giving up, which annoyed me too, until I realised that she'd just said that to lower Cinder's defenses.. Because immediately after supposedly giving up, she launches straight back and tries to kill Cinder again. That's what made the scene for me, the fact that Meyer was able to show just how relentless Levana was, even when it was obvious that she had lost.
    But anyway, that's just how I interpreted that scene!

    Again, glad you enjoyed it! It was definitely one of the best YA series I've read.

  2. Can't watch the whole video because I've only read Cinder so far! Would you say that the series gets better? And would you suggest reading Fairest?

  3. Loved your review! I personally didn't even care when it came to anything of the flaws of this book because it had so much pure enjoyability. There's just not enough books that jibe with me that much. Also agree with you about Cress and Throne, they were my favorites too 🙂

  4. I stopped at the start of the spoiler section so thanks for the warning on that! This is a series that I've been interested in for awhile. I like that Meyer is retelling a favorite story but at the same time telling a new story. I'm not sure when I will start the series but I know I will get around to it one day.

  5. Just finished Winter this morning and I definitely agree on the ease of the meeting with the Earthen diplomats. I was glad they had that scene in the end because she could've just cut from them getting out of the hospital to the coronation. The details at the meeting make it so we can keep imagining all that will continue happening in this world now that the series is over. I agree with you and the scene with Levana and Cinder being a bit confusing because the jumping around in who they were controlling had me reading that scene a couple times to try to understand what happened. I think it's perfect that while Levana acted like she was giving up, she still went in for the final kill. I loved the last moments we got with each pair especially Cress and Thorne and of course ending it with Kai and Cinder. I also loved the little nudges to the fairytales like the apple tarts used to poison Winter and how Jacin is the huntsman and etc. Just such an action packed ending. I had no idea there was going to be another novella book so it'll be fun to learn just a bit more of where the characters are when it comes in February.

  6. I just finished reading this, but I still need to film my review. I loved it so much! I know it was long, but I LIKED that it was long. I adore those characters so much, they could have been grocery shopping and I would have been riveted. It could have been twice as long, and I would have devoured every word!

  7. I wish I'd liked it as much as you, tbh. I really loved Cinder — I thought it was a strong book on its own, and an interesting way of retelling a familiar story. But by Scarlet I could sense what Meyer's problem going forward would be — namely finding a way to balance multiple stories in a way that gave each enough room to breathe while still circling back to the characters we were already familiar with.

    I think you could tell that Meyer's main focus was always Cinder, who was the best character in the series, so by Winter the new princess really felt like an afterthought to me.

    The moments where Meyer got back to doing the Snow White retelling felt awkwardly crammed in (without spoiling too much, the sour apple candy scene, etc.) and I wonder if she didn't suffer from having planned the idea so far in advance, and then was locked into telling stories that didn't necessarily interest her once she got around to them.

    My final grumpy rant is just about the relationships, which felt like the most convenient aspect of the series — everyone is so perfectly paired off and it's just a matter of time before they both realize that the other one likes them? I don't need more angst, but I found the characters' love hard to invest it when it all felt so inevitable.

    Sorry for the negativity — I think yours was a great, balanced review. I just finished up the book and felt so frustrated.

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