“She cried for the girl who had never belonged. A girl who tried so hard, harder than anyone else, and still never had anything to show for it.”
Marissa Meyer is a nice person, right? Where did she get all that spite and ruthlessness in her to write this story I will never know! Because this was brutal!
I wasn't sure how well I would like this novella in audio form, as I had just recovered from Steelheart, and I didn't think that any narrator could come close to making me feel as invested in the story as McLeod Andrews did, BUT Rebecca Soler came pretty close. She's got a perfect speed of reading, a very pleasant and malleable voice, and at the emotional parts, boy was she phenomenal!
Levana is...a piece of work. Molded by her egoistic parents, by her unhinged and outright evil sister, by the trials of a lonely youth and the errors of first love. I did feel for her. In the first part of the book. But by the end of the book only the monster was left.
Fairest actually made me want to re-read The Lunar Chronicles, although I will be honest - reading a story from a villain's point of view is so much more interesting. I only wished for more, but alas this novella is quite short. I wanted more of political intrigue especially, and more of lunar's powers being explored. Because as of right now they seem very silly. Yes, the mind control is handy. But glamour? Only good for making oneself look ridiculously attractive, I guess. surely, there are much better ways to use it!
The first 35% of the book are spent on Levana pining over Sir Everett. Sure, it was detrimental to her progress as a character, but it was the time in which I rolled my eyes the most. And in which Levana was at her stupidest. It did pick up later on and I really enjoyed all of the small glimpses at the other books and plot lines that were explained just a tiny bit more.
I don't understand why it was labeled as Lunar Chronicles 3.5, it should have been 0.5 in my opinion, but oh well. My biggest trifle with this book was the diversity, or the way it's written really. Sure, the Lunar Chronicles includes a wide array of characters with different background, ailments and skin colors. But the problem is that Meyer writes white skinned characters just as she writes olive, black and any other possible skin tone characters. They are literally the same. If it wasn't explicitly told to me in the book that the character isn't white, I wouldn't have known. They sound the same, they act the same. When I read Marissa Meyer I know that it's a white person writing people of color.
Overall this was quite enjoyable, and I'd really recommend the audio book. I do wish that the world was a little bit more explained. Because even after reading all of the series (some short stories included) I still feel like there could have been much more depth to it. Too much time was spent on juvenile and ya thrones, and not enough time world building. But in the world of ya retellings, this is pretty good.
“Levana had not seen the bodies, but she had seen the bedrooms the next morning, and her first thought was that all that blood would make for a very pretty rouge on her lips.”