Meyer Month: Scarlet!
forgive me for the lack of Meyer Month posts! There have been multiple big tests at school, so I've been focusing more on schoolwork than on blogging. We only have one more week before February is over, so I guess it's crunch time! If I don't cover all of Marissa Meyers book by the end of the month, I'll still keep my promise of blogging all of them by spilling over into next month! So what am I waiting around for? Let's get onto the second book in The Lunar Chronicles series, Scarlet!
For Scarlet Benoit, the farm is the only place she feels at home. After running away from her father to join her grandmother on her farm, Scarlet has learned to accept the laid back and hard-working nature of farm life. That all changes when Scarlet's grandma goes missing, with even the police ending the search after finding nothing. Scarlet, armed with her trusty gun, decides to take on the search herself, aided with only the help of geneticly enhanced street fighter Wolf. Wolf claims to know something about where Scarlet's grandma is being held hostage, but that something may lead too deep into Wolf's secret past. While still wondering wether Wolf is to be trusted, Scarlet's own past becomes unexpectedly intertwined with the strange cyborg girl Linh Cinder, all with a secret Scarlet's grandmother guarded with her life.
Here's an unpopular opinion: I don't like Scarlet.
Ok, but before all the Lunartics attack me, it's just my opinion, and my opinion is that I don't like it. I feel like compared to all the all the other books in this series, Scarlet is feels the most rushed. Maybe it was, considering the immense fanbase that came with the first book. In some parts of the book it seems as if moments and characters are just thrown in to speed up the plot or make it so Scarlet can discover another clue. An example of this would be Ran, a character that is a hybrid wolf soldier like Wolf, but has reached another level of purposeless. Ran is a bad guy- straight up bad with no personality. He tries to act nice to Scarlet before he attacks her, but even then he serves his purpose as what I like to call a plot pusher. Ran dies in the end, killed by Wolf after he tries to attack Scarlet. His lack of impact after his death only shows how he could be thrown away once he played his part.
Another complaint I have not just about this book but the whole series is Scarlet
and Wolf's relationship. But first, here's some backstory. In many, many, almost all fandoms, there is romantic relationships. Wether that relationship is canon (true in the show's lore) or not (fanmade relationships are called ships), there is much debate among the fans about that relationship. Sometimes a ship, canon or not, can reflect not-so-great romantic things that happen in the real world (see f****h). Even if the characters in that ship are fictional, shipping abusive or f****h-feeding relationships isn't ok. And while I totally believe Marissa Meyer didn't write Scarlet and Wolf's romance like this, I've seen some people in The Lunar Chronicles fandom create some.... unsettling fanart. Since Wolf is in fact half animal, and he is very protective of Scarlet, even going as far to call her his "alpha female" some people have compared them to a "predatorial" relationship (see animal).
Fanart and fanfiction about Scarlet and Wolf getting rough can be found out in the open on places like Fanfic.net and DeviantArt, and that is not ok. Their relationship is supposed to be cute, not to be twisted into some corrupt ship. If you are someone who does this to two characters from a YOUNG ADULT novel, please stop.
Oof sorry for the uncomfortable change of topic. I feel like it does need to be addressed though. Real fans of the book wouldn't do something like that.
All in all, Scarlet isn't the worst book I've ever read, but i do think it could've been much better. It's easy to find places where the story could have been improved to be a much smoother read, as well as characters that could've been given a bigger role or completely removed and nothing would of changed. Still, I do think that if Scarlet had been presented any other way, it wouldn't have been as impactful on the rest of the series' plot. Without Scarlet and Wolf in The Lunar Chronicles, the finaly wouldn't have panned out, and the exsplanation of the hybrid wolf soldgiers would have seemed so sudden. Anyways, I do believe the next book, Cress, is a much better planned recovery from this somewhat dissapointing sequel. I'll see you there!