Book Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer (+ Giveaway)


By Marissa Meyer

February 4, 2014
Ages 12 and up
Feiwel & Friends








Like a fine wine, Marissa Meyer’s books only get better with age. Cliche to say, I know, but if you like science fiction fantasy, and want to discover the most creative and original, fairy tale re-telling ever, then you need to read CRESS. But first, you need to catch up with Cinder and Scarlet. And if you have already read those books, then I have a feeling you don’t even need to read this review. You’re likely to read CRESS and love it, just as I did.

Cinder instilled in readers that this series was one to watch. It retold a classic tale in a unique, futuristic setting. Scarlet introduced a few new characters and guaranteed that this solid cast of characters had carved their ways into our hearts for the long haul. But CRESS even further expands the cast, and also ingeniously plays upon the characterizations that have already been developed in the first two books. With every new character introduced, Marissa seamlessly weaves their classic fairy tale into the overlying story. With almost the whole cast now in place, CRESS has climaxed into the best of the lot so far.

I really have not read anything so uniquely crafted as this story about seemingly “familiar” fairy tale characters. Upon further consideration, I think it’s safe to say that this series is one of my favorite, ever. In these books, you’ll find the most perfect form of storytelling; no matter what the characters are doing – whether they’re getting ready in the morning, rotting away in a prison cell, floating aimlessly through space or traveling hundreds of miles across barren lands on Earth, you know that you’re going to be enraptured. No matter what.

I keep saying this with every book, but I love Cress just as much as I love Scarlet and Cinder, both the book and the character. Thorne and Cress have some of the best scenes in the whole series; their chemistry positively sizzles. Cress’s innocence mixed with Thorne’s conniving charm and sneakiness… it’s like discovering the movie Tangled all over again and watching Rapunzel and Flynn interact, only on a more advanced, highly developed level – minus the singing and animal sidekicks (unless Wolf or Iko count as animals… or sidekicks?) But I digress. Point is: Their interactions, dialogue and the challenges that they face are both delightful and completely surprising with every turn of the page. CRESS is the most engrossing entry in the series simpy because Cress and Thorne are placed together for much of the book.


  • Lots of Cress and lots of Thorne make for the best character interactions yet.- A perfectly drawn out and highly climatic middle and final part of the book provide plenty of thrills and suspense. Oh, and there’s an event at the beginning that is pretty heart-pounding, too.
  • New revelations will turn readers upside down. Jaw-dropping moments galore!
  • Come on, if you’re reading this series at all by now, you know it rocks.
  • This is the longest book in the series yet, but it feels like the shortest. You will finish the book wanting more, more, MORE!


  •  We have to wait a whole year for the final book in the series, Winter.

You have space action, deception, road trips and fights for survival. You have gambling and humor, torture and tears… If you’re a reader looking for one behemoth of a novel that can deliver everything a reader could possibly want in addictive fiction, CRESS is the novel for you. And if you haven’t read the earlier books in the series, Cinder and Scarlet, you really need to get on that. Stat.

Plot: 10
Setting: 10

Grade: 100