Marissa Meyer's 'Lunar Chronicles' Is The Best YA Series You've Been Ignoring
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11 Reasons Marissa Meyer's 'Lunar Chronicles' Is The Best YA Series You've Been Ignoring

Every single character in this series will have you laughing and crying, even the bad ones.

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11 Reasons Marissa Meyer's 'Lunar Chronicles' Is The Best YA Series You've Been Ignoring
Alisan Keesee

"The Lunar Chronicles" series by Marissa Meyer is pretty much anything I could ask for in a book series. Each book is a retelling of a well-known fairy tale, the first book "Cinder" is Cinderella, example. The series is also set in the future when Earth has separated into six different countries and a colony called Luna was created on the moon roughly a century or two before the beginning of the books.

With the threat of the evil Lunar Queen, the main protagonist of the series, Cinder, a cyborg, must work to defeat her. While the books have a much more complicated plot and concept, I'm attempting to keep this post as spoiler-free as possible, in the hopes that you will actually want to pick up the books.

I was familiar with "The Lunar Chronicles" a long time before I read them. The idea certainly intrigued me, but I didn't end up reading "Cinder" until I was a sophomore in college and just finished the series as I begin my senior year. I've read the majority of the other popular YA series, but "The Lunar Chronicles" is hands down my favorite. The use of popular stories we already know and twisting them to fit a new world made a series that is wholly original and some of the most fun I've ever had reading a book.

1. Ships Galore. 

Every book in the series has a different main relationship. However, the previous relationships continue to develop throughout the series, and it becomes nearly unbearable at times as your waiting to see what's happening with the other couples. However, the ships aren't always front and center, they are often in the details and don't take away from the main plot or politics of the books. But they are still very present and bring lighter elements when the tension is high.

2. Diverse Characters. 

Unlike many other YA series or movies today, the diversity in "The Lunar Chronicles" does not feel and is not forced. The main character is an amputee and a cyborg (a minority class in the books), which relates heavily to the original "Cinderella" tale. Many of the other main characters are people of color, have mental illnesses, have been genetically modified, are Lunar, etc. The treatment of these characters is both realistic (in the way that Cinder is often mistreated and judged for being a cyborg), but also realistic in the sense that Prince Kai has some misunderstandings about cyborgs, but learns to educate himself because he cares about Cinder.

3. Relation to the Real World. 

Many aspects of "The Lunar Chronicles" world have real-life applications. The dichotomy between Earthens and Lunars definitely alludes to race and class distinctions and power dynamics. Lunar Shells (Lunars without the Lunar gift) also seems related to our own histories of Japanese internment and other mass incarcerations. Winter's Lunar sickness can easily be related to mental illness. This is the edge of the many ways Meyer wraps our own world into that of "The Lunar Chronicles".

4. Characters You Will Love. 

Every single character in this series will have you laughing and crying, even the bad ones. They will make mistakes, crack stupid jokes, and think badly of themselves. But through it, I couldn't help but love them deeply. I couldn't wait for them to finally have a breakthrough, to learn to stand up for themselves and become the characters I knew they were. I wanted to be best friends with the Rampion crew and I would even read the most boring short stories about their morning routines if it meant I got to spend more time with these fantastic characters.

5. Characters You Will Love to Hate. 

The villains of the series are bad, don't get me wrong, but I still loved seeing just how far they would go. How desperate and jealous they found themselves. How far they would go to cover their own pasts. I never thought I would enjoy death scenes so much until I met these characters.

However, the bad characters aren't just bad, they often have emotional or traumatic reasons for their actions. While not justified, it certainly brings a more human element to characters that are so easy to hate.

6. Seamless Plotting. 

Each book adds on to the ever emerging plot. Cinder and Scarlet, while being two different people and living on two different continents, are directly connected (and Cinder's own story continues within the book). We learn that these four girls have been revolving around each other for their entire lives. The other characters are also weaved in perfectly, often being connected tangentially. It is obvious that the first book knows how the last book ends and it creates a plot that is so seamless and I never found myself questioning.

7. Witty Dialogue. 

There were many times while reading "The Lunar Chronicles" that I had to put the book down and laugh or cringe or cry. Most of the time it was one of Cinder's dry witticisms or Thorne's sarcastic remarks. Sometimes it was Winter's frightening intuition or Scarlet's fearless cries. The dialogue felt startlingly real and each character had their own distinct voice. With the book being written in the third person (while following different characters), the dialogue is often the main place we see a character's own voice and they certainly shine through spectacularly.

8. Strong Female Characters. 

"The Lunar Chronicles" revolves around the four main female characters (their names make up the title for each book: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter). Each is strong in their own way. Despite having their own weakness and often running to male characters for comfort, they exist beyond their male counterparts and don't need them to make decisions or function. In many cases, they save themselves or their love interests, creating a new kind of fairy tale.

9. Complex Politics. 

With a few of the main characters being royalty, the books have some royal intrigue. But, as the characters begin to stage a revolution and a doomed marriage alliance is finalized, the political intrigue grows larger and direr, with people dying and the main characters feeling more pressure.

The politics are complex but not hard to follow. The politics are a main part of the plot, so I don't want to detail them too much, but trust me when I say that I often didn't know how characters were going to get out of the situations they found themselves in.

10. World building. 

The world building in "The Lunar Chronicles" is beyond amazing. In "Cinder", Meyer spends most of her time on Earth, explaining how Earth ended up different from life today and what the city of New Beijing is like. In "Scarlet", we see Europe and France. From there, we begin to learn more about Luna and much the world building of Luna doesn't come until the final book "Winter" where the majority of the book is placed on Luna. However, as soon as a question about the world came into my mind, it was almost immediately answered.

11. Realistic Fantasy Elements. 

While Earth remains much the same, other than some technological and scientific advancements, Luna and its residents. Lunars have what is called the Lunar gift (except for in the case of shells who are basically just normal humans). Their gift allows them to control their outward appearance to others, but also it can allow people to control others and take control of their minds. While this might seem like a stretch, the Lunar gift makes sense within the context of the book. It is the only thing that is never really explained how it happened, but the books do seem to imply that it has to do with genetic mutations from radiation.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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