December 2, 2015

They Lived Happily Ever After • Winter

Winter book cover
Winter by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #4
Previous Books: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress + Fairest
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: November 10, 2015
Source/Format: Bought || Hardcover

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana. Winter, however, despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

Confession: I've been sitting on this review for nearly a month now. Every single time I attempted to try and talk about how Winter made me feel, I just felt like my efforts were woefully inadequate. But, even though I still feel like I could never do it justice, it's high time that I talk a little bit about Winter. Here are a few important things you need to know:

  • Winter is one of the best books I've read all year.
  • Winter is one of the best series finales I've read ever.

I'm well aware that these statements, both separately and in tandem, are high praise for a book. But they happen to be the truth, and I'm going to try and tell you why I felt this way about Winter. Now, I know that, in the midst of all the positive reviews and glorious gushing you might have already seen lavished on Winter, you may just dismiss my review as yet another in a sea of five stars. However, in the hopes that you will be convinced to pick it up, continue the series if you've stopped or even read this particular book sooner rather than later, here are five reasons I loved Winter (and why you will too):

5 | Consistency - I assume, since you're reading my review, you've either read the other books in The Lunar Chronicles series or plan to pick them up for a binge read. One of the best things about Winter, and the rest of the books, is really how Meyer keeps it all consistent. She does an incredible job creating the world and the lore, expanding it with every book, until it comes to full fruition in this series ender. I'm totally impressed by how consistent the tone, the details, the style is from start to finish. It definitely makes the series more cohesive and even more fun to binge read, since you can see little details popping up in later books from earlier ones.

4 | Action - If you live for books where many things happen simultaneously, from the first page to the last, then Winter will be a book for you! Meyer used the first three novels to set up the framework for this last book - and it pays off. There's just one thing after another happening to the characters we all know and love (or hate), and a consistency in how each event drives the plot all the way to the end. I was never bored, never lost, never confused; I basically lapped up every single minute of this story, no matter who was the focus of a particular chapter. It's definitely exciting, and will keep you on your toes!

3 | Humor - I love, love, love authors who can incorporate humor into their narratives, and Marissa Meyer does it well. As with her previous novels, Winter is filled with sassy comebacks and witty one-liners. And I'm obsessed with how often Meyer manages to coax a laugh out of me, even when I'm wrought with tension over the fate of the characters I love so much. It's no easy feat to make sure that the humor adds to a scene, instead of distracting or detracting, but Meyer makes it look so easy.

2 | Heart - Meyer's story is not just funny; it's also brutal on the feels. I got emotional at so many different parts of the story for so many different reasons, and this, friends, is a good thing. I appreciate it when I am so deeply invested in a story, in characters, that I can feel a whole range of emotion - anger, irritation, despair, joy, swoony, nervous. Trust me when I tell you that Winter locked in on making me feel things, and did it successfully. (Case in point: I cried reading Winter. Three times. Not saying why or when, but I definitely shed some tears.)

1 | Characters - But honestly, the reason why Winter and this series is worth reading is for the characters. I love, love, love, love, love these characters. I seriously feel like they're family after reading their story from start to finish, and it's a rare gift to feel so strongly about characters when it comes to what I read. While it's not just the primary characters that make this story amazing (because let's face it, Queen Levana is an excellent villain and there are some special secondary characters), they're the ones I hold nearest to my heart. Cinder. Kai. Scarlet. Wolf. Cress. Thorne. Winter. Jacin. And Iko, of course, who can't be left out of this little group. They're all such unique characters, and Meyer juggles their perspectives perfectly. She's got a real talent for making readers feel like we know these guys inside and out, and it's true - we read so much about each of them (and it's still never enough). I loved how she finished out everyone's stories in Winter, though I'm dying for more. (And that means I'm 100% relieved to know an epilogue waits for me in the upcoming bind-up Stars Above.)

What I'm really trying to say is that you should definitely read Winter. Meyer has done an incredible job of bringing this series to a close! You're going to love seeing what happens to these characters, and how it all ends; it's a satisfying, emotional reading experience. So, if you haven't read Winter yet, I highly suggest that you do! (And, if you were wondering, I would also recommend The Lunar Chronicles as a whole. It's definitely a strong series from start to finish, and perfect for a binge!)


  1. I agree with 100%!! Winter gave me quite a bit of a book hangover and now that I have my hardcover (I read it first on my Kindle) I'm totally itching for a re-read!!
    Great review Alexa!

  2. I agree with EVERYTHING you said! It was such a great ending with just the right amount of bitter to the sweet....and "hey, trouble" makes me swoon every time!!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  3. Perfect review, I agree with all of it! The consistency throughout the series is incredible; it's really one of those series that improves with every book. And action and humor should always go hand-in-hand. Plus the characters!! So many characters that are all so awesome. I can't wait to reread someday and to get my hands on Stars Above. It really was one of the best series enders ever :) Very satisfying.

  4. Yes yes! I totally agree. Easily one of my favorite series-enders of all time. I loved the characters and their whole squad, as well as all the action. I couldn't believe how well-paced an 800 page book could be!

  5. Yes yes yes yes :D BEST BOOK. <3 I'm so thrilled that you loved it that much too Alexa :) Gorgeous review sweetie. <3 Just, ugh. This book was perfection.

  6. I couldn't agree more, Alexa! This has been an amazing series and I'm so happy that Winter didn't disappoint. It might just be my favorite of the four (or tied with Scarlet). The characters are AMAZING and I will miss them dearly.

    Lovely review!


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