Stars Above

For the past few years, young adult series have become increasingly popular and so the authors started to expand their worlds when the readers asked for it. By now, many series are accompanied by a short story or sometimes even a short story collection. Such is the case with Marissa Meyer’s the Lunar Chronicles. Her four books about Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter goes hand in hand with a short story collection called Stars Above.

I love Meyer’s world and the story about Cinder so it felt natural to get Stars Above to my collection as well and I’m glad I did. In half a dozen short stories, Meyer expands not only the world of the Lunar Chronicles but also the characters themselves. We meet a young Cress when she’s first taken to her satellite, we get to see how Scarlet’s grandmother got to take care of Cinder when she was little and later how Linh Garan adopted Cinder and her first few weeks in her new family. Carswell Thorne gets his own short story in “Carswell’s guide to being lucky”, a hilariously funny read about this charming guy and all the crazy things he did before he ended up in Cinder. We get to see Winter’s and Jacin’s friendship before Cinder entered their lives as well as what Ze’ve did before he was deployed to Earth. In “The Mechanic”, we get to see Prince Kai’s side of his very first conversation with Cinder and in “Something old, something new” the readers find out what happened after the end of Winter. Meyer have also added another short story, called “The Little Android” which takes place in the same world as Cinder but doesn’t have anything to do with the Rampion crew, although it’s a sweet love story and well worth reading.

All these separate short stories adds to the already rich world Meyer has created and to be able to delve deeper into it, to see moments and aspects of the story that you only heard of in passing in the novels was really amazing. I enjoyed this collection a great deal and I think anyone who are interested in these books will as well. Short story collections overall are something I like very much and I do hope there will be even more of them in the future. If you do choose to get Stars Above for yourself I can promise you that you won’t regret it. The content is rich, there are a lot of stories, you will meet all your favourite characters and maybe even a few new ones. I highly recommend this!


Fairy-tale retellings have become a big thing in the past few years and among all the new stories that have grown from classic childhood tales, Marissa Meyer's the Lunar Chronicles are one of the biggest. Four books with a new protagonist in each and each featuring a famous fairy-tale. First off is Cinder, and as you may guess, this novel is based on Cinderella.

Cinder is a teenage girl living in New Beijing with her adoptive mother Adri and her two stepsisters, Pearl and Peony. As a child, Cinder became a cyborg after a horrendous hover crash that took both of her parents lives and now she's owned by her adoptive mother who forces Cinder to work as a mechanic so that the family can pay their rent. This is how Cinder meets Prince Kai, Crown Prince and heir to the throne. He wants her to fix his android, which contains important research on the long-lost Lunar princess whom Kai wishes to find so that he can de-throne the evil Queen Levana. But before Kai has a chance of doing this a series of event takes place and they all seem to lead to one thing. Levana wanting Kai and her to marry for a peace allegiance between Luna and Earth. Kai is opposed to this but seems to have no choice, unless he can find the long-lost, thought to be dead princess. And while all of this happens, Cinder finds herself in the middle of everything when someone in the palace reveals a truth she couldn’t imagine even in her wildest dreams.

I absolutely love this book and the entire series. The world that Meyer has created is so amazing, it’s very well-made and filled to the brim with cool things without any of it becoming too much or too crazy. The fact that Cinder is a mechanic makes it easy for her to explain to the reader about portscreens and hovers in a way that you understand but without the feeling of an info-dump. The world has recovered from a fourth world war and they’re now battling against an illness which has no cure all the while Luna is threatening with an invasion. Cinder is a cyborg who wishes she was normal and hates the things that makes her more machine than human. Her best friend is an android named Iko and together they try to handle the things thrown at Cinder.

There’s diversity in the novel, but it also points out that people who are different, like cyborgs, aren’t worth as much as normal humans. Lunars are looked at with distaste and I like how Meyer brings these issues to light. Besides that, the book is filled with action and excitement, creating a novel that resembles a fairy-tale but were the stakes are a lot higher. This story has been called a cross between Cinderella and Sailor Moon and if you like either one of these (or if you’re like me and love them both!), this novel is certainly for you. It’s fun, it’s flirty, it’s somewhat awkward, it has likeable characters and a very evil villain and it has a protagonist who’ve spent most of her life being looked down upon and now she carries the fate of the planet on her shoulders. A very enjoyable read and since the series is finished now you can read all four books right after the other. And I can promise you that you’ll want to after you’re finished with Cinder.

The Thousandth Floor

Sometimes you just need to read a light, drama-filled book and escape the real world for a while. I turned to The Thousandth Floor for this exact reason but I can’t say I’m entirely content now that I’ve finished it. Katharine McGee has created a story that’s been called a “futuristic Gossip Girl” which is a very fitting name. Just like Gossip Girl, The Thousandth Floor had plenty of drama but unfortunately it also had very weak characters that couldn’t carry the weight of the story.

The novel takes place in the Tower, a skyscraper with a thousand floors, in the middle of New York. Avery Fuller lives on the thousandth floor, making her the richest girl in the building. She’s also the most beautiful but she has a very dark secret. She has two best friends, Leda and Eris. Leda is a milehigh girl who moved up to the top floors a few years ago and now feels the need to excel in everything to show people that she deserves to be there but sometimes she needs some help in the form of drugs. Eris is the reckless rich girl who sleeps with anyone who catches her fancy but when her mother reveals the truth about her past, Eris is forced to live with the consciences. Watt and Rylin both live on the lower floors and while Watt dates Avery while at the same time spying on the upper class with his super computer Nadia. Rylin has dropped out of high school to take care of her younger sister after their mother passed away and when she start’s working as a maid to the insanely rich teenager Cord, Rylin hopes that he can help her with more than just her financial problems, but nothing is ever that easy.

As you can tell, a lot is going on in this novel. Five main characters tell their story in alternate chapters (a sixth is introduced in the end but by that point you’ve already gotten used to the different storylines). It all starts with a flash-forward when a girl is falling off the Tower only to cut back to two months previously and for the novel to steadily work its way to the culmination of the falling girl at the end of the book.

Now, Avery is your perfect girl. Perfect in every way. Her parents had her genetically modified to be the most beautiful girl in the world, something everyone always tells her she is and something that, of course, is so annoying to hear. Only one person doesn’t say that she’s perfect and that’s her brother, Atlas. They’re not actually real siblings since Avery’s parents adopted Atlas when Avery was five, yet they are like brother and sister. Or, at least I thought so until Avery reveals that she has a major crush on him. Atlas, the one guy she can never have – and perfect Avery can have any guy she wants! Her entire storyline was about Atlas, seeing Atlas date Leda and more Atlas. It was… disturbing, to say the least. Towards the end Avery decides to change her entire life in a moment, thinking everything will work itself out. She was about to make such a drastic move that would alter everything, for ever, and she took about five minutes to think it through. Her naivety really showed then.

Leda is full-on crazy and the character I liked the least. She’s in love with Atlas and had a brief encounter with him before he disappeared for ten months and she blames him for her drug addiction and stint in rehab during the summer. When he reappears in her life Leda goes back to drugs but not before she’s hired a hacker to keep tabs on Atlas movements every moment of every day. Her friendship with Avery breaks apart at the seams during the course of the novel, mainly because they both have feelings for the same guy, although Leda does not know that. She also keeps her time at rehab secret from Avery, creating a further gap between them before turning into a full-on psyco by the end of the novel.

Eris doesn’t have a care in the world until her parents split, which forces her and her mom to move from the 900th floor to the 130th. Eris struggles to come to terms with this, and the reason for her parents’ divorce, and she’s uncertain about how her friends will act around her when they find out that she’s poor. However, Eris finds someone on her new floor and an unlikely romance springs between them and you can see how Eris begins to change for the better.

Watt has an illegal super computer in his possession, which he uses to hack into various databases but his life takes a big turn when he meets Avery and falls for her. However, Avery has her mind on someone else and Watt, being deployed by Leda to keep track of Atlas, finds himself in the middle of the upperfloor drama.

Rylin falls for Cord and their story can almost be read separately from the others, which I found to be a good thing since the whole Avery-Atlas-Leda thing was a bit too much for me. However, Rylin had a personality I didn’t quite like, she did things that I was uncomfortable with and she mentioned multiple times how little money she and her sister had, even that they were months behind on rent. Despite that, Rylin went out every weekend to drink and take drugs she couldn’t pay for. At seventeen I understand she wanted to live and have her fun, but it seemed like a rather stupid thing to throw money she didn’t even have on drugs when her little sister was left at home every single night and their landlord threatened to evict them.

I didn’t really connect to any of the characters. They all resembled the characters from Gossip Girl and no one stood out here. They seemed one-dimensional and most of them very shallow. Leda especially got under my skin. She worried so much about fitting in while at the same time thinking she was better than everyone else. That she blamed Atlas on her drug addiction and turned into a crazy psychopath by the end just made this character into more of a disaster than she was to begin with.

Most of the story takes part in the Tower and yet I still couldn’t picture this skyscraper being full of restaurants, parks, living trees and entire blocks with real houses. McGee didn’t explain much about all the gadgets in this world, and there was a lot, yet for all the new, cool stuff she brought into the story she surprised me with a curling iron that seemed awfully like the ones we use today. I might be going out on a limb here, but I don’t think they’re going to use curling irons in 2118, not when they, in McGee’s story, uses supercomputers in the form of contacts. It seemed very strange and something that stood out in a bad way.

Overall, this is certainly a story with a lot of drama that I think speaks to some people. It can be seen as a guilty pleasure and if you’re into the world of Gossip Girl, this will probably work for you. I wasn’t a big fan and the whole brother-sister love story was no-go for me and the bigger portion of the book was about that. I would never have read it if I had known that, so if that’s not your thing just skip this novel. Despite that, I sadly feel the need to read the sequel so that I can watch the downfall of Leda.