Winter by Marissa Meyer | This Year in Reviews


I’ll keep my usualy apologetic pre-amble short: I don’t post enough, and now that I have a YouTube channel, it’s tempting to ignore my blog and stick to video. But I feel like certain things, like individual reviews, are still much better suited to blog form… as long as I can keep them short. So my aim is to be able to provide short, clear reviews on all of the books I read this year. And I might as well start at the start: so the first book I finished in January was Marissa Meyer’s disappointing final entry in the Lunar Chronicles, Winter.

The thing about Winter is that, on its own, it’s not a terrible book. As the final entry in the series, however, it was always destined to be a messy disappointment. Why? Allow me to resort to a listicle to explain.

Below contains some minor spoilers for Winter, and major spoilers for the series as a whole. I won’t spoil the ending, but if you haven’t read the first three books in the series, it’s probably best not to continue:

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What I’ve Learned After a Month on Booktube, and Why I Need Your Help


At the beginning of January I started a YouTube channel to talk about books, and full disclosure: after publishing three videos I’m figuring out what isn’t working a lot faster than what is.

But before I let this get bogged down with negativity, let me say why I wanted to switch to video in the first place:

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The Magician’s Land Reaffirms Everything I Don’t Like About Grossman’s Trilogy, but It’s Pretty Solid


I’m back! It took a few months to recover enough of a sense of what constitutes a “good” or a “bad” book following Grey since pretty much everything in comparison was amazing as long as it didn’t contain a) glorified rape, b) glorified eating disorders, and c) DJs.

But I’m back with another one of the mainstays of my blog, which is Lev Grossman’s fanfic-y Magicians trilogy (recently turned into a not-terrible show by SyFy).

It’s no secret that I’ve been iffy about Grossman’s series in the past, both here and on the Mary Sue, though I will say my reasons for iffyness have changed a bit — particularly following the third and final instalment, The Magician’s Land. My old gripes had a lot to do with the fan service aspect of the books, the way that they felt like some new take on fanfic where it both was fanfic itself, and then used those fanfic elements to examine the whole concept of fanfic. Which is a great premise if you have any prior experience with that subculture, but one that I felt the book ultimately didn’t execute well enough for my liking.

That’s less of an issue in this final book, and it allowed me to zone in on what was really bothering me: Quentin. God he’s awful.

I want to make this a relatively short review, but the things I want to talk about will include spoilers, so if you’ve been dying to read this book and don’t want to have anything ruined for you, then don’t read any further than this:

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An iPad is Forever: Chapter 25 of EL James’s “Grey”


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This is it, everyone. This is the final chapter of Grey.

For those who’ve asked, yes, EL James is planning to re-write all three books from the original series so there are two more to go. Yes, she probably will call them Greyer and Greyest because she’s awful. And yes, I probably will recap them when/if they come out. Maybe. No promises. But… probably.

I don’t want to weigh everyone down with a big pre-amble. I suspect I’ll want to make a separate post talking about this experience, anyway, so let’s dive right in.

If you recall from last time, we ended on a THRILLING CLIFFHANGER.

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Christian Grey Hates Condoms, Loves Condiments: Chapter 24 of EL James’s “Grey”

plain chicken

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So. We now have two chapters and 12 pages left to go, but this next chapter is 11 pages and the final chapter is one. I feel that you’ll be okay with me splitting the page count right down the middle and ending somewhere around the six-page mark. Because I promise you the very last chapter is absolute garbage anyway and not worth its own post.

Anyway, let’s wrap this up.

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The Grammar Wizard: Chapter 22 of EL James’s “Grey”


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Oh, forgive me. In the last post I said that every chapter opens with someone just waking up — but that’s not true. Because each chapter, like a shitty textual Cinderella, must end at the stroke of midnight. So if Christian hasn’t gone to bed by midnight, we instead pick up at random moments in the early morning even though that makes no sense from a storytelling standpoint:

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Christian the Tragic Spank-Happy Hamlet: Chapter 21 of EL James’s “Grey”


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We open, as always, with Christian waking up. Every chapter opens with people waking up, every chapter closes with people going to bed. What a fantastic way to tell a story, EL James.

Back to Christian. Guess what? He’s tormented:

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Christian Builds a Glider Like a Big Boy: Chapter 20.2 of EL James’s “Grey”


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We pick up in swirling post-spanking aftermath, in which Ana realizes that she really, truly isn’t into BDSM — or at least isn’t into what Christian wants from her. Which isn’t BDSM so much as straight-forward abuse.

Ana begins crying and calls Grey a “fucked-up son of a bitch” who needs to “sort [his] shit out,” which… I mean, he does. But I feel like they both have to stop acting like it’s the BDSM that makes him awful. Spanking her with a belt when she clearly wasn’t ready, and clearly wasn’t enjoying it, was bad form on his part. Mostly, though, he’s just a really shitty, manipulative person and it’s that — rather than the sex — that should compel Ana to walk out the door and leave him.

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