Title: Stars Above: A Lunar Chronicles Collection
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends, 2016
Genre: YA Fantasy, YA Retellings, YA Fairy Tales
I’ve never been one to read the novellas between books. I just am not a fan of short stories. I sometimes feel it’s just superfluous information, and once a series is finished, it just doesn’t make sense to tell stories of what happened before the book because, well, we know what happened in the end. The only novella that I actually felt added to the stories was Undivided, the fifth book in the Unwind Dystology by Neal Shusterman. However, now I can add another book to the list: Stars Above.
This was awesome. Though some of the stories were about events we knew about, they were fresh and original. I personal loved Glitches, The Princess and The Guard, and The little Android. Oh, and of course the final story, Something Old, Something New. The other stories were nice, but not necessarily ones that I couldn’t live without. Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky was cute. The Keeper was informative. The Queen’s Army just made me crazy with trying to picture what Wolf looks like after they alter him in Winter. He was so handsome before, and it’s just hard to imagine a wolf-like face while still looking human. Sometimes I wish I had illustrations from Meyer herself so I can see what she sees when she writes these characters.
There’s really no way to review the stories without spoiling them, so I’ll say that most are set in the past…we have a story featuring Scarlet’s grandmother Michelle, a story about Cinder’s first arrival in the Linh house, and a story about Wolf being recruited to the army. We have a story about Carswell as a boy, a story about Cress and the origins of her placement into the satellite, and a wonderful story of Winter and Jacin as they grow up. Finally, there is a story about an android that falls in love with a human, a story from Kai’s perspective of the first meeting between him and Cinder, and a story about a wedding…but I won’t reveal whose.
Is it Classroom Appropriate?
All of Meyer’s books in the Lunar Chronicles are appropriate. I used Cinder in a lesson plan because it is a perfect example of a modern-day fairy tale retelling. There’s no sex, no swear words, and lots of warm and fuzzies. But there’s also lots of adventure in the series. It’s a great collection of stories, and I plan to use them in my classes. I honestly haven’t met anyone that doesn’t like the Lunar Chronicles, and that’s good because I would think there was something seriously wrong with them.
I would say you could go as young as you want to on these books, as long as the reader can follow the plot. The books are big, and there’s 4 of them: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, and Winter. Then of course there’s this little collection of short stories. I think the only limitation would be reading level. Cinder rates as 12 and up with a Lexile score of 790L on Lexile.com.
Read the series. It’s worth every minute. And the covers are beautiful. Meyer is coming out with another book this fall about the Queen of Hearts. She’s got high expectations after what she’s accomplished with this series, so hopefully she’ll be able to pull off another amazing saga. We’ll just have to wait and see.
★★★★★, of course!!