Carriger, Gail. Manners & Mutiny (Finishing School Book 4). New York: Little Brown and Company, 2015. 978-0-316-19028-2. $18.00. 317p. Grades 9+.
Sophronia is in her final year at Mme. Geraldine’s Finishing School for girls and like most students approaching graduation, she is nervous for what lies ahead. After being betrayed by Felix Mersey in Waistcoats & Weaponry, she is now even more unsure of her feelings toward him and Soap, the adorable sootie- turned werewolf. One thing that is for sure is that Soap is set on marrying Sophronia. Sophronia finds out that her secrets about her future employment aren’t as well kept as she’d like and that her friends are even better at keeping secrets than she would ever have imagined. THOUGHTS: Manners & Mutiny is a great conclusion to this fun series with appearances by a lot of familiar characters like Monique, Veive and Sophronia’s older sister Petunia.
Steampunk Laura Ward, Fox Chapel Area High School
Meyer, Marissa. Winter (The Lunar Chronicles Bk. 4). New York: Feiwel and Friends, 2015. 978-0-312-64298-3. $22.99. 823p. Grades 9+.
Two words: emotional rollercoaster. That is the only way to describe Marissa Meyer’s Winter, the conclusion to The Lunar Chronicles. Every time you think that Cinder and her ragtag team of revolutionaries are going to finally overthrow the evil Queen Levana of Luna, something happens: the group gets separated, someone is captured, someone is taken over by a Lunar using their brainwashing power. Every. Single. Time. All 800 plus pages. Every time you get hope; it is dashed away. This is action-packed and keeps readers on the edge of their seats until the very end. THOUGHTS: This is a fantastic conclusion to the series. It’s a fun and fresh take on classic fairy tales, complete with a happy ending – even if it rips your heart apart time and time again getting to the happy ending.
Fantasy Laura Ward, Fox Chapel Area High School
Meyer, Marissa. Winter. New York: Feiwel & Friends, 2015. 978-0-3126-4298-3. 832 p. $22.99. Gr 6-12.
In this excellent final installment of the popular Lunar Chronicles series, readers are introduced to Princess Winter, step-daughter of evil Queen Levana, in this Snow White like tale. While Princess Winter has the same mind control ability as other Lunars, she refuses to use it, which over time has driven her to hallucinations and memory lapses. Guarded by the handsome guard Jacin, Winter is kind to all and the people of Lunar adore her, which only heightens Queen Levana’s jealousy and hatred. After teaming up with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, the team works together to infiltrate the castle and end Levana’s treacherous reign. Like the previous titles in the Lunar Chronicles, Meyer’s fairy tail references are subtle and the fast-paced plot will appeal to readers of pretty much any genre. Meyer gives each of the popular character couples plenty of page time to satisfy shippers and romance fans. THOUGHTS: Winter is about 300 pages longer than the previous books in the series, so die-hard fans will be satisfied until the very end. For those of us sad to see the series end, don’t fret quite yet; Meyer is releasing a collection of Cinder themed short stories in February, called Stars Above, which will feature previously published stories and new content, as well.
Fantasy Vicki Schwoebel, Friends’ Central School