Parents' Guide to

Cress: The Lunar Chronicles, Book 3

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Series stays exciting with hacker heroine, daring rescues.

Cress: The Lunar Chronicles, Book 3 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 13+

A worthy and wonderful addition to an AWESOME series

First things first: I LOVE the Lunar Chronicles. Marissa Meyer’s wonderfully descriptive, action-packed, romantic style elevates these books above many, many YA reads that I’ve tried out over the last couple of years. (Plus, who doesn’t love a YA series that actually has humor? I mean, sure, other authors try, but Marissa Meyer is genuinely funny when she writes a joke.) Second things second: I also am not the biggest fan of the main couple in this specific book. But I’ll get to that later… The Good: I love how each book has a different feel to it culture-wise. Cinder is set in the Eastern Commonwealth, so it has Asian undertones and culture, while Scarlet is set in France, so it has those vibes to it, and Cress follows suite by being (mostly!) set in Africa. Marissa Meyer did a great job of including clothes, food, and landscapes from all of the different cultures she incorporated into this series. Whenever she describes something, you can picture yourself there instantly, and she does it without taking pages to do so. She doesn’t go overboard with her descriptions, (in fact, she maybe only uses one or two words to describe each thing, but she chooses her words so well it comes to life off the page.) so that’s really great, but it’s written so well that you could probably listen to her describe a sandwich all day and still be entertained :) Cress is a naive, swoony heroine, super different from Cinder’s sassiness and Scarlet’s reckless bravery, but she’s more relatable in that way. I liked her a lot. (Plus, who doesn’t love the idea of a super-smart hacker version of Rapunzel?) The way Marissa Meyer portrayed her as a insecure, out-of-her-element character really made more sense than Disney’s version of the fairy tale. Another thing to note, and this may or may not be a spoiler, but Cinder and Kai’s reunion is PERFECTION. I liked them in Cinder, but I LOVE them in Cress. This was also written super well. The plot of this one was also better than the first two, (though those are perfect too :) in my opinion this is the book where the plot really kicks off from. Cinder and Scarlet feel like buildup, and this one is the launch. It catapults straight into Winter at the end, (though I recommend reading Fairest between these two) and keeps the momentum going throughout Winter. Now for the bad. The Bad: Let me just say that Cress and Thorne are by no means one of the worst couples I’ve ever read. In fact, they’re really good for YA, but not so great (again, my opinion) for Marissa Meyer. She’s given us couples like Cath and Jest (Heartless), Scarlet and Wolf, Cinder and Kai, and Winter and Jacin, so I guess I just expected to ship Cresswell more than I did. And again, they’re not bad, they’re just… not amazing to me. Granted, they get WAY better in Winter, but still, in my opinion, they’re the weakest Lunar Chronicles couple. It felt like Thorne went from seeing Cress as a little sister, to his one and only super fast. Like, Scarlet and Wolf and Cinder and Kai and Winter and Jacin had successful buildup to their romances, whereas the tension didn’t buildup quite as smoothly for Cress and Thorne. All that being said, it sounds contradictory to say that even with their choppy chemistry and awkward first interactions, they still can be pretty adorbs nonetheless :) The Ugly: Sooo, content-wise, Cress has a bit more romance and slightly less violence than Scarlet, since now there’s three couples (only two are technically together in this book) and the hybrid-wolf-man-mutants aren’t in this one as much as Scarlet. The romance is decently clean: A couple of kisses (some a little more lengthy than others) and mentions of escort droids, plus some longing speeches and inner monologues when the characters are separated from their love interest. There might’ve been an h-word somewhere in the book, but really, the language is WAY more mild than, say, The Land of Stories series, (which uses the h and d-word occasionally) and that series hardly has anything, so language is not a concern. Conclusion: Cress is definitely one of my newest favorite reads, in fact, the entire Lunar Chronicles series is, so if you’re wondering if you should read it, the answer is YES! ABSOLUTELY! And if you like Marissa Meyer’s writing style, be sure to check out her wonderful, whimsical prequel to Alice in Wonderland, Heartless. Hope this review helped!
age 12+

Cress Rating

I think Cress is a GREAT book for kids (and teens) 13+. I think this because there are steamy kisses and there are innaporpriate suggestions. There are just a bit of swearing but I think everything else is fine for your child to read! Enjoy!

This title has:

Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8):
Kids say (35):

Yes, it's true: In CRESS, it does take almost 500 pages for Cinder and Kai to see each other again; luckily, with the introduction of Cress, the 500 pages is worth the wait. She's the most naive character readers will find themselves rooting for. It must be something about her amazing hacker skills. And somehow Thorne ends up a lot more likable when he meets Cress.

Marissa Meyer's great characters will draw readers in first, and they'll stick around for all the impossible situations: the characters rescuing Cress, saving Wolf from a bullet wound, stopping a royal wedding. What'll be next? Saving the world/worlds? Yup, it looks like that's what's in store for Book 4.

Book Details

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