“But you’re a prisoner,” said Thorne.
“I prefer damsel in distress,” she murmured.
One side of Thorne’s mouth quirked up, into that perfect half smile he had in his graduation photo. A look that was a little bit devious, and all sorts of charming.
Cress sent me on a whirlwind of emotions from beginning to end.
Of all Meyer’s novels, this one is my favorite. Unfortunately, to describe all my reasons for loving this book as much as I do would be to riddle this review in spoilers, so I won’t do that. Crescent is a young tech wiz who has been imprisoned in a satellite by Lunar Queen Levana’s most important dignitary. Cress’ entire life has been shaped by the laws of her planet (the moon), an unfortunate circumstance in her birth, her own brilliant intelligence with technology, and the misfortune of Sybil Mira learning about it. Kept isolated from everyone but Sybil herself, Cress’ social skills and understanding of the world are sorely underdeveloped.
And she is perhaps one of the most impressive characters I’ve ever seen in a novel.
I related to Cress quickly, not because I’m some technology or programming genius (I’m definitely not), but rather because the way Cress reacts to the world around her resonated deeply with me. I felt exceedingly connected with her anxiety, with her determination, and with her coping mechanisms. She has always, without fail, felt incredibly similar to me in a great many ways. As an added bonus, Cress was also infatuated with Carswell Thorne almost as soon as she learned of him. Which only made me love her more.
Inspired by the tale of Rapunzel, Cress hits all the best points of a story I’ve always loved immensely. The characters, as always, are superb, and the book’s pace is perfect. As it’s centered around Cress herself, the book spends quite a bit of time with her, much to my pleasure, while also visiting the other characters and giving readers just the right amount of time with them before switching to another. I loved the journey of the characters in the first half of the novel, the struggles they had to face, and the build up to the massively exciting conclusion.
Cress is a novel of adventure, love, self-actualization, growing, and of loss.
This is the book that I leave wanting to immediately turn around and re-read. This is the book that I connect to in a way that makes it feel more real than most books I’ve ever read. Readers always parrot the very real idea that books allow them to experience all kinds of different lives and adventures that they never would have otherwise and Cress hits this very nail on the head exceedingly well with a character that is immensely relatable in a way that I’ve never once found with any other character I’ve read about. And while I realize that this is definitely related to who I am as a person, I also recognize that there are quite a few people out there who are just like me and likely will or do feel the very same way about Cress.
Thorne’s development from Scarlet to Cress could not be more perfect. The pieces of his personality that come to light and grow as a result of his meeting Cress and the experiences they share together are beautifully written. I’ve always made no secret of my adoration for Meyer’s work, but it is this novel which I believe truly shows the brilliance of her abilities. In every way, Cress is the best book I have read in my entire life and has been from the very first time I read it.
And as a final note, this is also the book in which readers meet Princess Winter for the very first time. I have to say, I was amazed by the character’s debut in the novel, utterly blown away by the misfortune that plagues her as well as the ways in which she manages it. Without fail, though I’d been certain Meyer could do nothing more to improve the degree to which I was impressed with her skills as a writer, time and time again she manages to surpass herself entirely marking Cress as one the most unforgettable book I own.