Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky -- Marissa Meyer
Novella/Short Story of Lunar Chronicles series
2015 Release -- Online Free Read (register for Marissa Meyer's mailing list to receive this short story via email)
Young Adult, Science Fiction, Contemporary
**This short story came after Cress, but could probably be read as a stand alone anytime during the series' timeline. It details one of the "heroic" deeds that Cress claims Carswell had done when he was younger (of which he denies having had any heroic intentions, but that's probably for the reader to decide after viewing the actual events and what's going through Carswell's mind at the time).
This was actually really good and further cemented my love for Carswell Thorne. It's a very mundane, yet attention hooking, simple telling of a "Day in the Life of" for Carswell when he was thirteen (and in school, with outrageously high ambitions, and a shrewd mind for money), but at the same time, quietly enjoyable and written very well.
It reflects a lot of what we know about Carswell already: his smarmy, over-confident attitude towards life; his constantly calculating strategies to get him what he wants using a few subtle, yet low-brow tactics that can both amuse and exhaust any loving parental figure; and his quiet, low-key, and sometimes altruistic behavior that he feels a need to justify to himself as something that would ultimately benefit him in the long run.
Sometimes you don't need to be the top alpha warrior like Wolf (whom I also love) or the self-sacrificing king like Kai. Sometimes you're just plain and ordinary Carswell Thorne who has grand ambitions, sketchy ways of getting there, a cocky attitude and big words with little to back him up, and smarmy insolence that gets the crap beaten out of him so that a smart girl will help him with his math homework... or so the boy would have us believe.
Carswell... you are definitely hard to understand, but at the same time, it's hard not to adore you as well.
A very well-written short story and probably one of my few favorite series' shorts, following closely behind The Little Android.