I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Heartless by Marissa Meyer
on November 8th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Amazon・ Good Books・Book Depository
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.
Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.
At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king's marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.
Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
Oh Heartless, Heartless, Heartless, where do I start?
A prequel to such a famous book is always going to be a tricky thing and I hugely admire the ambition of this novel. It’s a challenge to take a well-known character, a villain no less, and tell an origin story that’s fresh and unpredictable.
Heartless tackles the origin story of the Queen of Hearts from Alice In Wonderland (sorry, sorry, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland you hipster purists, look I was raised on Disney don’t judge me). The Queen in the source materials is a furious, impulsive dictator with a beheading fetish. Catherine, the girl we meet in Heartless, is a reserved dreamer with a passion for baking. Quite a leap, right? It was sort of clever how Meyer revealed to us the seeds of the evil queen of hearts within Catherine. The evil queen is cold and selfish and though Cath seemed sweet on the surface, the way she never really paid all that much attention to the people around her, making them seem flat and underdeveloped, was a neat show over tell trick.
I’ll confess, I haven’t read Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland so I’m assuming the rules of magic and how it exists in the different lands is more thoroughly explained in the source material. I could’ve done with a touch of a summary but am cool with chalking it up to generalized whimsy for the sake of the ambiance. The plot was similarly basic, given that we know the end to this story it was pretty much a given that things were going to go horribly wrong at some point and I’m awarding myself all the points to Slytherin for figuring out the plot twists pretty early on (cleverness isn’t solely reserved for Ravenclaws).
This may be a sort of weird thing to say but my favorite part of the book was the pastry stuff. I’m the kind of person that likes to watch the Food Network when I’m hungry and retweet cake pictures when I’m stressed so loving, thorough descriptions of baked goods are my jam and Cath’s as well. The first chapter had me ready to straight up murder for a lemon tart and it only got more intense from there. Definitely pick up some cookies or something to munch on while reading because this book will leave you with one hell of a craving.
Overall, when it comes to Marissa Meyer, The Lunar Chronicles still owns my heart (even though my otp, Scarlet/Winter, was never going to be canon *Adele voice* we could’ve had it aaaaaaaaall) but Heartless is definitely a must read for anyone in the mood for pastry porn and fluffy villain origin stories.
As a special bonus, MacKids is currently running a Heartless Challenge where you have a chance to win an ARC of Heartless every day until 11/8. And heads up, there are 14 days until Heartless is released, so 14 chances to win!
The challenge today is to take a picture of yourself wearing a crown and share it on social media using the #HeartlessCountdown hashtag. Here’s Meg in a crown looking regal AF.