Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.
At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. 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 a secret courtship.
Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Date released: November 8th 2016
Thank you Pan Macmillan Australia who sent me a copy of Heartless to review!
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.
I was pretty excited going into Heartless, the synopsis sounded awesome. I always love reading retellings of fairytales and getting backstories of characters that we didn’t get in the original story. But I just couldn’t get into Heartless. I tried reading the lunar chronicles a couple years ago and I just couldn’t do it either, so maybe it’s something in Marissa Meyer’s writing that just doesn’t connect to me. And I’m not saying that she is a terrible writer, I know lots of people that love her stories and thats great, everyone has their own opinions.
The story was quite similar to the original telling of Alice in Wonderland and had many of the same scenes. If you have read Alice in Wonderland, you already know what to expect from certain characters and the setting it takes place in so I feel like I wasn’t really surprised when I read about it. One of the things I did like was getting to know Cath’s backstory. She is a nice, carefree girl who loves to bake and dreams of owning her own bakery and I absolutely loved reading about all her delicious treats! When the King starts showing interest in her and wants her to be his wife, Cath undergoes an internal struggle within herself. I liked how when most girls in the story dream of marriage, Cath didn’t want anything to do with it. She had her own hopes and dreams she wanted to live and I love how strongly she felt about it. But with the expectations from her parents and society, she can’t really do anything to stop the King from pursuing her. In the end she wants to do the right thing and make her parents happy, which is sweet but kind of annoying at the same time.
I really liked Jest, he was sweet and caring and I really liked how Marissa made the love interest a different kind of character, not the usual best friend of the person the girl is meant to be with or the enemy. Although I really liked Jest’s character, I would have loved to see more into his background. I really liked seeing Cath’s descent into darkness. I also liked seeing the background into how and why she changed from being the person she used to be. I also enjoyed the concept of the Jabberwock and loved reading about it and really enjoyed the twist at the end.
Overall, Heartless was very faithful to the original story of Alice in Wonderland. It was interesting seeing how sweet Cath became the ruthless Queen of Hearts you see her as in Alice in Wonderland. But that being said, there were lots of parts in the story that I just couldn’t connect with and found it quite hard to read at times. If you are a fan of the original story I would definitely recommend it.
About the Author
One of my first spoken words was “story” (right along with “bath” and “cookie”), my favorite toy as an infant was a soft, squishable book, and I’ve wanted to be a writer since I first realized such a job existed.
When I was fourteen my best friend introduced me to anime and fanfiction—over the years I would complete over forty Sailor Moon fanfics under the penname Alicia Blade. Those so inclined can still find my first stories at fanfiction.net. Writing fanfic turned out to be awesome fun and brought me in contact with an amazing group of fanfiction readers and writers. As Alicia Blade, I also had a novelette, “The Phantom of Linkshire Manor,” published in the gothic romance anthology Bound in Skin (CatsCurious Press, 2007).
When I was sixteen I worked at The Old Spaghetti Factory in Tacoma, Washington, affectionately termed “The Spag.” (Random factoid: This is also the restaurant where my parents met some 25 years before.) I attended Pacific Lutheran University where I sorted mail that came to the dorm, carted tables and chairs around campus, and took writing classes, eventually earning a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and Children’s Literature. Knowing I wanted a career in books, I would also go on to receive a Master’s degree in Publishing from Pace University (which you can learn more about here). After graduation, I worked as an editor in Seattle for a while before becoming a freelance typesetter and proofreader.
Then, day of days, someone thought it would be a good idea to give me a book deal, so I became a full-time writer. CINDER is my first novel, though I have an adorable collection of unfinished ones lying around too.
I now live with my husband and our three cats (Calexandria Josephine, Stormus Enormous, and Blackland Rockwell III), who go in and out, in and out, about eight hundred times a day. My favorite non-bookish things include Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, re-watching episodes of Firefly, and playing all manners of dress-up.