Review of Heartless by Marissa Meyer
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.(Summary from GoodReads)
When I heard Marissa Meyer was planning on doing an Alice In Wonderland story that focused on the Queen of Hearts, I had to get my hands on it as soon as possible. Truthfully, I think it was Fairest that helped get me so pumped about this book. Meyer did such a great job of making readers feel empathy for Queen Levana that I couldn’t wait to see what she did with this book. Heartless was a rich, dark story that I couldn’t get enough of.
Cath is meant to become the Queen of Wonderland, which isn’t really what she wants. She wants to spend her days baking delectable treats and opening a bakery. I strongly recommend that you go to a bakery near you and pick up some goodies before starting this one, because the descriptions of food were utterly divine.
I loved the atmosphere that Meyer created in this book. As a reader, you can completely tell why Cath and her parents want different things for her. Meyer did a great job of incorporating that universal theme into the story. I also felt like the madness in Carroll’s original story is present in Meyer’s novel, especially with her depiction of the Mad Hatter.
It’s true that this story perhaps has moments where it’s predictable. However, I loved how dark it is. After reading the Lunar Chronicles, which I adored, I was particularly fond of how this book ended. Heartless is a fantastic, standalone for anyone who loves Alice In Wonderland, or just wants a retelling with a darker vibe.
Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book from a friend, and later purchased my own finished copy.