Heartless by Marissa Meyer
*I received a digital ARC of Heartless from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group through NetGalley , but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*
Synopsis: "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. "
Review: Heartless was one of my most anticipated reads this year, but although the book was written well I found it somewhat disappointing (but I still didn't take away any stars because it was that sort of bad if you know what I mean). Essentially, Heartless is a twist on Alice and Wonderland, but not in the same way Marissa Meyer twisted many fairy tales for the Lunar Chronicles. You can expect for Heartless to stay a bit truer to Alice and Wonderland and less of a completely different story like her other series.
Although the world itself was not the most interesting part of the book for me (especially since the world of Alice in Wonderland is already SO wondrous) I found myself more attached to the characters and the plot. Catherine in the main character of the book and I actually related to her in many ways (as most parents do have their children's futures in some kind of set path and when I younger I actually wanted to become a baker). Despite my connection to Catherine, I found myself even more intrigued by Jest. Jest was by far my favorite character in the book and before long I was deeply invested in Jest. Like most perfect fictional guys, he was kind and gorgeous, but Jest, being the Joker also had a quick wit and was humorous. My main attraction to the other characters was really the fact that I could tie them back to the original story and find out how Marissa Meyer tweaked them, which was incredibly interesting to look for (almost like Where's Waldo?).
The plot was heartbreaking, beautiful, and well thought out. There is a love triangle (warning for those who don't like the love triangle), but it wasn't really one of the annoying sorts of love triangles. I found the romance to be by far one of my favorite things about this novel and though things didn't go the way I wanted (NO SPOILERS I PROMISE), I still accepted the outcome. The rest of the plot was also incredible and Marissa Meyer really found a way to incorporate the entire world of Alice in Wonderland in a slightly different angle. However, I did find the ending of this novel to be a little to fast for me and I wished that there was more to really help me get through it.
With only minor complaints, (ones that I probably can't really complain about), I found Heartless to be without a doubt one of the best books I have read this year. It also really sparked a love for Alice in Wonderland that I didn't know I had in me! (Seriously! I went and watched Through the Looking Glass after reading this because I didn't want anything to stop!) I would really recommend Heartless to any Alice in Wonderland lovers as well as those who love retellings, fantasy, or romance!
Cover: ★★★★★ (UM FREAKIN' GORGEOUS)
Favorite Quote(s): " 'Perhaps we know each other in the future and you're only remembering backward.' "
"Fascinating, isn't it, how often heroic and foolish turn out to be one and the same."
" 'But hoping,' he said, 'is how the impossible can be possible after all.' "
A fan of anything fiction, furry, & fun.