by Marissa Meyer
Release Date: November 8, 2016
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.
I won a copy of Heartless from Fierce Reads so thank you Fierce Reads!
First off, I honestly didn’t know if I’d read or buy this. I’m not a die-hard fan of Wonderland and it didn’t totally appeal to me. However since I won a copy I decided to give it a go since so many people were excited about it! I ended up buddy reading it with Kristen from myfriendsarefiction.com (follow her if you aren’t!).
Heartless is a prequel to Alice in Wonderland where we find out how the Queen of Hearts BECAME the Queen of Hearts. It’s about Catherine (Cath for short) who is born into an aristocratic family with wealth and prestige but Cath’s first love is baking. She has dreamed her whole life to open the finest bakery in all of Hearts.
But as it turns out the King of Hearts had his eye set on Cath as his Queen-to-be.
What I liked:
- It was fun watching how certain characters became who they were. The backstories were very interesting!
- Hatta (who would become the Mad-Hatter) was such a great, dark, unstable character. He was probably one of my favorite characters in the book.
- I loved how all the whimsy of Hearts was “normal” for Cath and her world, like talking animals! I thought this was a neat element in comparison to Alice where everything is new and nonsense for her.
- Cheshire Cat. Who doesn’t love a snarky talking cat?
- The ending. The ending left me drowning in my feels.
What I didn’t like:
- Sadly, I found Heartless to be boring for the majority of the book. It was really slow paced and I’ve discovered slow paced books usually aren’t for me.
- I wasn’t totally sold on the romance. Cath meets the new court joker, Jest, and I did like him but I can’t say I shipped them completely. Their romance was okay.
- Cath’s journey to how she became the Queen of Hearts fell a bit flat for me. It felt believable at the beginning but then not as much at the end.
- Cath also kept making stupid choices which were hard to watch (but I know important for the story).
If you love Alice in Wonderland or Alice through the Looking Glass I believe you will fall in love with Heartless. For someone like me who was a bit indifferent going in, some of it’s charm was lost. Unfortunately I did find the majority of the book very slow paced but I was pleased with it’s strong ending! If you love Wonderland I think you’ll be satisfied with Marissa Meyer’s newest standalone.
I rated it 3.5 Stars