Published: November 8th 2016 by Feiwel & Friends
Source: Local Library
Page Count: 450
Genre: Young Adult, Fairy-tale Retellings, Fantasy
Synopsis: 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.
Spoiler Free Review:
Marissa Meyer is well known for her fairytale-rellings with a sci-fi twist. I’ve read her Lunar Chronicles and its perfect for escape and entertainment. Since I was having a pretty bad week, I looked to Heartless for something addicting and fast paced. Heartless was both immersive and extremely addicting. When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking of reading it and I flew through it in less than 24 hours, a rare occurrence due to school. I came out enjoying the story a lot more than I anticipated.
Meyer’s writing style is extremely gripping and fast paced and the same went for this book. The writing did differ from the Lunar Chronicles, it had more of a whimsical tone to it. As for the setting, it was the epitome of silly and nonsense. The people living in the kingdom were so shallow and quite stupid. Since it is taking place in a nonsense land, their absurdity makes some sense and it was pretty funny, if also annoying.
The plot revolves around Cath and her dreams of becoming a simple baker, while facing the pressure of accepting or refusing the proposal from the childish King of Hearts. There’s also been attacks of a monster known as the Jabberwocky that’s been killing people all over the kingdom. With this story, I felt like the plot was more a ploy and served as the development of Cath’s rise to becoming the Queen of Hearts. Most of the plot was predictable, though it didn’t bother me as much. I think that the whole reason for reading the story is either for the forbidden romance and/or how the Queen of Hearts came to be.
Cath was portrayed a sweet, naive baker in the beginning and I found myself wondering how Marissa Meyer would change her heart. Personally, I found that for the most part, Cath’s character development was done very well. Partway through the book, I forgot the part on where she actually becomes a villain and when it really begins to occur, it’s a bit of a surprise. The change was gradual, though I did find some parts of her to change drastically. However, I found a lot of Cath’s decisions to be unbelievable and very selfish, especially towards the end. Highlight for spoiler: When she ran away with Jest, she had complete disregard to her parents and friends. She had a life there and how she threw it all away irked me. I know she was not in a good place, but I think there should have been some reconsideration before going off to run away with some Joker. Though I think that particular scene is when her insanity becomes real.
As for Jest, I’ll leave him for you to read about. I did like him more than Cath, he’s very charming, though in a lot of ways , he’s quite stereotypical. He does remind of my favorite kitty, though.
The rest of the characters were mostly talking animals and stupid people in the kingdom. To be completely honest, the only person with an ounce of common sense is Anna, Cath’s maid. I also loved the Cheshire Cat, he’ll always be my favorite.
Overall, I thought this was an extremely entertaining story. I haven’t read a book that quickly in a while and it was nice to indulge into Marissa Meyer’s stories. I would recommend reading this book if you like villain origin stories, fairy-tale retellings or if you’re looking for some romance.