Heartless by Marissa Meyer | Review

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Photo of Heartless by Marissa Meyer on a scattered desk of cards with Queen of Hearts and Cheshire Cat magnetic bookmarks from the etsy Read and Wonder store

4 stars

“But hoping, is how the impossible can be possible after all, sometimes your heart is the only thing worth listening to.”

I absolutely adored this book, I tore through it faster than I expected. I knew I would love it based on the premise alone. An origin story for the Queen of Hearts, yes please. Marissa Meyer did a superb job capturing the essence of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland in this retelling.

“Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favourite 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

“These things do not happen in dreams, dear girl,’ he said, vanishing up to his neck. ‘They happen only in nightmares.’ His head spiralled and he was gone.”

This was such an easy read, the chapters were nice and short, which meant I kept falling into the “just one more” trap. I was so pleased that Heartless lived up to my expectations, and it exceeded them!

I fell in love with Cath as a character, although at times she was infuriatingly foolish (but alas few characters are perfect). However, the more the story evolved the more scared I felt about continuing, because I wasn’t sure I wanted to know what caused this sweet girl to become the infamous tyrannical bloodthirsty Queen of Hearts.

I just have to talk about Jest; he was just absolute perfect book boyfriend material. He is kooky, shrouded in mystery and magic, and is just completely swoon worthy. I had such a hard time not shipping Jest and Cath in this book, because I wanted them to be together and have everything go there way. Alas, that can’t happen when you know how the story must end. This whole book is built on the dramatic irony where we know how the story goes, and oh boy did that hurt my heart.

I also loved the unique spin on the classic wonderland characters, such as the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire cat. They made such welcome additions and they felt like they fit perfectly with Carroll’s version of them, which was wonderful.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book, and implore everyone to go out and read this. This was my first Meyer novel so I definitely look forward to reading the Lunar Chronicles after seeing how well she can retell a fairytale. If you have read this book, please let me know your thoughts and who your favourite character was.

“This was why she enjoyed baking. A good dessert could make her feel like she’d created joy at the tips of her fingers. Suddenly, the people around the table were no longer strangers. They were friends and confidantes, and she was sharing with them her magic.”

I received Heartless in The YA Chronicles November ‘Welcome to Wonderland’ box; you can read my full unboxing here.

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The YA Chronicles November 'Welcome to Wonderland' Box. featuring Heartless by Marissa Meyer
The YA Chronicles November ‘Welcome to Wonderland’ Box.

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