Review: Heartless

by - 9:30 AM

| ISBN: 978-1250044655 | Pages | 453
Publication Date: November 8, 2016 | Source: Library
| Rating: 4 out of 5 stars |

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.
I finally picked this up after eyeballing it for so many months but refusing to read it because I hadn't finished the Lunar Chronicles yet. With that said, I ended up giving in and reading this first and I think I'm still mending my heart from the aftershock of everything that just happened.

The first word that pops into mind when describing this book: Whimsical. It's not a particularly exciting book, there is a section that dives into a very familiar Wonderland setting (The Mad Hatter's Tea Party), but for the most part, the story takes place in the Kingdom of Hearts. However, Marissa Meyer's writing style just creates a captivating world where the people just want to have fun.

“It is a dangerous thing to unbelieve something only because it frightens you.” 

The Kingdom of Hearts is ruled by a very incompetent king who spends all his time giggling and ignoring the real issues that need his attention. It's no wonder that Catherine feels no joy at being his favorite and longs to have the freedom to accomplish her own dreams of opening the best bakery in Hearts with her friend MaryAnn.

“The easiest way to steal something, is for it to be given willingly.” 

I didn't know what to expect from Catherine because she was a girl "who just wanted to fall in love" and I was curious to see how Marissa Meyer would build her character into being the Queen of Hearts that we all know. During the first half of the story, Catherine is someone everyone aspires to be - passionate, driven, and unafraid to challenge society. Because of that, my heart absolutely broke for her because her transformation from being a girl who loved baking and her life to being "heartless" seems almost too cruel (for lack of a better description).

“Perhaps we know each other in the future and you’re only remembering backward.” 

All the characters in this novel are amazing - I loved Jest and Raven because how can you not? I wish we could have learned more about their world because we only got a small snippet from what Jest told Catherine, but that was enough to pique my interest. Also, I have to mention the Hatter because he's one of my favorite characters. He's constantly fighting against his family curse of going mad and it's impossible not to feel your heart twist even if his decisions/actions are questionable.

“Fascinating, isn't it, how often heroic and foolish turn out to be one and the same.” 

I really enjoyed how Heartless focused on the Wonderland aspect without mentioning Alice and I kind of wish we could have more in this world because I'm torn between loving this as a standalone and wanting more. My heart was so broken for Catherine at the end of the story and I just want to spend more time with her.  I guess this just proves why "villain" backstories are some of the best things in the world because they make you question everything you thought you knew.

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