I received this book for free from Macmillan, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel & Friends on November 8th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Legends, Myths, Fables, Retelling, Romance, Young Adult
Source: Macmillan, Publisher
Amazon // The Book Depository
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.
marissa meyer twisted together a tale that is different, and yet familiar.
i had high expectations going on HEARTLESS. marissa meyer is one of my favorite authors and ALICE IN WONDERLAND is one of my favorite stories. naturally, the mix would be amazing. but this book is nothing like THE LUNAR CHRONICLES, and this story is not your ordinary retelling. i came to love the story and its characters, but i do have some minor complaints.
before beginning, i’d recommend going over a wikipedia of what the original ALICE IN WONDERLAND story consists of. i knew a small basis – alice follows a rabbit down a hole and ends up in wonderland – but i didn’t bother with the details. i always imagined wonderland as a sort of place with a plethora of mysteries yet to be discovered. and so, i didn’t remember or care for minor characters. lemme say this again: KNOW THE ORIGIN STORY. not only will it make the book more enjoyable, but you’ll also be less confused. for the majority of the book, i was confused. but i didn’t mind so much because that’s wonderland. marissa meyer wrote the novel in a style that made me feel as if i should already know the world, but i didn’t. there were also (of course) parallels between the original tale.
the writing style was really unexpected – and i loved it. everything from the characters to the setting to plot made the whole atmosphere feel so magical and wistful. i felt like i was IN wonderland and i was watching all the events string together. it took some getting used to – i was expecting something similar to TLC – but by the end i was in love. (and also drooling. don’t read this book when you’re hungry because the DESCRIPTIONS OF FOOD OMG. the main character is a baker and i just *sighs* I WANT THE FOOD.)
what bothered me slightly about this novel was the pacing. i had a hard time getting into it (see: confusion) and when i did, there’d be chunks of chapters that were so sloooooooooow. there wasn’t much going on, and i couldn’t see where the focus was, and then BAM last hundred pages had me clutching the book like it was a missing arm. suddenly, i realize i love all the characters and the plot clicks into place. BUT i do think the climax could’ve come earlier in the book because it went from snail’s-pace to sofastsofast. although when the climax was revealed, i was an emotional wreck. marissa meyer can be SO HEARTLESS sometimes. (pun intended)
HEARTLESS was a bit of a weird read for me. there were so many aspects i loved about the book – the characters, writing, plot, etc. – but the pacing and world threw me off. however, i also feel it’s partially my fault because i had expectations of what the story might be or “should” be. like wonderland, this book is not one you can predict. there are twists and tricks and turns and flips; so sit back, relax, and enjoy the story – because i’m sure you’ll have sympathy for the so-called evil queen of hearts by the end of the journey.