review-heartless, by marissa meyer

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.

REVIEW: heartless, by marissa meyerHeartless by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel & Friends on November 8th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Legends, Myths, Fables, Retelling, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 464
Format: ARC
Source: Macmillan, Publisher
Amazon // The Book Depository
Goodreads

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.

HEARTLESS by marissa meyer

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.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 3.7

there are only 46 days until the release! are you excited to pick up this novel? (you really really should)

farewell, foresight, favorites

favorites

farewell, august!

in the middle of last month, i THOUGHT i got over my blogging slump but i clearly didn’t since i only managed to put together one post, which was a blogiversary thing i planned a while ago. *sigh* i’ve got ideas but i just don’t want to do it. :////// but aside from not-blogging, august was fairly mellow. the hot summer days are ending and we’re all trying to get back to a regular schedule. (keyword: trying)

odile alexandra ling

my ballet studio starting rehearsing for our annual show, which is swan lake this year! we did it five years ago and i used to claim swan lake as my least favorite ballet (a girl turns into a swan??? falls in love with a prince who was originally trying to kill her??? then tries committing suicide – in some versions – when he betrays her???? um okay.) but now that we’re doing it again, i actually like it (????). the music is beautiful and the corp de ballet (aka the group of dancers) is iconic. i’m honestly so excited for our performance.

our ballet photo shoot photos were also released this past month~ (i mentioned taking these in my may recap!) since my sister was the photographer, i already saw these beforehand, but it’s still exciting for everyone to get their pictures. i’m surprised by how happy i am with my photo because i wasn’t expecting myself to be able to get the shot. *hides* but it wasn’t too shabby in the end.

read this month

  • THE KITCHEN GOD’S WIFE, by amy tan – ★★★★½
  • TALES FROM THE SHADOWHUNTER ACADEMY, by cassandra clare – ★★★★★

it was a pretty slow reading month for me, but i absolutely LOVED both of these. love love love x 100000. i talk more about both of these books in my favorites video!

on the blog

hello, september!

summer is officially coming to a close and my favorite season of the year is about to begin! since i finished high school and am not going to college (i guess you could say i’m taking a gap year), i don’t have anything specific planned for the month. there’ll probably be more rehearsals and more youtubing and (hopefully) more reading/blogging.

goals for next month:

  • take your first soul cycle class (i’ve been wanting to try it foreverrrrr and my sister says it’s great)
  • get more comfortable talking to a camera
  • continue decluttering your room
  • be more organized/productive

i hope your next month goes well! to those who are starting school/have started school: i believe in you and this year is going to be fantastic <333 what did you do this summer?

what blogging means to me

this is the first time drafting a REAL blog post in a REALLY long time. i mean, sure, i shared my monthly recaps but those posts don’t require too much brainwork and i don’t count that as reaaaaaaaally blogging(?). but anyway, I’M BAAAAAACK from my summer hiatus. whether you started reading my blog today or two years ago, thank you thank you thank you for magically appearing on this site and taking the time to hear my thoughts and rambles. (has it really been two years already?!)

in all honesty, my blog actually didn’t start on this date – my bookstagram did! but i still consider today as my blogiversary because 1) i started my blog shortly after aka within the next few weeks and, 2) it’s percy jackson‘s birthday and PERCY JACKSON IS MY FAVORITE. *eats blue cake to celebrate* i thought it’d be nice to get a little sentimental and sappy since i’m not usually (as) sentimental or sappy during the other days of the year. so….

what does blogging mean to me?

…having a voice

before blogging, there were only a handful of people i could talk to. the people around me either didn’t care about the things i cared about, couldn’t understand my opinions, or just didn’t get it. but i realize now that there were many times that i simply didn’t feel brave enough to speak my mind. blogging gave me the opportunity to speak up.

…embracing yourself and growing up

i feel like the caterpillar in ALICE IN WONDERLAND when i ask, “whooooo areee youuuu?” a big thing i learned from blogging is to just ~be yourself~. i know i said that’s the WORST advice you could give, but it’s true. i remember when i first started, i’d try to “fit in” in the blogging world but here’s the thing: there are no rules in blogging. you can write whatever you want, or how ever you want. you can write nothing in your posts, or everything in your brain. do what you want and do it for yourself. blogging has allowed me to be more comfortable being ME in both real life and internet realms.

…learning to put yourself out there

as relieving it is to finally share your thoughts to people who care, it’s also scary. people can disagree; people can be irrationally mean; people can be secretly trolls and not actually people at all. or people won’t even know or acknowledge your internet existence – even though you’ve overcome the fears of negativity. which is to say, blogging has taught me to really put yourself out there. comment on other people’s posts, share things you love and promote your own work as well. most of the time, people aren’t intentionally ignoring you; they just didn’t see your post.

…knowing you belong

there is nothing more grateful i am for than the community. i can go on twitter and talk about my day and people won’t judge. people will actually RESPOND and talk about THEIR day as well! isn’t that amazing? knowing that, even as you change and grow, there will always be people there wanting to hear what you have to say. i wouldn’t trade anything for this caring community i’ve found. (and yes, that means you! the person reading this post! did anyone tell you you’re a fantastic person today? because you are and someone out there – echm me – is happy you exist.)

…feeling your hard work has paid off

there is nothing more satisfying than working on a really long post, and clicking publish (or schedule). even if nobody reads it, it is so satisfying to just finish it and put it out onto the world. there is nothing more satisfying than drafting and designing your website, and finally putting it out for everyone to see. (this must be what publishing a book feels like and IT’S GREAT) it’s that magical feeling of putting time, effort, and passion into this… THING and the endgame of something amazing.

i am so grateful for the day i stumbled upon a bookstagram picture on my explore page (before bookstagram was even a thing!); i am so grateful for finding these things called “book blogs”; i’m so grateful for all the friends i’ve made and people met; i’m so grateful for just, everything. THANK YOU. (okay i think that’s enough sappiness for today)

some of my favorite posts i’ve created thus far:

giveaway!!!!!

i’ll be hosting TWOOOOO giveaways in celebration for my blogiversary – one on this post andone on my youtube channel! they contain different prizes but end on the same date: august 31, 2016 at 11:59pm PST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

terms and conditions:

  • this giveaway is US only BUT the giveaway i’m hosting on youtube is open internationally!!
  • you must be 18 or older OR have your parent’s consent to release a mailing address.
  • you will be disqualified for picking up entires you didn’t do.
  • you may only use one account to enter.
  • if the winner doesn’t respond in 48 hours, i will choose another winner.
  • i am not responsible for anything lost in the mail.

good luck in the giveaway(s) and thank you for sticking around so far!! *hugs*

farewell, foresight, favorites

favorites

farewell, july!

this past month was fun, exhausting, and eventful. the first two weeks were spent cramming up in rehearsals and classes in preparation for my ballet competition, and the last two were experiencing the competition itself. varna international ballet competition was a whirlwind. i’m still debating whether or not i should blog/edit the vlog about it, so you miiiiiight get some more details soon. (the question is on if my laziness wins.) in the meantime, you can watch my performance here:

read this month:

  • MY LADY JANE, by cynthia hand, brodi ashton, jodi meadows – ★★★½
  • THIS SAVAGE SONG, by v.e. schwab – ★★★½
  • IT ENDS WITH US, by colleen hoover – ★★½
  • A WEEK OF MONDAYS, by jessica brody – ★★★
  • THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP, by marie kondo – ★★★★★

i read more than usual since i had a lot of free time on airplanes/airports, but all the books were ooookay. if i’m being honest, every single book disappointed me in some way – except THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP. i think my expectations were too high, or i’m growing tired of YA, or i’m just in a reading slump. either way, i was expecting myself to like these books more (but that’s not to say i didn’t like them! just that i thought i’d like them mooooore.)

on the blog

  • haul hail the spring stack (50+ books!)
  • six ways to make today your best day

wow, last month was embarassing in terms of blog posts. for the first time in foreverrrrr (okay not forever, more like a year), i didn’t pressure myself to squeeze out a bajillion posts. and it felt really… relaxing. although i still love blogging, i’ve been feeling unmotivated to create good content. SIGH. i sincerely hope this is a phase and this phase ends soon.

foresights of august

now that my vacation is over, i’m slowly trying to get back on track with things. i haven’t danced (or moved, really) in over a week and feel the soreness of next month coming. since i’m finished with school (at least for now *throws confetti*), i’m going to try to focus as much on ballet as possible. hopefully, by the end of this month, i’ll have a daily schedule and know what i’m doing with my life.

goals for the coming weeks:

  • begin exercising again
  • try to find inspiration

how was your july? do you have any plans for august?

six ways to make today your best day

we all have good and bad days, but what exactly makes a day the best or worst in your life? one’s “best” and “worst” days can often change based on perspective and experiences. it also changes from person to person; my best day probably won’t be your best day and vice versa. although these tips won’t guarantee it’ll be the best day ever, there are a lot of ways it could make your days better.

AWOM_blogtour

expect less

one of the key elements to ruining your day is disappointment. if you expect the day to be perfect, you’ll be disappointed in every aspect it isn’t. small things that previously wouldn’t have bothered you that much are now dampening your mood and suddenly you can’t wait for the day to be over. don’t expect too much.

… but be hopeful

being hopeful and being expectant are two very different things that may be easily confused. hopefulness stresses the possibility of good things while expectations demand good/certain things. keep a positive outlook on the day and hope for something good – even if it’s something small or it’s already the end of a long day. you never know what could occur!

small surprises

small surprises are one of the easiest ways to improve my mood, but they’re also not in my control. when i get an unexpected package or letter, my outlook on the day is usually 100x better. the same can be said if the weather is (surprisingly) wonderful, or if i take a (surprisingly) good ballet class, or if i (surprisingly) have some extra time to read. although surprises aren’t something you can predict, you will probably have a more positive view if you weren’t expecting anything and/or were hopeful.

be aware of possibilities – good and bad

although it’s good to be positive, know that not every day will be the best day. you could get that dream job you were striving for… but you could also lose that dream job. it’s okay and completely normal to have some days worse than others, but as sarah j. maas beautifully said in A COURT OF MIST AND FURY: “There are good days and hard days for me—even now. Don’t let the hard days win.”

don’t strive for perfection

this is probably the most important tip of all because there is no way your day is perfect. of course, there are many many ways to contribute in your so-called perfect day but i doubt it’d be a perfect day if you knew it was going to be “perfect;” i doubt everything went according to your plan, and even if it did, i think it’d be a little boring. all of my better days are ones i didn’t plan to be perfect or good. expect the unexpected and go with the flow.

acknowledge the little things

there was a time when i’d make a list of five things that made me smile that day. the list would be something like:

  1. a stranger opened the door for me.
  2. i had a delicious breakfast.
  3. i completed most of my daily goals.
  4. i saw an old friend i haven’t seen in a while.
  5. someone gave me a compliment.

none of these are really extravagant things, but simply taking the time to acknowledge the little details can change your definition on a “good” or “bad” day.

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