20 October, 2016

{ ARC Review } Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Published November 8, 2016 by Feiwel & Friends
ARC borrowed from Mikee!

Long before she was the terror of Wonderlandthe infamous Queen of Heartsshe 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.


My Review

♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ 

Good news, Marissa Meyer fans. I think you might like this one.

I finished this book several months ago (because I have an amazing friend whose name is Mikee and she lent it to me and to this day, I'm still so very thankful and in awe) and while I may not remember everything, I do remember that I very much loved this book. It was such an interesting take on the Queen of Hearts and it was hard to believe that the person Cath was in the beginning of the story could end up the one pop culture always seems to overlook or mistake for the Red Queen.

Anyway! All Cath wants is to open up a bakery with her best friend but alas, we don't always get what we want. Cath's parents already have decided what her fate is and long story short, it starts at the side of the King of Hearts. So while she's forced to court him, Cath's feelings begin to grow for the new court joker, Jest (who was oh so lovable and makes my heart ache). But even as their courtship continues in secret, we all know this isn't a happy story.

So coming into this book, don't expect anything happy. The Queen of Hearts isn't a good person; she isn't kind and considerate. No, the Queen of Hearts is something else entirely. It's safe to say that Meyer created a refreshing take on the Queen's past and told her tale rather beautifully.

I, personally, never thought she'd start off as a baker. I never thought she'd be such a likeable and relatable character. In the beginning, Cath is just a regular girl trying to follow her dreams and prove to her parents it's not just a hobby. I really, really loved Cath. I thought she was sweet and adorable and Meyer did an amazing job fleshing out Cath throughout the book. Yeah, she was pretty weak-willed, and this was probably intentional, but it left so much room for growth and Meyer performed that perfectly. As the stakes grew higher, you could see changes in Cath, so it shows how well Meyer pulled this off.

While this is a prequel to Alice in Wonderland, Meyer put in her own take for the story. I loved how vivid and imaginative she made Hearts and how she made all the nonsensical things Wonderland is known for so normal. I mean, yeah I know this takes place in Wonderland, Hearts specifically, but as a reader, it always feels like authors try to explain the existence of creatures in their stories. Meyer just makes it seem so normal in a place where that word would be so out of place.

Also can I just go on about Jest for a while? just how does Meyer always create such a loving and caring and otherwise perfect love interest for her characters? I've loved every character (save one, but that's whatever) since she wrote Cinder but it has always been Prince Kai that made me all mushy and gross inside. Me! Mushy and gross! Can you believe that? And now she's doing it ALL OVER WITH JEST and it's both HORRIBLE AND WONDERFUL and my poor romantic heart cannot TAKE it.

But anyway, Jest. Good lorde, he was just the sweetest and cutest person ever. Whenever he was in pain, I was in pain. It just hurt to see him like that. Whenever he was happy or whatever, I couldn't keep the smile off my face. He and Cath were so cute and so sweet and it should be sickening but it wasn't because it was just the most adorable thing ever.

I also want to mention secondary characters. I always thought Meyer did an incredible job fleshing out her main characters, but she also made the secondary characters full of life, and more importantly, believable. I loved her interpretation of the Mad Hatter—Hatta—along with Raven, and even Cath's friend, Mary Ann. They were all important to the story, too! I love when the author doesn't just create someone for plot purposes then conveniently forget about them.

I do have one complaint and it's the reason I'm giving this only 4 and a half stars. When the blurb said intense, secret courtship, I was expecting that. Except it was so slow and it didn't even feel all that intense. It was cute, yeah, but that was to the extent of it. I remember when I was reading that I just wanted them to finally get together but it took so long for that to happen. 

Well. That's pretty much it. Overall, 4.5 stars!

Also, that ending! I knew it would be heartbreaking, but wooooow. I absolutely loved that last line, too!

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