June 9, 2017

Book Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer


Heartless

by Marissa Meyer

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairy Tale, Romance, Retellings
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Published: November 8, 2016
Length: 453 pages
Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Note: The book retells Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland as a prequel from the queen of Hearts point-of-view.

My Goodreads Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Offical Books Summary:

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. 



Quote: 

"A heart, once stolen, can never be taken back."

My Review:

Marissa Meyer is the popular author of the young adult sci-fi series The Lunar Chronicles (you can read my review of the entire series here). When I picked up Heartless, I was curious, but definitely feeling a bit burned-out on young adult novels that I just didn't love. I felt I would read the first installment in many series, like it, but then find that the rest of the series would fall apart. While I thought The Lunar Chronicles was okay, I wasn't the huge fan that everyone else seemed to be. To make matters worse, while I love retellings, I felt like I was reading one after the other that just did worse than the one before. I was wary, to say the least.

As you can see from my Goodreads rating above, I was not disappointed and perhaps my rating reflects my excitement and feeling of refreshment after finally reading a young adult retelling that I felt did the original story justice. Heartless is an origin story of Wonderland's cruel Queen of Hearts. I like origin stories and really love it when an author doesn't sacrifice an ending to appease fans, but rather stays true to the character they've created. This is a frequently unpopular point-of-view. Many readers--young adult fans in particular--want happy endings and for stories to be neatly wrapped up with pretty bows, while I don't mind remaining questions or sad endings if I feel that's what the should happen within the plot. That's a bit of a spoiler, but nevertheless when you're reading an origin story about the Queen of Hearts, if it ends well, the author's obviously done something very, very wrong.

Following the journey of a young girl in love transform into an evil, vengeful monarch was great even if at times the writing wasn't perfect. It was great because the backstory Meyer gives Catherine really justifies the heartless cruelty we see in Lewis Carroll's beloved tales. I really enjoyed this perspective, the pages (453) flew by, and I recommend the novel to any Alice fans.

If you like this, try...

The Lunar Chronicles series, I Capture the Castle, A Darker Shade of Magic, The Sun is Also a Star, These Shallow Graves, Holding Up the Universe, Stalking Jack the Ripper, Orphan Train, The Siren, Between Shades of Gray, Salt to the Sea, The Matched series, The Selection series, A Study in Charlotte


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