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.
First line: “Three luscious lemon tarts glistened up at Catherine.”
Author: Marissa Meyer
My edition: A hardcover published by Feiwell and Friends in 2016, with 453 pages
Age: Young Adult, but it’s not graphic or anything, so I would say teens down to maybe 12 years can read it.
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Romance
As a lot of people, I was totally mesmerized by The Lunar Chronicles by the same author, and I just fell in love with retellings – so when I saw that Meyer was coming out with an Alice in Wonderland-retelling, I knew that the combination of one of my favorite authors and one of my favorite stories of all time HAD to be a match!
The plot is really good, and all though in the original Alice in Wonderland we have Alice falling down the rabbit hole, in this story however we have Catherine; the daughter of the Marquess in Hearts. Catherine is almost like Alice, a little whimsical and strange, not really the lady she ought to be, so when she falls in love with the wrong man, everything goes ballistic!
The plot is obviously inspired by Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece, and I love how Meyer has taken all of those elements from the original piece and braided it into this story that is so far from the original plot, but at the same time has those rememberable things that make this by far a lovely book. The only reason I’m giving the plot 1/2 star lesser than 5 is because I had so many expectations for it. And when I got to a point where there were like 40 pages left I realized that what I had been hoping all along wasn’t going to happen, and it kind of broke my heart. I’m happy about the book because it makes so much sense, and all though it kind of reminded me of the new “Alice Through The Looking Glass” movie, it’s still a book that I would recommend. But I still had my hopes, and Meyer totally broke my heart into a million pieces during those last 40-50 pages.
Anyways, the romance between Catherine and Jest/Joker was perfect. All though I sometimes felt like it was dragged on too long before something finally happened, that I must say, is one of Meyer’s specialities. You’re seriously standing on your toes, almost jumping when you want them to kiss, and then they don’t and it’s like the whole world crashes down. Well, Heartless is just like that, you want them to be together, and you stand there tripping on your toes every time they’re close! Just that is nerve-wrecking!
As always, Meyer’s writing is everything you can dream of. She has the perfect amount of descriptions and everything flows so beautifully. All though I sometimes question why Meyer’s books always seem so looong, it’s simply because she makes a point out of all of her descriptions. They’re simply there because they need to be.
I’m one of those people who get seriously bored if there are too many descriptions in a book, like, nah, it just isn’t my kind of thing, but Meyer does it so beautifully that you can’t even notice!
The characters are many, and this was the point that made this book difficult for me. So, read with caution because this is where things get a little personal.
Catherine is what I would call the perfect protagonist. At some points she even reminded me of Alice from Alice in Wonderland. They were whimsical and independent and wanted to do things their way. They couldn’t see why they had to do what everyone else said, and that was one of the reasons why Catherine was such a good character. I liked her and I still like her even after that ending. *spoiler* If you haven’t read the book, don’t mark the next lines! I do think that the sudden change of Catherine’s personality happened too fast, I felt like it should have taken a little longer for her to go from sweet Catherine to the tempered Queen of Hearts. *spoiler over* Other than that, she’s perfect.
Jest or the Joker was also seriously so perfect. I think I’d fallen in love with him 50 pages in. He was just perfect in every way. I’m talking handsome, okay so I have a serious weak spot for dimples and when he smiled in that book I blushed. I also liked him because his humor is just awesome;
“‘So?’ he prodded.
She blinked. ‘So what?’
‘Was it a good dream?’
‘Oh.’ Her lips puckered in thought, but then she realized he was teasing her. She scowled. ‘To be frank, I found it rather dull.’
‘Ah, but you can’t be Frank. You’ve already told me that your name is Catherine.’
‘I’ve changed it.’”
Jest was perfect even with his small “faults”, *spoiler* and to be honest I was not really expecting what happened to happen. I had to re-read the page over and over again to realize that he was dead. I was seriously heartbroken. *spoiler over*.
Now, the thing that bugged me about this book, and what I seriously could not like was Hatta or The Mad Hatter as we know him. To me, Hatta has always been one of my favorite characters of all time. He’s weird, he’s a little mad, he does things that you question, he makes you think, and he has all these quirks that I have always loved about him. In this book, Hatta became too serious, too much of a moral if I can call him that. He’s not mad, he’s weird yeah, but not the kind of weird I wanted. I waited for so long for him to enter this book, and when he did, I was so sad because he’s supposed to be that crazy guy that makes you do things because everything’s possible, but in this book, he was this moral voice that I couldn’t like.
The book is really good, it really is, and I liked it so much. Meyer’s writing doesn’t disappoint in this book, and I would even say that her writing has matured a bit, it’s even better than it was in the Lunar Chronicles. The characters are overall good, all though I was however disappointed in Hatta or the Mad Hatter. It’s definitely a book worth reading even if you’re a Alice in Wonderland fan or not, and it’s very enjoyable! I read it in four or five days, so it’s an easy read and it’s such a cool story!
03.05.2016 – Marked as to-read
14.01.2017 – Marked as currently reading
14.01.2017 – Page 53 “I’m in love”
15.01.2017 – Page 100 “This book <3”
16.01.2017 – Page 169 “This book is making it impossible to fall asleep”
18.01.2017 – Page 215 “All this food talk is making me hungry”
18.01.2017 – Page 239 “omgggg comeoooon yesyesyes”
19.01.2017 – Page 321 “YAAAAASSSSS”
20.01.2017 – Page 404 “How is this going to end?!”
20.01.2017 – Marked as read
Yesss, I’m so happy that I have it in my bookshelf!
If you like YA fantasy this is definitely worth a read, and if you’re on top of that, an Alice in Wonderland fan, you should totally read it!
“But hoping,” he said, “is how the impossible can be possible after all.”