In November I decided to listen to the audiobook for Heartless by Marissa Meyer. I got it on Overdrive from my local library, and to be honest I absolutely loved it. I don’t think it took me more than a few days to listen to it all and although I already knew the ending I ended up loving the book more than I thought I would. I have had this book on my TBR pile for a few months now and I was excited finally get around to it.
The story follows a girl named Catherine through her courtship with the King of Hearts. Although this book ended up being a great Wonderland Love Story I found that I wasn’t really rooting for the king to win her hand at the end. Instead I was rooting for the new Court Joker, Jess, to win Catherine’s hand in the end. As Catherine beings to court the king and find love with Jess she doesn’t give up on her long time dream of running a bakery and does everything in her power to make the dream come true while the horrific tales of the Jaberwok come true in the land of hearts.
Overall I really did like the book, but what I hate is that Catherine couldn’t get a better ending. Since this is a villain origin story I couldn’t expect anything beyond a poor ending for her but the entire time I ended up rooting for her. Originally I didn’t really want to because she does become the Queen of Hearts and a villain in another story, but this book was written in a way that I couldn’t help but absolutely love her and hope for the best.
I’ve never read any of Marissa Meyer’s work and this was a great introduction before jumping into the Lunar Chronicles that I’m hoping to start soon.
Heartless is the origin story of the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. The story follows who the Queen was before becoming queen, Catherine. Catherine is a Marquess’ daughter who wishes to give up her nobility in order to open a bakery with her long time friend and servant Mary-Ann. Although the two have been dreaming of this for years the lack of start up funds constantly has then unable to open shop. Although all nobility love Catherine’s treats and she love baking nothing can really fall into place for them and the bakery continues to simply be a dream. The story begins with the appearance of Jess, the new court joker, and the king’s proposal of courtship to Catherine.
The story brings in many characters and talks about their origin and who they were before Alice came to wonderland and even before the Mad Hatter became mad. I rabsolutely loved seeing everyone before the story began.
I honestly had never really thought of the Queen of Hearts as a baker and how happy she was portrayed in this book was something I never would have come up with if left on my own. I got so caught up in the story that I couldn’t really remember that the ending had to be bad at some point in the book. I was so upset to realize that Catherine wouldn’t have a happy ending that I had to take a break from work to refocus myself. I hated that poor Catherine had to eventually have a bad ending in order to fulfill her story in Alice In Wonderland.
I didn’t really like Jess at the beginning to be honest. The actions when they first met made me nervous and I really just was put off by him because of how he was acting. Like it was too good to be true and at the same time when Catherine’s love life goes down hill? It all just seemed to convenient to me and made me nervous about him as a being. I started to trust him during the tea party, though, and I’m glad I did. Once I started liking the story flowed a lot better and I was able to get caught up in it overall. Jess as a character overall just seemed too convenient to be honest but it was a cute love story and I was able to fall into the story and believe it very easily.
I loved Raven. I loved raven so much and I can’t explain why. He just seemed like the overall most logical character and I liked that he spoke in verse because it really helped define him as a character. I don’t know why I was so drawn to him really but almost automatically in the garden he was my favorite!
The Mad Hatter threw me through a loop, but I could see the madness within him and I sort of thrived on it whenever he was part of the story. I also really like his description at the end of the story when he goes mad. How he’s written then is so different in comparison to the rest of the book and I really appreciated that. I also liked that his creations were explored more in this book and that made me happy to see. The mad hatter, even in the original story, was great at his job even though it was rarely addressed so seeing that here made me happy.
I was disappointed in the way that Wonderland as a whole was written, and that’s mainly why I only give this book four out of five stars. I felt like it could have been more topsy turvey and more upside down and just overall more like wonderland. I could see where that would be very hard, though, and it could drive someone away from the story overall because the setting itself would be too confusing and drive the reader away from the book.
I give this book a four out of five stars, mainly because of how the setting was written, but it’s a great book that I absolutely fell in love with and couldn’t put down while i was reading it.