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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Book Stats:  

Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: High Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release date: November 8, 2016

Source: For review

Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

The #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestseller that Gregory Maguire (Wicked and After Alicecalls "full of heart."
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, 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 unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.
Then Cath 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.
In her first stand-alone teen novel, the New York Times-bestselling author dazzles us with a prequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to review this book! I had it read months ago; however, I let a friend borrow it, and it took me awhile to get it back to finish my review. Plus, the review got lost on my phone, and I was so pleased to have discovered it wasn't completely gone! 

Heiress to the march of Rock Turtle Cove, Catherine Pinkerton simply wants to open her own bakery, along with her maid Mary Ann. She loves baking and everyone loves her treats, especially the King, who often asks her for more of her delicacies. Unfortunately, Cath's parents have other plans for their daughter and have intended for her to marry the King, who has been very interested in Catherine. However, on the night the King is going to announce their engagement, Cath meets the new court joker, Jest, whom she's recently seen in a dream and is expectedly curious about him and their connection. Having no intention of being Queen, Cath has Cheshire create a diversion at the ball and she is able to slip out to get some air (since she's wearing the most constrictive dress and was famished) and runs into Jest. Jest makes her laugh, plays a few tricks, and helps her into a carriage to return home. However, she has not avoided the king's proposal as he visits the next day having changed his tune (due to Jest's influence upon learning that Catherine wants nothing to do with queenship) and asks to court her. That night Jest visits and asks her to a real tea party, whereupon she meets Hatta and the Hare (Haigha), the Dormouse and other familiar characters. With this adventure, Catherine finds herself falling for the impossible joker. Still many things stand in the way, including her family, her dreams, the King, and the fearsome attacks of the Jabberwock. With magic, whimsy, and a different adventure through Lewis Carroll's novels, find out how sweet Catherine becomes the terrible Queen of Hearts.

I have never read any of the original Lewis Carroll books because as a child, I despised the animated Alice in Wonderland film from Disney. At least the live version was better, but I suppose I tend to be too sensible a person to appreciate the madness and upside-down reasoning of that world. I also have never read any other YA tales with references to Alice, so this was my first venture into that realm of my own accord (and only because it is Marissa Meyer and the Lunar Chronicles is one of my absolute favorite YA series). At first, I had to get used to the similarities and references to Alice and her acquaintances. It takes a bit to get out of your own version of what this story will be and envisioning the Queen of Hearts before seeing the real Catherine who is actually delightful and endearing. I was absolutely blown away by this retelling, and actually came to love this book! Who knew you could have sympathy and love for the bloodthirsty Queen of Hearts? Truly speaks to the gift of writing that Marissa Meyer has!

Read an excerpt here.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Kara is a teen librarian living in the southeastern US with her husband (who listens to books), young daughter (who sleeps with books), and dog (who tastes the books). She loves all sorts of books, but mostly YA, and will never catch up to all of the wonderful things to read.

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