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Heartless PDF, ePub eBook

4.6 out of 5
30 review

Heartless

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Heartless PDF, ePub eBook Long before she was the terror of Wonderland—the infamous Queen of Hearts—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 goa Long before she was the terror of Wonderland—the infamous Queen of Hearts—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.

30 review for Heartless

  1. 5 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    It started off so so well with immense amounts of baking and the promise of the bizarre and creative nonsense that every Wonderland retelling should hold. But then...disappointment. I had high expectations due to my love of the Cinder & Co and also because I'm a rabid lover of Lewis Carroll's Wonderland. Sadly, the only Wonderland story that's impressed me so far is Splintered. Everything else...meh meh. And Heartless falls into the puddle of squash too. L I K E S: •There is literally so much C It started off so so well with immense amounts of baking and the promise of the bizarre and creative nonsense that every Wonderland retelling should hold. But then...disappointment. I had high expectations due to my love of the Cinder & Co and also because I'm a rabid lover of Lewis Carroll's Wonderland. Sadly, the only Wonderland story that's impressed me so far is Splintered. Everything else...meh meh. And Heartless falls into the puddle of squash too. L I K E S: •There is literally so much CAKE AND DESSERT. Hi, hello, my name is Cait and I LOVE FOOD. Specifically cake, but ya know, I love dessert in general. And book where the protagonist's #1 goal in life is to BAKE DELICIOUS THINGS makes me very very very very very very veryhappy. (I'M HAPPY OKAY?!?) This book is literally the foodie bookworm's dream come true. There's so many descriptions!! Food plays a big part of the plot!! It makes you so hungry!! I think I ate a few pages!!! I love this!! •There IS quite a bit of the goodness of Wonderland's nonsense. Not enough though, which is annoying to me because hello??? WONDERLAND???? There were talking animals and rhymes and a king with the brain capacity of a peanut, and of course the famed croquet with flamingos and mad hatter's tea party (!!!) so YAS for mad books. • I REALLY LIKE NONSENSE THAT IS BIZARRE AS LEWIS CARROLL'S ORIGINALS!! • Did I mention food? Because omg so much. • Jest was actually a gift to this universe. He's the love interest, in a sort of "forbidden" romance as he's the King's jester and the King is courting Cath (our protagonist) .... so like for "propriety's sake" she could never be with him. BUT THEY'RE SO CUTE. Jest has lemon yellow eyes (shh I don't know either, but it works) and he's a wickedly good magician, but keeps his tricks simple and fun. And he's adorkable and charming and sweet and dude. DUUUUDE. I love Jest. • Cheshire was also awesome! I wasn't a fan of Hatta (the Mad Hatter) because I couldn't really tell what he was on about. But Cheshire was a delightful jerk and SO much like a normal cat + magical abilities. • There's actually a really good female friendship! Cath is BFFs with her maid, Mary Ann, and they make these dreams of starting a bakery together and they're really close and it's awesome. • I love how it included some other fairy tale elements! It relied heavily on the Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater rhyme and also the raven from Poe's poem! D I S L I K E S: • Okay silly things first: the paperback font is insufferably tiny. Like please pass me a magnifying glass, two microscopes and the hubble telescope SO I CAN SEE THE DARK TINY FONT. • It wasn't nearly mad enough. I was here for people to be screeching with madness but they bordered more on just the "insufferably stupid" lines instead of "intriguingly mad" which I was hoping for. •THE PLOT WAS SO DUMB IT MAKES ME ANGRY. Remember the Lunar Chronicles with kickass women fighting oppression and punching things and making clever plans and sacrficing things for people they loved??? HAHAHAH FORGET ABOUT THAT. The entire plot of Heartless is: a spineless whingey girl tries to avoid marrying the king but not by doing anything active, just by whining about it in her room a lot. Dude. Duuuuude. DUDE. WHAT IS THIS. It started off so well and interestingly with Cath being all "I WANNA BE A BAKER!" But it quickly dissolved into 400+ pages of her being a wimp who NEVER DID ANYTHING FOR HERSELF or stood up for herself or thought for herself. She was as interesting as a vanilla cupcake. With no frosting. Like seriously. • Why did the king even want to marry her??? Surely there were other girls in Heart who could bake?? Because that seemed to be the only interest he had in her: "ooh she makes cupcakes I shall marry her". WTF DUDE. • Following that, why did Jest care about her?? And yes he did sprout the "You're different, Cath!" line which made me want to throw a lemon at his head. Can we let that line die? Please? Thank you? But he keeps saying how she's brave and strong and clever and literally she just makes macaroons and goes along with her bossy/awful parents' idea that she should marry this king she doesn't want to marry. I still think she and Jest were CUTE together. But I honestly don't get whyyyyy he liked her. • I mean, this'll come as a shock but: I didn't like Cath. She felt so pathetic. Plus she could NOT do a thing for herself, like make a decision or a stand, until she had a boy supporting her. • Where is feminism?? Did it take a nap whilst this book were written? • Speaking of which: it's got a Victorian England setting so hELLO SEXISM AT EVERY TURN. Look I avoid Historical Fiction because I can't stand how sexist it is. I get that it's historically accurate. But we have a fantasy worlds with magical pumpkins and a Jabberwock eating people and we can't have equality???????? The whole thing was 100% sexist the whole way through and I just got so frustrated. Especially when Cath never fought it. • This is also silly but...I didn't like the names?!? I mean, Cath Pinkerton...does not strike me as a name for the Queen of Hearts. And like Mary Ann and Margaret and Jack and Peter and Abigail....I'm sorry. Did we FALL OUT OF WONDERLAND AND INTO NORMAL TOWN??? • It was terribly slow. See aforementioned point of the only plot is "avoid avoid avoid marriage". • It was literally 300 pages before anything REMOTELY stabby happened. So yeah it's a prequel and Cath isn't lopping off heads yet, but I mean the most exciting action scene was a cake getting cut basically. • The Jabberwock could've eaten more people??? Like. Maybe Cath. • I'm hungry. And I have no cake. #sadface • The ending SHOULD'VE punched my feels but it didn't because I was so annoyed. I just had a bit of a "oh well that was obviously going to happen" moment instead of "OMG I'VE BEEN DESTROYED!!" Because Cath is an idiot and doesn't listen to obvious things. (view spoiler)[I mean, the 3 weird sisters TOLD them some prophecies and Cath KNEW they'd come to pass so she knew the prophecies weren't bogus. And then the sisters are like "if you go out that door someone's going to be murdered, aka probably Jest" and Cath is like "SURELY NOT". What kind of twit is she??? And when Jest died I was sad, yes, because I love Jest. But I also was just annoyed because everyone mad dumb decisions and it was an avoidable death so ARGH. Plus Cath's pendulum personality swing??? How am I supposed to believe this insipid girl could suddenly turn into a wild blood-thirsty queen? It was too sudden and too unfounded. (hide spoiler)] • I'm disgruntled. In case you couldn't tell. • It needed more OFFING WITH HEADS. Let's be real. ALL IN ALL: It was wildly slow, disappointing, and plot-lacking and not NEARLY enough things got beheaded. Although the cake makes up for it a lot. I tell you: go into this book with snacks handy. And it was clever and creative and I loved that about it! I always love Marissa Meyer's writing style/voice and it was easy to get through despite HAVING NO INTERESTING PLOT and I loved the touches of magic and I can't wait for the sequel. Because hopefully it'll be a lot more bloody. hahhahaaha....what is wrong with me omg. EDIT: APPARENTLY THERE IS NO SEQUEL AND I'M CRYING. (But seriously I like dark bloody retellings.) (Not fluffy popsicles like the first 80% of this was.)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    “These things do not happen in dreams, dear girl,” he said, vanishing up to his neck. “They happen only in nightmares.” His head spiralled and he was gone. This was so good. Meyer's writing and stories just seem to keep improving, and her latest foray into the world of Alice in Wonderland was exactly the right combination of prophecy, romance, Victorian-style female repression, and weirdness. It was unputdownable. Also: I really really want macarons right now. I mentioned this before, but I'm star “These things do not happen in dreams, dear girl,” he said, vanishing up to his neck. “They happen only in nightmares.” His head spiralled and he was gone. This was so good. Meyer's writing and stories just seem to keep improving, and her latest foray into the world of Alice in Wonderland was exactly the right combination of prophecy, romance, Victorian-style female repression, and weirdness. It was unputdownable. Also: I really really want macarons right now. I mentioned this before, but I'm starting to understand why I enjoy Meyer's retellings so much. She gets the balance just right. Her fairy tales contain characters and references that make them instantly recognizable (the phrase "fairy tale retelling" isn't just thrown around as a marketing tool). Without having to be told, anyone could read this book and understand where it gets its inspiration. However, that's also just what it is - more inspiration than retelling. This book can be enjoyed whether you like the original or not. It stands on its own with a full cast of strong characters, and its own unique plot that doesn't just feel like the same old story told with some modern slang thrown in. It's perfectly weird without being too weird (to be honest, the original gives me a fond nostalgic feeling, but it's a bit too nonsensical for me). Heartless is about Catherine - daughter of a Marquess, talented baker, and likely future bride to the King of Hearts. “You’re the daughter of a marquess. Look around. Look at the things you have, the life you’re accustomed to. You don’t know what it’s like to work every day so you can feed yourself and keep a roof over your head. You don’t know what it’s like to be poor. To be a servant.” The story propels itself forward on feelings of anger and frustration. All Cath wants is to open a bakery and unleash her goodies on the world (just a warning - this is not a good book for dieters!), but the expectations placed upon her as a woman won't allow it. The stifling nature of this world is palpable and infuriating, making you turn the pages in angry desperation. Not only does Cath not want to be a court lady, but her heart most definitely does not belong to the insipid King of Hearts. With a sexist society to raise your blood pressure and a forbidden love story to make your heart beat faster, just throw a murderous Jabberwock in and it's easy to see how the pages start to fly by. But if this seems a little tame to you after all the craziness of The Lunar Chronicles - have no fear! Madness and nastiness are just around the corner. Meyer knows just how to tick all our boxes. Heartless is a nasty, evil book, but we also have the hilarious Cheshire, the sexy Joker, the yummy food, controlling parents, and strange riddles. The ending is perfect, but it makes me sad that this is just a standalone. Not that it feels unfinished... just that all great books leave us wanting more, you know? Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Store

  3. 4 out of 5

    Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies

    Cheshire’s yellow eyes slitted as he held her gaze for one beat, two. Then he began to unravel from the tip of his tail, a slow unwinding of his stripes. ‘These things do not happen in dreams, dear girl,’ he said, vanishing up to his neck. ‘They happen only in nightmares.’ Honestly, I didn't have high expectations for this book after reading the "...she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love" blurb. Fortunately, I was wrong. This book was great. Don't get me wrong, it was unexpectedly dark Cheshire’s yellow eyes slitted as he held her gaze for one beat, two. Then he began to unravel from the tip of his tail, a slow unwinding of his stripes. ‘These things do not happen in dreams, dear girl,’ he said, vanishing up to his neck. ‘They happen only in nightmares.’ Honestly, I didn't have high expectations for this book after reading the "...she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love" blurb. Fortunately, I was wrong. This book was great. Don't get me wrong, it was unexpectedly dark at some points, but it was also adowwwable because only a stone cold dead dying heart can resist the absolutely wuvable talking Cheshire Cat. Seriously, he was so cute. And apparently I do not have a stone cold dead dying heart. It was magical, and adorable, and I really can't pull out any big fancy words so describe it, because "magical and adorable" describes it so perfectly, and yet it wasn't sickening sweet. It was just right. I have to admit, I have never read Alice in Wonderland in its entirety. I've watched the movies, of course, but they weren't particularly memorable to me, and so I think that's what contributed to much of this book's appeal. Talking animals and magic everywhere, yet so commonplace that it feels like home. The beginning of this book surprised me with its frothiness. There is a lot of baking in this book, and the beginning was the equivalent of a strawberry cream puff, it was so lighthearted that the gradual darkening and the development of Catherine (she who is to be Queen of Hearts) almost sneaks up on you. She stared at the girl in the mirror, the one who looked as though she had never known a smile. Even as she had the thought, her reflection’s lips curled upward, revealing a delirious grin beneath her sullen eyes. I can't say that this was the best book I've ever read. I feel like this was a very long book, and it could have been condensed without losing much of its content, and Meyer's writing style, while readable, is neither memorable nor special. Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    Kindle US $2.99 today 11-27-17 OMG! I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO FIND THE WHITE EDITION OF THIS BOOK TO GO WITH MY BLACK ONE AND WHAT A WONDERFUL SURPRISE TO FIND THAT IT CAME IN MY NOVEMBER OWL CRATE BOX! IN THE PICTURES I PLACED THE BLACK ONE NEXT TO THE WHITE ONE THAT WAS AN OWL CRATE EXCLUSIVE, JUST SO YOU COULD SEE WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE TOGETHER! I LOVE THEM BOTH. ALSO GOT OTHER GOODIES IN THE BOX AS USUAL! YAY! OWL CRATE FOR GETTING THE SECOND COVER (white) AND ME GETTING IT TOO. LOL Lets freaking do Kindle US $2.99 today 11-27-17 OMG! I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO FIND THE WHITE EDITION OF THIS BOOK TO GO WITH MY BLACK ONE AND WHAT A WONDERFUL SURPRISE TO FIND THAT IT CAME IN MY NOVEMBER OWL CRATE BOX! IN THE PICTURES I PLACED THE BLACK ONE NEXT TO THE WHITE ONE THAT WAS AN OWL CRATE EXCLUSIVE, JUST SO YOU COULD SEE WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE TOGETHER! I LOVE THEM BOTH. ALSO GOT OTHER GOODIES IN THE BOX AS USUAL! YAY! OWL CRATE FOR GETTING THE SECOND COVER (white) AND ME GETTING IT TOO. LOL Lets freaking do this party people!!! Yasssss!!! Woot!!! This made it to my favorites lists! And just look at the gorgeous cover! I was lucky enough to get a magnetic bookmark and a recipe! ♥ This is one of the best, if not the best, retelling of Wonderland I have ever read! Although, I don't think I have ever read a prequel to the Alice story but Marissa Meyer pulled this one off brilliantly. In my opinion anyway. I am in love with Jest! I love all of the characters, even the evil characters are written beautifully! I am just in love with this book and oh the name "Heartless" had meaning on so many levels. You will find out when you read it. All Cath wants in life is to have her own bakery with her best friend. But that is not to be, she can't do something as lowly as that, her parents want her to marry the King of Hearts. Sigh, Cath doesn't want to marry him, he's just, no . . . no . . . no . . . if she were to ever get married it would be someone she chose and fell in love with and she could bake and make the most wonderful tarts and pies in the world. She already does in their part of the world anyway. Then Cath meets the wonderful Jest and has to figure out how she can love him and do what her parents and the King want at the same time. <--- Not a spoiler, it's pretty much in the blurb. There are wonderful creatures in the book as there always is in Wonderland. Rocking-horse flies, with are really little rocking horse flies that are really horses and they fly (lol). Talking candles, animals, and everything else in between. We have Hatta who makes the brilliant hats of course, we have rabbit and the jabberwock and things and stuff and what not. It is just filled with great things. But not all things in fairy tales have a happily ever after. It's very sad and I hated it but it put a new insight on things to come. Even so, I still loved the book so much! ♥ and thus it begins . . . I hope a lot of people will love this book as much as I did ♥ MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

  5. 4 out of 5

    Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)

    Review/discussion: https://youtu.be/YSd8MDc98_0 Reread January 2017 Bumped rating up to 5 stars. I decided to reread this in a 24 hour period because I want to write a paper on it (which is of course due in a couple of days). I loved it even more the second time around! Original reading October 2016 4.5* I loved this, but I did have a couple of issues. I was sent the audiobook to review (and do a giveaway on my channel soon!) from Macmillan so a big thank you to them! My video review will be up soon b Review/discussion: https://youtu.be/YSd8MDc98_0 Reread January 2017 Bumped rating up to 5 stars. I decided to reread this in a 24 hour period because I want to write a paper on it (which is of course due in a couple of days). I loved it even more the second time around! Original reading October 2016 4.5* I loved this, but I did have a couple of issues. I was sent the audiobook to review (and do a giveaway on my channel soon!) from Macmillan so a big thank you to them! My video review will be up soon but for now, my 2 main points are: this did a great job of capturing the atmosphere of the original Alice stories, but it was lacking in the fact that it was a bit slow. The plot could have been refined a tad. But I highly recommend the audiobook. It is so so good!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mikee Andrea (ReadWithMikee)

    ❝Now mine eyes see the heart that once we did search for, and I fear this heart shall be mended, nevermore.❞ A big thanks to Macmillan and Fierce Reads for giving me the opportunity to snag a beautiful box and ARC of Heartless at YallWest! (Review will be posted once we are closer to release day) Heartless was beautifully tragic. I have no words to describe just how broken this book has left my heart. That ending... Ugh. HEARTBREAKING. FANS OF THE LUNAR CHRONICLES: Beware. You might have a new f ❝Now mine eyes see the heart that once we did search for, and I fear this heart shall be mended, nevermore.❞ A big thanks to Macmillan and Fierce Reads for giving me the opportunity to snag a beautiful box and ARC of Heartless at YallWest! (Review will be posted once we are closer to release day) Heartless was beautifully tragic. I have no words to describe just how broken this book has left my heart. That ending... Ugh. HEARTBREAKING. FANS OF THE LUNAR CHRONICLES: Beware. You might have a new favorite coming soon. ;)

  7. 5 out of 5

    emma

    UPDATE: I think...oh god...I think this book put me in a reading slump. ------------------------------- At a certain point, I really have to start blaming myself. Do I have no idea of my own interests? Because I truly thought this would end up on my all-time favorites shelf, my first add to an as-yet-nonexistent 2017 favorites list. Is that not a fair expectation? After all, Alice in Wonderland is my favorite book, Marissa Meyer one of my favorite authors. This came in the best Owlcrate subscripti UPDATE: I think...oh god...I think this book put me in a reading slump. ------------------------------- At a certain point, I really have to start blaming myself. Do I have no idea of my own interests? Because I truly thought this would end up on my all-time favorites shelf, my first add to an as-yet-nonexistent 2017 favorites list. Is that not a fair expectation? After all, Alice in Wonderland is my favorite book, Marissa Meyer one of my favorite authors. This came in the best Owlcrate subscription box of all time. The rating is high. What went wrong for this book? Note: this review is also up on my blog at https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co.... Okay, we continue!! For starters, there’s not an ounce of Wonderland in this setting. Wonderland is a masterpiece, a marvel, a beautiful place where nothing makes sense and everyone is mad. This was just the Lunar Chronicles, with a shitty half-hearted attempt at a mid-nineteenth century twist and various direct quotes and concepts from Wonderland forced in. This was an uncreative disappointment. Meyer takes her ideas from Carroll (“six impossible things before breakfast,” for example, is a recurring statement), from Edgar Allan Poe (a f*cking raven that randomly says “nevermore”? f*ck offffffff), from nursery rhymes (Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater receives shocking attention - to avoid spoilers I’ll just say its incorporation is unBEARABLY dumb). When Meyer is left to her own devices, the Wonderland-ness of it all is dropped entirely, only to be forced in through a name-drop of the Looking Glass or the “Tweedle twins” in a few pages. This really was just an insult to the setting of Wonderland. The Caterpillar, the marvelous creature with his hookah, is a COBBLER. Why don’t you just hurt me physically, if you insist upon such emotional pain? There’s a street full of businesses, balls, a standard court system...It’s just the worst. And I’ve decided I only want one thing from this world. (The real one, not Wonderland.) There is one difference I’d like to make, one change I need to instill, and I can die happy. This is about to get predominantly featured in my Goodreads bio, because that’s how important it is. And that goal?: STOP INCORPORATING THE JABBERWOCK AS A MONSTER INTO YOUR ALICE IN WONDERLAND RETELLINGS. I can’t even convey the sheer FURY this makes me experience. First Tim Burton, then Christina Henry, and now THIS? THE JABBERWOCK IS NOT A CHARACTER FROM WONDERLAND. THAT’S A POEM, YOU ABSOLUTE IMBECILES. When you make your Wonderland protagonist fight the Jabberwock, you’re spitting in the face of literature. Spitting. In. Its. Face. I am shaking with anger. It’s not even original anymore. It’s become cliché in addition to boring, stupid, and further Carroll-stealing. COME UP WITH YOUR OWN VILLAINS, YOU UNCREATIVE MISCREANTS. I’ll force myself to move past the crimes against Wonderland that have been committed here and discuss the shortcomings of the story itself. For starters, it’s a trope. It’s a poor little rich girl story, a pretty teen member of the court throwing a tantrum over an arranged marriage. I just don’t care much about stories like this. Give me some stakes! Sure, she wants love, whatever, but like...can there be some risk to this boring plotline? Snore. Plus there’s a surprise appearance from the worst romantic cliché of all time: the you’re not like other girls appeal, made famous by the manic pixie dream girl character archetype and everything written by John Green. I haven’t seen this piece of garbage in a while! A surprising amount of time, actually. But just when you’d think that all these old-ass weirdos writing books for us youths had finally caught onto something, here it shows up again. “You’re different from the other lords and ladies here. I’m sure that any other girl would have started throwing rocks at me if I showed up at her bedroom window.” As if their boring romance weren’t awful enough already! Oh yeah, that’s another thing. This isn’t even a good love story, in my humble yet pretentiously delivered opinion. (Is it better if I’m aware of it?) Unless I’m misremembering or was in a relatively fragile emotional state for all four books + the novellas, the Lunar Chronicles series contained some stellar romancin’. (Get it? Stellar? Like, that series takes place partially in space? Okay, fine.) I didn’t get that here. As a reader, I felt like they met a couple of times and then I was suddenly supposed to buy them as a Titanic-level epic love story. Which I, like, didn’t. So. And I didn’t even like either of the characters in the romance. Jest was super flat to me - is anyone else noticing a phenomenon in which an author makes a male love interest super physically attractive and mildly funny and then just dusts off their hands and says, have at ’em, fangirls? Like, it’s a little more complicated than that. Jest was a total snooze for me. Which is better than Cath, I s’pose, because that gal was on my last nerve for 90% of this book. (I guess I have durable nerves?) Is it weird to say I hate the way her mind works? I was sick of being stuck inside her cyclical, repetitive complaining. Plus she makes dumb choices, and goes from as cavity-inducingly-sweet as the in-depth descriptions of her pastries to having a legit anger management issue in a hot second. Yes, the whole point of this book was to provide a backstory for the Queen of Hearts, letting the reader in on what happened to change her from ~normal chick~ (albeit not like other girls, lol) to total villain. And in some ways that happened? Those ways being that we were given a plotline. But the emotions changed in one massive leap. (Like the definition of bipolar disorder so misleadingly given in When We Collided!) On a sidenote, can someone tell me what “Her cheek fluttered” means? Because that’s a line from this book. One that made me, alone in my room, go What? But this book was also just boring. It never grabbed me. Maybe that’s because I found both the setting and the characters lacking. It honestly could be my fault. But heaped upon all these other problems I had, I didn’t even get to have a good time while reading this. It just felt sooooo long. In terms of positives, I liked that Jest wore eyeliner. More of that in male love interests, please. #EveryoneWearEyeliner2k17 Bottom line: This was another instance of Meyer giving a villain a meh backstory through the loss of love, but this one’s problems hit me closer to home. If you don’t worship at the altar of Alice as much as I do, you may be able to get past some of its flaws...but this was one of the most massive disappointments I’ve been hit with in a while.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nat

    Source This review contains *spoilers* for the first half of this book. Heartless is an epic retelling of Alice in Wonderland, with the focus being on The Queen of Hearts. All Catherine wants is to be declared the office tart baker of the kingdom. She and her best friend, Mary Ann, dream of launching their very own bakery. Even their friendship hit it off upon discovering one another's mutual love for food: “One wouldn’t know it to look at Mary Ann, but she had an appetite to rival Cath’s own. Th Source This review contains *spoilers* for the first half of this book. Heartless is an epic retelling of Alice in Wonderland, with the focus being on The Queen of Hearts. All Catherine wants is to be declared the office tart baker of the kingdom. She and her best friend, Mary Ann, dream of launching their very own bakery. Even their friendship hit it off upon discovering one another's mutual love for food: “One wouldn’t know it to look at Mary Ann, but she had an appetite to rival Cath’s own. They’d bonded over their love of food years ago, not long after Mary Ann had been hired on as a household maid.” Their solidarity kind of reminded me of the one Anna Bates and Mary Crawley (from Downton Abbey) had in the later seasons—aka my favorite one on the show. But according to her mother, the Marchioness, “going into the men’s world of business” is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen, especially with a humble servant - Mary Ann - as her partner. “But she and Mary Ann had been dreaming of it for so long, she sometimes forgot that it wasn’t yet reality.” Meanwhile, at the royal ball His Congenial Kingness has chosen a bride, and Cath is thrown for the loop. The King of Hearts was about to propose to her in front of the whole crowd, but the idea of marrying him seemed preposterous to her. “She would be queen, and queens . . . queens did not open bakeries with their best friends. Queens did not gossip with half-invisible cats. Queens did not have dreams of yellow-eyed boys and wake up with lemon trees over their beds.” Thankfully, before he could finish his proposal, Cheshire steals the show at Catherine’s request, so that she can vanish unnoticed through the rose gardens. On her way out, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker with a rhyming Raven. And Jest also turns out to be the boy from her dreams… literally. Cath had met a hazy, beautiful boy in her dream with eyes “bright like lemons ready to fall from a tree.” And so she informs this stranger that she'd had a dream about them, which the courage to tell a handsome someone you had a dream about them… can’t relate. “‘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.’” A man after my heart. His humor was right up my alley. Also, Jest giving her a piece of chocolate made my heart warm—“I was saving this for later, and so I must have been saving it for you.” Marissa Meyer sure knows how to make me fall quickly for someone. It's truly been awhile since I've welcomed a book-romance with open arms. And I'm glad Jest, with his quick smiles and witty remarks, was the one I was waiting for. Plus, when Jest stole her away for a midnight rendezvous - aka a tea party with the Mad Hatter - happiness coursed to the ends of my limbs. In that shared single night, one fun night, she finds out that: • He was from Chess. • He was on a mission that could end a war. • He was the protector of a queen. • Impossible is his speciality. I was anticipating every little encounter they had. But then... I don't know what happened, but my heart just wasn't in it anymore. I gradually started losing intrest in the characters and their arcs. I think I just need to take a break from fantasy for awhile and then eventually come back so I don't feel like I'm forcing myself to read my most anticipated read of the year. Marissa Meyer is one of the most talented writers, and I'm really hoping that when I pick this book up again, I'll enjoy it more than I can now. DNF @ p.232 (My heart is breaking just by writing this.) ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. no rating for now. *Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying Heartless, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!* This review and more can be found on my blog.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gillian Berry

    I REQUIRE THIS BOOK IN MY LIFE IMMEDIATELY. Marissa's announcement

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lola

    Like many people, I hate the Queen of Hearts. But perhaps that is too strong of a word, seeing that she does entertain me. Still, I dislike her tremendously. Which is why I needed to read this book. I needed to see what made the Queen of Hearts become such a blubbering, humourless, merciless and heartless terror. The first chapters boggled my mind, before I got used to seeing Catherine Pinkerton being so pliable, understanding and simply GOOD. But you know what, life is different on everyone. I act Like many people, I hate the Queen of Hearts. But perhaps that is too strong of a word, seeing that she does entertain me. Still, I dislike her tremendously. Which is why I needed to read this book. I needed to see what made the Queen of Hearts become such a blubbering, humourless, merciless and heartless terror. The first chapters boggled my mind, before I got used to seeing Catherine Pinkerton being so pliable, understanding and simply GOOD. But you know what, life is different on everyone. I actually felt compassion for Catherine. All she wants is to pursue her dream of opening a bakery and cooking and baking all days long in company of her lovely maid, Mary Ann. But her mother has other plans. She wants to make her the Queen of Hearts. Although this is a slow-paced novel, it’s important to know that Marissa Meyer does not info-dump us. She easily could have, taking lots of time to describe the world, scenes and situations the characters are put in. Instead, she assumes, to a certain degree, that we are already fairly familiar with Wonderland's elements. And are we not? Never fear, this is not at all world-building-less. I, for one, am extremely glad for the lack of info-dump. Because, ultimately, this should be about Catherine Pinkerton. And it is. I’d even go as far as to say that it’s a character-driven novel of a sort, because there are indeed many, many interesting featured characters that make this novel, although the events are also very salient. This was a treat, it really was. Marissa Meyer’s novels are undeniably magical. I will, however, point out, for your sake and patience, that HEARTLESS takes a while to pick up. Up to that point, it’s still magical, just very slow and seeming to go nowhere exactly plot-wise, because Marissa Meyer is building/presenting her characters. I thought I’d warn you, so you don’t expect to be thrown into the action right from the start. That’s not how it goes for Catherine Pinkerton. After all, before she was the Queen of Hearts, she was a fairly simple, good-willed girl. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’

  11. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Monroe

    4.5 stars “When pleased, I beat like a drum. When sad, I break like glass. Once stolen, I can never be taken back. What am I?” Slow clap for Marissa Meyer for another amazing fairy tale retelling. Looking at the blurb, it's hard to imagine Catherine, who just wanted to open a bakery and fall in love, would ever become the short-tempered, unpredictable Queen of Hearts we all know. The transformation is incredibly well-done. You know it's coming, that there isn't a happily ever after, but that shit 4.5 stars “When pleased, I beat like a drum. When sad, I break like glass. Once stolen, I can never be taken back. What am I?” Slow clap for Marissa Meyer for another amazing fairy tale retelling. Looking at the blurb, it's hard to imagine Catherine, who just wanted to open a bakery and fall in love, would ever become the short-tempered, unpredictable Queen of Hearts we all know. The transformation is incredibly well-done. You know it's coming, that there isn't a happily ever after, but that shit-hits-the-fan moment still gets you in the gut. Meyer mentioned in an interview that she wanted fans to be able to jump straight to Lewis Carroll's work straight after reading Heartless and I can assure you the lady knows what she's doing. The Wonderland setting is wonderfully mad and whimsical, as it should be. It flows seamlessly with the narrative without any huge info-dumps. The dialogue is just beautiful—and Wonderland-worthy. "You've had me mesmerized from the first moment I saw you in that red dress, and I don't know what to do about it, other than use every skill at my disposal to try and mesmerize you back." Old characters, like the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat, appear with extra additions of Meyer's own invention. We even get a peek at Carroll's "sequel." “I heard the most delightful tale at the party today,” he said, dabbing his napkin at the corner of his moustache, “about a little girl who discovered an upward-falling rabbit hole just off the Crossroads, and when she started to climb, her body fell up and up—“ Yes, like the blurb promises, it is rather romance-centric. But what did you expect from an origin story of the Queen of Hearts? There are certain tropes, such as Jest's dark secret that adversely affects their relationship or the semi-love triangle, but Meyer has a way of making them forgivable. Catherine's decisions, silly and reckless as they may be sometimes, are presented in a relatable manner. They're teenagers, and teenagers make mistakes. I did all kinds of stupid shit when I was sixteen. Heartless makes you remember that feeling; it's hard to judge them too harshly. One teeny thing did bother me (Other than the mixing-up of "lose"and "loose"in that gif): (view spoiler)[Margaret instantly becomes "less offensive to the eyes" once a man is interested in her. Come on, Meyer, you're better than this. (hide spoiler)] But overall, it was magnificent. Magic. Madness. Heaven. Sin.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥

    ”It had been a hazy, beautiful dream, and in it there had been a hazy, beautiful boy. He was dressed all in black and standing in an orchard of lemon trees, and she had the distinct sensation that he had something that belonged to her. She didn’t know what it was, only that she wanted it back, but every time she took a step towards him he receded further and further away.” And so it begins! The transformation of Lady Catherine Pinkerton of Turtle Rock Cove into the Queen of Hearts! When I started ”It had been a hazy, beautiful dream, and in it there had been a hazy, beautiful boy. He was dressed all in black and standing in an orchard of lemon trees, and she had the distinct sensation that he had something that belonged to her. She didn’t know what it was, only that she wanted it back, but every time she took a step towards him he receded further and further away.” And so it begins! The transformation of Lady Catherine Pinkerton of Turtle Rock Cove into the Queen of Hearts! When I started to read the book I was really surprised how nice and relatable she was and even halfway through “Heartless” I still kept wondering how she’d ever be able to turn into the Queen of Hearts. Well, she obviously was able to, but I wasn’t really happy with the transformation. Which is the reason I’m very conflicted about this book. *lol* On the one hand it had two of the best character introduction scenes I’ve ever read and I’m still in awe of the atmosphere Marissa Meyer created, (view spoiler)[Jest’s entrance when he hung from the chandelier and Hatta’s tea party were both such kick-ass scenes!!! (hide spoiler)] but on the other hand the ending and everything that happened over those last 50 pages felt more than just a little rushed. "But the rose felt like a whispered message, a hushed glance across a crowded room. Something precious and not to be shared." I mean the love story is building up and even though it’s still kinda insta-lovey I decided that this time around it’s okay for me. After all, the entire book is a standalone and there’s only so much you can pack into a single book. And seriously if you ever meet Jest, you’ll fall head over heels for him too. ;-P I mean how could you not? He’s cute and charming, intriguing and bold, but also shy and very handsome. I swear his golden eyes and black curls immediately caused me to think of another awesome character I hold close to my heart and yes I was a goner the instant he entered the scene! ”A laugh like that is richer than gold to a man in my position. I’ll make it my life’s work to hear the sound again. Every day, if it pleases you. No – twice a day, and at least once before breakfast. A royal joker must set the highest of expectations.” As for the other characters: I really liked Raven (Haha no surprise there!!!) and I thought Catherine and Mary Ann were really sweet! Their wish to open a bakery resonated with me (Yes, I love to bake too. Especially cupcakes and huge cakes) and I swear I got hungry whenever I picked up the book. Their thoughts about the perfect macarons and pies and whatever else they wanted to bake had me drooling all over the place and if you’ve a sweet tooth like me you can actually consider this to be a trigger warning. *LOL* I bet I gained a few pounds just reading this book. XD Anyway, enough of sweets or I’ll have to pillage my “chocolate drawer” again! ;-P Let’s continue to talk about the other characters of this book. Like for instance the King of Hearts! Boy was he a little, giggly and incompetent man! I mean nothing wrong with being funny, but the way he acted he seemed to be the only true Fool in the game. >_< ”I can’t compete with a king, and I won’t compete with the man who’s given me employment, who’s offered me a place in his court when he had no need to. I don’t mean to make your choice more difficult than it already is. He’s a good man. I believe he would do his best to be a good husband.” I understand why Jest didn’t want to go behind his back but I’m also convinced that Cath should have been honest with the King. If she would have been honest and forthright right from the beginning, nothing bad would have happened. Yes, it’s hard to refuse a king but it’s even harder to live with a lie. I know her parents made it exceptionally difficult to stay true to herself and I felt this on a spiritual level, but when it comes to matters of the heart there always comes a moment when you have to draw the line. If you ask me, Cath missed that point and that’s why things had to end the way they did. *sighs* ”I have a personal rule about not entering into business with spineless creatures. No snakes. No slippery eels. And worst of all, no fickle women. Play coy all you like, Lady Pinkerton. Cling to your belief in your own innocence. You know as well as I that you’re going to break at least one heart before this is over, and I want nothing more to do with you.” Those were harsh words, but I think Lady Catherine had to hear them. Oh Hatta! I loved him so much! I know some of you will say: ”WHAT?!” now and I don’t blame you for it. He was more than just unfriendly to Cath throughout the entire book and there were moments even I wondered why he was so mean, but then at the end it all made sense. All this hostility towards Lady Pinkerton, the loyalty he felt for Jest! It was so sad to watch the story unfold and to know that Hatta eventually would become mad. The way it finally happened broke my heart though. I definitely didn’t expect it to work out like that!! >_< ”She is a rose, Jest. Lovely on the eyes, yes, but such thorns are not to be ignored. She belongs in a King’s garden, not yours.” (view spoiler)[”If you think you had a monopoly on loving him, then you should be the King’s new fool, not his wife.” Aww what a lovely and striking couple they would have made. *sighs sadly* Hatta with his violet eyes and white hair and Jest with his golden eyes and black hair… I still can’t believe I didn’t recognize that Hatta was in love with Jest!!! There were so many hints and signs, yet I still didn’t see them. I always thought it was his unwavering loyalty and friendship that kept him so close to Jest, but it was love!! T_T No wonder he became mad in the end… (hide spoiler)] And if we’re already talking about weird and crazy things: Those three sisters of the well were so damn creepy! *lol* Am I the only one that instantly thought of Samara from “The Ring”?! Haha! I swear Lacie, Tillie and Elsie were so damn scary!!! (Despite their rather harmless sounding names. XD) So yeah, all told I really enjoyed the book, but the ending… Well, let’s just say I’m not happy with it. All this build up and then things were resolved so fast and I was blinking at the page thinking: WTH?! Are you kidding me? This is how it all goes down?! This is it?! I really wish I could give “Heartless” four stars. Jest and Hatta would deserve it, but those last 50 pages ruined it so much that I can’t give it more than 3 stars. It just wouldn’t feel right to give it four. *sighs* Still, I enjoyed the book and I can recommend it, just don’t expect all too much when it comes to the final reason and revelation! I guess then you should be safe! ;-)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

    With all due respect to the hatter, I am so mad, that's not even funny. That's what being trolled by a novel feels like, I guess. Above that, I am so, so disappointed. Indeed, it's no secret that my reading time has been seriously reduced over the previous months, making me wonder if I should stay on GR, because what's the point?! Heartless, though? It sounded so amazing that I made room for it, school and politics be damned. I wish I would have loved it, but apparently it wasn't meant to be. Si With all due respect to the hatter, I am so mad, that's not even funny. That's what being trolled by a novel feels like, I guess. Above that, I am so, so disappointed. Indeed, it's no secret that my reading time has been seriously reduced over the previous months, making me wonder if I should stay on GR, because what's the point?! Heartless, though? It sounded so amazing that I made room for it, school and politics be damned. I wish I would have loved it, but apparently it wasn't meant to be. Sigh. Me : You don't get to be so addictive for 40% and crumble into nothing, you fucking book! Book : WATCH ME Me : Or I guess you do, but then I'll go all "Off with its head!" and we wouldn't want that. Book : i don't give a daaaaaaamn OFF WITH ITS HEAD! OFF WITH ITS HEAD! OFF WITH ITS HEAD! *shatters to pieces* Me : *watching the confetti, stunned into silence* HA. This is incredibly hard for me to explain because I was very, very, VERY lenient during the first 40%. (What? It happens!) It went like this : ► I already knew how it would end? No problem, sometimes it's the journey that counts, right? ► Both Jest and Cath suffered from a serious case of instalove? Oh well, I like them enough. Let's forget that. ► The writing was decent at best? What, at least it's addictive. The stories and characters are what matter to me anyway, okay? ... And unfortunately, I genuinely believe that the lack of depth of both the writing and the plot doomed the novel in the end. Even with a fantastic premise, Heartless couldn't hold my interest after the first half, mostly because its characters started to ... fade away. Where was the unapologetic and sarcastic Joker I enjoyed so much in the beginning? Where did the funny and interesting Cath hide when I had to suffer from countless descriptions of how dumb that fucking King is (but with whom she's gonna stay anyway - because of REASONS)? The character's growth was all over the place and if I completely understand that we humans do go round and round in circles sometimes, it didn't feel genuine here and the ropes were so thick I could touch them. Also, WHERE WAS CHESHIRE? Damn, I missed that cat in the second half. The fact is, we already knew the end, so it was not a matter of WHAT but a matter of HOW. Too bad the HOW consisted in throwing some unnecessary and predictable drama in the pumpkin cake. (See? I don't even make sense anymore). Where was the thrill, the tension, when the characters' decisions started to stop making sense to go through the predictable road? For me, Heartless ended restrained because of Alice in Wonderland, and that made for the most illogical and sudden events. It's like the author suddenly remembered that she couldn't do what she wanted, and needed to get her characters where they ought to be ASAP. What about my emotions?? No, really? Given what happens, I should have cared. Key word being should, because I sure didn't. I kinda laughed, because I'm a psycho??! Where was the world-building, when everything seemed stolen and rearranged to suit the forbidden love arc? We get tons of Wonderland - and I mean TONS, so much that we guess many plot points because of it - but also a little Regency thrown in the mix, because ARRANGED MARRIAGE! WE NEED IT! Bleh. Of course I understand that a retelling borrows stuff to the original, I mean, that's the whole point. Yet when it only makes me want to reread the original instead, it's not a good thing in my opinion. Especially when I don't even like the original that much (too weird, even for me *hides*). ► Truth is, in the end, Heartless isn't a bad book, but lacks subtlety and layers, like a pretty, nice, empty shell. For more of my reviews, please visit:

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bibi

    Arrrgggh... I can feel the knives being sharpened. *gulp* So, can we talk about this book first before you send the knife my way? Heartless is an imagined prequel to Alice in Wonderland but with its main focus being the "Queen of Hearts", she of the famous "Off with their heads" quote. Alice in Wonderland is a fantastical story written in 1865 by Lewis Carrol, who created the glorious dystopian world of Wonderland replete with a talking cheshire cat, a bumbling rabbit, knaves, Jabberwocks and muc Arrrgggh... I can feel the knives being sharpened. *gulp* So, can we talk about this book first before you send the knife my way? Heartless is an imagined prequel to Alice in Wonderland but with its main focus being the "Queen of Hearts", she of the famous "Off with their heads" quote. Alice in Wonderland is a fantastical story written in 1865 by Lewis Carrol, who created the glorious dystopian world of Wonderland replete with a talking cheshire cat, a bumbling rabbit, knaves, Jabberwocks and much more. I truly liked and enjoyed Alice in Wonderland; the book and the movie. As this is my first Meyer book, I went into this with zero bias but with an expectation of getting, at the least, a fabulous intro to this best-selling author's work and at most, a thrilling account of the QOH's descent into madness. And yes, there is a good reason. A very tragic one, in fact. So, who was the QOH? The book blurb -below- does a spiffing job of summarizing the story perfectly. Emphasis by me. Long before she was the terror of Wonderland—the infamous Queen of Hearts—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..... Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker.......... 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. Let's talk about the parts that were underlined. One. (view spoiler)[Catherine didn't strike me as one who wanted to fall in love, I do believe she showed more passion for her macaroons and pies than for anyone or anything else, IMO. (hide spoiler)] Two. Desired by whom? (view spoiler)[There were zero eligible men in Hearts and her lone suitor was the vapid King of Hearts. Moreover, aside from her baking talents, there was nothing special about her. Yes, we were told she was quite beautiful but seeing this is a land filled more with creatures than damsels, we had no point of reference for her implied beauty. (hide spoiler)] Three. Gosh, I'd never wanted a pie so badly. (view spoiler)[Catherine was the consummate baker and really, the best part of this story is the baking. I gained inches just reading about the pies and the cakes and the macaroons. *frantically searching my kitchen for any baked goods* (hide spoiler)] So, yes, mad props to Catherine for her baking skills. Four. Jest. The mysterious Joker who mesmerizes Cath, both with his talent and his beauty. (view spoiler)[Here's where I think the story became undone. With Catherine being the daughter of a Marquess, any relationship with Jest the commoner would have been completely forbidden. Pause here. Remember Romeo and Juliet (or insert your favorite forbidden love story)? The angst? The late night trysts? The completely OTT love fest? How your heart ached for the lovers and how you cursed the Capulet and Montague feud? (hide spoiler)] Meyer had taken enough literary liberties with this story and could have done so much more with Jest. So much more. (view spoiler)[Instead, I found him bland, boring, cloying, and unremarkable, despite his yellow eyes and the magic. (hide spoiler)] Their love was supposedly forbidden therefore I expected frothing emotions and escalating tensions. I wanted to feel that heart-pounding despair evoked by young and desperate lovers who could not exist without the other. Had Meyer not spent more time invoking the spirit of the original AIW, had she not included any and every character from that book, Jest and Catherine may have had more time together building their longing for each other. Between the croquet matches; the uninteresting balls; Catherine's never-will-happen dream of opening a bakery; and the detailed descriptions of the aforementioned endless list of creatures; these two had less than 5 intimate moments. 5! In a book with 450+ pages! Of the 450+pages, nearly 360 pages were nothing more than a retelling of the original AIW, the story only picks up momentum at the 80% mark but by which point,I. WAS. FRIGGING. BORED. OUT. OF. MY. MIND. (view spoiler)[So, yes, Catherine witnesses a horrific incident which sends her careening into a pool of despair culminating in unreserved anger toward every single person she ever loved. (hide spoiler)] And thus, we finally are gifted with the whys of her apparent madness. Ultimately, Meyer does serve up a plausible accounting of the Queen's descent into madness, but like I said, during the entire journey to that conclusion: I. WAS. FRIGGING. BORED. OUT. OF. MY. FRIGGING. MIND.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Heartless blew me away. If you've been following my reviews for a while, you will know that I wasn't the biggest fan of The Lunar Chronicles. Yes, I know, I can barely believe it either. So, I went into this book not expecting much, and maybe that helped, because this book blew me away. It surpassed every expectation I set for a five star book, and it was nothing short of perfection. Also, regarding The Lunar Chronicles, Fairest was my favorite installment in that series, and the book I gave the Heartless blew me away. If you've been following my reviews for a while, you will know that I wasn't the biggest fan of The Lunar Chronicles. Yes, I know, I can barely believe it either. So, I went into this book not expecting much, and maybe that helped, because this book blew me away. It surpassed every expectation I set for a five star book, and it was nothing short of perfection. Also, regarding The Lunar Chronicles, Fairest was my favorite installment in that series, and the book I gave the highest rating. So, maybe I just really enjoy "villain" retellings? I think both Fairest and Heartless just speak to my tragic love-story masochist heart or something along those lines. “Two Rooks, a Pawn, and a Queen. That’s how the riddle begins, but howsoever shall it end?” Anyway, Heartless is a Alice in Wonderland retelling, that stars the Queen of Hearts before she was the Queen of Hearts. We have grown up reading about the evil queen and the evil things that she has done, but we never knew why she was the way she was. Well, bless Marissa Meyer for creating this heartfelt masterpiece, because she did just that. The Queen of Hearts, known as Catherine in this story, was once not evil at all. In fact, she was quite the opposite and had dreams of opening up her own bakery, because she is the best baker in all of Hearts, and loves nothing more than to make people happy with her treats. That is, until Catherine realizes that her parents expect her to marry the King of Hearts, and give up her dreams, that they deem unworthy, completely. “If I am not to have happiness, let me at least have a purpose. Let me give you the heart of a queen.” I believe this is the main moral of this story, and what made this story resonate so much inside of me: You shouldn't live your life for anyone's expectations of you. Not your family, not your partner, not your friends, no one but yourself. No matter if we are in Wonderland or in our world, we are only allotted a certain amount of time, so spend your time doing what you love and what your heart tells you to do. I know I sound preachy, and I know this seems like a basic concept, but this is something I've struggled with my whole life and I know there are others out there that do too. “Sometimes your heart is the only thing worth listening to.” The Queen of Hearts isn't the only origin story for this book; we also learn a great deal about the Mad Hatter, and what was the final straw to make him truly mad. This plot reveal/twist was probably my favorite thing of this entire book, and it, along with Catherine's madness, made so much sense to me. Hatta's confession rebroke my heart all over again, honestly. I knew how this story would end, obviously, but that didn't prepare me for how obsessed I would become trying to learn how we'd get to that ending. I kept trying to figure it out, and even though I guessed "the who", I never guessed "the how". I'm a terrible sucker for prophecy stories, but even reading the prophecy itself didn't prepare me for what actually happened. I felt gutted, heartbroken, and was completely unprepared. “It is a dangerous thing to unbelieve something only because it frightens you.” When I was a young girl, I would spend countless hours on my Grandparent's property, in all their different gardens, playing Alice in Wonderland with my Grandma. Alice in Wonderland started my obsession with finding "magical doorways" and, to this day, I still love reading about them. I also feel like a major reason I enjoyed this book is because it made me feel a lot of nostalgia to the point that I actually want to reread and rewatch different Alice in Wonderland adaptations. I am so blessed and thankful for those memories with my Grandma, and all the feelings attached to those memories. Those feelings really made me enjoy the reading experience even more, even though I know it made me a little biased. This book was the perfect amount of magical, beautiful and heartbreaking. It is written so lyrically, I feel like I highlighted half of the book. I loved it, and I love that it surprised me by loving it. I also love that it is a standalone. This is such a fantastic read, and I really can't recommend it enough, especially if you are like me and didn't love The Lunar Chronicles. “Off with his head.” Also, now I'm just being overly emotional and tearing up, because I just noticed that the naked back cover has a joker hat. Before, I only noticed the front had the queen's crown. Please, my heart. This story will haunt me for some time, and I will never read Alice in Wonderland the same way. “Over everything, I choose you.” Blog | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Youtube | Twitch

  16. 5 out of 5

    Simona Bartolotta

    4.5 "She would not allow fate to trick her out of this dream." I almost didn't read this. I thought, Oh well, another retelling. It can wait. I've got more promising things to read at the moment. But when I saw how stunning this hardback was, the shallower half of me immediately decided she had to read it like yesterday. Have I mentioned how much I love Shallow-Me? •First of all, I think Marissa Meyer showed great wisdom in the choice of the story. Retelling the Queen of Hearts gave her the possibil 4.5 "She would not allow fate to trick her out of this dream." I almost didn't read this. I thought, Oh well, another retelling. It can wait. I've got more promising things to read at the moment. But when I saw how stunning this hardback was, the shallower half of me immediately decided she had to read it like yesterday. Have I mentioned how much I love Shallow-Me? •First of all, I think Marissa Meyer showed great wisdom in the choice of the story. Retelling the Queen of Hearts gave her the possibility to create something that was close enough to The Lunar Chronicles to please her historical fans, and different enough to let them see that the two things are unmistakably not alike. Heartless is darker, gloomier, and far, far sadder than any book of The Lunar Chronicles ever was, and, as much as I adore The Lunar Chronicles, I daresay this pinch of sorrow is precisely what made me fall, fall and fall for Catherine's story. •The true strong suit of the novel, if you ask me, is Catherine's change throughout it. I am not even sure I can properly call it "development", given the positive connotation this word usually comes with, but our heroine does grow, in a broad sense: she gets stronger, tougher, less pliant, more tenacious. Hers is a growth that goes in so many directions that it becomes impossible not only to label it simply as a descent into madness, but also to determine which parts of it can be considered an improvement and which cannot. Catherine's character expands while shrinking, learns to stand her ground while letting go, opens her eyes in the very same moment when what her world requires of her is to shut them as tight as she can. She's contradictory, ensnared, caught in the crossfire, and she has no one to blame for it. Or rather, she has herself. But she is tender, she is delicate; she cannot live with such a guilt. And that's where her torment stems from in the first place. You wouldn't believe the transformation she undergoes from the beginning of the book to its end, truly. But in this, she never changes. She never learns to shoulder this particular responsibility, and she keeps finding ways around it. She wants, wants, wants so desperately, but ultimately she chooses daydream over reality. She hopes, hopes, hopes, but never finds it in herself to act. Even revenge, for her, is a way to lay the blame elsewhere and relieve herself of it, so that she can pretend to be fine after all. She never faces what happened, not really. She chases this illusion until the very end, in her decision of (view spoiler)[getting rid of her heart (hide spoiler)] . A heroine would have fought. But Catherine is no heroine. "Mind my words, Cheshire, I will have you banished from this kingdom if you tempt me." "An empty threat from an empty girl." She rounded on him, teeth flashing. "I am not empty. I am full to the brim with murder and revenge. I am overflowing and I do not think you wish for me to overflow on to you." "There was a time" – Cheshire yawned – "when you overflowed with whimsy and icing sugar. I liked that Catherine better." I absolutely, utterly, completely adore her. And her character development, above all. I may be biased because cold, heartless, ruthless female leads automatically mean I'm sold. Even if they show up only for the last five chapters or so. •Cath's relationship with her parents is heart-rending. Every single time they talked to her, a part of me screamed and died in agony. Their last encounter brought real tears to my eyes. Not being listened to, not being truly considered by the two people who should be the most supportive and caring for you, that's a torture I wouldn't wish on the worst of my enemies. The Marquess and the Marchioness are probably the main reason why my very soul was in agony throughout the whole book. •On the other hand, there are a couple of flaws I couldn't help noticing (and forgetting, apparently. I was too caught up to take notes). I remember thinking that Cath's bitterness, after (view spoiler)[Mary Ann's betrayal (hide spoiler)] , seemed somewhat too sudden, and that it didn't seem to bode well for the character development, but as you can guess, my fears were unfounded, though the episode was indeed handled rather awkwardly, narratively speaking -she's like rainbow and sunshine one scene and storm and thunder the next. So, when you get there, don't panic: it's all but short-lived. •Another moment I would have written differently is when she (view spoiler)[decides to accept the King so as to allow Jest to accomplish his mission (hide spoiler)] . Again, it was kind of rushed and, I think, not very sensible, and that's probably the part of the book I like the least, but not so much that I couldn't turn a blind eye and keep enjoying the rest. •I'm not sure I fully grasped the meaning of the fact that (view spoiler)[some of Cath's dreams actually came true, like the lemon tree or the roses or the key lime (hide spoiler)] . I feel like I understand it on a subconscious level while not being able to put it in words. (view spoiler)[Maybe it was Fate -the Sisters- sending her messages? (hide spoiler)] I think I'll stick to this explanation. •I am just now realizing that I haven't mentioned the romance yet. Jest is an adorable love interest, and the ship sailed in no time, but the point is, the romance in itself is not the point. What actually is important is what this first love story means to Cath and how it would affect her life. This is why I wouldn't call Jest a male lead: the only lead, here, is Catherine. And I'm particularly happy with this. ➽ I did not expect to enjoy Heartless as much as I did. I did not expect to warm up so much to this girl in the habit of dreaming too much, for whom hoping is an illness, for whom burying her hands in a ball of dough is the ultimate happiness. I warmed up to her so much my heart had got as cold as hers as the conclusion drew near, and by the end of it, it didn't even seem to be beating anymore. I wonder if I will ever be able to claim it back.

  17. 5 out of 5

    maram ☂︎

    5 Red Roses "A finely crafted hat makes a person ... bolder." This is my first novel from Marissa Meyer and I have to say that I'm very happy with what I got. I pretty much went into it with no expectation. I only knew that it's somehow a retelling of Alice in Wonderland but really, it's the villain's story before she became the notorious Queen of Hearts and that was intriguing enough for me. Yet, Meyer managed to fill it up with a beautiful and fast-paced story that I was hooked from start to end 5 Red Roses "A finely crafted hat makes a person ... bolder." This is my first novel from Marissa Meyer and I have to say that I'm very happy with what I got. I pretty much went into it with no expectation. I only knew that it's somehow a retelling of Alice in Wonderland but really, it's the villain's story before she became the notorious Queen of Hearts and that was intriguing enough for me. Yet, Meyer managed to fill it up with a beautiful and fast-paced story that I was hooked from start to end. Heartless tells the story of a girl named Catherine, who's the daughter of a royal family going by Rock Turtle Cove in the Kingdom of Hearts. She is deemed to become the Queen as she is pressured by her parents (mostly by her mother, the Marchioness) to marry the very-available and ever giggling King. However, her passionate lies elsewhere and that's in her baking. For years, Catherine and her maid + best friend, Mary Ann, had dreams of opening up a bakery but it's of no use in a place where women are not supposed to be seen as "businessmen". This tale continues with Catherine fighting for what she wants despite so many obstacles. But we all know how this story turns out in the end... Will she take risks and get the bakery of her dreams or lose everything she's worked so hard for to only be crowned as the Queen of Hearts? Her mother sneered. "Then you are a fool." "Good. I've become rather fond of fools." But that's not all, Heartless also introduces us to Jest, who is the King's court joker and Catherine's love-interest. I don't want to go into too much details but Jest has very own story that's definitely worth picking up this book for as YOU SURELY DON'T WANT TO MISS OUT. To those who have knowledge of Alice in Wonderland will also recognize side characters like Chesire, the White Rabbit, Mr. Caterpillar and so on. "Do you know you're extra beautiful when you talk about baking. You know you're good at it, and that knowledge lights you up." I chose to pick up Heartless for some light and fluffy read but BOY WAS I WRONG. The last 200+ pages was SUPER INTENSE, it was hard to put it down when I needed to. That still doesn't take away the fact that it wasn't funny throughout cause it actually was... the dessert references were on point that I yearn for a bite all the damn time (especially the rose macarons), Catherine's fierceness, sassy Cheshire and of course, the flirtatious Joker but we also have Raven, Hatter, and many more lovable characters. I loved reading how realistic the characters in Heartless were in its traditional and magical sense. I was so not expecting that. For one, there's no denying that Catherine is flawed. She's short of shy and well-mannered but at the same time she tends to react very quickly. True to her manners, a lot of the times her mind wanders to sacrificing her own happiness for her family's wishes and to keep her reputation intact but still, she is determined to fight back. Jest, on the other hand... gosh there are just no words to describe how AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL he is. How he treated Catherine throughout this entire book is swoon-worthy and I'm glad that their relationship wasn't instant as it may seems. The romance in this book you guys was NOT overwhelming. "What are you doing here?" she whispered. "You're..." He grinned. "A wanted man?" She ducked beneath the raised hands of the next couple. Rotated back. Curtsied. "Exactly," she said as her palm found Jest's again. "Good," he said, his dimples showing. "I hoped you might still feel that way." I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO EVERY ONE :D

  18. 5 out of 5

    Elena

    They were all a little mad, if one was to be forthright. BUDDY READ WITH SUNNY, MY FAVORITE CHILD. Okay so, it's a big surprise I enjoyed this. I knew I would simply because it's Marissa Meyer and she did not disappoint me with her Lunar Chronicles series, so I knew this would happen. Marissa is the only author that is able to write novels that captivate me from the very first sentence. To be honest, I dislike retellings a lot. I won't say I hate them, but we aren't very good friends. Every re They were all a little mad, if one was to be forthright. BUDDY READ WITH SUNNY, MY FAVORITE CHILD. Okay so, it's a big surprise I enjoyed this. I knew I would simply because it's Marissa Meyer and she did not disappoint me with her Lunar Chronicles series, so I knew this would happen. Marissa is the only author that is able to write novels that captivate me from the very first sentence. To be honest, I dislike retellings a lot. I won't say I hate them, but we aren't very good friends. Every retelling I read (or try to read) ends up unfinished or rated lowly. Marissa Meyer had me intrigued since the very beginning and I couldn't be happier. Heartless was happy and cute, but it was also heartbreaking and now I am heartless? I would say that's the word since I don't even know what my hearts for now. Heartless is a well-done and well-written retelling of Alice in Wonderland. I've also never been the biggest fan of Alice in Wonderland, so I was a little afraid going into this one when Sana asked me if I wanted to BR it with her. I said yes because I kinda thought she and I would think the same about it and well, I was glad, and I couldn't be happier of us Sana. Our buddy read finally worked! The Queen of Hearts was actually one of my favorite characters only because she was a bitch and had a rude attitude. Call me a bitch as well, but I liked her personality. For some reason, I did, but mainly because she's the Queen of Hearts that everyone else despised while I enjoyed her. Before becoming the rude Queen, Catherine 'Cath' Pinkerton was just a normal girl who wanted to be happy by opening her own bakery with one of her good friends, Mary-Ann, and she wanted to fall in love, to be happy, to know what's it like to be in love. Before turning into the Queen of Hearts and marrying the infamous King of Hearts, Cath just wanted her own fairytale of falling in love and feeling passion, to be happy while she lived the young life she had. Her parents, being the strict parents that don't really care what happiness for their daughter is and what it really means, don't want her to do that and don't approve of it. Instead, they try pushing her into becoming the only girl that can be seen at a royal ball where the King himself can fall in love with her and propose to her, and that is exactly what happens. The King of Hearts, an immature and childish boy who does not have the capability of ruling a kingdom, proposes to Catherine. He does not show any love and affection towards her in any way but he does show it to her pastries and desserts, which might be why he proposes to her. Cath, feeling a disgusted pleasure, does not want to accept this proposal and marry the King. Luckily for her, on the same day, a mysterious and new court joker who goes by the name of Jest, arrives on the same day and steals a glance at Cath, not bothering to care about the interruption he just made. As Jest entered the ball and was able to talk to Cath in a way, the two start seeing each other more and all that leads to their own private courtship that is both loving but endangering to both, especially Cath. So to say it all, I loved Heartless! I really don't care what other have to say about this. I think I loved it so much because it was a retelling of the Queen of Hearts and not about Alice. What made me love this more was that Marissa included so many characters and aspects of the original retelling. We get the Cheshire Cat, Jack 'The Knave of Hearts,' the Caterpillar, the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, and other characters that were invented by Marissa. So I know the Red Queen and the Queen of hearts are different characters, but the White Queen and Red Queen were mentioned in this novel by Jest which was something that brought back memories from the movie as well. So to say it all, there were characters from the movie and the original Disney film. We also get such a different setting in this world. It's the world in Wonderland, but it was in the own creation and words of Marissa. It feels very different reading it when comparing it to the other films since it doesn't have to do much with Alice herself, but I was just glad Marissa was able to top that off as well. She was able to make this her own and unique world of Wonderland and it fit the characters and the story perfectly. Other kingdoms were mentioned as well and it was great finding out new things I actually didn't know about. The writing was also something I completely enjoyed! Like I said, Marissa has been the only author that has been able to captivate me into her new worlds and into her writing without complaints since the beginning. I'm always afraid to read retellings because I always think it will ruin the original fairy tale, but when it comes to Marissa, there's no doubt I'll love it. Cath was definitely a character I enjoyed reading about. She was a simple and normal girl who wanted to live a life she wanted to live, to choose the path she wanted to choose, not the ones her parents wanted for her. She was good, understanding, lovely, adorable, and just cute! It's a fantasy book, so I can't relate to characters, but Cath was a character I was able to understand from the beginning until the end. She had her own dreams and sometimes just wanted to run away and escape the world she was living in because she felt controlled at times by the King and her parents. She couldn't do everything she pleased or wanted to do, and she had to listen to everyone all the time and deal with it all. She didn't have many friends. In fact, she didn't have anyone to count on, not even Chesire. She couldn't trust herself to tell anyone anything or meet anyone knew and feel like they would become friends because she's never had the heart to do that. I sometimes felt bad for Cath and that is part of why I loved her character. She was just cute, that is all. She was also caring and nice but of course, the teenage girl must become the Queen of Hearts that orders to chop heads off and has everyone hating her. Another thing I loved about Cath is that she wasn't afraid to find out who this mysterious court joker and what he was up to, Jest. Jest was just wonderful in every way possible. He is another one of those fictional characters that are added to my book boyfriends list along with other girls and other book boyfriends over there who actually have a girlfriend ;) Jest was just the perfect one for Cath. I wouldn't call them boyfriend and girlfriend because their relationship actually started late, but the way their friendship was growing and turning into small aspects of a relationship was cute. Cath admitting to herself that she hated how she was falling for Jest immediately was funny, and of course, a book pet peeve of mine is insta love and I honestly hate it, but insta love here was different and I actually didn't mind it which is not something that usually happens. Never has happened, but with Heartless, history has been made. Cath and Jest both fell for each other and that involved insta love, but I wasn't upset. The only reason I hate it is because the author didn't write it correctly or in a way where I was able to enjoy it. There was no love triangle, and thank you, Marissa, for that, so instead love wasn't a problem. I loved them together since the beginning since Jest started his small performance that left the King and everyone else amazed and surprised and then just, left. Jest was just perfect. The ending doesn't change anything for me and I will love him forever and always. (view spoiler)[Cath may be heartless but just like her, I'm not heartless for Jest. He's there in my heart and I thank him for coming into Cath's life and making it better. (hide spoiler)] He brought her to different worlds. What I mean by that is that he was able to make Cath smile and laugh like no one else and I just loved that. Jest was just amazing in every way and I loved everything about him. He's a mysterious joker, a swoon-worthy male who had me giggling like a small 5-year-old fangirl because I couldn't get enough of him. Sana and I swooned over him since the beginning because he was a mysterious dude and he just sounded like those other attractive fictional characters. A joker. A rook. A mystery. Unlike Jest and Cath, the other characters were the pieces of the book that I did not like in any way. Actually, I enjoyed the Raven and Chesire, but that's it. The King was very immature, childish, a fool, and did not have any kind of ability to rule a kingdom. He was a King who was very scared and did not have any protection under him in any way, he did not know how the care for a wife really is, and he couldn't do anything by himself. He and Cath were not meant to be together in any way and it's obvious from the start, which was another thing I was happy about. The other characters, like Jack and The Mad Hatter, were assholes at times as well. Jack, first, was the character I hated the most from the beginning besides the King. He was a selfish guy who didn't care about anyone and anything besides himself and I really hated how he didn't try anything new. The Mad Hatter was a little different than the Hatta we're familiar with. This guy created and gave hats that could turn people into someone else, which is found out as we learn a little more about him. He was also mysterious, like the Joker, and he was also a selfish guy who didn't care much about the outside but only for himself and what he felt on the inside which was something I didn't like as well. Even with the complaints I have with almost every other character, this book was just phenomenal! It was just what I needed; it was just the retelling I needed to read and I couldn't be happier to finally find a fairy tale retelling that made me my little red heart happy and then shattered it, not allowing it to feel anything. Marissa Meyer is just a wonderful writer and I'm so glad she was able to come up with this and write it the way I was expecting it. I'm really looking forward to her future novels, her upcoming releases, and anything she has in mind. I heard she's into fairy tales a lot so what she will normally write will be retellings and I am just perfectly okay with that. I loved this a lot, just a lot. I'm not in a hangover, but I feel many emotions towards that ending. Those 4 last words, those 2 words that I read over and over again that made me sad over and over again when I knew that would happen. I currently hate Sana for that because she kept telling me she had predictions and theories and me being the person that doesn't predict anything or have any theories because they can ruin the whole story for me, was very very mad at her. I don't ever predict (unless it's so obvious and it's like, right there) because sometimes I feel like I can or will be right and it will just ruin the whole thing for me. There won't be a point in reading the rest of the story if I already know what's gonna happen. Even if I spoiled myself, I would just skip to the end and say I finished it by skimming the last few pages or the rest of pages that were left of the book. I mean, that's happened a lot (when I spoil myself) so it wouldn't matter to me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    DNF 53% I almost never give up on a book, but... Yikes. Um. Yeah, no. Sorry this one just isn't for me. I tried. But, it was just too boring for my personal taste. I should probably mention that I'm not an Alice in Wonderland fan. I've never read it, and I never plan to. In fact, I've never even made it all the way through the Disney movie. I know it's a classic and all, but even the animated version bores me. I'm not saying this story is boring, just that it's boring to me. Catherine is the daught DNF 53% I almost never give up on a book, but... Yikes. Um. Yeah, no. Sorry this one just isn't for me. I tried. But, it was just too boring for my personal taste. I should probably mention that I'm not an Alice in Wonderland fan. I've never read it, and I never plan to. In fact, I've never even made it all the way through the Disney movie. I know it's a classic and all, but even the animated version bores me. I'm not saying this story is boring, just that it's boring to me. Catherine is the daughter of a marquess, but wants to be a baker. She's getting pushed into marrying the King of Heart, but she's in love with the Jester. In the background, there's a monster (Jabberwocky) on the loose. And there's all sorts of Alice in Wonderland characters/references going on throughout. And since I'm in the very small minority, I'm assuming that all of the above mentioned stuff was wonderful for most of the readers. To me though, it was chock full of equal parts weird and dull. The world's most snoozworthy romance happening in Trippyville. I've been struggling with this book for over a month now, and I finally decided to take the coward's way out, and *GASP!* skip to the last few pages to see how it all turned out. Yeah, no thanks. I've only DNF'd a small handful of books over the years, but I'm afraid this is going to have to be one of them. I could lie to myself and say maybe I'll come back to it at a later date, but you and I both know that ain't happening. Due to all the glowing reviews, I don't think most of you will find this book as unreadable as I did, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tiea Martin

    ANOTHER BOOK BY MY ULTIMATE FAVORITE AUTHOR?!!!?? I NEED IT! NOW. TODAY. AT THIS EXACT MOMENT. NOT IN TWO YEARS.

  21. 4 out of 5

    P

    “Roses are red, violets are blue, I would even trim my moustache for you!” This book is magic. I could feel it everywhere when words were recounted, when songs were chanted and when hearts were broken. Other than that, the book made me giggle continually. Catherine has the great development since the beginning. Her character is played out an exact direction as a good girl constrained by traditions. And then she meets Jest, her heart is conveyed out of the path of marrying the King of Hearts. Ca “Roses are red, violets are blue, I would even trim my moustache for you!” This book is magic. I could feel it everywhere when words were recounted, when songs were chanted and when hearts were broken. Other than that, the book made me giggle continually. Catherine has the great development since the beginning. Her character is played out an exact direction as a good girl constrained by traditions. And then she meets Jest, her heart is conveyed out of the path of marrying the King of Hearts. Cath was my main focus through this book. I admired her at first, but around the middle I felt as if her personality was queerly changed. I should have felt good with it, but I didn't. “When pleased, I beat like a drum. When sad, I break like glass. Once stolen, I can never be taken back. What am I?” There was something about Heartless making me quaver all the time. I was afraid that this book would be another Fairest, a pitiful girl turns villainous by people around her. Anyhow, the ending was not what I was afraid of, and I was quite satisfied with those twists and turns flipping my stomach and wrenching my heart painfully. I kinda understood the motivations of the MCs, though. They follows the story that already happened in Alice in Wonderland, which Marissa Meyer tried so hard to respect the original one, and she did well. “Over everything, I choose you” Apart from my rumbling stomach, I have some problems with Heartless, too, for its lack of dymanic throughout the story. The narration is good but slow, and if someone doesn't enjoy the courtesy of the Victorian era as I did, it'll be boring and easy to lose interest since the first few chapters. By the by, I liked many things of Heartless: its characters, story, twists and magical world which divided by the Looking Glass. They captured my atttention successfully and made me fall in love with Alice in Wonderland all over again. “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?” One final question. https://goo.gl/eMCgl4

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    I cried. IN DEPTH VIDEO REVIEW COMING SOON. I... am speechless.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joshee Kun (조수아)

    Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. — Oscar Wilde Heartless is such an emotional masterpiece. If The Lunar Chronicles gave you a lot of feels, then this book will give you tons more. I cannot go into detail in fear of spoiling anyone. However, trust me when I say that this book won't make you think about rainbows, unicorns, cotton candy, and the like. After all, it's about the early life on an anti-hero. Since Heartless is a prequel to Ali Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. — Oscar Wilde Heartless is such an emotional masterpiece. If The Lunar Chronicles gave you a lot of feels, then this book will give you tons more. I cannot go into detail in fear of spoiling anyone. However, trust me when I say that this book won't make you think about rainbows, unicorns, cotton candy, and the like. After all, it's about the early life on an anti-hero. Since Heartless is a prequel to Alice in Wonderland, it inevitably gave me a Tim Burton vibe. The world was very whimsical, fantastical, and sometimes dark or creepy. Hence, thoughts of Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp often came into my mind. But of course I did my best to imagine them in their younger years. Haha. Gleaning upon her previous works, Marissa Meyer has always been good at crafting unique, captivating, and well-rounded characters. Thus, I was happy to find new fictional beings to like, love, and hate in this book. Catherine was unsurprisingly my favorite protagonist. My heart now bleeds for her, out of both pity and understanding. All she really wanted in life was to be a successful baker and possibly marry for love, but her royal parents blindly forced her into a life/fate they sincerely believed would make her happy. I really felt so emotional seeing her evolve from a hopeful lass to a heartless queen. Even though her story was heartbreaking, it was beautiful and unforgettable nonetheless. As for Jest, he reminded me a lot of Rhysand of A Court of Mist and Fury. He was delightfully mysterious and somehow omnipresent. It was strange how he managed to be there for Cath every time she was in major distress. Furthermore, Jest's intentions were often questionable. He didn't seem malicious in any way, but there was something about him that conveyed a fondness for secrets. In totality, he was a very attractive character (not only physically speaking). The antagonists in this book were downright despicable, but it was in the best possible way. I absolutely loved to hate them, Cath's parents in particular. Ugh, they were so dense and presumptuous that I could hardly contain my temper every time they appeared in a scene. I also disliked a few more antagonists, but disclosing their names would make this review spoilery. Just know that they will surely tick you off, as the author probably intended them to do. ;) What I admired most about Heartless was the intricacy of its plot. Whilst I was quite annoyed that I managed to predict some events or outcomes, I loved how Marissa Meyer was able to flawlessly connect all the circumstances leading to Cath's imminent transformation into the Queen of Hearts. Overall, I honestly did not detect any plot hole whatsoever. In conclusion, I sincerely believe that Heartless is worthy of all the hype it's receiving. Yes, it shattered my heart, but I still enjoyed it because it made me realize that authors aren't necessarily obliged to make their readers happy. When I come to think of it, sadness has a beauty of its own.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joelle (Throne of books)

       *3.5 stars* Heartless by Marissa Meyer is an Alice in Wonderland prequel set long before the infamous Queen of Hearts was the terror of Wonderland. Back when she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.   While being one of the most beautiful girls in wonderland and a favorite of the King of Hearts, as a talented baker all Catherine wants is to open a bakery with her best friend.  Unfortunately, her parents such a dream is absurd for someone who could be the next queen.   Not reciprocating    *3.5 stars* Heartless by Marissa Meyer is an Alice in Wonderland prequel set long before the infamous Queen of Hearts was the terror of Wonderland. Back when she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.   While being one of the most beautiful girls in wonderland and a favorite of the King of Hearts, as a talented baker all Catherine wants is to open a bakery with her best friend.  Unfortunately, her parents such a dream is absurd for someone who could be the next queen.   Not reciprocating the Kings feelings for her, Catherine meets the mysterious yet handsome court joker, Jest, at the royal ball where the kind is to propose to her. Determined to define her destiny and fall in love on her own terms, she and Jest enter a secret courtship.   The first thing I want to clarify as most people seem to be confused on the matter, is that the Queen of Hearts and the Red Queen are not the same person. People often confuse the two but alas they are not the same. They're both evil Queens yes, but originally the queen of hearts was first introduced in Lewis Carroll's  'Alice's adventures in wonderland' the  Red Queen was introduced in 'Alice through the looking Glass' I do believe all this confusion is due to the mispresentation of them in Tim Burton's popular movie adaptation.   That being said I want to thank Marissa Meyer for writing such a wonderful origin story to one of my favorite villains of all time. I am a HUGE fan of Alice in Wonderland. And I am an even bigger fan of villains. Getting to read Marissa's version of the Queen of Hearts' evil origin was incredible.   Catherine was on many levels, one of the most relatable characters I've ever read about. All she wants is to open up a bakery with her best friend Mary Anne. Baking pastries and delicacies is where her heart belongs. However, her parents want her to seize such silly dreams and focus on other appropriate acts for young ladies such as herself. That includes marrying the King of Hearts. Even though that is not what she wants, Catherine wants her parents disappointment even less. Catherine's parents are infuriating people. Not once do they stop to ask her if she is happy. Not once do they stop and consider that this might not be what she wants. Her mother, is biggest nightmare of them all. Refusing to speak of anything other than her future wedding and queenly status, she hurts Catherine with her words. She often chastised her for eating too much or even considering having another bite. Comparing her to a hefty animal.   Jest, the mysterious new court joker makes her feel -for the first time- what love really is. He is mysterious, handsome and captivating. She feels gers left drawn to him from the minute she first sees him, and something inside her starts to bloom.    The romance between the two was something that stubbornly latched onto my heart and refused to let go until the very end when it consumed my heart entirely. I tried not to get hopeful considering we all know how the Queen of Hearts ends up but try as I might, it was impossible.   The plot of the story is well  known of course. Unfortunately the pacing was relatively slow for the majority of the book. However, as soon as I began the luscious writing pulled me into the story and I couldn't put the book down. I was drawn in completely. One thing Marissa can really do is write compellingly.    While I can't discuss much else without spoiling the anything I do want to say that I was CRUSHED by the end. Heartless is such a good title for this book because that is exactly (not really!) what Marissa Meyer is for ruining me the way she did. I'm convinced she should write an Alice in Wonderland retelling because you have to admit, the woman can write one hell of a retelling. And of course, a villains' beautifully tragic origin story.   And the moment everyone's being waiting for (let's be honest here you're all waiting for it) the comparison to The Lunar chronicles. Yes, I know many of you want to know if it's better than her Lunar chronicles series and I'll get right to the point. It's not. In my opinion, it was not. The Lunar chronicles is a far better series and story. While heartless was very enjoyable, it was very slow paced and than RUSHED in the end. Of course, I believe this is due to the fact that it is a standalone. If it had been the beginning of a new series I don't doubt it would have been better paced and plotted out. I do still recommend you give this story a shot if you're a fan of Alice in Wonderland such as myself or if you love Meyers' other works.

  25. 5 out of 5

    alexandra ling

    ***FULL REVIEW ORIGINALLY AT www.twirlingpages.com! marissa meyer twisted together a tale that is different, and yet familiar. i had high expectations going on HEARTLESS. marissa meyer is one of my favorite authors and ALICE IN WONDERLAND is one of my favorite stories. naturally, the mix would be amazing. but this book is nothing like THE LUNAR CHRONICLES, and this story is not your ordinary retelling. i came to love the story and its characters, but i do have some minor complaints. before beginni ***FULL REVIEW ORIGINALLY AT www.twirlingpages.com! marissa meyer twisted together a tale that is different, and yet familiar. i had high expectations going on HEARTLESS. marissa meyer is one of my favorite authors and ALICE IN WONDERLAND is one of my favorite stories. naturally, the mix would be amazing. but this book is nothing like THE LUNAR CHRONICLES, and this story is not your ordinary retelling. i came to love the story and its characters, but i do have some minor complaints. before beginning, i’d recommend going over a wikipedia of what the original ALICE IN WONDERLAND story consists of. i knew a small basis – alice follows a rabbit down a hole and ends up in wonderland – but i didn’t bother with the details. i always imagined wonderland as a sort of place with a plethora of mysteries yet to be discovered. and so, i didn’t remember or care for minor characters. lemme say this again: KNOW THE ORIGIN STORY. not only will it make the book more enjoyable, but you’ll also be less confused. for the majority of the book, i was confused. but i didn’t mind so much because that’s wonderland. marissa meyer wrote the novel in a style that made me feel as if i should already know the world, but i didn’t. there were also (of course) parallels between the original tale. the writing style was really unexpected – and i loved it. everything from the characters to the setting to plot made the whole atmosphere feel so magical and wistful. i felt like i was IN wonderland and i was watching all the events string together. it took some getting used to – i was expecting something similar to TLC – but by the end i was in love. (and also drooling. don't read this book when you're hungry because the DESCRIPTIONS OF FOOD OMG. the main character is a baker and i just *sighs* I WANT THE FOOD.) what bothered me slightly about this novel was the pacing. i had a hard time getting into it (see: confusion) and when i did, there’d be chunks of chapters that were so sloooooooooow. there wasn’t much going on, and i couldn’t see where the focus was, and then BAM last hundred pages had me clutching the book like it was a missing arm. suddenly, i realize i love all the characters and the plot clicks into place. BUT i do think the climax could’ve come earlier in the book because it went from snail’s-pace to sofastsofast. although when the climax was revealed, i was an emotional wreck. marissa meyer can be SO HEARTLESS sometimes. (pun intended) HEARTLESS was a bit of a weird read for me. there were so many aspects i loved about the book – the characters, writing, plot, etc. – but the pacing and world threw me off. however, i also feel it’s partially my fault because i had expectations of what the story might be or “should” be. like wonderland, this book is not one you can predict. there are twists and tricks and turns and flips; so sit back, relax, and enjoy the story – because i’m sure you’ll have sympathy for the so-called evil queen of hearts by the end of the journey.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte May

    “These things do not happen in dreams, dear girl,’ he said, vanishing up to his neck. ‘They happen only in nightmares.’ This was great! In the beginning, I wasn’t sure - it was rather cutesy, and I found Cath slightly irritating. But as I carried on, this book grew darker and darker! I loved being immersed in Meyer’s version of Wonderland, with many characters to be recognised; including the Caterpillar, the White Rabbit, the Hatter, March Hare, Doormouse, Cheshire Cat and even Mary-Ann for any “These things do not happen in dreams, dear girl,’ he said, vanishing up to his neck. ‘They happen only in nightmares.’ This was great! In the beginning, I wasn’t sure - it was rather cutesy, and I found Cath slightly irritating. But as I carried on, this book grew darker and darker! I loved being immersed in Meyer’s version of Wonderland, with many characters to be recognised; including the Caterpillar, the White Rabbit, the Hatter, March Hare, Doormouse, Cheshire Cat and even Mary-Ann for any super fans of the Disney film. Cath is the daughter of the Marquess of Turtle Rock Cove and a shoe in to become the King of Hearts’ future bride. Unfortunately, she has no desire to be Queen of the Kingdom of Hearts. She’d much rather set up a Bakery business with her best friend Mary-Ann and do something she loves. At one of the King’s numerous parties, Cath fears an imminent proposal and flees into the castle gardens, where she meets the Court Joker - Jest. He is witty, clever and with a knack for the impossible. Suddenly Cath finds herself even more desperate than before to avoid engagement to the King. Throw in battles with the Jabberwock and mysterious items coming over from the land of Chess; entered only through the looking glass and a well watched over by three creepy girls and this book has some serious fantasticalness! But as we all know how the story ends, it was frightening to see how everything would unravel, and there was so much magic and world building, I was both enraptured and heart broken all at the same time! 4 stars 🌟

  27. 5 out of 5

    Aneela ♒the_mystique_reader♒

    My Rating: Synopsis: “It was impossible, and she absolutely believed it.” Catherine Pinkerton lives in Hearts. She is the only daughter of Marquess and Marchioness. King of Hearts fancies her to be his wife and Queen of Hearts. But Catherine has other plans. The throne of Hearts does not appeal her. She is a baker at heart and has a dream of opening her own bakery where she could make delectables that no one has ever tasted. But that is not the only thing she dreams about. Both her dreams ca My Rating: Synopsis: “It was impossible, and she absolutely believed it.” Catherine Pinkerton lives in Hearts. She is the only daughter of Marquess and Marchioness. King of Hearts fancies her to be his wife and Queen of Hearts. But Catherine has other plans. The throne of Hearts does not appeal her. She is a baker at heart and has a dream of opening her own bakery where she could make delectables that no one has ever tasted. But that is not the only thing she dreams about. Both her dreams can lead her astray from a reputable life. She could either choose to follow her dreams or be a part of gentry she despise. But is the choice really hers to make??? Review: Heartless is inspired by Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. This is not a retelling, to be precise. Though the novel is set in the same magical place of talking animals and other mythical creatures. It is like Marissa Meyer borrowed some characters from Alice in Wonderland and spun a new fantasy novel around them. And I found this novel to be very enchanting except for the first 40 percent where we are told about Catherine’s bakery dream and her struggles to avoid King’s proposal, numerous times. Not only that, it was too irritating to read again and again about how much the Marchioness wants Catherine to marry the King. Trust me, every time the Marchioness asks Catherine if the King has proposed her or not I was like why not she herself marries the King. She was so desperate that it all started to get boring and I was wondering if I want to further read the book or not. I am glad I did read it. The rest 60 percent was just too good and I loved the twists and turns in the latter 60% of the book. I did not want this book to end. The main reason was Jest. I was so in love with this character. He is truly unforgettable. Why I loved this Book: 1. Jest “Impossible was his speciality.” Once in a while we come across such a character that appeals us most. We want to read that book again just because of that character. Jest is that character for me in the book. He is funny, smart and handsome. A character beautifully written and would be engraved in the memory of the readers for a very very long time. 2. Hatta Hatta is the same mad hatter of the Alice in Wonderland. He crafts wonderful hats. Reading about him created the image of Johnny Depp playing Mad Hatter from the movie in my mind. After Jest, Hatta is my second most favorite character of the book. His weird sense of humor, sarcastic remarks and selfless nature make him unique. 3. The Three Sisters Since I don’t want to give away any spoilers, I would only say the Three Sisters were the most crepiest, scariest and weirdest characters of the book and yet I loved them. Ironic, isn’t it? 4. The Chemistry and Spark Between Catherine and Jest: They just click! You know the feeling of reading about lovers who are made for each other. The feels they give you. “She felt like she could talk to him for hours, for days and months and years, and never tire of it.” It feels like you are there sharing their beautiful moments with them. She started to shake her head, to be firm in her stance that this, whatever this was, could not continue past this night, this morning, this very moment. ‘Jest . . .’ His eyebrows lifted and he looked pleased at the intimacy of his name. Oh my God! It tickled my heart and tummy when I read the dialogues between the two. I thought I could take a walk, look around. I’m still new to these parts.’ ‘But you’re not walking. You’re climbing trees.’ ‘It’s still exercise.’ The way he confesses his love to her: ‘Catherine, I don’t want your heart to belong to anyone but me.’ How he makes her smile and laugh: He looked up at her and smiled that disarming smile again. ‘I’m a joker, my lady, which is even better.’ ‘How is that better than a doctor?’ ‘Haven’t you ever heard that laughter is the best medicine?’ 5. Catherine’s Dreams: Just read the following lines from the book: Hundreds and hundreds of small, delicate hearts surrounded her – all of them bleeding. She reached up and touched a finger to the soft flesh of the nearest bud, gathering a single drop of warm blood on her fingertip. Each bleeding heart bloom was a delicate thing, beautiful and haunting. She crushed the flower in her fist, relishing the wet smear in her palm. Needless I say anything. Her dreams were magical! What I didn’t like: 1. Catherine To be honest, I did not like Catherine at all. She was selfish and a hypocrite. The only good quality she has was her baking skills. 2. The Marchioness and her desperation towards King: She was the most irritating character of the book. If she could, she would have forced Catherine to marry the King on gunpoint or canon-point. Conclucion: I wanted to give this book 4 stars instead of 5 because of slower 40% part of the book. But I couldn’t. The fast paced 60% of the book was so full of twists and turns that were worthy of 5 stars. Plus Jest himself deserves 5 stars. What a marvelous character! What an amazing book! My Blog

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dana Kenedy (Dana and the Books)

    This review can also be found on my blog, Dana and the Books. Marissa Meyer has recently become one of my honoured auto-buy authors. I read Cinder about a year and half ago, not really expecting much, and surprised myself by obsessing and devouring the rest of the Lunar Chronicles Books in record time. I read Alice in Wonderland ten years ago and the Disney movie was one of my favourites when I was little. So, given that Heartless is an origin story for the Queen of Hearts written by Queen Marissa This review can also be found on my blog, Dana and the Books. Marissa Meyer has recently become one of my honoured auto-buy authors. I read Cinder about a year and half ago, not really expecting much, and surprised myself by obsessing and devouring the rest of the Lunar Chronicles Books in record time. I read Alice in Wonderland ten years ago and the Disney movie was one of my favourites when I was little. So, given that Heartless is an origin story for the Queen of Hearts written by Queen Marissa Meyer, no surprises that this was pretty much the most anticipated read. Within just the first few chapters, I found myself constantly hungry due to the delicious food descriptions. Makes me wonder if Marissa Meyer is a great dessert chef herself! "Why is a raven like a writing-desk?"   Cath was a wonderful character, complex and torn with emotions, going from a kind and innocent girl to the harsh queen we know so well. The Cath/Jest romance could be categorized as instalove, but I do feel under the circumstances it worked. They meshed wonderfully and I was rooting for them from their very first meeting. All of this is set to the wonderful world of Hearts, a quirky world, and a delight to immerse myself in the weirdness! While I enjoyed Heartless, I didn't love it. It was not as magical as the Lunar Chronicles.  In Cinder, I was sucked in just by the first few chapters. With Heartless, I didn't have the desperate need to keep reading. I read it over the course of a few weeks (I read Cinder in pretty much one go). "How different everything could have been if you had thought to ask me that before."   However, the last fifty pages were heartbreaking and perfect. Marissa is a wonderfully witty author. Her style has become more pronounced in Heartless and I cannot wait for her upcoming book, Renegades. Thank you so much MyKindaBook for sending over a copy!  (Book Depository / Amazon US / Amazon Canada / Amazon UK) "Off with his head."  

  29. 4 out of 5

    Drew

    “If ever I get married, I want there to be romance, and passion. I want to fall in love.” 4 1/2 stars. This book broke my heart. What a cruel ending. And yet, I saw it coming the whole time, which probably made it even harder to bear. Oh my goodness, this book! I loved it so much and I think I'm in danger of becoming a hardcore Marissa Meyer fan. Like, I want to go to her house and demand she write a sequel. And bring a certain character back to life. *sobs* Heartless is an evil, torturous addict “If ever I get married, I want there to be romance, and passion. I want to fall in love.” 4 1/2 stars. This book broke my heart. What a cruel ending. And yet, I saw it coming the whole time, which probably made it even harder to bear. Oh my goodness, this book! I loved it so much and I think I'm in danger of becoming a hardcore Marissa Meyer fan. Like, I want to go to her house and demand she write a sequel. And bring a certain character back to life. *sobs* Heartless is an evil, torturous addictive, clever retelling of Alice in Wonderland. It follows the Queen of Hearts' backstory—how did she become a tyrannic ruler with the bad habit of beheading people? Meet Catherine, the daughter of a Marquess, who loves to bake and has every intention of opening up her own bakery. But her parents have other ideas and want her to marry the King of Hearts, who has taken an interest in her. Cath suddenly finds herself whisked into a courtship with the silly, unintelligent King, while at the same time falling for Jest, the King's Joker. I loved the romance so much. Jest was ridiculously sexy and had me swooning nearly the minute his character was introduced. There was so much chemistry between Cath and he; I wanted Cath to find a way to marry Jest and understood her frustration toward her parents, who only cared about Cath becoming Queen. There were many other wonderful characters such as Cheshire, Hatta, and Raven that held similarities to the original characters with Meyer's own unique spin. In an imaginative, dreamlike world full of quests, prophecies, kingdoms, forbidden love, and sweets that made my mouth water, the twisty plot took different directions and was full of so much goodness. Individual scenes were perfection and I loved the touches of humor that reminded me of The Lunar Chronicles. “Are you here for a reason, Cheshire?” “Why, yes, I would enjoy a cup of tea. I take mine with lots of cream, and no tea.” Probably the best thing—though it was also the most heartbreaking—was Cath's gradual unraveling of a smart, headstrong, lovable girl into a cold, ruthless Queen. I knew it was coming, but I was never quite prepared for it. The ending was dark and gory and Cath's change was a disturbing one. I think it shows the sign of a good writer when you find yourself able to care so deeply about a villain. “She spoke without feeling, unburdened by love or dreams or the pain of a broken heart. It was a new day in Hearts, and she was the Queen.” A new, exciting take on Lewis Carroll's world.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Denisse

    3.5Marissa, you creative human being. I love you. But YA is no longer a genre I enjoy. Heartless has both respect for the source material and enough imagination to become something unique, as it has been the author style so far. But as any YA book, it leaves its most heavy plot lines to rest in the shoulders of young romance, which I have always found difficult to read. It is a good young adult story, with great characters and great ending and I cannot not recommend a Marissa Meyer. I enjoyed th 3.5Marissa, you creative human being. I love you. But YA is no longer a genre I enjoy. Heartless has both respect for the source material and enough imagination to become something unique, as it has been the author style so far. But as any YA book, it leaves its most heavy plot lines to rest in the shoulders of young romance, which I have always found difficult to read. It is a good young adult story, with great characters and great ending and I cannot not recommend a Marissa Meyer. I enjoyed the read, nothing more. Quería adorar el libro porque es Meyer pero,...no pude y ya. A grandes rasgos les puedo decir que Meyer respeta mucho los detalles clásicos de Alicia en el país de las Maravillas, pero decide darse ciertos lujos con la travesía de su personaje principal quien debe ser o convertirse en la Reina de corazones. Es ahí donde para mí el libro falla. No se ve un cambio gradual en el personaje para terminar siendo lo que ya todos conocemos si no que de repente tiene un pique intenso hacia la locura que no es creíble si no apresurado. Me hubiese gustado que tuviera más coraje a la hora de escribir, como lo tuvo en Fairest. Como cualquier retelling, es fácil caer en lo predecible. Pero con The Lunar Chronicles había esquivado muy bien ese aspecto y dar giros inesperados durante la trama. En este libro ni siquiera lo intenta. Y aunque los fans del clásico van a adorar ciertos pasajes, los fans de la autora se sentirán algo decepcionados. De los puntos altos, como ya es costumbre en la autora, son las interacciones entre los personajes. Tiene unos diálogos muy agiles, divertidos e inteligentes para un YA y eso siempre me ha gustado de ella. La lectura es bastante fresca y ligera y no ahonda en cosas innecesarias. Si aún te van los romances y si aún no te aburren los YA, creo que Heartless será un buen libro para ti que te ayude a desestresarte cuando tengas mucha tarea o trabajo. Aun así pienso seguir leyendo a la autora porque se cuál es su punto más alto y siempre esperare verla ahí de nuevo. She imagined it over and over and over again. Off with its head.

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