Heartless, Marissa Meyer

heartless

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

Don’t you just hate it when books come out in other countries four months before they are published in your own? Heartless isn’t actually published in the UK for a month or two, and I was going to leave reading it until nearer that date- but then I kept seeing pictures online of the US editions and gave into the temptation. (Thank Publishers for early copies) (and for early copies that have better covers than the UK cover)
Meyer’s other series- The Lunar Chronicles- is one of my favourite series for many reasons. Fairytale retelling with wonderful female characters, friendships, and not a single love triangle in sight. So of course, I was looking forward to this one as well.
And I was not disappointed.
The start was rather slow- the whole first chapter, I read worried that it was going to be like this the whole way through, but it sped up quickly, introducing all the characters in a wonderful way that really makes you wish Wonderland actually existed. All the players we know well were there- just slightly different, as it was not only Meyers version of them, but a prequel of how they became who there were when Alice’s Wonderland.
But once the story started, it was wonderful. The first time we get introduced to Jest is one of my favourite scenes (okay most of my favourite parts included Jest) but it wasn’t even the romance I liked- Unfortunately, in this book, there was a slight love triangle which irritated me at some points, but didn’t ruin the book for me. What I liked was that Jest was fun, and like his name, full of mischief. And Raven, his constant companion, who mainly spoke in rhyme (and quotes from the poem of the same name).
I think my only issue (aside from triangles) with this was actually the main character, Cath. There were times when I could have quite happily shaken her with how stupid she was being, and how much she didn’t think about the people around her. Her development was great- it’s rare to have a book where the main character gets worse, not nicer, but sometimes, it felt off. Like I didn’t believe she would have done some things, or would have done something differently.
But the book, overall, was fun to read, and once again showing why Meyer is the queen of fairytale retellings.
four stars
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