Friday, December 23, 2016

Review: Heartless

Heartless
Marissa Meyer
Published November 8, 2016
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. - from Goodreads
I think we can all agree that Heartless is one of the most highly anticipated books of 2016 - after The Lunar Chronicles, so many of us were excited to see what Marissa Meyer would create next.  I'll be honest, I've never read Alice in Wonderland, but I knew enough of the story to make me want to read this book and also to understand most of the references to the original text. 

Cath may be nobility, but she has no desire to marry the King - she'd rather open a bakery with her best friend, Mary Ann.  But when a new court joker appears in Hearts, Cath's world is turned upside-down.  I loved the large cast of characters and how each has their own distinct personality, especially those characters that break the mold - a maid with a mind for business, a spineless king who doesn't have it in him to be a strong leader.   

Meyer does a great job bringing Wonderland to life, by including all the details and characters that fans will know and love.  I loved the touches of magic and whimsy throughout the book, although some things could have been explained more (like Cath's dreams that became realities).  I also liked the idea of fate, since we all know who Cath becomes, and it was interesting to see the twists and turns of how she got there (although I did question some of her decisions near the end of the book).

However, something was missing for me.  The book didn't feel fresh; it didn't have that spark I was looking for.  I think I was kind of spoiled by The Lunar Chronicles, which were fantastic modern re-tellings, and I wrongly expected that Heartless would be similar in tone and writing style.

3.5 stars

10 comments:

  1. Great review, Angela. Sorry to hear Heartless isn't as good as The Lunar Chronicles. It's on my list to try to get through over the Christmas holiday so I"m curious to see how our reviews compare. Happy Holidays!

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    1. Thanks! I hope you enjoy it when you get to it! Happy Holidays to you as well, Suzanne!

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  2. That stinks that it felt like something was missing. I am afraid to read this for that reason of comparing it to the Lunar Chronicles. Great review!

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  3. This is really interesting for me, because I could not for the life of me get into her other work because something was missing from those for me. I just couldn't connect with any characters there.

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    1. But, I thoroughly enjoyed Heartless -- sorry hit enter before I typed this.

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    2. I guess that just goes to show us how personal reading is! The same book affects us all differently!

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  4. Great review! I definitely see where you're coming from. I read Heartless and definitely enjoyed it. I thought the author was very brave writing something new, as she's had so much success with her first series. It was hard to know what to expect! I loved how the story progressed, though, and the whole baking aspect was awesome. Plus, the ending was absolutely fabulous.
    -Amy

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    1. Yes, she took a risk by going in a completely different direction from The Lunar Chronicles. I loved the ending, too!

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    2. Absolutely! I know, right? ;-)

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I'm so glad you stopped by, and I would love to hear your thoughts! Comments are always greatly appreciated!