“Heartless” by Marissa Meyer: a retelling about the Queen of Hearts

heartless

Heartless

by: Marissa Meyer

My rating: 3.5 stars / 5

“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…”

*spoiler-free book review

heartless

Why did I read this book?

This retelling instantly grabbed my attention when I knew I was going to be the story of the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland! She is one of my favorite Disney villains eveeer

Alsooooo, I am a huge fan of the animated and the first live-action movie (yeah, just the first one) and tbh I just love the world of Wonderland and its characters. Also, I’ve never read the Lewis Carroll original version so I really wanted to experience this world by reading. 

Bonus:

The title is so clever (once you finish reading the book you will get why) 

and the paperback book cover edition (the one that I have) is so beautiful! 

Publisher: Macmillan Publishers

Publication date: November 8th, 2016

Genres: fantasy, young adult, retellings, romance

Reading Experience?

It was an overall entertaining retelling! It’s the first retelling that I read so I had nothing to compare it to. My first Marissa Meyer novel did not disappoint! I really feel like reading the Lunar Chronicles now. It was a fun read! 

Lovable characters?

Yes and No. I found Cath, the main character, likeable. She was sometimes annoying but also if I were to put myself in her shoes I would NOT be happy about what was happening to her either. (Character development was great!)

Also, I’m guessing that a lot of things that bothered me had to do with the fact that this story is set in the Victorian-era and how the “norms” of society were really different back then. 

Now,  talking about other characters… there were many that I did NOT like and was actually expecting to do so. It was also really easy to see why Cath did not get along with some characters. There were many interactions that I expected to see but didn’t get to see (idk if that makes sense).

Other than that…

The court joker was the best love interest for Cath in my opinion. He was perfect for her! I really loved their relationship and how well they complemented each other. 

Ending?

Predictable ending BUT the last line was amazing! Also, I feel like the predictable ending was kind of the point tho so I’m not complaining. I have to say that now I look at the Queen of Hearts in a totally different way and can actually empathize with her.

Baking?

Reading about Cath’s tarts was probably one best parts about the Heartless in general. I really wish I was good at baking! 

Struggles?

The ending (the last chapters) where kind of rushed. Usually the last few chapters are the ones that make me not want to put a book down. In this case, I feel like everything unfolded in just the last two chapters. 

Wonderland as I remember it?

Yesss. Everything and more about the Wonderland that I love and have loved for years is included in Heartless.

I enjoyed reading about the “impossible” things that Wonderland always has to offer and it was so amazing to read about this world. It’s a very different experience comparing it to watching the films. Plus, I love that there were so many references to the original story!

heartless

Your Thoughts

Have you read Heartless?

Do you have a favorite Marissa Meyer novel? 

Any other fantasy-book-retelling recommendations?

  1. jillian @ jillian etc.
    16/05/2020

    After reading your review, I would love to give this book a try 🙂 I read the author’s other books in the Lunar Chronicles, which are retellings of Cinderella, Rapunzel, and other fairytales. This, on the other hand, sounds so creative and I love that it’s also another retelling <3 It's also great to hear that you enjoyed reading this despite the characters' flaws and the rushed ending. Rushed endings are quite common in some fantasy books, but I hope it wasn't that bad. Great review!

    Reply
  2. jillian @ jillian etc.
    16/05/2020

    After reading your review, I would love to give this book a try 🙂 I read the author’s other books in the Lunar Chronicles, which are retellings of Cinderella, Rapunzel, and other fairytales. This, on the other hand, sounds so creative and I love that it’s also another retelling <3 It's also great to hear that you enjoyed reading this despite the characters' flaws and the rushed ending. Rushed endings are quite common in some fantasy books, but I hope it wasn't that bad. Great review!

    jillian @ jillian etc.

    Reply
    • val @behindthatstory
      17/05/2020

      I haven’t read any of the books from the Lunar Chronicles series but I really want to read all the books (hopefully) this year! Retellings are great ? it was an entertaining read overall and I hope that you don’t find the same flaws as I did when reading it ?

      Reply
  3. Lovelene
    16/05/2020

    It’s been in my tbr for so long, but my goal is to read all these big books this May! Heartless is one of them.

    Reply
    • val @behindthatstory
      17/05/2020

      It would be great to hear your overall thoughts on the book when/if you decide to read Heartless! Honestly, it was on my tbr for so long too!

      Reply
  4. Madeline
    17/05/2020

    Great review! I love how you organize your reviews with the question/topic headers! This book sounds interesting! It’s been a few years since I read a Marissa Meyer book but I remember really enjoying Cress!

    Reply
    • val @behindthatstory
      18/05/2020

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you like my book review format! I haven’t read Cress or any of the Lunar Chronicles books but I really want to read them this year!

      Reply
  5. Pingback: The Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus Character Book Tag (Original!) – Forever and Everly
  6. Marta @ the book mermaid
    30/05/2020

    I’ve read Marissa Meyer’s other books and I absolutely loved them, and I guess I’ve been postponing Heartless because I’m a bit scared I’ll be disappointed. Your review was lovely and I should definitely give it a try! The Queen of Hearts is certainly an interesting character (and I love Alice in Wonderland ^^) <3

    Reply
    • val @behindthatstory
      01/06/2020

      I hope to read the Lunar Chronicles this year! If you decide to read Heartless, I would love to hear which Marissa Meyer novel is your favorite and if all of them are entertaining!

      Reply
  7. Pingback: 10+ Must-Read Books about Royalty

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *