Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: 2016
Source: My State Public Library
Synopsis: Long before she was the terror of Wonderland—the infamous Queen of Hearts—she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.
Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
In her first stand-alone teen novel, the New York Times-bestselling author dazzles us with a prequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
My Review: Heartless tells the story of the Queen of Hearts. Catherine Pinkerton dreams of owning her own bakery with her maidservant and best friend, Mary Ann. However because she is the daughter of a marquess, she knows that her dream may not come true because of her station in life. Her dream becomes more impossible when the King of Hearts has his eye solely on Catherine and vows to make her his queen. Repulsed by the King of Hearts, and slowly falling in love with the mysterious Joker, Catherine is willing to do whatever it takes to make the impossible become possible. She will find a way to reject the king, be with the Joker, and have her bakery.
I really liked Catherine’s slow transformation from a bright, optimistic girl to the Queen of Hearts we all know today. It was no easy feat to pull off, yet the author accomplished it with what seems like relative ease. Catherine’s change is slow and gradual. She is hopeful and determined to fulfill her dream. However, she is pressured by all of Hearts to give up her dream and marry the king. She finds that she has no allies who want to help her. There were some moments where Catherine is weak. She doesn't say no to her parents or the King until the end. Still, even though she is weak during those times, each setback changes her into a villain. Her heart gradually turns to ice. Thus, readers will feel sadness when Catherine becomes the infamous Queen of Hearts and wishes that Catherine's fate was different.
Overall, this was a wonderful origin story of the Queen of Hearts. All the characters are faithfully depicted from Lewis Carroll. Wonderland was a great setting. The author was faithful to the setting of a world full of nonsense. The kingdom of Hearts was inspired by Victorian England, and it is very reminiscent of the era. Some things that I didn't like about the novel were that it was slow moving, and wished that there was more of relationship development between the Joker and Catherine. Heartless is definitely a must read for people who want to read backstories on literature’s most notorious villains. I recommend this to fans of Wicked, The Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, and I am Mordred.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Here is the book trailer for Heartless:
This is a video of Marissa Meyer about her novel, Heartless: