“Off with his head!” – is one of the most memorable line by the infamous Queen of Hearts. Heartless is one of the most anticipated release of the young adult genre of 2016 – I got the book from the library before it was even placed on the shelf – that, was how excited I was for this novel! It’s the first time I get the taste of Marissa’s writing as I’ve heard millions of great things about her earlier work – the Lunar Chronicles (which are on my TBR). Let’s get started!
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.
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
For me personally, I was a bit overwhelmed by how ‘fluffy’ the writing was all throughout the book. It makes sense that the story is set in Wonderland and people do their own thing – it just wasn’t my ‘cup of tea’.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you Catherine Pinkerton, Lady of Rock Turtle Cove, our girl-who-fell-for-the-mysterious-and-cool-guy. Cath LOVES baking sweets and is claimed to be the very best in her Kingdom – from decadent lemon tarts, scrumptious rose macarons and pumpkin cakes – and she dreamt of opening her own bakery with her best friend Mary Ann, who was also Cath’s personal maid. But like any other girls born into nobility, they don’t get to choose what they want in their lives. Cath’s strict two-faced mother has the perfect plan for Cath to be favoured by the King of Hearts and for her to become his Queen.
At the typical ball scene at the very beginning of the novel – comes our mysterious handsome Court Joker, Jest. There’s no doubt that I love his entrance and his whole character – funny, caring, witty and his impossibilities! Discovering Jest’s past also serves as a driving force of the plot and it was interesting to see how little things that Marissa incorporated into the book turns out to be something major in the original Alice in Wonderland – like the White Queen and the Looking Glass.
Another character that I was really keen on reading about was Hatta, who at the time in the book, was YET to turn mad. Hatta’s character was clearly the most in depth and well-researched in the novel and I’m so glad to see how things turn out from this perspective – because now it all makes sense! Also, it was good to catch up with Cheshire – the walking metaphor – my favourite character in Wonderland! I really enjoyed the scenes which have the presence of Hatta or Cheshire as they are so fun to read!
One thing that I am annoyed about this book is the lack of romance. When I first read the Goodreads synopsis (as seen in above in blue), there was the phrase ‘secret courtship’, but after reading more than halfway of the novel – there wasn’t much that really caught my attention. There were beautiful dialogues yes, but I would have liked to see more. But thankfully, Jest’s charm has saved me from taking another star.
Overall, I enjoyed the colourful description of the world and the pace of the book. Although this novel was not my cup of tea (sorry not sorry for saying this again ;), I’m sure that fans whose favourite book is Alice in Wonderland will definitely enjoy this.
Till next time and Happy Reading! x