Heartless by Marissa Meyer (2016)
- Heartless (5 stars)
I find that I can simply not recall why a raven is like a writing desk.
All Cath wants to do is open a bakery with her best friend, Mary Ann. She is the daughter of the Marquess and Marchioness of Turtle Rock Cove and naturally the happy-go-lucky King of Hearts wants her for his bride. When Catherine meets the court joker, a mysterious boy by the name of Jest, she forms a bond with him and the two court in secret.
A dangerous creature, the Jabberwock, has threatened to harm the citizens of Hearts, much to the Kings dismay. His plan is to distract them from the dangers by throwing elaborate balls and feasts because it is the only way he knows how.
Catherine’s simple life gets thrown off course when she discovers Jest’s true intentions. Along with the Mad Hatter and the March Hare as well as the other Wonderland residents such as the Cheshire Cat, Cath must test fate in order to battle inner demons and save herself and the ones she loves.
Off with his head!
Oh My God. There aren’t too many stories where you learn the back story of villains. Who knows why there isn’t more? They help bring the story closure; it is so hard to believe that sometimes these villains used to lead normal lives.
Heartless is the origins of the Queen of Hearts in Lewis Carroll’s The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland. I had been anticipating this book ever since I read Marissa Meyer’s debut series The Lunar Chronicles. Especially when I learned this was going to be a standalone novel. Ms. Meyer knows just the right balance of putting just enough of the original classic story woven into this brand new retelling to definitely make it stand out. The love between Cath and Jest was the only thing I didn’t particularly care for, but I was able to understand it enough that it was necessary to the tie the book together.
Ms. Meyer also has a way of creating such unique characters as well. Cath is described to be a not-your-average weight, beautiful as the heavens girl. Although they don’t outright say it (her mother does compare her to a walrus at one point), Catherine is considered to be a hefty protagonist, one of which is extremely rare, particularly in the young adult books.
Until her fate is sealed, readers actually feel sorry for poor Catherine. Her passion for baking, along with Marissa Meyer’s description of Cath’s creations makes you wish you were able to hop into the book and pay a visit to Wonderland.
One of the reasons it has taken so long to read this is because I had to invest time for other books for this challenge as well as others that have been on my to-read list for ever. Heartless was actually a very quick read and because I had to stop in the middle of it, I was anxious to get back into the story. The best part about that was actually being able to pick up right where I left off. I remembered most of what had gone on before I stopped.
In her author’s note at the end of the book, she even talks about how she included the “Nevermore” Raven from Edgar Allan Poe’s tale. This made the idea of Carroll’s Alice taking place after The Raven and being the same bird.
I do enjoy reading the stories that make you think certain ways about each character (Fairest anyone??). I really hope Marissa Meyer continues to write! Check out my other post of my author spotlight for Marissa Meyer. 🙂 http://www.collectivevoicemag.com/2017/02/08/author-spotlight-marissa-meyer/
Next 2017 Reading Challenge: A Book with a Reputation for being un-put-down-able: Caraval by Stephanie Garber