Monday, October 31, 2016

ARC Review: Heartless

Title: Heartless
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: 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 yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king's marriage proposal, she 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.

My Review

Marissa Meyer's Heartless is destined to become one of the biggest books of the fall, and for good reason. First of all, it's a prequel to one of the most beloved classics of all time. Secondly, Meyer already has such a huge following because of her bestselling Lunar Chronicles books. The prequel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has had fans of Meyers' Lunar Chronicles series curious for months and months now, and it's sure to win the hearts of her readers with its clever puns, charming setting, and unforgettable characters.

While I'm no stranger to Wonderland, I don't really remember reading Lewis Carroll's classic. Most likely, I'm wrong and I read it so long ago that I just don't remember actually reading it. I feel like I know too much about it to have never read it. I could have read it when I was really little, and that would explain why I have countless copies. So going into Heartless, I expected a lot. I was really hoping for a lot of the fun that I had with The Lunar Chronicles along with all the quirks that I was expecting from Wonderland. For me, there were things that I liked about Heartless, but there were also things that didn't impress me as much as I was hoping.

The first thing that I really loved about Marissa Meyer's Heartless was the setting. It was interesting to see Wonderland in a new light and through another author's eyes. And while the story isn't told from Cath's perspective, it was new and fresh to see just how the infamous Queen of Hearts saw Wonderland before the crown was placed atop her head.

After reading through the books in The Lunar Chronicles series, I had high hopes for the writing style of Heartless. Unfortunately for me, I wasn't too thrilled this time around. While the book is full of vivid imagery and wonderful descriptions of places, I felt like it went on and on. It took a long time for me to read this book just because I felt like there were a lot of times when nothing was really happening or that things were just a little too boring for me.

The characters in Heartless were a nice mixture of old and new, and I found that I enjoyed most of them, or at least enjoyed going on their journeys. I definitely had a few favorites, including the charming Jest. I also had a few characters who I didn't quite care for, but liked what they brought the the story. Then there's the main character, Cath. Readers go into this book knowing that by the end, she's going to be the ruthless Queen of Hearts. At first, she's a little clueless, aloof, and fickle, and it was hard to take her seriously, but then I realized that she's just a girl who wants to fall in love. It was hard to try to like her at first because I knew just what I was up against, but she grew on me, and will most likely grow on other readers. It was hard to keep reading because I knew that she would not be the same girl by the end of the book.

Still curious? I'd say that even though Heartless isn't as great as Marissa's previous novels, it's still worth reading, especially for Wonderland fans. The characters are fun, and the premise of the book honestly makes for a book that will get readers talking. I had a fun time reading through most of the book, but I think it would have been a lot better if there would have been a bit more action. All in all, it's a solid novel and standalone for Ms. Meyer, and I could see this being a huge hit and possibly the next big YA adaptation to hit the big screen.

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