Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer
If you’ve explored the blog before you’ll know I’m a lover of all things Alice. I’ve shouted out to Alice adaptations posted by my beautiful friend Amanda here and picked some of my favorite retellings/ nonfiction picks too! Now Heartless has exploded on the scene and I want to re-read all of them! But first let’s talk about Heartless.
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.”
Heartless by Marissa Meyer (you may know her from The Lunar Chronicles) is an Alice in Wonderland prequel that tells the backstory of the infamous Queen of Hearts. Meyer delves deeply into Wonderland and brings to light characters and references that will prove to be delightful for anyone familiar with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. But you certainly don’t have to know the original to love this book! Meyer weaves an incredible story that is all her own. I especially loved the addition of baking and Catherine’s dreams as a way to make Wonderland seem even more over-the-top and whimsical. The underlying comments on Victorian society and feminism seemed apt instead of forced and although a little slow in the middle, the end was a whirlwind of action and emotion (and it was creepy in all the ways that Wonderland should also be!) This book was both perfect and devastating.