Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

HeartlessLong 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.

I am not entirely sure what I expected but I really liked it; I was maybe a little disappointed there wasn't as much madness as you'd expect from Wonderland, but the little references, the back stories, were spot on. I
n fact, for the most part, it was very much just a love story, with Cath meeting Jest but being unable to do anything about it because her mother was pushing her towards the King.

Cath was a pretty regular girl, an only child, who loved to bake and dreamed to opening up her own shop with best friend Mary Ann. But being the daughter of a marquess has expectations and doing such an unladylike thing like baking isn't one of them. At a ball held by the King, everything changes when her eyes meet Jest's, the new court Joker. I immediately feel for him, let alone Cath! He was charming and utterly adorable, and as he and Cath grow ever closer, I could feel myself wishing for that happy ending they both deserved. But of course, Cath was destined to be the Queen of Hearts, even though the King was a complete buffoon. 

Here was my main problem with this: the King was an idiot, sure, but the whole court and limited options for women had a very Victorian feel to it. I get that the original was written then and Meyer was just imitating that style, but still - in a land where animals talk, playing cards are guards and things come out of a Joker's hat, is it really that weird for a girl to just want to bake? Not to mention the total unfairness of expecting Cath to just be happy that the King has picked her, despite knowing next to nothing about her!

Like I said, it was basically a love story with Cath and Jest falling head over heels for each other despite it being completely inappropriate. There was a little drama but it didn't come to a head until the very end, as Cath and the rest of the Land of Hearts were under threat of the Jabberwock. I won't say anything else, lest I spoil it, but let's just say I really enjoyed the overall story, especially the romance, but with not a lot happening other than Cath fretting over disappointing her family, it felt quite long. A must for fans of the original story and for forbidden romances and overall madness.

Published 9th February 2017 by Macmillan. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

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