Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: November 8th, 2016
Format: Kindle version, 464 pages
Summary Via GoodReads
My Rating: ★★★
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland - the infamous Queen of Hearts - she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.I read the Lunar Chronicles and really enjoyed them, so I was excited to read a new book by Marissa Meyer. I had read a lot of mixed reviews prior to reading this one so I was a little cautious going into reading this, and unfortunately I just didn't like this one as much as I thought I would. I think this is just a case of a pretty cover fooling me, and also having too high expectations.
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 defineher own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
What I liked about this novel was the descriptive writing style that Meyer employed throughout. Especially in the parts where Cath was making delicious pastries. I also loved the imagery of Wonderland and the different characters that were already familiar to me. I loved The Cheshire Cat, he was perfect! I also liked Hatta, because he was so level-headed that it made knowing that he would become the "mad hatter" really powerful. I think Hatta loses out the most in this story, and he really did not deserve the fate he was handed.
My problem with this novel was that I just didn't like Cath. I thought she was really kind of boring, and I just didn't understand why she thought Jest was so great! The romance in this book was very instalovey and that's not my thing, so I think it turned me off early on. Like, I understand that Cath didn't really like the King, but he didn't seem like that bad of a person, just a little simple. I just didn't care for the romance, and when that is pretty much the basis for the book it's hard to get over that. It also felt like NOTHING happening until half way into this book, and then everything happened all at once. The pacing here really turned me off, and towards the end I was just annoyed with every little thing Cath did.
All of these things were kind of minor, but the main issue I had with it was that I just didn't feel like what happened at the end of novel was enough of the reason for Cath to become The Queen of Hearts as we know her. Yes, she did go through some terrible things, but it was not the end of the world and it just made me really mad. Like, is that REALLY why she is such a mean-spirited person to Alice? I just didn't buy it.
I wasn't in love with this story, and I think that maybe villain origin stories is just not Meyer's niche. I remember really not enjoying the Levana origin story Fairest, and I think Heartless falls into the same traps. The story we are given just doesn't really show us WHY these characters are such jerks. They feel more like excuses. If you liked Fairest, you might enjoy this one, but I didn't really enjoy either book, so it just wasn't for me.
Happy Reads Everyone!