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Book Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Hello Friends & Readers,

Today I'm reviewing Heartless, by Marissa Meyer. I picked it up at YALC -  I'm actually not a fan of fairytail retellings, I think they're like glorified fanfic, and I didn't enjoy her Cinder series. However, Heartless blew me away and I give it a happy 4/4.5 stars.

The story follows Cath in Wonderland, the Queen of Hearts before she was the Queen of Hearts. It follows a homely girl in a prestigious family who longs to open a bakery with her friend, and just loves to bake. She starts to fall for the court joker, but everything changes when the King decides he wants to court her for his hand in marriage. She has to choose between her dreams and making everyone else happy, but whatever you think is going to happen, it doesn't. Lovely twists keep it unpredictable whilst the world that Lewis Caroll created keeps us magically entertained.

What was lacking:

- World building was horrendously lazy - a problem I had with the Cinder series as well. I think Meyer's penchant for retelling fairytales makes her worldbuilding extremely lazy, with nothing explained and things just described at the bare minimum. If you had never seen Alice in Wonderland or read the original, you would be totally lost for what the world was like in this book. Luckily, it's one of my favourite films, so I could imagine it okay for myself. From what I've read so far, Meyer is generally just pretty lazy when it comes to creating her own unique settings.

- Cath's annoying AF, and has no backbone for 90% of the storyline until the final 10% when she does a complete 180 and becomes the psycho queen we all know from the film. (Not a spoiler becuase we all know the original story so we all knew shew as going to end up this way.) Still, it was frustrating listening to her ramble on about wanting to be with the joker but insisting on pleasing her family who, if I'm being honest, aren't really very supportive or likable. This was a minor frustration throughout the storyline. But also how she acted at the end and how her pig-headedness and inability to follow instructions caused her ultimate demise. Of course, she blames everyone but herself. She's just not likable throughout the story.

- The whole pumpkin charade. What??!

Src: Pinterest

What I loved: 

- I loved Jest's character, his unpredictableness, his twists and turns and secrets. He was very charismatic and 3-dimensional and I liked his story arc throughout.

- Likewise, I really enjoyed Hatta, AKA The Mad Hatter. I loved his storyline and how he came to be mad. His history and everything about him was divine - his secret that he reveals at the end which made his entire personality make sense and his treatment of Cath.

- The ending prophecy. Monarch, Martyr, Murderer, Mad. I just liked the alliteration and how it wove into everything.

- I enjoyed her clever integration of literary works, poetry and nursery rhymes. It all came together nicely in an imaginative storyline.

All in all, it was a great page-turner for me and I looked forward to it every day until I was finished. A quick and easy read that entertained me from start to end. Probably closer to 4* than 4.5 but I have thought about it several times since finishing and would probably re-read despite it's issues, which is why I'm stuck on the rating.

C x


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