I was so excited for this book because 1) I love retelling, 2) Marissa Meyer is the queen of fairy tale retelling, and 3) I adore The Lunar Chronicles to no end 😍 Imagine my excitement when I heard about Heartless… I was over the moon! But then I started hearing mixed reviews, and some of the reviewers I trust said that this book was dull, very insta-lovey, and simply wasn’t as good as The Lunar Chronicles. So I lowered my expectation and it was really for the best because I ended up enjoying if after all! 😀
Heartless is the story of how the Queen of Hearts becomes… the Queen of Hearts. For the first few chapters, I sort of forgot about it and I kept thinking about Alice :’) but well, I adjusted quickly.
Unlike The Lunar Chronicles, Heartless is more like a straight retelling from the original Alice in Wonderland. All the elements from the original story are there, starting from the magical creatures, the riddles, and even the world itself. Meyer didn’t even explain the world to us at the beginning of the book, so I just assumed it was the same as the original world. That being said, the world building didn’t feel too special, especially compared to her previous books where the world building was so incredible and full of imagination.
I am quite pleased with all the characters ♥
I love Catherine. Before she became the Queen of Hearts, she was just… a girl. An honorable lady, for sure, but a girl nonetheless with all her dreams and love for baking. She used to be so hopeful and naive and all she wanted to do was please everybody, especially her parents. I’m so fond of her character development. Though I admit, there’s some occasion where I had my issues, but generally, it was… believable. One may doubt how a sweet, nice girl could become a heartless one, but I think Meyer nailed it right there.
I’m also fond with the joker aka Jest aka the handsome love interest. He’s quite charming and suuuch a gentleman! I’m a sucker for a manly, charming man, but who isn’t? 😛 One major thing that I don’t like from him is that I didn’t understand most of his motives. Every decision he made seemed to be driven by his love for Catherine and it was a little unbelievable. In fact, the whole romance was not convincing for me.
It’s true what they said, it was very insta-lovey.
Other than the two main characters, Heartless has some incredible side characters. I like the King, he’s so kind and soft and I felt bad for him for being deceived by both Cath and Jest. I love Mary Ann so much, she’s such a realistic person yet a very loyal best friend. Cath’s parents also won my heart because they’re kind of the epitome of real parents. I mean, they want the best for the family but deep down they also care about their daughter’s happiness. All the magical creatures are also very lovable, especially the white rabbit, the turtle, and Chesire! Who doesn’t want a disappearing cat who likes to gossip? 😛 the only character I saw didn’t serve any purpose was the Knave of Hearts. You could’ve removed him from the story and no one would notice.
The plot itself was intriguing and the sole reason why I couldn’t stop reading. It was rather unpredictable. I just wanted to know what happen next and Meyer did an exceptionally good job with the writing, she dropped clues here and there about what’s going to happen next. It was pretty neat. I know some people said it was dull because not many things happened at the first half of the book, but I personally didn’t mind. While I wouldn’t say no to a slightly faster pace, I did enjoy all the buildup and the back story.
However, I’m not so pleased with the fact that the whole plot was driven by the romance, especially because the romance itself wasn’t that convincing to begin with.
Heartless indeed made me hungry and crave for sweets because all the food descriptions are just so vivid! It’s literally the first thing you’ll read upon reading this book. There’s lemon tarts, macaroons, pumpkin pie… I suggest you bring food with you so you don’t drool 😛
ALL IN ALL, Heartless was an incredible story of how the sweet and obedient Catherine becomes the Queen of Hearts. Though the plot was driven mainly by the romance, which isn’t that convincing to begin with, I still think that Catherine’s change of character was highly believable. Heartless maintains a lot of elements from the original Alice and Wonderland and therefore, the Wonderland feel was so strong in this book.
This is a pretty great stand alone, but you’d probably shouldn’t go in there expecting something like The Lunar Chronicles.
Have you read Heartless? What do you think about it? If you read The Lunar Chronicles as well, did Heartless meet your expectation, or were you expecting something different? I’d love to hear your thoughts 😀 Now quick, tell me your favorite fairy tale retelling! ♥
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