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.
“Why is a raven like a writing-desk?”
I was little apprehensive when I added this book to my TBR shelf. I thought I’d be confused and wouldn’t follow the story and its references to the original, never having read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or Through the Looking-Glass. The hype that this book was getting and its being a prequel to Alice in Wonderland encouraged me to finally buy this book. And how could I not owe my thanks to the beautiful cover? It’s gorgeous.
So I picked up this book, bearing the apprehensions I still had, only to be pleasantly surprised! I adored Heartless! This book was perfection.
“Oh no,” she murmured, her smile thawing, falling, carried away with the undeniable, inevitable, impossible truth of it. She was falling in love with him.”
Meyer has done a fantastic job by staying true to the whole wonderland atmosphere and making the story her own at the same time. What makes Heartless one of a kind is that the sense of impending doom doesn’t stop you from hoping that somehow everything will be alright. Somehow, Cath will remain the same sweet girl that she is; somehow, she’ll own her bakery; and somehow – somehow – Jest will be hers. You know Cath’s inevitable fate, yet this book keeps you hoping till the end. Something else I appreciated was the gradual morphosis of Cath’s character, and how beautifully it was carried out throughout the plot of the story. I also enjoyed the subtle Alice in Wonderland references.
“Sometimes your heart is the only thing worth listening to.”
Meyer’s writing style was so intricate and beautiful and had me swooning at the stunning descriptions. The first paragraph was alone enough to judge the kind of writer she is. The book was also written in the third person, which was again perfect for the dark yet ravishing atmosphere of the novel. Also, the world-building was absolute magnificence. Hearts, or Wonderland, seemed so real in the sense that this crazy, uncanny, beautiful, grotesque world was thoroughly defined. I was able to understand this unusual, unique world and was managed to be consumed by its overwhelming profundity.
“But hoping,” he said, “is how the impossible can be possible after all.”
Oh Cath, you poor sweet girl. I’m not lying when I say I didn’t love Cath, but I do feel sad for her. In a world of magic and extravagancy, a bakery was unfortunately too much to ask for. I did enjoy the transitioning of her character: from a naïve, slightly immature girl who knew little about the world to a bold and daring woman who defended her dreams. I do believe she was a really stupid most of the time. If she had made better decisions, she wouldn’t have gone down the path she was destined for. I mean seriously, THAT PLOT TWIST!!! I hated Cath’s parents. What’s to like? Throughout the whole book, they claimed that they were doing whatever they were so she could be happy, when they were actually making her miserable. I like how Cath gives it back to her parents in the ending (not saying cause spoilers).
“Perhaps we know each other in the future and you’re only remembering backward.”
Jest. Perfect, beautiful, charming Jest. I loved his dark and perplexing character and especially loved his relationship with Cath. Other characters like Mary Ann, Hatta, Raven and the Jabberwock brought a new dimension to the novel.
Overall, Heartless was a gripping, dark, mysterious, magical, gut-wrenching novel and I rate it 5 stars!
Meyer was born in Tacoma, Washington, United States and attended Pacific Lutheran University, where she received a degree in creative writing. Her debut novel, Cinder, was released on January 3, 2012. It is the first in her series The Lunar Chronicles. The Lunar Chronicles is a four book series with volumes based on the stories of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White.
Thanks for reading!