This week's review is written by Adult/Teen Services Librarian, Mandy Sprague. Missed last week's review? You can catch it here: When Breath Becomes Air. Happy reading!
By Marissa Meyer
Young Adult | Fantasy | Classics-inspired Fiction |Romance
Audience: 12 & up.
Book Blurb from Goodreads:
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.
Set in the world of Alice in Wonderland, Meyer’s Heartless is the origin story of the Queen of Hearts.
Lady Catherine Pinkerton does not share the interests of the other Victorian women of her sociopolitical status in Hearts. She is a woman ahead of her time, motivated by her entrepreneurial dreams of opening a bakery and her pursuit of autonomy. Cath is not impressed with the doting affections of the absurdly silly King, much to the dismay of her mother.
Enter Jest – the handsome and alluring Court Joker whose magical presence at the King’s social functions sparks something inside of Cath. He is mysterious, whimsical, and the chemistry between them is undeniable. Cath’s adventures with Jest set her free from the confines of what society expects of her. She discovers that life has much more to offer her and she is unwilling to let that opportunity pass her by. For the first time, Cath considers that her dream life may be attainable.
Marissa Meyer has a talent for seamlessly weaving elements of classic fairy tales into to her unique storylines and vibrant cast of characters. Heartless is no exception. Her writing is clever and imaginative and draws the reader into her fantasy world, much like Jest’s ability to open Cath’s eyes to the possibilities all around her. My only criticism is that I wish the reader had more time to explore the Wonderland Meyer created with these characters over the course of a series of books rather than a standalone novel.
For those who enjoyed Heartless, you won’t want to miss Marissa Meyer’s scifi-fantasy series, The Lunar Chronicles about a cyborg mechanic named Cinder. This fairy tale retelling far exceeded my expectations and has become one of my favorite series. The audiobooks are remarkably well done. Start with Cinder. Enjoy the series? Be sure to check out the prequel (Fairest), short stories (Stars Above), and graphic novel starring Iko, the beloved android from The Lunar Chronicles (Wires and Nerve)!
Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2016)