Heartless: {ARC Review}

Publication Date: November 8th, 2016
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Series: None
Format: Paperback, 464 pages
Source: Giveaway

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 define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

I received this book in a giveaway and I was so shocked that I had won. Heartless is easily one of the most anticipated books of the year because of Marissa Meyer. Her Lunar Chronicles series hit big time success and solidified her as a best selling author. 

Let's start with what I loved about Heartless. I loved the setting and the characters. The majority of the book took place in Hearts. But there were other places that were explored that were just as magical as Hearts. The characters were a bit whimsy, but since this is a story about Wonderland, you obviously expect that. The Hatter, caterpillar, and even the Cheshire Cat are all present in this story that precedes when the Queen of Hearts was terrorizing Wonderland. 

So, let's talk about Catherine. I really didn't like her. At first she was this sweet young woman who just wanted to open up a bakery with her best friend, who happened to also be her servant. But Catherine has caught the King's eye, so now she is expected to become his bride. The problem is, she's in love with another man. Well, a dream man. Until she meets him, she is literally in love with a man in her dreams. It was kind of silly given the situation she was in. But then she meets him at a ball and it's insta-love galore. Cath loves him, I mean really loves him. So of course she doesn't want to marry the King, she wants to be with the jester. So what does she do? She starts seeing him in secret while dragging the King along, thinking that she wants to be with him. I wasn't a fan of that at all. She was also telling her jester that they couldn't be together, but yet they still kept meeting. Cath literally had everything but her bakery, and she was willing to throw it all away on a man she barely knew. 

Anyway, moving on from my mini rant. I love how Heartless explored a lot of different subjects such as class issues, prophecy (the three sisters reminded me of the Fates), and the female repression that was often seen in the 19th and early 20th century. Cath could not do what she wanted which was to open up a bakery because as a woman, she needed to have her father's permission. Requests like that were usually denied because A)if it was a woman asking and B)it wasn't fitting for the social class. 

Because of all of that I totally understand why Cath wants to give up her life and run away with the jester, but she knows it would be impossible. 

The combination of forbidden romance, duty, whimsy, and a blood thirsty Jabberwock make this a really fun and fast read. 

I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen at the end when Meyer totally destroyed my expectations. She totally went there. Prepare to be shocked, because I certainly was. 

Heartless is not a story about sweet Catherine. No, it is a story about how sweet Catherine turned into the menacing Queen of Hearts. This is her story about how and why she becomes the cold and deadly ruler that Wonderland would come to fear. 

Meyer did a wonderful job. I just wish this was not a standalone! 



  1. I can't wait to read Heartless, especially after reading you review! Loved it!

    - Poulami @ Daydreaming Books

    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy it. I really liked her take on how the Queen of Hearts became so "Heartless." ;)

  2. This book is one of the few remaining books on my list of 2016 releases! You're so lucky you were able to score an ARC of it--I mean, this is Meyer, and her ARCs are practically impossible to come by these days! I'm really looking forward to the class and gender repression issues you mentioned in your review. We don't have enough books that talk about this, let alone in a retelling!
    Thanks so much for the review, and I'm looking forward to reading this book even more now!
    Erika @ Books and Stars

    1. Thank you! I won it in a giveaway and was so shocked that I won because so many people answered. I hope you enjoy it when you read it. It was definitely interesting. :)


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