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Thursday, December 08, 2016

*Grabby Hands* Release & Review - Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Image and blurb from Goodreads
Title: Heartless
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publication date: November 8th, 2016
Category/Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Retelling
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.

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I would

  • Befriend: Catherine
  • Go out on a date & kiss: Jest
  • Take to a desert island and leave behind: Everyone else, except Hatta
  • Travel to Vegas and let Elvis Presley marry us: Jest

4.5 “Give me my heart back, will you?” Stars

So, yeah, this review is going to be spoiler-y, because I’m pretty mad and in love with this book, and I can’t not talk about all the reasons that made me both.

Here comes the warning:

To be completely honest, I didn’t expect the amount of emotional involvement that came with reading this book. One, I don’t usually like anything Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The story has never really spoken to me. Two, my first experience with a Marissa Meyer’s book wasn’t all that exciting. I didn’t hate Cinder, but I didn’t exactly love it, either.

Well, let’s just say Heartless changed everything.

This book gave me so many feels I can’t even put them all into words. I’ll probably forget dozens of things while writing this review, but I want to focus on the characters and how they made me feel.

I should say that, aside from Hatter and Jest, I both hated and loved every other character. Those two I only loved—no room for hating them since they were perfect.

Let’s start with Catherine, the lady who lessened my dislike for Wonderland considerably. I spent 95% of this book loving Catherine and everything she stood for, then 5% trying not to hate her for some shit or other she did or how she was treating people because everything was justified and I wanted to hug her. So, yeah… Catherine played with my feelings, and she did it like a pro.

The Catherine that we were introduced to in the beginning of the book was someone I could see myself being friends with. She was a young girl with a dream: opening the best bakery in Hearts with her maid and best friend, Mary Anne. Her rich parents wanted another life for her; they wanted her to marry the King and become the Queen of Hearts, but Catherine wanted none of that. I loved the message here: you don’t need to have the most powerful position/job in the world in order to be happy. Not wanting to be super rich/famous/powerful doesn’t mean you don’t have ambitions. Catherine had dreams she wanted to reach, she was willing to work hard to make them true, and that didn’t make her less than all the other girls dreaming of being Queen.

But Catherine’s dream was almost an impossible one. Her family didn’t want to hear about their only daughter opening a business. The King became infantuated with her and wanted to marry her. She had no money or support to fulfill her dream. And most dangerous of all, Catherine was losing her heart to another man.

Enter Jest, the joker, owner of my heart, book crush and…. *cries* Marissa Meyer pulled a Leigh Bardugo on me here, and though I should’ve seen it coming since this was the story of the Queen of Hearts and I’d get no happy ending, I still wished for one. It still made me mad and devastasted to see what she did to Jest. I still hated Marissa Meyer, Mary Anne, Catherine and everyone involved.

Look, you can’t create a perfect love interest like Jest (funny, compassionate, romantic, a guy who makes the impossible possible) and then just break my heart like that. It’s not fair and it honestly should be prohibited.

It was silly of me to expect a different outcome—and if you’re just as silly, then let me warn you that you’ll get your heart broken, so readjust your exepctations immediately, please—but I still hoped that this would be the kind of retelling that would throw everything out the window and just do what it pleased. It’d give me the happy ending Catherine and Jest deserved. My heart deserved.

Nope. My heart got ripped out of my chest and stomped on, instead.

Which means, yes, we get to see how the Queen of Hearts became the Queen of Hearts. And, this makes me horrible, but I totally get it. Sure, Catherine didn’t do a fine job taking responsibility for the actions that led to the tragedy, but she was grieving and desperate for revenge, so I get why she’d be irrational and turn on everyone else instead of looking at herself as the guilty one. Besides, what was she to do then? Was her decision wrong? Yes. But not going back would’ve been wrong, too. That’s when I hate Marissa Meyer a little more, because she made it impossible to choose.

Plus, everyone else kind of deserved the way Catherine acted. Not Hatter. Hatter was phenomenal—and that plot twist? Damn it. My heart broke all over again.

But the rest of the people in Catherine’s heart deserved the Queen’s wrath. I know Mary Anne was only trying to help, but I always resent those kind of people—the ones who get themselves in trouble because they do something silly or stupid and then need to be saved. Plus, Mary Anne had already broken Cath’s trust. Sure I understood her concern, but Mary Anne was that typical character that fit that saying about paths paved with good intentions. I still loved how smart Mary Anne was, but like Catherine, I had a hard time forgiving her in the end.

Same goes for Catherine’s parents. Sure they were trying to do what they thought was best for her, but they didn’t bother to ask or take her opinion into consideration, so I can’t bother to really feel sorry for them.

Like I said before, this book was all about how these characters made me feel. The world building was interesting with all the spins on recognazible characters and little or big hints of things we’ve seen on the many stories inspired in Alice in Wonderland, but that wasn’t what made this book special to me. In fact, this book was special despite being inspired in a tale that normally doesn’t interest me at all. It was all about characters and building relationships just to tear them apart. It was all about building a character and showing us how life can transform someone so completely. How an impossible decision can lead to a life-changing tragedy. How a villain can also be a heroine.

It was also all about taking my heart and breaking it. Marissa Meyer was heartless here, and I both love and hate her for it.
*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.

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