Review: Heartless

Thursday, January 12, 2017


Cath loves to bake and envisions a future for herself full of joy and independence in her own bakery with her best friend. But Catherine's mother plots to marry her daughter off to the King of Hearts and sees Cath's baking only as means to this end. Torn between pleasing her parents and following her own dreams, Cath finds solace and inspiration in Jest, the mysterious new Court joker. As her affection for Jest, and disdain for the king, grows and the looming threat of the Jabberwock hangs over Wonderland, Catherine struggles to be the mistress of her own fate. 

Marissa Meyer's origin story of Wonderland's Queen of Hearts is both whimsical and heartbreaking. Meyer took a well known story and cast of characters and successfully made Wonderland her own. Instead of a list of decidedly Victorian confectionaries, Meyer communicates her own interest in baking through Catherine's creation of modern desserts. Descriptions of treats like key lime pie, salted caramels and pumpkin spice cake evoke our own tastes and make Meyer's Wonderland something relatable for 21st century readers. I was slow to read through the first 3/4s of the book, finding the silly and whimsical world at odds with Cath's yearning for and obsession with Jest, but the last 1/4 of the book had me hooked! Meyer added a darkness to Wonderland that was unexpected and eerie. The character of Peter Peter added a richness to the story and really changed my opinion of the book! In the end I really enjoyed it!

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