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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Lefty's Lowdown: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Published: November 8, 2016 by Feiwel & Friends
Summary 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.
 Okay, so, this was my first book of 2017 and MAN WAS IT KILLER. Maybe this is a bit premature, but I'm fairly certain that this is going to be one of my favorite books OF THE YEAR. I loved it, adored it, relished every second of it. Be prepared for a review full of SQUEES and CAPITAL LETTERS because I have lots of gushing to do about this book.

This is an origin story for the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. I'm not really the biggest Alice fan. I've never read the book and I've only seen the one movie with Johnny Depp. BUT THAT DIDN'T EVEN MATTER. Marissa Meyer uses the traditional Wonderland influences, but she creates a story all her own. Heartless is the story of Catherine, a girl with wide eyes and big dreams. A girl who is a victim to fate and social expectations and her own innocence. I enjoyed Cath's character a lot. I knew things weren't going to end well for her because she turns into the evil Queen of Hearts (tbh I know that this ISN'T canon but in my mind this book is totally canon and I'm forever going to look at the Queen of Hearts with this story in mind) but HOT DIGGITY DAMN IF I WASN'T ROOTING FOR HER. Like, I just wanted everything to work out for her. I wanted her to have her happy ending with her bakery and her best friend and JEST.

Jest jest jest. Of course we MUST talk about JESTTTTTT. Because I love him. Like, I reallllllllly love him. Book boyfriend AF. He is charming and sweet and witty and I LOVE HIM. It causes me physical pain to know that this is a standalone and therefore the only book we'll ever get with Jest. Of course, I can't forget about the other marvelous characters in this book, like Cheshire (he's a cat so of course I love him) and Hatta (aka the Mad Hatter) and Raven. These characters all brought so much to the table. Yes, they (aside from Raven) have Lewis Carroll's stamp on them, but Meyer made them something else, too. I could read about these characters all day every day.

I will say, nothing about this book came as much of a surprise. The bare bones of this story are pretty cliche, but, and I don't know how, Meyer makes this something special. And she ripped out my damn heart, too (the real reason it's called Heartless). I was wrecked by the end of this novel. And then I woke up the next morning still reeling from it. And then, writing this review I almost started crying again. It's so good, y'all. So frickly frackin' spectacular. I've officially hopped on the Marissa Meyer train and I can't wait to see where else it takes me.

I know that this review has basically been a heap of nonsensical gushing, but the bottom line is that Heartless has whimsy and heartbreak, beautiful characterization, and it throws in pieces of tales most people already know and love. So this book is A+ and I will love it until the day I die, basically.
5/5 will definitely read again

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