This review contains *spoilers* for the first half of this book.
Heartless is an epic retelling of Alice in Wonderland, with the focus being on The Queen of Hearts.
All Catherine wants is to be declared the office tart baker of the kingdom. She and her best friend, Mary Ann, dream of launching their very own bakery. Even their friendship hit it off upon discovering one another’s mutual love for food:
“One wouldn’t know it to look at Mary Ann, but she had an appetite to rival Cath’s own. They’d bonded over their love of food years ago, not long after Mary Ann had been hired on as a household maid.”
Their solidarity kind of reminded me of the one Anna Bates and Mary Crawley (from Downton Abbey) had in the later seasons—aka my favorite one on the show.But according to her mother, the Marchioness, “going into the men’s world of business” is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen, especially with a humble servant – Mary Ann – as her partner.
“But she and Mary Ann had been dreaming of it for so long, she sometimes forgot that it wasn’t yet reality.”
Meanwhile, at the royal ball His Congenial Kingness has chosen a bride, and Cath is thrown for the loop. The King of Hearts was about to propose to her in front of the whole crowd, but the idea of marrying him seemed preposterous to her.
“She would be queen, and queens . . . queens did not open bakeries with their best friends. Queens did not gossip with half-invisible cats. Queens did not have dreams of yellow-eyed boys and wake up with lemon trees over their beds.”
Thankfully, before he could finish his proposal, Cheshire steals the show at Catherine’s request, so that she can vanish unnoticed through the rose gardens. On her way out, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker with a rhyming Raven.
And Jest also turns out to be the boy from her dreams… literally.
Cath had met a hazy, beautiful boy in her dream with eyes “bright like lemons ready to fall from a tree.” And so she informs this stranger that she’d had a dream about them, which the courage to tell a handsome someone you had a dream about them… can’t relate.
“‘So?’ he prodded.
She blinked. ‘So what?’
‘Was it a good dream?’
‘Oh.’ Her lips puckered in thought, but then she realized he was teasing her. She scowled. ‘To be frank, I found it rather dull.’
‘Ah, but you can’t be Frank. You’ve already told me that your name is Catherine.’
‘I’ve changed it.’”
A man after my heart. His humor was right up my alley.
Also, Jest giving her a piece of chocolate made my heart warm—“I was saving this for later, and so I must have been saving it for you.”
Marissa Meyer sure knows how to make me fall quickly for someone.It’s truly been awhile since I’ve welcomed a book-romance with open arms. And I’m glad Jest, with his quick smiles and witty remarks, was the one I was waiting for.
Plus, when Jest stole her away for a midnight rendezvous – aka a tea party with the Mad Hatter – happiness coursed to the ends of my limbs. In that shared single night, one fun night, she finds out that:
- He was from Chess.
- He was on a mission that could end a war.
- He was the protector of a queen.
- Impossible is his speciality.
I was anticipating every little encounter they had.
I don’t know what happened, but my heart just wasn’t in it anymore. I gradually started losing intrest in the characters and their arcs. I think I just need to take a break from fantasy for awhile and then eventually come back so I don’t feel like I’m forcing myself to read my most anticipated read of the year.
Marissa Meyer is one of the most talented writers, and I’m really hoping that when I pick this book up again, I’ll enjoy it more than I can now.
DNF @ p.232 (My heart is breaking just by writing this.)ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
no rating for now.