Heartless by Marissa Meyer (mild spoilers)

“Such a heart can’t be mended. I hope I won’t be tasked with keeping such a useless artifact for much longer.” (Meyer, p. 440).

Heartless is breathtaking and enchanting, prose for the senses. It is full of whimsy and poetry, passion and danger. You will be immersed in to the world that is Wonderland. Here you will find the makings of a queen.

The Plot: All Catherine has ever dreamed of is to be a successful baker. This dream will never come true under the scrupulous eye of her mother. Catherine is drowning in social propriety and obligation. Her only breath of air seems to be the impending proposal from The King of Hearts, that is, until she meets Jest, the court joker. Things begin to take a magical turn, but her fate, and the fate of Hearts, is threatened by madness, magic, and monsters. Will she overcome it all to live out her dream and fulfill her desire for true love, or will she risk it all to save those dearest to her?

And down the rabbit hole I went. I was enchanted from chapter 1! Heartless astounded me with its beauty, whimsical imagery, and magical world and characters. I felt like I was in Wonderland with the details that Meyer wrote. When Cath’s bakery sweets were described, I actually felt like I could smell and taste them! Never, for a second, did I doubt that this world was real. This story had a great pace and the world and its characters unfolded themselves perfectly!

“…why is a raven like a writing desk? …They are both so full of poetry, you see. Darkness and whimsy, nightmares and song.” (Meyer, p. 431).

Catherine was such a well written character and her transformation was incredible! She started out as a determined dreamer, aspiring to overcome her mother’s oppression, to open her own bakery to do the one thing she loved the most (“She had baked her very heart into them.” Meyer, p. 4). She was rebellious and respectful all at once. She was curious but skeptical, but then the turning point came, and Cath became vengeful, hateful, and heartless.

“That tree is gone by nightfall. If it is not, then I will find an ax and cut it down myself, and your head will be soon to follow.” (Meyer, p. 426)

Cath’s mother, The Marchioness, was a hateful, judgemental woman. She is the “Mrs. Bennet” of the story. She cared more about marrying her daughter off than seeing her daughter happy. She was overbearing and controlling, and her characteristics can be seen in Cath after she loses her heart.

“Her mother’s voice was a constant nag in her head, telling her to put down the fork, to stand up straight, to smile, but not that much!” (Meyer, p. 16).

Jest was such a lovely character, and obviously, played a major role in Cath’s transformation. He was dark, handsome, mysterious, and chivalrous. He was also flirtatious, magical, and mildly cunning.

“…no on knew where he came from…Impossible was his specialty.” (Meyer, p. 63).

I enjoyed all the characters in the book. Cheshire was the comic relief of the story, making me laugh every time he appeared. The King was a humorous little man, like a full grown child. The Hatta, not mad yet, was intriguing and mystifying. Each character had a role to play, including the jabberwock, but Jest and The Marchioness, in my opinion, were the ones that really shaped Cath and aided in her transformation the most.

Heartless was incredibly written and drew me in to the enchanting world of Hearts and Wonderland. Meyer created an astounding story that I could truly believe led to The Queen of Hearts in Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. I give a solid 5 star rating to this imaginative tale of the shaping of The Queen of Hearts!

“It was a new day in Hearts, and she was the Queen.” (Meyer, p. 449).



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