This review is spoiler-free!
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings
Release Date: November 8th 2016 by Feiwel & Friends
Format: Hardcover, 453 pages
Find it here: Goodreads
First off, I just want to say how much I love Marissa Meyer’s way of writing. No matter what I read, even if I’m not particularly enthralled by the story, I am always impressed by her writing style and ability to tell the story.
I also love retellings, but you probably knew that. I particularly like it when villains are given origin stories, as along as they’re done well. (Cruella, I’m looking at you. What even was that.) Heartless? Was a well-done villain origin story, to the point where I almost wish it wasn’t the Queen of Hearts we’re learning the story of, because we know how that ends.
Our main character here, Cath, loves to bake, and she’s good at it. Even though I’m not one for baking (or cooking — I don’t have the patience and would rather just eat), reading about Cath and her baking was actually really interesting. Being in a magical world probably helped that a lot, but still! Cath and her baking made up a lot of my favorite parts of the story, and, honestly? If the story hadn’t taken a few specific turns, one of which was of the romantic variety (because of course it had to, there’s always some romance in books like these), I probably would have given this all the stars.
(Okay, yes, I gave it four out of five, so there only would have been one more star to give, but whatever. I said what I said.)
Now, let me be clear. I actually liked the romantic arc of the story. It was interesting, and, for once, I was invested! Doesn’t happen often, let me tell you. Jest is one hell of a cool and captivating character (did I mention that Meyer is one hell of a writer?), and I found myself eagerly awaiting his appearance as much as Cath was throughout the story. There were just certain… points, which I can’t talk about because of major spoilers, that really made me go, “wow, wish that hadn’t happened” and knock off that last star. It’s kind of more of a 4.5, really. Maybe a 4.25?
Something like that.
Another thing I didn’t like much, which attributed to that lack of a full five stars, is as much as I loved hearing about Cath and her baking, I just… didn’t like Cath. I could (surprisingly) look past that in favor of the things around her — up until I just couldn’t. Because it had incorporated itself too deeply into the main twist of the book, and it made it fall kind of flat. I hate it when things fall flat.
That being said, I love how it got incorporated into how Cath is by the time Alice in Wonderland happens. If you know, you know. ;D
Anyway! Love Meyer’s writing, love stories like this, would love more. Need to read more, because there are already a ton out there that I have not touched. If you have any recommendations, hit me with them please!
Thanks for reading!