Sunday, January 15, 2017

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Title: Heartless
Author: Marissa Meyer
Released November 8, 2016
Borrowed from Library
Rating: 5/5


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 (Summary from Goodreads).


Warning: This is going to be a long review because Meyer is my favorite author and the below gif describes perfectly how I feel right now.


My Queen Marissa Meyer has delivered again on a fantastic fairytale retelling - this time it's about how the Queen of Hearts came to be a villain.

And it will destroy your heart.  No pun intended.

First of all, I have been in quite an emotional state since seeing La La Land last Tuesday. While reading Heartless, my emotions were augmented by the fact that both La La Land and Heartless involves characters that have a dream, and want nothing more than to accomplish it.  Every time Catherine wished for her dreams, for not having to marry the king, for being able to openly court Jest, to open her own bakery, was absolutely agonizing.  I could feel ALL the angst, and I realized that the chorus in one of the songs in La La Land fits perfectly.

Here's to the ones who dream
Foolish as they may seem
Here's to the hearts that ache
Here's to the mess we make

"Here's to the hearts that ache" that was basically Catherine and me the whole time.  One part of the song says "Here's to the fools who dream," and that reminds me soo much of Jest (Jester = fool).  Also this bit:

A bit of madness is key
To give us new colors to see
Who knows where it will lead us
And that's why they need us

This is a little unlike me; I don't tend to get quite so emotional over a book, but I think the combining forces between these sources of sadness is getting to me.

Let us think of  more positive things.  One of the things I really, really like about Marissa Meyer's writing is that she makes me feel everything with small descriptions of body language, and of course the dialogue.  Some people think her writing doesn't include enough world building, but her descriptions are just right for me to imagine the setting without getting bored.  For me, I much prefer good dialogue and descriptions of body language.  A simple line such as "his brow creased," or "his gold eyes glinting" (sounds weird out of context) has so much power and shows so much emotion in a scene.  I sound stupid, but a lot of YA doesn't describe nuanced changes in a character's face or body language - those are usually the books I find hard to connect emotionally.

And OH MY GOODNESS, I am such a hopeless romantic when it comes to books like Heartless.  I love a good ship, and this was not a disappointment.  It didn't feel cheesy at all, because the dialogue showed so much chemistry between the two.

Lastly, I have so much respect for how Meyer creates a perfect balance in her fairytale retellings.  I recently read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and even though I didn't care for it that much (a little too 'mad' for my tastes), Meyer's tone aligned fantastically.  There were subtle lines that I recognized from either the original tale or the movies.  In the Author's Note section, you can tell that Meyer really respects and loves the original.  Inspired by the well-known riddle "Why is a raven like a writing-desk?" Meyer included a character, Raven (who is actually a raven throughout most of the novel).  The raven's dialogue is inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," and Meyer liked to think that Raven is the same bird that tormented the heartbroken narrator in Poe's work. This made me love it even more!! You'll know what I mean if you read the book!

I actually did not expect to enjoy this as much as I did.  I'm not really a fan of Alice in Wonderland, so I started reading this book with mixed emotions.  But mid-way through, I knew I needed this book on my shelf.  So, I ordered the OwlCrate edition from their website (LOOK AT IT.  IT'S BEAUTIFUL)!  If you're lucky, they might still be selling it!  Anyway, I need to go sob in a corner

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