Book Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer – 3/5

Good Morning Fellow Book Nerds!

I just recently finished Heartless by Marissa Meyer! This is a dark retelling of the world of Alice in Wonderland. It focuses on The Queen of Hearts, before she is Queen.

I have heard such great things about Marissa Meyers books, that I decided to give this one a shot! I did this one as a combo, audiobook and actual book.

It was a fun book, but I didn’t absolutely love it. It was entertaining, but I feel like it could have been more.

Goodreads Synopsis

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland—the infamous Queen of Hearts—she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. 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 an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

In her first stand-alone teen novel, the New York Times-bestselling author dazzles us with a prequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

What I Liked

Cath: I really enjoyed seeing the change in Cath throughout the book. Seeing her transition from a sweet girl with a dream into the merciless Queen of Hearts was great. You started to see little sparks of her anger earlier in the book, and then see it grow as things happen.

Jest: I really enjoyed the character of Jest, or the court joker. He was funny, charming, and a little mischievous (he is a joker after all) He plays tricks and entertains but then you find out why he is truly in Hearts and it opens up more about him. He was interesting to read about, though I found his interest in Catherine a little cliche.

Raven: I think of all the supporting characters the Raven was my favourite. I loved that he speaks mostly in poems that are very reminiscent of Edgar Allen Poe poems. It was a great way to use that character.

Supporting Characters: I think Marissa Meyer did a fantastic job with all of the characters in this book. Each one had their own very well thought out personalities and quirks. They were all succinct and none of them were muddled together.

What I Didn’t Like

Cath: That’s right. Cath is both a like and a dislike for me.  She whines about not wanting to marry the king, and about opening her bakery and everything she wishes her life would be. She doesn’t actually do anything about it though. She just goes along with whatever her parents say, then goes to her bedroom to pout. It was exhausting listening to her.

Also, the way she just throws away her friendship with Mary Ann when all Mary Ann did was be a good friend who was worried about her. Rightfully so in my mind. Mary Ann then puts herself in danger trying to make it up to Cath, and then Cath just blames her for more problems. Mary Ann deserves a better friend.

The Pace: My only major complaint about this book, is that I found the pace of the book slow. There were moments of excitement thrown in, but the in between was lacking for me. I found my attention waning at some points waiting for something to happen.

The Madness: What madness? This is supposed to be a prequel to Alice in Wonderland, and Hatta (the Mad Hatter) even uses the line “We are all mad here” in this book. However, the level of madness was just not there in a way I wanted. It was more so that everyone was just kind of silly or ridiculous. It just didn’t have the feel to me, aside from maybe Cheshire.

Overall, the book was good. I do think it’s worth a read, especially if you like retellings. I just don’t think it will blow your mind.


Have you read Heartless? What did you think about it?


Buy Heartless by Marissa Meyer

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