Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: November 8th 2016
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.
Wonderland (sorry, Hearts) is a strange world
I don’t know why I forgot how strange Wonderland is. I mean, just the creatures that live there are weird, and then there’s the customs and every day practices. Quirky is the best way to describe this world and I’m not sure how I felt about it. Something I did love though was all the references to the Alice in Wonderland plot and characters.
I LOVED Jest and Cheshire
These two were hilarious! All their witty one liners quickly made them some of my favourite characters in this book. Cheshire is the same cat we know in Alice in Wonderland (and my god is he such a cat), while Jest is new to us. Jest is precious and funny and amazing.
Duty vs Dreams
Aside from the romance, one of Cath’s biggest struggles was the decision to try and follow her dream of opening a bakery, or doing as her parents want and becoming Queen, which is something I think a lot of people will relate to. That feeling of “do I do this because I actually want to, or because I don’t want to disappoint those who care about me?”. She had no thirst for power, no desire to rule, and was quite selfless most of the time. It’s these qualities in the beginning that would have made her a great queen (things change later) but she would have been so unhappy.
I liked the romance, even though it developed really quickly
The more I analyse the romance the more I feel meh about it. It was a bit sappy, and the feelings between Jest and Cath developed really quickly (they met like five or six times, I think, and were confessing strong feelings about halfway). However, I did ship them a lot (they have good chemistry), and I experienced a lot of feels because of it. And I have to remind myself HEARTLESS is a standalone; of course the romance was going to be fast. I’m used to slow burn romances that don’t result in the couple getting together until the end of the book or later books in the series.
It’s not a book for happy endings
Considering this is a story of what made Catherine become the mad Queen of Hearts we know, this should not be a surprise. Even though I had an idea something was happening, IT STILL HURT ME. Those poor poor characters. I’m not surprised the event turned Cath into the mad, vengeful Queen of Hearts.
I feel so sad and bittersweet after finishing HEARTLESS that it’s hard to write a summary for it. It was a book I greatly enjoyed reading, with the hilarious Jest and Cheshire’s one liners, Alice in Wonderland references, and quirky characters. I was even surprised that there was a decent amount of good plot, not just a star-crossed lovers romance.