Title: Heartless Author: Marissa Meyer Genre: Fantasy, YA, Retelling Rating: Two Stars
WARNING there will be spoilers. Sorry not sorry.
Okay I’ll admit, I was totally under prepared for this book.
I knew this was an Alice in Wonderland retelling but I didn’t realize how much I dislike Alice in Wonderland until I read this book. I’ll give you an example, for instance, I just had to question google about whether it was Alice IN Wonderland or Alice AND Wonderland… Mhmm. I guess its not my favorite fairy tale. I’ve also just realized that this retelling is actually the story of how hearts got their crazy queen and not about Alice herself.. Either I’m not as much of a book worm as I thought or this book just sucks and I’m just no good with retelling’s.
This book is fairly well written and the characters are each interesting, even the story itself was intriguing, but – there was always a but coming – I really did not enjoy this book.
I’m not sure if my problem lay in the Alice in Wonderland retelling issue and that I’m not a big fan of that fairy tale or if it’s a bigger issue about the actual story, execution and plot. You see aside from the actual world that this novel takes place in I’m not wholly sure how this is an Alice in Wonderland retelling, my memories of Alice in Wonderland are scarce and that’s probably one of my issues. BUT I feel like if I’m picking up a standalone book, whether it’s a retelling or not, I should be able to read it from start to finish without getting confused. I got utterly lost all throughout this novel which really began to tick me off because I liked the characters and the setting which was surprising. I found as a reader that in some scenes I would get detail overload and in others I would get such a lack of information that I couldn’t make sense of the scene.
I adored Jest and loathed Catherine which is a terrible combination in a book. I just found Catherine to be boring, stupid and frustratingly annoying. Every decision she made I found really unintelligent – to put it nicely – and the last few scenes just threw the dirt on the coffin of this book for me.
When Jest was decapitated I almost screamed in annoyance because he was the only decent thing about this book and he only died because she made yet another stupid decision that literally everyone had warned her not to do. Her excuses for going through the door into Peter the pumpkin eaters door were mediocre at best. For me Jest died in the most undignified way, he deserved to die with his head on his shoulders. But I guess it ties in with the whole “Off with his head!” mantra, again not my cup of tea.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t bother reading the last 30-40 pages because I was so angry and felt that the only good thing about this book had just been literally axed so knowing that it ended badly I just skipped to the last page and read that. I guess I can’t say too much on the ending because I didn’t read the whole thing but it was morbid. I don’t always need a happily ever after however I do need some sort of purpose or point to the books I read, some sort of goal by the character or theme of growth and development from the author and I just felt like this book fell short of all my expectations in every way.
I’ve not yet read Marissa Meyer’s other books, Cinder and such and I’m currently on the bench deciding if I should bother giving them a go. If any one of you can convince me otherwise please do! I’ve read so many good reviews on her other series so maybe this was just a one off flip for me?
I also have a YouTube channel if you’d like to check it out because of course, every little bit helps!
Thank you for reading!
Till next time,