Friday, October 14, 2016

Countdown to Heartless: Review

Marissa Meyer
Young Adult/Retelling
464 pages
Feiwel & Friends
Available November 8th
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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 yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king's marriage proposal, she 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.

Heartless returns us once again to the depths of Ms. Meyer's imagination, granting us access to a world of whimsy and darkness where we're able to view well-known characters through a looking glass all her own.

Catherine wants nothing more than to be covered in sugar and flour all day every day, creating recipes and baking to her heart's content alongside her lady's maid and closest friend, Mary Ann. Given she's the daughter of a marquess however, the path her life takes simply cannot be one of her own choosing, especially when the King of Hearts sets his sights on her. It's so very easy to sympathize with Catherine in the beginning–her dream one that's so simple yet so impossible at the same time– and once we're subjected to the giggly effervescence of the king, we can do nothing but wince along with her every time he opens his mouth and his tittering laugh escapes.

Cath's romance with Jest is full of tension both romantic and forbidden, and though we want to encourage her to follow her heart in this case, a knot of dread deep in our chests pulls tighter every time they're together, wondering when and how it's all going to come crashing down around them given who Cath is destined to become. Though Cath's descent into darkness is at times painful and we find ourselves futiley hoping for an ending we know can never come to pass, it's also a journey that holds us spellbound as Ms. Meyer leads us on a merry dance of wonder and madness. And when the moment comes that we reach the final page and are left with an infamous line ringing in our ears, we simply can't help the Cheshire-like grin that splits our cheeks.

Overall, Heartless is as enormously imaginative as all Ms. Meyer's previous books, and I cannot wait to see what retelling she takes on next.

Rating: 4.5/5

There are only 25 days left until Heartless! Pre-Order your copy:

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One of my first spoken words was “story” (right along with “bath” and “cookie”), my favorite toy as an infant was a soft, squishable book, and I’ve wanted to be a writer since I first realized such a job existed.

When I was fourteen my best friend introduced me to anime and fanfiction—over the years I would complete over forty Sailor Moon fanfics under the penname Alicia Blade. Those so inclined can still find my first stories at Writing fanfic turned out to be awesome fun and brought me in contact with an amazing group of fanfiction readers and writers. As Alicia Blade, I also had a novelette, “The Phantom of Linkshire Manor,” published in the gothic romance anthology Bound in Skin (CatsCurious Press, 2007).

When I was sixteen I worked at The Old Spaghetti Factory in Tacoma, Washington, affectionately termed “The Spag.” (Random factoid: This is also the restaurant where my parents met some 25 years before.) I attended Pacific Lutheran University where I sorted mail that came to the dorm, carted tables and chairs around campus, and took writing classes, eventually earning a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and Children’s Literature. Knowing I wanted a career in books, I would also go on to receive a Master’s degree in Publishing from Pace University (which you can learn more about here). After graduation, I worked as an editor in Seattle for a while before becoming a freelance typesetter and proofreader.

Then, day of days, someone thought it would be a good idea to give me a book deal, so I became a full-time writer. CINDER is my first novel, though I have an adorable collection of unfinished ones lying around too.

I now live with my husband and our three cats (Calexandria Josephine, Stormus Enormous, and Blackland Rockwell III), who go in and out, in and out, about eight hundred times a day. My favorite non-bookish things include Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, re-watching episodes of Firefly, and playing all manners of dress-up.


  1. Less than a month of waiting for this now :) I'm so excited for this since I've enjoyed all of Meyer's previous retellings.

  2. glad to know you enjoy this one. I'm already eagerly waiting for my copy to arrived. Now you just makes me more excited to start the book.

  3. I'm so glad you loved this one, Jenny! Meyer's books have been hit-or-miss reads for me--I loved Scarlet and Winter but didn't enjoy Cinder or Cress much at all. I'm a little unsure of how I'll find this, especially given the fact that I'm not a lover of Alice in Wonderland, but perhaps it's worth a shot! Wonderful review, my dear!

  4. I confess that I saw different reviews for this one so I didn't know but it's great to see you had a great time. I still need to continuer her other series, I only tried Cinder

  5. I really need to get caught up on this series! So happy this was a wonderful addition to it. Happy Friday Jenny!

  6. Oooooh nearly 5 stars for you?? I'm newly excited about the book yet again! I hope I can get to reading my ARC soon! =D

  7. Yay! I am so happy you rated this one 4.5 stars! I am so excited to read it. Fantastic review, Jenny!

  8. Well that is a silly dream, a baker, if she is a princess she should know that if she want to bake, do it after she is a queen ;)(

  9. Yes! I'm thrilled you enjoyed HEARTLESS, Jenny! I can't wait to try this series out. Lovely, review!!
    Happy Friday :)

  10. Yeah. Glad this was a winner for you. I loved her Lunar Chronicles series and I am really excited to get my hands on this one.

  11. Is this book going to make me hungry?

    Regardless, I can't wait to enjoy Cath's descent to darkness!

  12. I'm thrilled that you loved this one so much, Jenny! Definitely one of the top books that I have been anticipating this year. Happy Friday!

  13. SWEET! I still need to finish her other series but this one is so on the top of my wishlist right now. So glad you enjoyed it and I hope you have a great weekend!!

  14. I just finished Winter...sounds like I need to add this to my TBR now!

  15. I am really curious about this one! I haven't tried her other series, but this sounds more up my alley!

  16. Ooh excellent, I'm glad this is another win from Marissa! That woman can do no wrong.

  17. Oh my gosh it sounds freaking amazing and just like what we would expect from Meyer. I love your review particularly when it comes to Catherine and her journey into darkness. Lovely review Jen!

  18. Wheee! I can't wait. Shhh, don't tell, but I still haven't read Winter.

  19. Absolutely stunning review my friend. I was already looking forward for this one but now I really can't wait to dive in! Meyers is brilliant and I will always read whatever she puts out!

  20. Ahhh, I'm so happy to see this one. I am adjusting my expectations for this (expecting a Fairest instead of a Cinder) but I'm still excited for this one and glad you liked it!

    Nereyda│ Nick & Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist