Our generation has grown up in a world powered by fairy tales and superheroes. We also happen to be the generation of remakes and retelling of the fairy tales we grew up with. So without further ado, let me introduce you to one hell of a Fairy Tale Re-teller, named Marissa Meyer. I had recently completed her series Lunar Chronicles (reviews coming soon) and I was thoroughly impressed with how she transformed the traditional, good-for-nothing Princesses into total dystopian badasses.
So obviously, I got my hands on Heartless as soon as it came out. And without a doubt, Meyer succeeded in blowing my mind and heart (pun intended) wide open. With that being said, let us begin discussing this epic, epic book.
Thanks to Disney, Once Upon A Time and Tim Burton, I bet you are no stranger to the words Wonderland, The Mad Hatter, and The Red Queen.
Heartless, happens to be set in Wonderland. And even contains a handful of the same characters as Alice in Wonderland. By that I mean, Cheshire, The Smoking Caterpillar and a certain young Hatter.
The story follows a young, beautiful girl named Catherine, noble by birth, humble by nature. Whilst girls of her standing dream of fancy dresses and handsome Princes, she dreams of opening up her own bakery and marrying for love. A fan of her baking, the King (King of Hearts) proposes to Catherine, who finds herself falling for the mysterious and charming court joker, Jest. Accepting the King’s courtship out of duty, Catherine continues to pursue her baking dreams and love for Jest in secret.
As things get complicated, the story reaches a point where Catherine is forced to flee her realm with Jest. She decides to leave behind her family and friends, for her happily ever after. But alas, things take a horrible, unexpected and absolutely brilliant turn.
As my reviews are always spoiler-free, I will refrain from explaining what the twist actually was, but let me just say, that I was up till 2am to finish this book (on a weekday. It’s a big deal okay?) I literally hugged this book after I finished reading it.
Basically, GET THIS BOOK. And read it NOW. It’s heartbreaking and beautiful. And makes you wonder if re-tellings can possibly be better than the originals. Because in this case, it may actually be true. I say that because even though the author leaned on the original characters and setting of Wonderland, her version was never dependent on them.
I personally love everything of Meyer that I’ve read and I hope she writes more books in her distinct, effortless style.
With that, here’s my favorite quote from the book:
“The easiest way to steal something, is for it to be given willingly.”
P.S. I own the image featured in this review! Those are my feet in it.