Heartless by Marissa Meyer

First of all, I must apologise for my lack of blogging. I completely forgot July’s last Thursday to post and then I’ve been unwell.

I’m not feeling fantastic yet, but I have a (belated) review for you of Heartless by Marissa Meyer. I apologise if it’s a bit nonsensical!



I recently read Cinder and I was surprised by how much I liked it. So, of course when I saw so many positive reviews for Marissa Meyer’s standalone novel, Heartless, I decided to read it.

It was really good, again I was surprised. Firstly it should be noted that I have never been an Alice in Wonderland fan, I’ve always hated the nonsense of it. However, this Alice in Wonderland prequel really impressed me.

Lady Catherine Pinkerton is the apple of the King of Hearts’ eye. But while he longs for her hand in marriage, she longs to start a bakery of her own with her best friend, Mary Ann.

In a family where her destiny has always been decided by her domineering mother, all Cath wants is the chance to choose her own life. And when the king’s mysterious new joker, Jest, catches her eye, she feels the call of love for the first time.

But in a land of magic, madness and monsters, destiny has other plans for Cath’s life…

Things I liked:

The characters were each in their own way well-developed and fleshed out. I especially liked the characters of Jest and Hatta. Other reviewers complain that Cath was whiny and too dependent on the male characters, but I wasn’t bothered by that. The poor girl was in a truly difficult position and I never found her overly whiny. And what is wrong with a girl who can’t necessarily do everything a boy can, [Spoiler: though, be fair, she does cut the head off the Jabberwock! End Spoiler]. I also liked the fact that all she wanted to do was become a baker. So many of these girls who are trying to avoid the arranged marriage want to go off to war with their brothers and all that, but Cath simply wants to be a baker. I loved that aspect of it.

The plot was fresh and different, but it tied back to the original enough to please avid Wonderland fans. There are also some characters, such as the Hatter, Cheshire Cat and the King of Hearts, from the original. I also appreciated the explanation as to why the Queen of Hearts hates white roses, because that never made any sense to me before.

The writing was vivid and realistic, but simple and enjoyable. Beautiful and emotionally done. I admire Marissa Meyer’s style and voice so much.

Things I disliked:

I didn’t dislike much of it, except for the ending (but honestly, I knew the ending was coming. I’d been warned of it, and it didn’t take much to guess). The ending was heartbreaking and not at all happy. There was no waking up for Cath.

I disliked the length of the book as well. The pace lagged around the middle and then I thought it finished too quickly. I also would have liked mention of the Sisters before they randomly turned up, because they element just seemed contrived and shoved in there.


It was so good. I enjoyed it immensely and would recommend it for anyone who enjoys a) Lewis Carroll’s work, b) retellings, c) or simply a good YA fantasy romance. However, a word of caution, it is not a happy book. It is quite dark in places, and as I mentioned earlier, there is no fairy tale happy ending. The romance was pretty clean with no explicit details. I would recommend it for fifteen and up and though it will mostly appeal to girls, who’s to say a boy won’t either?

Four and a half stars.



What about you? Have you read Heartless? If so, what did you think of it? Are you an Alice in Wonderland fan?

7 thoughts on “Heartless by Marissa Meyer

  1. The only Marissa Meyer novel I’ve read is Fairest – I was not a fan (I prefer books with happy endings). But people have recommended Cinder, so I’ll probably give that one a shot! Are they set in the same world as Heartless?

    Alice in Wonderland is… interesting. And bizarre. My mum tends to mutter that Carroll was obviously on drugs! (after all, that caterpillar was smoking opium…) xD
    Jem Jones


  2. I’m not usually a fan of books without happy endings either, which was mainly why I was sceptical of Heartless, but though the ending wasn’t happy, it was well done. Cinder was good, in my opinion, but no, it and its sequels are set on a futuristic earth, while Heartless is set in Wonderland.
    Yeah, I’m inclined to agree. I don’t like nonsensical things. 😀 Thanks for commenting!


  3. I’m glad you liked it! I honestly was disappointed and am one of the people who found Cath too whiny.😂 I just wanted her to take control of her own fate, and I can’t understand why fantasy worlds with 0% attachment to our world have to be so darn sexist all of the time. HOWEVER I DID LOVE THE ENDING. *watches heart shatter all over the ground* Although it felt like there was no real closure? Like I was expecting it to start a series but it ended as a standalone. 😭😭


  4. Yeah, I do find fantasy worlds are sexist for no particular reason and, to be frank, it’s annoying! Yeah, I actually was surprised by how abruptly it finished, though it didn’t really bother me. I was just expecting there to be more. Thanks for commenting!


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