domingo, 9 de octubre de 2016

Heartless - Marissa Meyer [Review]

Title: Heartless
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Fantasy, romance, Young adult
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publishing date: November 8,  2016
Pages: 464 

Hello, today I’m finally reviewing Heartless by Marissa Meyer. There is a big marketing campaign going on right now in social media, you must participate in daily challenges and you may be able to win an ARC and some swag. I got my ARC at comic con.

            Heartless follows the story of Catherine Pinkerton, the daughter of Marquises. She is beautiful, humble and a talented baker, she wants to live a simple life by opening a bakery with her best friend, her maid Mary Ann. Cath becomes the Kings favorite and he wants to propose to her during a ball. Cath doesn’t feel that way towards the King and feels frustrated and desperate because she doesn’t want to marry him, but it’s what her parents expect her to do, and she doesn’t want to disappoint them… and who can reject a king? She escapes from the ball before his proposal and meets Jest, the new court joker who debuted during the ball, for the first time she will feel real attraction. Since that meeting, both will start a secret and impossible courtship… but let’s remember that she will become the Queen of Hearts, so there is no way this story will have a happy ending.

            This is Marissa Meyer’s first stand-alone novel, a prequel of Alice in Wonderland, I haven’t
A pic from my Instagram because I didn't know
 what pictures I should use.
read Alice in Wonderland but I have a notion about this crazy world. Meyer adopts this world and while keeping the essence of the original, she makes it her own… less crazy and more serious and strict in some aspects. 
            I have some mixed feelings with this book, so I will start talking about what I liked of it.

            Wonderland is a crazy world full of, well… wonders. The Kingdom of Hearts is a really cheerful place that follows a society similar to the one of Victorian England (that’s what the author notes say in the book). The King is a small and cheerful man, and the only thing he wants is a happy kingdom by offering tea parties, balls, and different stuff to make the people as cheerful as he is. Despite of how cheerful things may seem in the kingdom, there is always this vibe of mysteriousness in some characters, it’s hard to know if it’s okay to trust them, some give the impression they are hiding something, I really liked that because when I was starting to trust some characters something happened that made me doubt of them again, maintaining the mysterious atmosphere.

           Even though is kind of a cliché of the girl with status who falls in love with a man with different social status, I liked their disapproved romance, though it was hardly a romance per se, they were alone in few occasions at the beginning and I think they fell in love way too fast, but it’s easy to sense the attraction they feel for each other. I’m not a fan of Cath at all, but Jest is a lovable character, he is the perfect funny, clever, skillful, and mysterious boy.

            This might be a bit of a spoiler, but during the first ball, a legendary creature appears and panic arises in Hearts, along the whole book, this is one of the main subplots, where does the creature come from? And what does it want? This, alongside other events, darkens the book in the second half, the cheerfulness changes and turns into something more dark and bitter mixed with a more passionate romance.

            And lastly, the last thing I liked of this book is how friendship is an important factor. Our protagonist best friend is a maid, despite their different social status, Cath always treats Mary Ann as her equal, and since the beginning is easy to see how much they love each other and how important their friendship is for them. Both of them endure hardships that weaken their relationship, and it’s interesting to see how they affront this rupture in their friendship. Also a second strong friendship is the one of Jest and the hatter, Hatta, just as Cath and Mary Ann, they starts disagreeing with each other, mainly because of Cath, and it’s interesting to see how they affront this as well.

            Now I’ll mention what I didn’t like at all, although I said some things already. Despite being
Wonderland, Hearts has the rules of a Victorian society, full of sexism. Cath is super limited because
My signed  ARC.
the simple fact that she is a girl, she has no freewill, she is like a doll and all her parents expect is for her to be pretty and obedient, to marry a good man and that’s it, that’s everything she can wish for, because according to her parents it’s the best for her. To me this book was like Alice in Wonderland meets Pride and Prejudice. Catherine’s mom reminded me a lot of Mrs. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, if you haven’t read that book, Mrs. Bennet is an annoying character.

            I really despised Cath’s mother, she was annoying and was thinking in herself instead of her daughter happiness. Cath’s parents didn’t asked her if she was okay with marrying the King, or what would make her happy, they basically told her to stop dreaming... and that frustrated me a lot, they were unfair with her.  

            As I said in the synopsis, Cath will become the evil Queen of Hearts… so that means that a lot of bad stuff happens to her, and I understand that she became like that, but what I didn’t like is that there was a person who got happiness despite being a mean person, but Cath didn’t get to be happy.

            Also, this book focus is romance, there are some subplots, but the main focus is the relationship between Cath and Jest, and her dream of the bakery. The first half of the book was slow and I was not hooked with it until the second half where things got more interesting and fast paced. The writing style is wonderful, really descriptive and detailed; it lets you perfectly imagine everything, even the craziest things.

            Heartless is an enjoyable prequel of Alice in Wonderland where we know what happened to Catherine Pinkerton in order to become the Queen of Hearts. It’s a book full of romance, mystery, some lovable characters, and despite taking place in a crazy world such as wonderland, it reflects certain aspects of reality that makes you identify with the characters or just feel empathy for them. If you are looking for a non-cheesy romance with some mystery, this book is for you.

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