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Motivation: Winter 2017 “Retelling” for Biannual Bibliothon
Genre: YA | High Fantasy | Retelling
Read Count: 1
My Rating: 4 stars
Description: Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.
At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. 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 a secret courtship.
Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
**includes spoilers for the book!
I don’t even know where to start. Marissa Meyer did an absolutely phenomenal job with this!! I didn’t know what I was expecting going it…but it far exceeded even my highest expectations.
Fairytale Retellings (and fantasy) is my FAVORITE genre!!
I can’t tell you how excited I was when I first heard this was coming out. We have lots of Alice in Wonderland retellings out there (Splintered, Alice in Zombieland, etc.) and a fair few from the Queen of Hearts POV, but they pale in comparison. Marissa Meyer wasn’t afraid to think outside the confines of the initial story and managed to tell the tale completely differently from previous attempts, and have it be successful!
I’m writing this having just gotten up from finishing it and I’m still reeling … woah. She certainly didn’t pull any punches with that ending. I mean WOW!!!
Meyer had a really firm grasp on her character that you don’t often see. She KNEW Cath inside and out, her motivations, her friendships, and her priorities. She made Cath wholly human, mistakes and all, and this really brought her to life. Instead of the typical vapid YA “goodie-goodie”, I’m-not-going-to-regret-saving-a-life-even-though-it-had-devasting-consequences-for-me character, Cath was real. No human is like that. The fact that Cath SAID she wishes she never saved Mary-Ann so Jest would be alive… was huge for me. It proved her to be human. We place some lives over others. We have priorities that don’t necessarily paint us in a positive light. I applaud you, Marissa Meyer, genius that you are. I’m regretting that I didn’t get to make it when you toured in my city :( #why
If I had to make one critique, it would be the emotional impact. I’m a fairly emotional reader and I feel like I should have been bawling at the end. I don’t think this was intentional on her part, but I actually feel like it does lend itself to the story. The way this book was written, especially towards the end, made a lot of sense for what happened. So basically, I’m not critiquing her for it. But it’s still a critique.
Bah, it’s late and I’m not making sense.
Long story short
Heartless was amazing, totally unconventional and I really enjoyed this peek into the head of the legendary Queen of Hearts. BAH! Amazing :)