Heartless by marissa meyer
my opinion: this was such an enjoyable book. heartless is the origin story of the queen of hearts from alice in wonderland and it is chock full of magic, romance, and fairy tale fantasy. i thought that the story was incredibly well developed so that no character development was shocking or out of place. as you read, you really evolve along with catherine as she has to deal with pressures from her parents to marry the king when all she really wants is to open a bakery with her best friend. i thought that all of the elements of the original alice in wonderland story were perfectly placed and the fairy tale vibes of the book never felt forced. the book took many turns that i didn’t expect towards the end and i absolutely loved the ending. it was sad but very fitting with the flow of the story and also very satisfying. this is an odd compliment but i really appreciated the length of each chapter as well; they were short enough that my attention span didn’t fizzle out but not so short that the chapter transitions felt abrupt. the only thing i didn’t like about this book was how catherine blamed mary ann for everything that went wrong with jest and was so quick to dismiss her, even though they were “best friends.” everyone knows that it’s hoes before bros, don’t ditch your best friend for a man!!! also catherine really only started standing up to people at the very end of the book and i wish her character had shown some more gusto earlier on.
recommendation: i would recommend this to people who enjoy retellings/origin stories of classic fairy tales, as well as anyone looking for a good love story. i wouldn’t recommend this to people who don’t like lots of riddles, rhyming, and otherwise quirky fairy tale elements. it’s not like a modern retelling in our universe, it very much takes place in wonderland with all of its magic and mystery.
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