Heartless by Marissa Meyer – Book Review

Hey everyone! Its AP Exams week, which means it is the PERFECT time to procrastinate and ‘forget’ to study for the tests that will decide my future. *(shrug)*

This is a book I have been meaning to review ever since I read it last year , and I’m hoping you will love/have your soul destroyed by as I did.

Summary (Courtesy of GoodReads)

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. 

Like Meyer’s other literary works, such as the Lunar Chronicles series, Heartless is a retelling of a fairytale with the author’s own crazy twist added into the mix. Heartless is a prequel to Alice in Wonderland, and set the stage for all the whimsical events of Lewis Carroll’s original tale. I loved this book with a burning passion, and HIGHLY recommend everyone of this earth to read it. I read this with a mounting sense of dread as I realized that the events of this book, no matter how much I wanted for them to turn out well, would only go down in flames. The characters and character building was FLAWLESS and at the end I wanted to cry over the fate of all my favorites. The original tale of Alice in Wonderland never truly had my affection, even after seeing multiple movies and reading multiple books adapted from it. But after reading Marissa Meyer’s rendition of this whimsical world, and the personality and life she gave every character, I can see the world Alice dreamed up in a new and beautiful light. Heartless was only a stand-alone novel, which breaks my heart, because I’d love to see more of Wonderland from the perspective of Cath, but it is satisfyingly heart wrenching and absolutely worth the journey.

That’s it for the non-spoilers section of this review, so go out and get this book ASAP. Trust me, if you are anything like I am, then you will love this. Come back to @thecookiecrumblr when you finish so we can discuss the pure awesomeness of this book. Byee!


When I picked up this book, I did not have very high expectations. I procrastinated in buying it, and even after that, it took me a long time to actually pick it up and read. But as soon as I did, I was hooked. This book is seriously addicting, and I loved it. Meyer described everything in a playful, whimsical way and spoke of Wonderland as a happy, cheerful place, which was interesting because I’d never seen Wonderland as a cool place to be in; I had never been overly fond of the original tale. However after reading this book, I can see the appeal of Wonderland.

The society of the Land of Hearts made me so upset because Cath was forced to live with all these expectations. As the daughter of a Marques, she had a duty to solidify her rank and the rank of her family, and was expected to do so through marriage. With the King. The King was so cringy and shudder-worthy, I felt so bad that Cath was expected to through away any hope of love for him. I pictured him like the Duke of Weasel Town (sorry I meant Weselton ) from Disney’s Frozen. Though there was not an evil bone in his (extremely small, giggly, cringy) body, the image of Cath having to one day kiss him made me shudder. He was so weak and an embarrassing excuse for a king. He had no backbone and poor Cath was forced to endure his pitiful attempts at courting her and I felt disgusted on behalf of Cath.

The most thrilling part of this book was the love story in the middle of all the craziness. I shipped Jest and Cath so hard, and their strange, forbidden love story was the truly intoxicating source of all my excitement and addiction… as well as the source of my ever-constant feeling of mounting dread. Because the reader knows this book is a prequel to the Alice in Wonderland, the reader knows Cath will one day become the heartless (haha what up book-title reference) red queen. I knew this from the very first page, yet I couldn’t help but fall in love with Cath. She was funny and sweet and I wanted so badly for everything to turn out well for her. I loved that she dared to go against the norms for women and how she dreamed of one day opening a bakery. Some of my favorite parts of the book consisted of Cath describing the perfection of each morsel of what she was baking, and it made me so happy to see a character with so much life and passion. I was in a constant state of denial, hoping against hope that Cath wouldn’t become the evil queen.

And then there was Jest. (Also I love the fact that Meyer incorporated the Raven from Poe’s master-of-a-poem. It cracked. Me. Up. AND it fit so well with the timeline. Meyer is the truest form of a fangirl in author form. Ok random side-note done, carry on :)) Jest; my favorite character of the book. The strange and seemingly impossible love interest of Cath. He was the perfect crazy half to Cath and he brought out all of Cath’s best qualities. We, as the reader, saw Cath passionate about cooking, and determined about achieving her dreams, and terrified of the future her parents wanted for her. But we see her truly shine whenever she is with Jest, and that just made Jest even more likable. Even when his true plans were revealed, and we found out his plan was to take Cath’s heart all along, I couldn’t bring myself to hate him. His reasoning was so earnest, and beyond that, he didn’t want to take her heart. He’d rather throw his kingdom away, his duty to the shores, if it meant Cath would live. Of course he’d be the one to die.

Jest’s death broke me, because it was so fast. Though I knew it was coming, I still felt so unprepared. The fact that there were no goodbyes, that though his specialty was the impossible, the deathblow was too fast for even Jest to avoid, hurt me.  Though in one sense, he had saved her, he had also inadvertently created the monster that the rest of Wonderland grew to fear. After his death, when Cath snaps, she becomes unrecognizable from the character I knew and loved from the beginning. She becomes frigid to all those close to her, and shuts everyone out, refusing to heal from her loss. She hates herself for the person she used to be, and all she hungers for is revenge. After Jest’s death, everything seemed to go downhill for Wonderland. One of the hardest for me to watch was Hatta.

Hatta losing his sanity was so crazy. I had a feeling he liked Jest, and that was why he was trying so hard to help Cath. But at the end, when he mutters nonsense and gibberish, trying to piece together what is real and what is not, it broke my heart. Brilliant imaginative Hatta was reduced to a mad man, and even more than that, Cath didn’t seem like she cared enough to see if she could help the man that had once been a friend. And this was before she gave away her heart. Cath became so frigid without Jest, but once she gave it away, it was like she passed the point of no return. She would never be the same person, and after that THE BOOK JUST ENDED! Like WHAT?!?! She beheads Peter for the murder of Jest, but even then there’s no satisfaction. Just emptiness. I felt numb FOR DAYS.

If you read AND LOVED this book but havent seen any of Meyer’s of works I suggest you GET ON THAT. I promise, her other literary works are (mostly) not as heart breaking.


Thanks for reading my review. Comment below if you have any book suggestions, or any ideas about what else you guys want Kate and me to post about. That’s all for today! BYE