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.
Heartless was a very enjoyable read! I’m always a little hesitant to read a book when I know how its going to end. I think we all know that this book does not have a happy ending. We know that innocent Cath, who only wants to open a bakery in Hearts, will eventually become the vengeful queen we all know from Wonderland. We know this is going to happen in the end, and yet I was enthralled with the story, furiously reading until the end to find out how we get that ending. It was a brilliant book about a characters’ transformation to become a villain and I wish there were more books like this! It makes us sympathetic for the Queen of Hearts and I don’t think I will ever view this character in the same way.
Catherine Pinkerton is probably one of the most desirable women in Hearts, and yet all she wants to do is open a bakery. She is courted by the King, but all she can think about is her baking, her potential bakery, her business partner and maid, Mary Ann, and how much she doesn’t want to marry the king. Much of the book focused on Cath’s passion for baking and wanting to own her independent business, which is definitely something her parents do not want for her.
Cath is also enthralled with Jest, the mysterious and intriguing court joker. She starts to fall hard for him after he comes to her bedroom window at night and whisks her away to a very Wonderland-style tea party. I didn’t fall in love with Jest like Cath did but I did like that he embodied the quirkiness and weirdness on Wonderland. He was strange and mysterious with a secret agenda. As Cath and Jest’s relationship develop, she realizes that the King still wants to marry her and she must decide between disappointing her parents, giving up her inheritance and deciding her own future.
Even though I knew Cath’s story couldn’t end well, I was still so angry at her for some of the decisions she made! They made perfect sense for the personality Meyer built for her, but still, they frustrated me. I think this is ultimately a testament to Meyer’s writing, because I knew it wasn’t going to end well and yet with the brilliant storytelling, I still hoped.
While I am not intimately familiar with the details of Wonderland, this did not hinder my enjoyment of the story. I have never read Lewis Carroll although I am sure knowing more about Wonderland would only increase my appreciation for this book! It was a weird, eccentric, fairy-tale story that didn’t necessarily have a happy ending, and it was great. Because Meyer spent so much time on building the story and helping us understand Cath, it did feel slow and it took me a bit longer to get through. It wasn’t necessarily action-packed, but I feel like the build-up was well worth the conclusion. Heartless is original, enjoyable and overall just a great story. I hope you enjoy it too!