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Blood, Beauty, and Tragedy: Let the Heads Roll ⇉ Review of Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Thursday, April 12, 2018
1. I love Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles. (Even though I have yet to read the fourth book....for no good reason. This will be remedied this summer when I actually have free time!!!)

2. The description of the lemon tarts in the first pages.

For these reasons, I knew that I was going to love this book.

And because the Queen of Hearts is a villain, I knew that my heart would bleed for it.


Compelling Characters
Heartless is filled with quirky, imperfect characters whose personalities and backstories make them characters that I felt something towards. Many I loved to loved and others I despised. Even the one character that seemed too good to be true has his own complexities.

Beautiful Use of Figurative Language
Marissa uses figurative language to bring the world the life. I especially love her description of the lemon tarts in the first pages of Heartless. They sound scrumptious. The use of figurative language and imagery does decline as the novel progresses, but the writing is still beautiful and poetic.

Whimsical (and Interesting) World Building
Yes, we're in Wonderland, where most anything we can imagine comes to life. I love the whimsical world building.

A Star-Crossed Romance I Didn't Dislike
I like how the ones involved in the star-crossed romance are aware of the difficulties of their attraction and how these difficulties contribute to the the trials they face. I'm not always opposed to stories where the characters want to be together despite their differences, but I appreciate how Catherine is conflicted.

Stunning Cover
The cover is beautiful :)


Catherine's Indecisiveness Had Me (Mentally) Headbanging
I know this is a tragedy, and I know that bad things have to happen to good people for a tragedy to occur. And since this is the story about the making of the Queen of Hearts . . . good people need to make bad decisions. What is interesting (and a sign of fantastic character development) is how Catherine's upbringing and her own personality point towards her having the potential to become the Queen of Hearts, and we see her moving in this direction over the course of the novel.

That said, my heart bled many times over because of many of her decisions. And I kept hoping against hope that she wouldn't be the one to become the Queen of Hearts.

Mothers Who Push Their Own Agenda on Their Daughter
I got really angry at Catherine's mother. That said, this is also one of the good elements of the story (because it means Marissa Meyer did a great job bringing this character to life).

That Rushed Ending
In the last quarter of the novel, the plot picks up speed. Events are thrown at us one after the other, and the book ends almost before I realized it was coming. It felt rushed. I was almost okay with it because it reflects the chaos in Catherine's heart, but in the end, it really was too rushed for my liking.

A Tragic End (That I Was Coming) (But, okay, it was well-done for the most part)
"If only" . . . I can't count the number of times I thought these words. Plus, that adventure we almost had, except it got cut short prematurely. Because this is a tragedy, and you need to know this going in.


This is not a book to read if you love happy endings. If you love books that explore character relations and what drives people to make the decisions that they do, however, this novel is thought-provoking. It is poignant in its bitterness and beautiful in its dark poetry. It compels the reader to ask what is underlying the surface of the whimsical nature of Wonderland to reveal the darkness lurking beneath. And it portrays the human heart—showing us that the same forces that can be used for good can also be used for evil depending on circumstances . . . and the decisions that we ourselves make.


Long before she was the terror of Wonderland—the infamous Queen of Hearts—she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. 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 an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.


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What is your favorite retelling?

Publication Info
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  • Published by Feiwel & Friends
  • On November 8, 2016
  • Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Romance
  • Pages: 453 Pages
  • Format: Hardback
  • N/A
  • Kissing
  • Violence

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