Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer


Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Publication Date: November 8th 2016

Format: Paperback ARC

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Re-telling

Page Count: 464 pages

Rating: ★★★★★




Goodreads Synopsis: 

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.

In her first stand-alone teen novel, the New York Times-bestselling author dazzles us with a prequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Heartless…the ARC I scored at Comiccon/Bookcon this past October and still am shocked because I didn’t expect it. In truth, nobody was prepared for this ARC to be available for grabs and Macmillan wasn’t outright announcing it lol. Instead, a tweet was blasted for a Heartless T-shirt if you stopped by & said code word Jaberwocki LOL! My hubby (who was acting in for Gretchen @Chicnerdreads) headed on over & gave the code word, we were handed each a T-shirt which felt a bit heavy. Wrapped inside was the beautifully boxed ARC of Heartless, I almost went over the table and hugged the Macmillan girls handing them out…almost lol. I immediately texted Gretchen & proceeded to jump in the middle of the aisle like a 5 yr old…not unlike my 5 yr old actually. Plans for a buddy read were made btwn Gretchen aka my Book Twin & I. We never expected to be sucked into this world so quickly or to have life get in the way of reading and fangirling. We def tried, but i’ll be honest by saying that Heartless is a very selfish book that really doesn’t let you go once it pulls you in through the looking glass 😉 nonetheless I’ve enjoyed our swooning through voice notes & often times outright frustration with The King Of Hearts.

*Thank you Macmillan for the ARC giveaway hosted at Bookcon, all opinions are my own*


 I’m a HUGE fan of fairy tale re-tellings & after meeting Marrisa Meyer last year at a Barnes & Nobles signing for Winter, I became an instant fan. I love her Lunar Chronicles series & when I heard Heartless would be a standalone, the greedy Lilly came out and asked BUT WHYYYYY?!?! turns out I really didn’t have a reason to doubt that Heartless would be just as enchanting and wonderful as all of her other books. We are introduced to Lady Catherine Pinkerton who dreams of one day opening up a bakery with her maid who is also her best friend Mary-Anne. Catherine is the baker & Mary-Anne is the brains behind the business, she’s also the one reminding Catherine that their dream is a far fetched one. Catherine’s parents (specifically her mother) have plans for her…BIG plans…ROYAL plans. Catherine has her pick of suitors however, her pastries (self proclaimed BEST in the land) have won the attention and admiration from the King of Hearts himself. The king, an eligible bachelor who truly loves his kingdom and court, goes about arranging a marriage to Catherine. The only issue with this is that Lady Catherine Pinkerton isn’t some doe eyed lady waiting to be set up with a man of her parents choosing, for the rest of her life. Catherine also didn’t anticipate falling in love with the King’s new court Jester. Her love & passion was always in baking but Jest with his wit, charm, and air of mystery snuck into her heart and began to court her in private unbeknownst to Cath’s parents. Their love is a slow burn that leaves you aching for the impossibility of acceptance their love presents. They are faced with more obstacles than just Cath’s parents, In the kingdom of Hearts and beyond there are other forces at play. One characters mistakes in the past can change the fates of many. As hard as Catherine may try to make her dreams come true, we the reader get the sense that her fate has already been written. This is the story of Lady Catherine Pinkerton & just how she came to be the Queen Of Hearts…


Lady Catherine Pinkerton- I truly enjoyed this character for all of her optimism and determination, she just would not let anyone sway her from her dreams & aspirations. Cath knew what she wanted from life and it wasn’t to be royalty, she was perfectly fine with living a more humble existence. my favorite scenes were when she was was dreaming up recipes and bringing them to life. She is solely responsible for me craving pastries every time I sat down to read this book. Marissa Meyer nailed Catherine’s character development down to a tee! I can honestly say that this re-telling (the only i’ve read based on the Queen Of Hearts) is so fitting and is one that I can accept. I don’t know if I watch Alice In Wonderland now, if I can ever truly hate her again…even when she’s shouting out her most infamous orders to behead someone LOL!.

Jester aka Court Joker- Witty, mysterious, loyal, and oh so CHARMING! this guy! *SwooooN* smh lol. The minute he crosses paths with Catherine, they begin this dance of romance that neither of them really wanted to begin with. As the saying goes, we can’t help who we love right? such is the case here with Jest & Cath. There is however, so much more to Jest than meets the eye. Getting to know his character and how it played a big role in Cath’s life was irresistible. I could NOT stay away from these two for long & began long walks in the park just so that I could return to their story every day. 

Raven-travels on Jest’s shoulder for the most part and who Marissa Meyer (during blog tour) described as “Jest’s friend, Raven, who is my quirky take on the brooding, haunting bird from “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe” this bird only speaks in poem and made me chuckle on Occassion at the things he  was quick to recite in response to anyones witty remarks. He’s also extremely loyal to Jest, he’s got his back 100%

The King of Hearts- LOL just the thought of this guy is enough to make me giggle and shake my head. I mean, I cut him some slack only because he couldn’t hurt a soul even if he wanted to. He is well loved by the people of Hearts and his court (Jester included) because he truly cares for their happiness. That being said! the people of Hearts are notorious for not indulging in pain & sorrow, preferring to as the saying goes KEEP IT MOVIN lol. They don’t want to be brought down by tragic events or fear of monsters but they exist & The King isn’t the bravest in all the land. Short, plump, and Jolly—he’s just not cut out for slaying anything really haha!

Mary Anne- Catherine’s Best Friend who also happens to be her maid and business partner for a bakery they have conspired to one day open. Mary Anne is Catherine’s only friend & confidante at times, she is also a key player.

The Mad Hatter aka Hatta- Yes! he makes an appearance in true Hatta fashion & I was so excited when he made his way onto my page. He legit brought with him all the crazy of Wonderland and added that touch of oddity to the land of Hearts. Marissa Meyer did not stray much from Lewis Carroll’s Hatter and it legitimately felt organic. Plays a major role.

Chesire Cat-My all time favorite character in Wonderland made his way into Heartless & he was dead on, the cat that we’ve all come to love disappear & reappear into thin air. I LOVED his interactions with Cath! he was always up to something & I can clearly picture that grin while he was going about gossiping. 



Gretchen @Chicnerdreads has created a monster with image hunting LOL! I can’t stop now smh



Marissa Meyer became an auto-buy author for me once I started The Lunar Chronicles and that hasn’t changed. I still haven’t read a re-telling by another author that I’ve loved as much as hers. They have some elements of the original story but are truly her own. Heartless is no different because, we’ve never been given the Queen Of Hearts story we have only come to know her as the head chopping psycho from Alice In Wonderland. This book is heavy in character development (my favorite) & will slowly weave it’s tale up until the very last page. The Land Of Hearts was brought to life through Meyer’s writing such that I felt like I was actually back in Wonderland. She stayed true to the original characters but what I loved most was getting her take on some of the characters history. LOVED the story she gave the Hatta because Alice In Wonderland was very plot heavy & we just don’t get to know our characters pasts at all. Well Marissa Meyer gave us a bit of how they came to be who they are now in Hearts and it was original and interesting, almost like the extras on the collector’s edition of a DVD 😉



If you’ve ever wondered about the Queen of Hearts or even if you’re that person who loves a good villain, then Heartless is the book for you. If you loved Alice In Wonderland with its wide array of eccentric and fun characters then this is the book for you. If you enjoy a good & slow burn romance then this is the book for you. You will smile, swoon, hurt, and…no spoilers! HAHA! Marissa Meyer in my eyes is one of the best fairy tale re-telling authors out there in the book world. This book gave me back a piece of my childhood that played a big role in my becoming an avid reader. Alice In Wonderland was the 1st book I ever listened to on an audio cassette that came in a McDonalds Happy Meal. I must’ve played that cassette tape til it burned out, I was OBSESSED with Wonderland and Cheshire. Getting a different character’s back story such as The Queen Of Hearts was a real treat so in closing, THANK YOU MARISSA MEYER!!!! ❤ ❤

I didn’t get to see Marissa Meyer this time around but stumbled across a photo of her book signing/reading of Heartless where she dressed up in costume (down below) and I LOVED IT! it really is something else listening to her tell you a fairy tale in person & they’re always dark *evil grin* haha!


Author: LairOfBooks

"I didn't choose the Book Life, the Book Life chose me"

37 thoughts on “Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer”

    1. Thanks you Ashley. It’s a slow paced book with a slow burn romance with some of the most loved characters from Alice In Wonderland. I thought the re-telling was flawless but I’m sure it’s not for everyone because of the pacing.


  1. LOVE ALL OF THIS REVIEW AND LOVED ALL OF THIS BOOK AND LOVED BUDDY READING WITH YOU!!! I thought we were never going to finish this one with all we had going on but yes we did lol and it was amazing! Definitely a highly recommended book. Couldn’t stand the pendejo of a King here, god I eyerolled my eye sockets out with him lol. But this world and the characters left me in awe. Everything just clicked with the Alice In Wonderland world. I hope Meyer writes more of this story cause I would looooove that. LOVED YOUR AESTHETIC!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. HAHA! that’s a whole lot of love! 🙂 & yea I def loved this book so I’m glad we fall on the side of those who did because there have been mixed reviews. Primarily because of the pacing I believe. If it’s instalove there’s a critic & if it’s a slow burn there will also be a critic LOL! can’t please everyone. More than anything what I loved about this re-telling is that it felt like I was returning to a land & characters I LOVED and grew up reading & watching over and over again. As a HUGE Alice fan, I was worried when she announced this book but legit I’ll be the 1st to give props where they are due. I love the Edgar Allen Poe touch! Marissa Meyer is seriously one of the best story tellers & that’s that I’ve seen her weave a story in person on request from one of her fans lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I completely agree with you!! I loved everything about this book and was never book. She definitely made me feel like I was in Wonderland again and the way she wrote this, I felt like Carroll would’ve been proud.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Danielle!!! 😃😘 I hope you really enjoy Heartless when you get to it, I am still waiting on my hard copy since I’m convinced it will be coming in my Owlcrate, I have not gone out to purchase a copy at B&N lol. I hope you do cave, it’s worth it 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am dying to read Heartless now. Your review totally cemented my desperate need for it. I loved your review, Lilly! I have been a fan of Marissa Meyer ever since I read Cinder so I am gasping for Heartless now. Like NOW.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank YOU Kevin! a gal tried to do it justice lol. Heartless is a completely different pace than The Lunar Chronicles. Def slower paced but an absolute treat for those who are die hard Wonderland fans! As far I’m concerned Meyer paid homage to Lewis Caroll’s beloved quirky characters with her signature twist of course 😉
      I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You did iiiiit!! 😀 ❤ And fabulously as well, Lilly! You conveyed your enthusiasm perfectly; I'm so looking forward to receiving this one now next week. YEEEEE-HAW! One thing, though: you guys got audio cassettes in your Happy Meals?! Oh, the injustice of it all *shakes fist!*.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG Yes Anne! finally worked up the nerve to formulate a sentence lol & then I couldn’t stop gushing about it HAHA! I’m hoping to get my Owlcrate by Friday & it be in there *fingers crossed* we sure did get audio cassettes & it isn’t til now that I realized how cool that was lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha, I figured that would happen XD. You did an awesome job as always! If the book’s not in the Owlcrate package this month, I will eat my sock. There’s no way it can be any other book than this one! Gawd, the best thing I ever got in a Happy Meal was a miniature version of an already miniature My Little Pony >.>

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bahahaha! Well then let’s hope that it is, I believe they begin to ship out today. I’ve been scratching my head trying to guess December’s pick…probably will be Of Fire an Stars…but that’s just my guess 😂😂😂 oh no a miniature miniature pony lol smh

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes! I usually receive mine on the 16th, but not this time! Oh man, I still have an ARC of Of Fire and Stars. Guess I can start reading the hard copy rightaway with my current reading pace :/. LOL, exactly!


  4. I love this review, Lilly! Your reviews are always so detailed and well written, and this is perfection! I am dying to read this book. Give it to me NOW, OwlCrate! I NEED it! I’m so hoping this is the book for this month’s OwlCrate. It’s gotta be, right? I’m so pumped that the Mad Hatter is true to form and his name is Hatta. lol I love that. So cute. He’s my fave. I’ve been on an Alice kick this year. I’m thinking about doing a reread of Carroll’s book just so I can relive the magic of that book and then flip over to a retelling. I love the sound of the characters and this story. I’ve tried not to read any reviews of this book, but I am so glad I read yours. I’m relay excited now. C’mon OwlCrate send those boxes out! Haha! Fantastic review, Lilly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thanks Jill! *blushes* a gal tries. It only took me a week to gather up my nerves smh. I finished reading it before it’s release date but loved it so much I kept thinking of Drew’s post. The one where he mentions how hard it can be to tackle a review of a book you really loved vs all other books lol. Loved her twist on the characters, TBH I really was nervous about this re-telling. Alice is near & dear to my ❤️ I’m glad it was Marissa who tackled The Queen Of Hearts. I am so ANXIOUS to get my Owlcrate, it ships tomorrow. I always search IG under #owlcrate to sneak a peek 🙈 can’t stop myself but I really wanna see the special exclusive cover that was made for Owlcrate 😬😬😬

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m the same way. I have a much harder time writing a review for a book I loved. The ones I didn’t like take all of 10 minutes to write and I’m like what is this madness? I wish all reviews only took me that amount of time. 😂 I spent a week trying to write my review of Dark Matter and another week for My Lady Jane. I had to write them in pieces until they were finished because I was so overwhelmed by my love for them. 🙂 I have a feeling it will be the same deal with this book. That also happened with SOC for me. Alice retellings are so popular now that I’m almost leery of them. I can see why you’d be a little nervous. I was planning to read Cinder this month, but I’ve been so busy I didn’t even realize Thanksgiving is next week. Where did this month go? Lol There’s a special cover just for OwlCrate? OMG I’m so fangirling over here right now. That’s so exciting. Now I really need that book like right this second. I got an email that my box is shipping out in the next few days. Our buddy read starts on Thursday. I wonder how far we’ll all get before the holidays? We need Kaz in our lives again. I miss old dirtyhands. And then I’m tackling Heartless right after. Gimme gimme! 🙂


  5. YAY! I’m so happy this book lived up to your expectations. I’ve been eagerly awaiting your review, especially after having seen a few mixed ones. Hopes restored! I can’t wait to get my hands on this. I’m glad the author really seemed to give the feel of the original while putting a twist and giving the story of a character we otherwise don’t know much beyond the fact that she’s the villain. Also, I love your story about how you got the ARC. I would have been jumping up and down too. 😂
    Great review as always, Lilly! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Melissa 😊💕I finished Heartless before it’s release date but spent a week working my way to writing the review lol smh. Always happens when I REALLY enjoy a book. I loved getting Marissa’s version of The Queens story. Getting that arc (my very 1st at the event & as a whole) made my year! I couldn’t contain myself & when I sent Gretchen a pic with her copy she lost it 😂😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome!! 💕
        It definitely shows that you put a lot of time and thought into it. Detailed and gave a great sense of the book without giving away important things. 😊
        I bet! Both of you hit the ARC lottery. 😂


  6. Wow that’s an awesome ARC giving surprise! I don’t like surprises, except when they come with a book, haha! I LOVE your enthusiasm in this review!!! I will be reading Cinder soon because of Marie’s reviews and now you make me want to add this one to the pile, even though I’ve never read Alice in Wonderland!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Donna! 😊💕a week later & I was still hyped up over the book smh 🙈😂🙈😂 never read Alice In Wonderland you say? Oh but this should be remedied 💭🤔lol it’s a good one …have you watched any of the movies?


  7. Aw, yay! I’m glad you enjoyed this one more than I did. I really loved the writing style and being back in Wonderland. It was awesome seeing all the characters and Marissa Meyer did an awesome job at making Cath human! It was a bit too slow for me though. Lovely review ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lauren! I agree, it was def slow paced. Typically I wouldn’t have patience for a slow paced re-telling but I lover her writing & I was also coming off of reading a few actions packed books LOL. I’m heading to your blog now to read your review 😉


  8. Fan-freaking-tastic review Lilly!!! I have a small confession to make… I’ve never read a Marissa Meyer book ((please don’t throw rocks)). After reading this review, obviously I need to give her a shot. I mean, after seeing the picture of her in a costume at one of her events, I can’t NOT read a book by her! I’m more of a standalone gal, so this sounds like it would be perfect for me😊

    “Alice In Wonderland was the 1st book I ever listened to on an audio cassette that came in a McDonalds Happy Meal. ”

    OMG this made me smile! How freaking cute!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg! I’m so glad you enjoyed it 😊💕 Marissa Meyer is amazing for those who love fairytales & re-tellings. She’s such a sweetheart & her love for these stories is felt at her panels. I would’ve loved seeing her for the Heartless signing, her costume was on point. I would listen to the Alice In Wonderland on audiocassette every weekend. Couldn’t get enough & I can still remember the narrator & the sound effects 😆😆😆 that audiocassette was my EVERYTHING lol. Hope you read & enjoy Heartless 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Awesome review, Lilly! 🙂 I’ve been staring at my copy from OwlCrate on my shelf ever since I got it. The cover is so awesome. Your review is making me want to open this one ASAP. Hatta. I love that name. Lol And I love a story with a romantic element. I didn’t even realize it had romance in it until now, and that definitely piques my interest even more. Fab review, girl! 🙌

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, that cover is pretty amazing. I’m glad I didn’t cancel when I was upset with the box the month before because the cover is so cool. That’s good to know. I haven’t been able to concentrate much with all the book stuff. I’ll save that one for a more chill time. I don’t want to have the same thing happen as CK. I better finish that one first. 😂 How’s your holiday planning going? Is it snowing up there?


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