Description from Goodreads:

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

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, 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 by Marissa Meyer has 453 pages and was published in 2016 by Feiwel & Friends.

Heartless is the story of the Queen of Hearts.  It is well-written with an interesting plot.  I like the idea of learning what motivates this notorious character.  Meyer also introduces us to other characters such as the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat.  I found the characters in this book to be likable.

It is a pretty quick read.  Meyer is a skilled writer and this book has an easy flow that allows the reader to digest this story rather quickly.

Although we all know how the Queen turns out, I kept rooting for it to be different.  I kept hoping for a happy ending.  I think that this speaks to the quality of the author’s work when you know the ending and yet you hope for things to turn out differently.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Do I think it is Meyer’s best work?  No.  But, it is a fun read and I would recommend it to Wonderland fans of all ages.


Heartless is Meyer’s prequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.  In this book we learn how the Queen of Hearts came to be the infamous villain we all know (and maybe love).

The cover is stunning.  I know I probably shouldn’t admit this but I am a cover snob.  I fell in love with the idea of this book long before I ever read it.

Catherine, or Cath, is a kind-hearted young lady with a dream of becoming a baker.  While she recognizes that this not probable since she is of noble blood, she cannot deny the hope that this dream might one day become a reality.  It also helps that she is quite talented in the culinary arts.  In fact, she is so talented she has drawn the attention of the light-hearted and dim-witted King of Hearts.

The King is not particularly known for his intelligence or thoughtfulness.  However, he is cheerful and kind and has taken a liking to Catherine and specifically her baking skills.  So without much forethought he has decided to propose to Catherine.

Jest strolls into town as the King’s new court jester.  He is mysterious and good-looking, full of charm and wit.  It doesn’t take long before he and Catherine notice each other.  However, there is more to Jest than meets than eye.

While both Jest and Catherine recognize that their attraction is dangerous, they cannot deny their longing.  And so Catherine sets out to do everything she can to sabotage her faux relationship with the king.  This is definitely one of those books that has an insta-love characteristic.  However, it didn’t really bother me as I found Catherine and Jest’s love affair an enjoyable and integral element of this book.  I do wish there had been more of it.

Then here comes the Jabberwock to torment the good citizens of Hearts.  The King of Hearts is completely useless and would rather distract people than actually do anything to rid the kingdom of this menace.

Heartless is Catherine’s tale.  One can’t help but wonder, “How does Catherine come to be the vicious tyrant described in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?”  Guess you’ll have to read the book to find out.

Rating:  4 Plot Monster Spiders


Notable Quotes:

“Impossible is my specialty.”
― Marissa MeyerHeartless

“Why is a raven like a writing-desk?”
― Marissa MeyerHeartless

MDW original review.  Source:  Library.


4 thoughts on “Heartless

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