Thursday, February 7, 2019

Book Review: Heartless

I honestly can't remember WHEN I got this book but I know it came in a book subscription box and I'm pretty sure it came in an OwlCrate box because I have a special edition cover and a letter from the author. I do know it's been on my shelf a really long time waiting to be read but I never grabbed it because it just didn't jump out at me.

Then my friend Shirley read it and told me I had to so I listen to my friends when they tell me to do something. Mostly. Don't you dare ask me to read Jodi Picoult.

Heartless - Marissa Meyer

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.

I have seen a wide ranging mixed bag of reviews on this book and that's one of the reasons it's sat on my shelf so long waiting to be read. Had this gotten a ton of amazing reviews, I would have picked this up sooner. To be honest, I didn't love it. It was only meh for me, I'm teetering between a 2 or a 3 rating. I know, I'm taking the unpopular path here. 

First off, I really liked Jest. I really wanted a LOT more Jest in this book and I think if there were the end of the book for him would have left me feeling... more. I mean, it's not the ending I wanted but I also didn't care much at that point either because.... Cath is the worst. I have another friend (hi, T! You made the blog!) who read it and messaged me asking me what I thought and when I said Cath was the worst she was fairly angry at me. I'm sorry! But Cath is the worst. She's selfish and spineless. Well, she kind of grows a spine at the end but being an angry, heartless (see what I did there), vengeful person doesn't really equate a spine, so I don't know. I think she starts off alright what with her baking and her friendship with Mary Ann, she wants to do whats right but that doesn't mean she's going to be happy. So she starts having dreams of someone (who turns out to be Jest) and there honestly was no point of the dreams, was there? It feels like that was going to have more oomph in the book but the author didn't know where to go so she quietly forgot about them and was hoping you would too.

The book does bring a lot of the charm and quirkiness you would expect from a Lewis Carroll inspired but there just wasn't enough of it. It kind of perked up more at the end but still, I wanted more.

Let's go back to talking about Cath and how dumb she is. She continually makes terrible choices and people around her die or get hurt and literally nobody calls her out on it, except Hatter but only kind of and only to her face and not in front of others. Even after being confronted with her terrible choices you'd THINK she'd listen after repeatedly told NOT to go through the damn door. You know what she does- she goes through a door. Why she thinks she's above fate, I'll never know, but honestly, everything is her fault as far as I'm concerned so I don't even feel bad for her "I feel sorry for myself" sad sack self in the end. Meh. Everyone could do better than her, to be honest.

I do like Jest. I know I've said this but I really loved his character. I liked his arc of development, I liked the story he takes us on, I liked him a lot. We didn't get enough time with him and again, it ultimately made the ending of the book seem stupid and pointless. It felt rushed, like the author had an end game in mind and was maybe on some kind of deadline so we have one major event and boom- book is basically done but we throw in a few things to say we had a decent plot line and here we go.

I know she has the Lunar Chronicles series and that was huge for awhile but this doesn't really make me want to go out and read those. And actually, as I read what I wrote, I'm going to give this a 2, it really was just OK for me and it's not one I'd re-read. I think people who absolute love retellings of classic stories or people are fans of the Lunar Chronicles are going to completely love this. I get excited about retellings but this one just didn't hit the mark for me.


Kristin said...

Thanks for this! I’ve been tempted by this book a few times but never picked it up. I may go the library route for it...

Paige said...

Meh - it's always too bad to read a book that just doesn't hit home for you. But thanks for being honest in your review!