Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Plot Summary:
Cath has always dreamed of owning her own bakery, but, as a lady, becoming a business woman is not an option. In fact, her only option, according to her mother. is to become Queen of Hearts and that is the last thing she wants. Although the King of Hearts is the the sweetest person around, there is no way Cath could ever fall in love with someone who bounces when the giggle. However, at the night of the ball, Cath and the entire kingdom met the new royal jester who not only stole show, but her heart as well. What started out as an inadvertent rescue attempt from an impending proposal from the king (and a super tight corset), Cath fell hard for the mysterious Jest. While trying to evade the King, and make her dream come true, Cath doesn't know what to do or who to trust. Meanwhile, there's a Jabberwocky on the loose and the people are concerned as it's been centuries since a Jabberwock has been seen around the land of Hearts. With each adventure, and mishap, Cath and Jest's attraction rapidly grows and, when the unthinkable happens, readers will know why the next Queen of Hearts demands that heads roll.

Critical Evaluation:
Marissa Meyer has done it again! Not only has she taken a beloved story and made it her own, she finally gives us the story we have all been dying for: the story of the Queen of Hearts. I will confess that this story not only me falling in love with "Alice in Wonderland" all over again, but the characters were my absolute fave. Cath is definitely my kind of gal as I identify with her in many ways. For most of us, we all have experienced, or will experience, deep loss. However, we all choose to handle our losses and grief in different ways and, for Cath, her grief turns to vengeance and, ultimately, destroyed the sweet girl that her family and friends loved. This story is a story about love and not a love story as the ending will have readers in tears and craving revenge as well. Very well written and I can't wait to see what Marissa will write next!

Information about the Author:
According to the author's website:
One of my first spoken words was “story” (right along with “bath” and “cookie”), my favorite toy as an infant was a soft, squishable book, and I’ve wanted to be a writer since I first realized such a job existed.
When I was fourteen my best friend introduced me to anime and fanfiction—over the years I would complete over forty Sailor Moon fanfics under the penname Alicia Blade. Those so inclined can still find my first stories at Writing fanfic turned out to be awesome fun and brought me in contact with an amazing group of fanfiction readers and writers. As Alicia Blade, I also had a novelette, “The Phantom of Linkshire Manor,” published in the gothic romance anthology Bound in Skin (CatsCurious Press, 2007).
When I was sixteen I worked at The Old Spaghetti Factory in Tacoma, Washington, affectionately termed “The Spag.” (Random factoid: This is also the restaurant where my parents met some 25 years before.) I attended Pacific Lutheran University where I sorted mail that came to the dorm, carted tables and chairs around campus, and took writing classes, eventually earning a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and Children’s Literature. Knowing I wanted a career in books, I would also go on to receive a Master’s degree in Publishing from Pace University (which you can learn more about here). After graduation, I worked as an editor in Seattle for a while before becoming a freelance typesetter and proofreader.
Then, day of days, someone thought it would be a good idea to give me a book deal, so I became a full-time writer. CINDER is my first novel, though I have an adorable collection of unfinished ones lying around too.

I now live with my husband and our three cats (Calexandria Josephine, Stormus Enormous, and Blackland Rockwell III), who go in and out, in and out, about eight hundred times a day. My favorite non-bookish things include Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, re-watching episodes of Firefly, and playing all manners of dress-up.
Teen Fantasy, Teen Romance

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up
Books Similar to Heartless:
  • Roseblood by A.G. Howard
  • Stealing Snow by Daniel Paige

Awards & Recognition:
"In Heartless, the nonsense that is Wonderland gets a reverential makeover, full of heart and its own idiosyncratic character."--Gregory Maguire, WICKED and AFTER ALICE

"The author’s best fantasy yet. ...Meyer has woven all the elements of darkness and light, fate and free will, and love and hatred into an unforgettable story of the evolution of the Red Queen from a young girl who dreamed of true love and freedom to a madwoman best remembered for the phrase 'Off with his head.' If you only read one fractured fairy tale this year, make it Heartless. A must-have title.--School Library Journal, starred review

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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