Monday, November 7, 2016

HEARTLESS BY MARISSA MEYER - REVIEW + BLOG TOUR

Hello everyone!

I am BEYOND excited to be sharing today's post with you. I was extremely lucky enough to have the opportunity to participate in the Heartless Blog Tour. I will be sharing a character and my review with you today.



First, I will share my character with you! I am introducing Mary Ann, Catherine's maid and best friend. For the most part, I really liked Mary Ann, but there was one part where I can see where she was coming from, but at the same time I think she made the wrong decision. Either way, Meyer once again is able to write an amazing dynamic between two friends. And without further adieu, Mary Ann:


Before I get to my review, a quick synopsis on the book to remind you what it is about!




And now, finally, my review of Heartless!

OH. MY. GOSH. YOU. GUYS. This book is phenomenal.

Ok, so just be fore-warned that this review is basically just going to be me gushing.

Ah ok, I don't even know where to start with this book.

Plot wise, it is kind of an Alice in Wonderland retelling, except the story is all about the Queen of Hearts and how she became this heartless (get it), beheading tyrant.

Before she was the Queen, she was Lady Catherine Pinkerton, daughter of a Marquis and Marquess. (for those of you, like myself who are not versed in noble ranks, they are essentially above a Count/Countess, but below a Baron/Baroness - I'm not sure that matters a whole lot, but I wanted to look it up). Anyways, from very early on in the story, it becomes quite clear that the King of Hearts has chosen Catherine to be his queen. Except she is a baker and dreams of opening the best bakery in all of Hearts. Naturally, her parents would disprove of such a laborious occupation, especially of a woman of her stature in society - even more so with the King's intentions looming. At a ball, Catherine meets the newest Joker, a wondrous fool named Jest. There is just enough chemistry between them to get the ball rolling, but not too much to over do it. Cath is determined to do things her own way, be that find true happiness in baking or fall in love with who she wants, not who her parents choose.

I won't say too much more about the plot, because it really is best to go into it not knowing much of what is going to happen.

I really loved how Meyer portrays Catherine. She starts out this sort of naive girl who thinks she knows what she wants, mainly anything that will go against her family's intentions. She is sweet and kind, being cordial because she has to be, but mostly because she wants to be. She isn't the mean and angry ruler we see in the original story. Her transformation from this innocent girl to a tyrant is truly breath-taking.

Meyer, as in the case of Levana from the Lunar Chronicles and her story Fairest, has the brilliant ability to make the reader sympathize with even the cruelest of villains. She humanizes them, showing us how they've become the person they are, the wicked bad guy that everyone remembers from the story. No one bothers to look at their past, they must have just been born evil. I won't get into specifics as to what happens to make Cath's transformation complete, but I will say that when she commands that most famous line at the end of the book, I was right along with her: "Off with his head!"

Not only was this transformation a major part of the story, but we also get glimpses of important characters in AIW; the Mad Hatter and his tea party, complete with the March Hare (Haigha, pronounced Hare, rhyming with mayor) and the Dormouse. We get the origin story of the Mock Turtle, references to the Caterpillar, and of course, the courtiers, the one-eyed Jack, the suits. All the favourite and iconic characters from the original are here, giving this story a dose of nostalgia and whimsicality.

My only complaint about this book is that its a standalone. The story is finished by the end of the book, but this was just one of those ones where it was so good you didn't want it to end.

I truly could go on and on about this story, but I think I will end my review before I give too much away. But I want to leave you with one final thought. Whether or not you liked The Lunar Chronicles, and whether or not you liked the original Alice in Wonderland story; you will like this book. Because even though it is based on a tale old and altered, it still drives home the same message; no one is born evil. Circumstances change the way we see the world and the way we react to it, some may choose patience and kindness, others may choose vengeance and violence. But if you just take the time to look and see peoples' pasts, often you will find they look much similar to your own. We are all a lot more alike than we wish to admit, for better or for worse.

Also, just a quick note, when you pick this book up, you definitely need to make sure you have some baked goods around. Catherine makes some amazingly tasty sounding treats; the way that the lemon tarts are described in the book, I could see Catherine making them and taste their tart custard centre.