Heartless Review + Moodboard

What’s it About?

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. 

Author: Marissa Meyer

Series: None

Genre: YA Fantasy/Romance

Format Read: Library Book

Final Rating: 4.5 Stars


Heartless made me feel things. I didn’t cry (as I am a stoic reader who, you might even say, is heartless), but I got close. Thing is, I never get close.

This is a story about 17-year-old Catherine who was born into the family of the Marquess. Cath grew up with luxury and servants willing to do her every bidding. But Cath doesn’t want that. She wants more out of her life. She and her best friend Mary-Ann (who also just happens to be her maid), plan on opening their own bakery. But it isn’t that simple. Cath lives in a sexist kingdom and her parents are urging her to marry the King, who has taken an . . . interest to her. But then she meets Jest, the court joker. For the first time, Cath feels an attraction to someone. Their relationship grows— but so does the danger lurking in the Kingdom of Hearts.

It is a dangerous thing to unbelieve something only because it frightens you.

Marissa Meyer is the queen of YA retellings. I don’t care if people disagree with me, she is. She always get’s the perfect balance between the original story and her own unique twist and I love it.

I loved the wildness of the Kingdom of Hearts. The magic and weirdness of it. It was done as it should have been, crazy and whimsical.

Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don’t you know?

Cath wasn’t my favorite main character. It’s not that she was 2-dimensional, because she was a incredibly complex character, with all of her different layers and feelings, which were perfectly done. I just thought that her personality, was a little whiny. She had all of this luxury and servants who did her every bidding, but she could be pretty ungrateful.

You’re the daughter of a marquess. Look around. Look at the things you have, the life you’re accustomed to. You don’t know what it’s like to work every day so you can feed yourself and keep a roof over your head. You don’t know what it’s like to be poor. To be a servant.

Jest, on the other hand, was amazing. I really hate when authors try and make a charming and funny character, but then completely fail (*cough* KEEFE from KOTLC *cough*, sorry to all the fans out there, but I hated Keefe.) But Jest wasn’t done like that, or like many other YA male love interests. He was actually charming and mysterious and I really loved him.

The thing that most stood out to me in this book was the character development. Despite my initial dislike of Cath, I have to say that her characterization and slow transformation into the Queen of Hearts was done amazingly, and it made perfect sense how it happened. Marissa Meyer just keeps on getting better at making 3-dimensional characters, and with Cath she knocked it out of the park.

She stared at the girl in the mirror, the one who looked as though she had never known a smile. Even as she had the thought, her reflection’s lips curled upward, revealing a delirious grin beneath her sullen eyes.

You know what’s kind of funny? There is so much lightheartedness in this book that you literally forget that Cath becomes the Queen of Hearts (not a spoiler). It only happens in the last 10% or so, but her transformation is done so perfectly. And it isn’t rushed; you understand perfectly the pain and anger she has from the things that have happened to her.

“She no longer hurt. That broken heart had been killing her, and it was gone.
Her sorrow. Her loss. Her pain, all gone.
All that was left was the rage and the fury and the desperate need for vengeance that would soon, soon be hers.”

That ending was so perfect. You know that Cath’s gonna become the Queen of Hearts, you know her and Jest won’t get their happily ever after, yet it still punches you in the gut when it actually happens. I don’t know why I’m still hung up over that, but that ending was done . . . so flawlessly. Those last words were so symbolic and perfect. This was an amazing story paired with striking last words that will keep you in the world for a long time.

 “These things do not happen in dreams, dear girl,” he said, vanishing up to his neck. “They happen only in nightmares.”

That’s it for the review! Now the moodboard:

Find this on my Pinterest here.

So this is one of the first moodboards I’ve ever made, so I’d love it for you leave me some feedback in the comments below.

That’s it for today’s post! Did you like Heartless? Wasn’t Cath’s character development done so well? Leave your thoughts on this review or moodboard below!

18 thoughts on “Heartless Review + Moodboard”

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