I Think I’m Not a Fan of Wonderland

Shortly after starting Heartless by Marissa Meyer I realized something that I probably should have known already…

…I don’t like the Wonderland universe…

It’s not because of Heartless at all — I just don’t like Wonderland in general. I’m just not a fan of that weird style.

Despite not liking Wonderland, I was surprised to find I enjoyed Heartless!

HeartlessHeartless by Marissa Meyer
Published by: Feiwel & Friends on November 8, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, Retelling, Romance
Pages: 464
Source: BookExpo America
Book Details
Rating: ★★★½

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 Kingโ€™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.

Marissa Meyer made me enjoy Heartless significantly more than I expected. The story was fun, but tragic—especially because you know where it’s heading. I really felt for Catherine, her family struggles, and the situation with the king.

The romance though…

My biggest gripe has to do with the romance. I didn’t care for Jest much at all. He just wasn’t interesting. Also, his relationship with Catherine was crazy insta-love. They had like two private moments together (only one of which was substantial—an entire evening) before she claims she loves him. I didn’t mind this too much at the beginning, since the focus felt like it was more on Catherine (her personal journey and longing to make her own life) than their romance. But towards the end it became a bigger problem for me because View Spoiler »

It was good, especially towards the end when the action really picked up. I wish I could have enjoyed the romance more though.

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  1. I am not a Wonderland fan and that is why I haven’t bothered to pick this one up despite the author and hype. I am glad you enjoyed it despite not being a Wonderland fan.

    1. Yeah I honestly wasn’t intending on reading this at all, so it was weird that I did. Luckily I still found things to enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I get the same feeling a lot lately, some books just need less romance – or at all *gasp* – it’s possible to happen, so why are authors forcing romances on books that can be character driven and totally badass? I’m not a huge fan of Wonderland either but this is a book I’ve had on my TBR for a while, I just love the spin. Great review!

  3. I think I feel the same was as you do about the Wonderland universe. I’ve never really thought of it that way, but I’ve never really been drawn to it, and now that you say it explicitly – I realize I’m the same. It’s just too bizarre and disjointed for me. I hope I enjoy Heartless when I get to it!

    1. Yes that’s exactly it! Bizarre and disjointed. It’s just not for me.

      Luckily I still found plenty to enjoy in Heartless. ๐Ÿ™‚ I loved the baking aspect – that was cute!

  4. I want to read this book so much, and at the same time… not. I just don’t like knowing how it ends. In very rare occasions I will read something I already know the ending of. But usually, no matter how amazing the journey is, it just gets too bittersweet, at least in books, where I get more emotionally involved. I think I’ll be skipping this one!

    1. I totally get that Pamela! I’m kind of the same way. Even if it’s a re-imagining of a story, some of the excitement is definitely lost if you already know the outcome.

  5. I just picked this up last week. I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews, but when I read the first few pages in Half Price Books, the baking aspect is what sold me ( I love to bake)! After reading your review, I think I’ll give this a read after I finish “Thinner.”

  6. I definitely know what you mean! I’ve tried so many Wonderland themed books because it’s so popular (and I do like the whole aesthetic that goes along with it) but oftentimes I find it hard to pay attention because I’m just not into such whimsical stuff. I did manage to enjoy Heartless quite a bit, but there were parts in the middle where I struggled.

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