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 finished this book days ago and it’s taken me until now to get my thoughts together. I’m a mess. The characters are written so perfectly I haven’t been able to shake the mess of emotions they’ve left me with.
Heartless follows Catherine Pinkerton, future Queen of Hearts, as she struggles to accept her role in the patriarchal society she’s grown up in. Right from the opening pages Cath comes across as sweet, ambitious, and with a head full of whimsy. She has great ideas for her dreams, and you really want to believe she’ll find a way to make them happen.
Then she meets Jest. I don’t know how Meyer does it but I was smitten. Quick-witted, fun, and master of impossibilities, the chemistry between him and Cath was addictive. I hung on for every scene they had together.
Between the romance, Meyer filled the book with so many absurdities, it fits perfectly into the wondrous world of Wonderland. Hearts seems to be modelled around Regency England, but with Mock Turtles, and Jabberwocks, and card-filled gentry thrown in. The world building was amazing from the opening pages and felt believable enough to follow the character progression.
And Cath’s progression was perfect. From sweet, innocent dreamer to the Queen of Hearts. It felt so natural and really gave depth to the vicious tyrant the character is normally depicted as.
But it was the ending that really got me. I don’t want to give away too much, but that was the part of the book that stayed with me for days. Though the whole book, I could almost believe that Cath would get what she wanted, that she’d find a way. I read on desperate to see her dreams fulfilled, to see her and Jest make their forbidden relationship work. I was totally, 100%, emotionally invested, and no matter how I feel about the ending, it was exactly what the book needed. I don’t think Meyer could have made it any more perfect.