Book Review # 87: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Thursday, 19 January 2017 0 comments
Please note that before you read this review that I am reviewing this publication for Pan Macmillan. I received an advanced readers copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. In no way is my opinion influenced by the fact that I received this free of charge. Now on with the review!

Title: Heartless
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Format: ARC 
Publication DateFebruary 9th 2017
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, 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.

Long before the malevolent Queen of Hearts came to be, she was an ordinary girl who simply wanted to fall in love. When I originally heard that Marissa Meyer was delving into the back story of the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, I was ecstatic. Not only did I believe that Meyer produced miracles with the wondrous Lunar Chronicles, but I wondered where she could actually take the story. Well, anywhere I guess, it is Wonderland after all! Heartless surprised me actually because it wasn't the Lunar Chronicles at all, and in reflection I'm not quite sure why I expected it to be. However, that doesn't say that Heartless didn't live up to it's predecessors reputation because I actually did enjoy it.

The general plot line of Cath being a baker both amused and pleased me. It was nice to see that the portrayal of royalty could be almost ordinary. Well, at least in Cath's eyes. It was quite fitting that the Queen of Hearts, who loves her tarts, had a history and fascination with the culinary arts of baking. Whilst a royal figure who seeks escape from the tight confounds of royalty is nothing new to the YA genre, (as realistically, most YA heroines tend to hail from some position of power) it was refreshing and I appreciated Meyer's decision to write Cath in this way. Now, saying that, the plot of Cath falling in love with the Court Joker, well that led to some very assumptive predictions. What would be the one thing to change a girl of desire and adoration to the Wonderland villain we know and fear today? Love. Of course it would be. In my personal opinion, I saw this section to be slightly cliche, and I think I would have liked to have seen Cath descend into her role as the Queen of Hearts gradually. It all seemed to occur very suddenly and very conclusively.

Now, Heartless did have it's many positives, one of which exposed us as readers to Meyer's version of a twisted Wonderland; the Kingdom of Hearts. In Meyer's Wonderland we do get to meet some elements and characters from the original world such as the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter. Whilst these elements added a reminiscent value to the story, I still felt that the Kingdom of Hearts could have been developed more, especially considering this is a stand alone novel. I would have liked to have explored some of the more elaborate elements of Wonderland, outside of the main realm of Hearts.

Conclusively, as a backstory for a villain, Heartless was a thoroughly enjoyable standalone novel that reinstalled my love of Marissa Meyer's iconic and mythical writing style. Whilst I could definitely have seen areas that could have been developed, obviously that is just the opinion of this blogger. On my classification scale, I'd award Heartless by Marissa Meyer a 4 out of 5 stars.

My Bookish Christmas!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017 0 comments
Why hello there!! It seems like a long while since I've posted something other than a book review! I hope you are all well after the festive season, I know my life has been rushing about, what with spending time with family and preparing to jump straight back into a new job that has me occupied the majority of the time. Honestly, I am completely surprised that I have any time to blog at all, let alone write up book reviews. Is it just me or are people finding reviews are taking so much longer to write at the minute than usual?

Anyhow, I am here today to discuss my bookish Christmas. Basically, the list of books that I received for Christmas, even though I didn't ask for any! Luckily, those closest to me know me well enough to know which books I've looked at in the past but never bought. So let's get straight into it, shall we?

Morning Star by Piece Brown (Book #3 in the Red Rising Trilogy)

Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

Finally, the time has come.

But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.

The Rose and The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh (Book #2 in The Wrath and the Dawn Duology) 

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.

Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.

The saga that began with The Wrath and the Dawn takes its final turn as Shahrzad risks everything to find her way back to her one true love again.

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield  

June's life at home with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark one – and a secret one.

She is trapped like a butterfly in a net.

But then June meets Blister, a boy in the woods.

In him she recognises the tiniest glimmer of hope that perhaps she can find a way to fly far, far away from her home and be free.

Because every creature in this world deserves their freedom . . .

But at what price?

Hollow City (The Graphic Novel) by Ransom Riggs (Book #2 in the Miss Peregrines Trilogy)

September 3, 1940. Ten peculiar children flee an army of deadly monsters. And only one person can help them—but she’s trapped in the body of a bird.

The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. There, they hope to find a cure for their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine.

But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. And before Jacob can deliver the peculiar children to safety, he must make an important decision about his love for Emma Bloom. Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience.

Cassandra Jean's evocative visuals once again work seamlessly with Hollow City's vintage photographs and Ransom Rigg's twisting fantasy narrative to make for a wholly immersive reading experience for fans of the original novels, fans graphic novels, and fans of reading great stories alike!

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (Illustrated by Chris Riddell)

Under the streets of London there's a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks.

Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. When he helps a mysterious girl he finds bleeding on the pavement, his boring life changes in an instant.

Her name is Door, she's on the run from two assassins in black suits and she comes from London Below. His act of kindness leads him to a place filled with monsters and angels, a Beast in a labyrinth and an Earl who holds Court in a Tube train. It is strangely familiar yet utterly bizarre.

A strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere.
So there we have it. There are the five books that I received for Christmas 2016. I am extremely excited to get to each of these individually, non more so than the others although. So did you guys get any books for Christmas? If so, let me know in the comments below, I'd love to see what you guys are reading and collecting at the minute!

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