Heartless by Marissa Meyer – Spoiler Free Discussion

“The easiest way to steal something, is for it to be given willingly.” ― Marissa Meyer, Heartless


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.



Eden: Heartless was a nice story and an excellent prequel to Alice in Wonderland. I grew up believing that Wonderland was a place that was terrible simply because of a queen that never cared for her subjects, but Meyers does an impeccable job reminding childhood Eden that life exists before the original story and it can often be that we just don’t understand the full scope of the situation. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

Caitlynn: Not being the biggest Alice in Wonderland fan to begin with, I was really skeptical coming into this book. I’m glad Meyer saved that for me. Her writing and story-telling were phenomenal and I am so glad that we had this as our discussion book for this month. I think that no matter what your stance on Alice, you should give Meyer’s Heartless a shot! 4/5 stars.

Jenn:To be honest I went into this book unsure of how much I was going to love it. I loved Meyer’s Lunar chronicles but was worried that this wouldn’t live up to its predecessor. I was wrong. I was so so so wrong. I absolutely loved this book. The characters, plot, world, and even ending were everything I wanted and more. You should pick up this book asap. I gave it 4.5/5 stars.


Eden: You guys know how I felt about this. It took me two weeks to finish this book. To be fair, I’m in the midst of a really bad reading slump.

Caitlynn: Terrible timing.

E: Yeah really bad timing. But it was good. I think I would have liked it more if I didn’t feel like I was pushing myself to read it. I really liked the ending.

Jenn: 4.5 out of 5 stars for me. Once I started it, I read it really quickly. I read it in two or three days. It wasn’t like as prolonged of an experience like with what you guys had. I really liked that it flew by. I didn’t feel like there was anything that was too drawn out and I really liked the ending and characters.

C: I don’t even know what I want to rate it. I don’t think it took me a long time to read it. I just had too much going on. I had such a big issue, which is an issue I have with Alice in Wonderland anyways, but I’m so confused with what’s actually going on and what these people actually are. Then I think about it and I loved Furthermore and I don’t understand what the difference is between Furthermore and Alice in Wonderland. I don’t know if it’s just a predetermined prejudice I have against Alice in Wonderland because I hate Alice in Wonderland.

J: Maybe it’s you trying to reconcile if this is actually like the comical cartoon-y side of Alice in Wonderland or are we looking more at the realistic side of the story. Maybe you were trying to figure out if it was being true to the Lewis Carol story, or is it going to be a realistic story. I had that issue at the beginning of the book because I was like are we going into actual Wonderland or are we going to keep it as a retelling with actual people. That was something that I struggled with at the beginning of the story.

E: I gave it a four out of 5 simply because I drug my way through it. I felt like I was kicking and screaming through the entire book.

C: That’s a really good rating for not wanting to read it.

E: I liked it. I genuinely liked it. I just didn’t feel like going through a world building. So it’s Alice in Wonderland but it’s not Alice in Wonderland, so it was a different type of world building.

J: I felt like I didn’t have to worry about world building. I didn’t feel like I had any questions that needed answering through world building. I was just like, “We’re in Alice in Wonderland, I just need to take that with a grain of salt because everything is nonsensical.”

E: What also became a huge issue for me was whether this was a story about the Queen of Hearts or was this the story of the new White Queen or the new Red Queen…?

J: That and the ending were why I rated it so high. If it weren’t for those aspects it probably would have come out with a 3 or 2.5.

E: I had a moment where I was like no, it’s going to go this way and Jenn was like, “I liked it because I didn’t know how it was going to end.” And then 20 minutes later I was like, “Nope. I don’t know how this will end now.” I did really like that about it, but at the same time I kept going, “But is it the Queen of Hearts? But is it the Queen of Hearts?” and that just really frustrated me.

J: I liked that she told us what it was but throughout the book we still questioned it.

C: I think that’s why I liked this book so much because I love her writing so much. I loved her telling of iot and just the overall writing. But. I hated the ending. I hated that she built everything up and everyone up and then just left it. I didn’t rate it any lower because of that though.

E: That’s what saved it for me because at first I was like, I need it to end this way. And then halfway through I was like, you know what, no. It needs to end this way because that would be best.

J: You didn’t want it tied up in a bow to make it pretty. And you wanted her to tackle the obstacles that were in the way based on on the plot line.

E: Yeah and you know what, I worried about with this book that Marissa Meyer would end it the way she ended the Lunar Chronicles. I wasn’t totally happy with the ending of the Lunar Chronicles. I worried that Meyer would do what she did with the Lunar Chronicles and try to answer things that didn’t need to be answered.

C: Is this a standalone?

J&E: Yep.

C: It has made me want to re-watch Alice in Wonderland. I think I will notice things that I didn’t notice before because she pulled a lot of stuff from Lewis Carol.

E: I did get sad at parts.

J: I didn’t.

E: There was a part where her father was like, “We only want to make you happy. Will this make you happy?” and she’s like, “Now you ask?” It was such a nice line because of the conflict between her and her parents throughout the entire book.

J: Well I’m glad we liked it. Even if Eden was in slump.

C: Yeah. I’m actually surprised by my feelings for it. But I’m happy.

E: If only I wasn’t in a slump. But yeah, really good book.


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