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I Belong


Blog Tour & Review : Heartless by Marissa Meyer

marissa-meyer-c-julia-scott-close-up21 DAYS UNTIL HEARTLESS!

In her first stand-alone young adult novel, Marissa Meyers will captivate us with Heartless, a prequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. On November 8, Heartless will release from Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan. Marissa’s writing will change your perception of who the Queen of Hearts was before she met Alice. I am a huge fan of the Queen of Hearts, and I was beyond ecstatic that our friends at Macmillan allowed me for an advanced copy to read.

Marissa Meyer and writing are two words that go hand-in-hand, and you will not be disappointed with Heartless!

About Marissa:

One of my first spoken words was “story” (right along with “bath” and “cookie”), my favorite toy as an infant was a soft, squishable book, and I’ve wanted to be a writer since I first realized such a job existed.

When I was fourteen my best friend introduced me to anime and fanfiction—over the years I would complete over forty Sailor Moon fanfics under the penname Alicia Blade. Those so inclined can still find my first stories at fanfiction.net. Writing fanfic turned out to be awesome fun and brought me in contact with an amazing group of fanfiction readers and writers. As Alicia Blade, I also had a novelette, “The Phantom of Linkshire Manor,” published in the gothic romance anthology Bound in Skin (CatsCurious Press, 2007).

When I was sixteen I worked at The Old Spaghetti Factory in Tacoma, Washington, affectionately termed “The Spag.” (Random factoid: This is also the restaurant where my parents met some 25 years before.) I attended Pacific Lutheran University where I sorted mail that came to the dorm, carted tables and chairs around campus, and took writing classes, eventually earning a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and Children’s Literature. Knowing I wanted a career in books, I would also go on to receive a Master’s degree in Publishing from Pace University (which you can learn more about here). After graduation, I worked as an editor in Seattle for a while before becoming a freelance typesetter and proofreader.

Then, day of days, someone thought it would be a good idea to give me a book deal, so I became a full-time writer. CINDER is my first novel, though I have an adorable collection of unfinished ones lying around too.

I now live with my husband and our three cats (Calexandria Josephine, Stormus Enormous, and Blackland Rockwell III), who go in and out, in and out, about eight hundred times a day. My favorite non-bookish things include Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, re-watching episodes of Firefly, and playing all manners of dress-up.

You can visit Marissa around the web here: WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Blog

Want to read more from Marissa?

Heartless A Tyranny of Petticoats: 15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers & Other Badass Girls (A Tyranny of Petticoats, #1) Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerves, #1) Glitches (The Lunar Chronicles, #0.5) The Little Android (The Lunar Chronicles, #0.6) Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1) The Queen's Army (The Lunar Chronicles, #1.5) Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2) Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3) Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5) Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4) Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles, #4.5)

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#HeartlessCountdown

Join the #HeartlessCountdown! See the 50 daily challenges from @FierceReads: http://bit.ly/2cD1D2S

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heartless_cover-image-mediumTitleHeartless

Author: Marissa Meyer

Genre: YA Fantasy & Magic

Series: N/A

Publication Date: November 8, 2016

Format: Hardcover, 780 pages

ISBN-10: 1250044650 (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan)

ISBN-13: 978-120044655 (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan)

Reviewed by: Michelle

Synopsis:

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland?the infamous Queen of Hearts?she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

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.

In her first stand-alone teen novel, the New York Times-bestselling author dazzles us with a prequel toAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Quick & Dirty: 

Opening Sentence: My immediate priority is air.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

When I first read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, I fell in love with the Queen of Hearts. I always wondered what made her foul-tempered and an angry antagonist. I knew that she had a story, and I was happy that Marissa Meyer told her story in Heartless. There are many books about fantasy and about retellings, each claiming to be an adventure worth the read. But Marissa does not steer us wrong! Marissa’s latest fantasy is amazing and FANTASTIC. Heartless is a spectacular story of a young lady before she became the Queen of Hearts. I was in a young adult funk before I read Heartless, and boy did Marissa bring me out of the dark depths and bring excitement!

It is often said that The Queen had one way to settle differences and difficulties, and that was with a forceful, “Off with his head!” In Meyer’s Heartless, we meet Lady Catherine Pinkerton, a very different young lady. All she wanted in life was to become the best baker in Heart, to live in joy and pastries. Yet, Catherine was favored by the King of Hearts, and was urged by her mother to become the next queen. At a royal ball, Cath meets the court joker, Jest. For once in her life, she feels an attraction. Definitely not one to be swayed by her own dreams and goals, Cath and Jest develop a secret romance. Determined and hopelessly falling in love, Cath attempts to define her own destiny. But it is Wonderland after all, so anything goes.

I am in love with Cath. She is the opposite of the Queen of Hearts. Cath has hope, love, and everything good in Heart, yet she shows strength and bravery at every turn of the page. Determination and love drives her, finding ways to belong to Jest. She is a bit young and reckless, but doesn’t love make us all blind? The pull to please her King and parents is strong. Being Lady Catherine is not for the weak. She has sacrifices that only she has experienced, giving up a bit of herself in every way imaginable. What I enjoyed about Cath is how she represents many different young girls. Through the pressures from Cath’s mother, and her family, Cath discovers herself and what she can endure.

And while Cath is the main character, each supporting character plays important roles, important to the story line. Jest alone will crush your heart, for his story will demand center stage. He isn’t someone I was expecting, but I believe to be crucial to the demise of Cath’s persona and the rise of the Queen of Heart’s coldness. It is interesting to see each character and the role that they play.

Marissa’s world is wonderful. I cannot fangirl enough over the amount of details that she put in Heartless. It is definitely a reinvention of Wonderland as Heart. She has gone above and beyond creating a story with intricate details to paint vivid imagery perfect for such a tale. She has allowed me, the reader, to fully immerse myself into this reinvented world of magic and  whimsy. What I love most about Heartless is that Cath represents similarities to Alice and definitive opposites of the Queen of Hearts.

Heartless‘ plot picks up quickly, and doesn’t slow down. Marissa has reinvented this unique world with a fantastic culture that I cannot get enough of. I could not put this book down. I thoroughly enjoyed Heartless! The characters are so enthralling, the back story, the plot, and the ascension from Cath to Queen of Hearts. There is something about how Marissa’s story developed through the pages, being so different, yet her writing was familiar. It was another story to listen to, and Marissa is the master storyteller.

This is a standalone, and that breaks my heart the most. I definitely recommend this book to anyone. You will soon fall in love with Cath, Jest, and the other magical characters in Heart. And who knows, maybe you will think differently next time you see the Queen of Hearts.

Notable Scene:

“Of all those ladies and all those gentlemen, you were the only one who twirled.”

“You saaw that?”

“In that gown, it would have been difficult not to.”

She wrinkled her nose. “My mother chose it. She thought it would be my engagement ball. I honestly had no idea.”

“I see that now.” He squinted at her and opened his mouth once to speak, but closed it again.

Catherine swallowed. “You shouldn’t be here.”

“I’m not entirely sure that’s true.” He lowered himself on the branch, like a cat ready to spring. “Lady Pinkerton, have you ever been to a real tea party?”

“Oh, countless.”

“No, my lady, not like at the castle today. I mean, a real one.”

The question crystallized between them as Catherine shifted through all the parties, galas, gatherings she’d attended over the years, and she couldn’t fathom what he meant.

“I…I supposed I’m not sure.”

He smiled, a little mischievously. “Would you like to?”

 

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FTC Advisory: Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan provided me with a copy of Heartless. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.  

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