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135 reviews

About this ebook

From Marissa Meyer, the #1 New York Times–bestselling story of Wonderland's most notorious villain: the Queen of Hearts.

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 Heartless, her first stand-alone teen novel, the New York Times-bestselling author dazzles us with a prequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Ratings and reviews

135 reviews
December 28, 2016
Oh, how excited I was when I heard that Marissa Meyer was coming out with a new book. I adore her Lunar Chronicles, so I was certain I would love whatever she wrote. Unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed with Heartless. The writing was still just as lovely as her other books, but the story, characters, and world fell completely flat for me. The characters were...fine. I didn't really hate them, but I didn't care for them at all. Cath and Jest had some major instalove going on that completely turned me off from both of them as characters and from their relationship. Cath's parents were absolutely ridiculous. They pushed their daughter towards a marriage that they knew she would be unhappy in. Then, once Cath had completely changed for the worst, they were suddenly concerned about her happiness. A little too late, folks. Honestly, the only character I really liked was the King, and I'm pretty sure he's the one character you aren't supposed to like. Oh well. The one thing that bothered me the most about Heartless was the world. I literally felt like I was reading a book set in Disney's Alice in Wonderland. It was such a disappointment because I know what kind of retellings Marissa Meyer is capable of. But with Heartless, it felt like she just plopped her story into a world that already existed. The white rabbit was really a white rabbit who was concerned with the time, the caterpillar was an actual caterpillar smoking hookah. They even played croquet with hedgehogs and flamingos. I kept hoping that she would make SOMETHING about the world unique, but it never happened. And that bothered me a lot. I found it interesting that Meyer even mentioned in her Author's Note that she was "abusing the work" of multiple authors with Heartless. That's really what it felt like to me - taking something that has already been written and trying to pass it off as something new. Ultimately, the writing really saved this book for me. It is the only reason that I gave it 2.5 stars. I didn't like the characters, I really didn't like the world, and I thought the plot wasn't anything special either. I will still read whatever Marissa Meyer writes because I know what she can create. But unfortunately, Heartless was a total miss for me.
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Holly Parker
October 27, 2020
Marissa Meyer is the queen of making a lot happen in a short period of time. Heartless is no exception. I knew what was coming (partly due to an innocent google search--I was just trying to figure out what a character looked like!) but it still hurt. After I finished it, I dreamed about it for some time, trying to reason my way out of the ending. It occupied my mind for a good portion of time after it was over. The main character was kind of annoying and ignorant and blind to her faults, but she still didn't deserve everything that came to her.
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Kaila Nelson
August 22, 2023
I cannot recommend this book enough. It will be a hard book to top, that's for sure. The story had me engaged the whole time, very hard to put down, and I am sad that it is over. 10/10 would read again.
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About the author

Marissa Meyer is the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of the Renegades Trilogy, The Lunar Chronicles series, the Wires and Nerve graphic novels, and The Lunar Chronicles Coloring Book. Her first standalone novel, Heartless, was also a #1 New York Times bestseller. Marissa created and hosts a podcast called The Happy Writer. She lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and their two daughters.

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