Author: Marissa Meyer
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland-the infamous Queen of Hearts- 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, 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 women 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 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.
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
Holy crap! I was blown away by this book, even though we had a bumpy start. Almost an entire summer ago, I read the first few pages, but it got put away for a while because I couldn’t get into it. I tried again and ended up reading it in less than 24 hours. I fell in love with Jest, then proceeded to get my heartbroken. It’s better than not having it, ouch.
In short, I loved all of them. Jest had my heart from the second he made an entrance. I mean he entered like a pro. Even the side characters like the Turtle and Cheshire cat were the best. They added humor at the serious parts to lighten the story, and they were so sweet to Cath. Obviously, I hated the King. He was a dramatic brat who couldn’t see past his personal infatuation to recognize other people’s feelings, but he’s a King, so that’s the typical attitude we see from them. Cath’s parents were the worst. Everyone knows that Cath is such an amazing baker, and she should share that. Still, they denied her and called her a disappointment. At the end, when they were like, “We just wanted you to be happy.” I think y’all were a bit late to that realization train. Now you have a sociopath for a daughter, happy?
Cath was a bit of an annoyance. I never realized that the Queen of Hearts could have a backstory, so the whole idea was amazing. But dang, Cath was kinda stupid sometimes. Like her parents, she hit realizations a bit too late. All the time, she spent time in her room pitying herself. I get it, it’s not what you want to do, but you could use your position to help someone. Maybe fix the Jabberwock problem? My heart broke for her at the end. She hit a breaking point, and it caused her to become reckless with herself.
Jest and Cath totally had an insta love deal that I wasn’t fond of considering she didn’t know anything about him. Cueing the crisis about stealing her heart. Jest also played “you’re not like other girls” card because she didn’t want to be Queen. Not every girl dreams about being royalty. The entire time Cath kept showing Jest she wanted to be with him. Then after she was like, “I regret it now.” I couldn’t handle her. Your life isn’t hard, you have 2 boys after you! But it was a beautiful relationship that I was sad to see burn.
For the life of me, I couldn’t tell you what the actual goal was. It was a complex story. Cath and Jest just wanted to be happy with each other. King just wanted to marry Cath.
No one really got what they wanted. Except the King but that was to be expected. I didn’t really know what was up with Raven. He was just along for the ride I guess.
I didn’t like the speed of the plot. We would get some crucial information. Then nothing would happen for a while, but after a little while, we get a bunch of action jam packed. Then the cycle repeats. The plot came in waves basically. It was really hard to push through those pages of just waiting.
Ultimately, the best scene was the hat shop tea party. It was magical, funny, and entertaining. There was something about everyone having fun and showing off their skills that was so endearing to me. The end of the party was a bit rough. The Jabberwock seemed like it was a big problem, but was anybody focused it? The answer is no. Literally no one even cared about figuring out how to get rid of it. Too focused on their love life? Can’t relate.
The ending broke me. I didn’t shed a tear, but I was dead on the inside. The book was a rollercoaster, and at the end, I was numb and tired. I just couldn’t deal with it. They chose a perfect title.
World Building: ⅘
Although Marissa Meyers didn’t make the Wonderland, she expanded it. The characters explained the backgrounds, and it added depth to them. There is some sympathy for the Queen of Hearts now. She didn’t keep it as whimsical was it was in the original book, but the times are different and it’s different authors. There were a lot of modern elements added to the book which did annoy me the tiniest bit, but I’ll live.
Writing Style: ⅘
It’s pretty known I am not a fan of Marissa Meyer’s Cinder which was partly due to the immature writing style, but this story had the opposite effect. I loved the way she made this imaginary world sound. It sounded magical. Some of the character’s dialect didn’t quite match what it was originally was, but like i said, two different authors. She got in a little over her head when she tried to include Mr. Caterpillar. She just didn’t nail him. It can’t be perfect since Lewis Carroll is dead. She did try to make Jest sound poetic.
It didn’t work because I had trouble fitting together a modern day bad boy but also an old court jester.
I loved the book, and I’m so happy I gave it another shot. How’d you guys like it?