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 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 to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Published: November 8th 2016
This book wasn’t my favorite in the sense of me expecting one thing and getting another. Which, I’m hashing it up to that being my fault, so I gave it a re-read with the expectation of this being just a romance and it was a bit better. But I’m still keeping the rating because my hype was real.
Cover is gorgeous, though ❤ .
This is the story of how the Queen of Hearts came to be. We follow Catherine as she strives to own her own bakery and deal with her parents wishes to wed the King of Hearts while falling for his Jester.
Now, I can say the worldbuilding is great, because it is. Wonderland is such an intriguing place and Meyer’s execution of it was nice. I did want more since Wonderland is such big place and there are limitless opportunities to go into them, but it’s fine.
My main issues was the characters, specifically how I didn’t like the main characters and didn’t care about the rest, which can probably be blamed on my irritation that this book had. Catherine and her lack of backbone. Which I can overlook, strength comes in different forms… but she did nothing. I mean… she baked. Cool. We have a villain who was cool in concept, but again, wasn’t intimidating (I blame irritation again). We have a Mad Hatter who I was expecting to love, but only got jealousy. Whyyyyy. He was so back and forth with how he treated Catherine. Whyyyyy.
Even more so, the romance just… bugged me. Because it was instalove station. Catherine and Jest meet and it’s instant adoration and all of these feelings of love.
Now when I said I was expecting one thing and got another, I mean I was anticipating this amazing journey into villainy, a swoony albeit angsty romance and an overall heartwrenching ending. Which I didn’t get. Instead I got a romance. A main character without a backbone. And I got a trope that needs to die in all Queen of Hearts retellings. Quick question: In almost all of the Queen of Hearts retellings that you’ve read, what is the final straw that pushes her into villainy? I’ll give you a hint: it has something to do with luuuuurve. I just want a main character with some drive. There was no gradual lead up to her inevitable turn. It was quick and I’m annoyed.
Despite how she became the villain, I enjoyed her a lot when she actually became Heartless. But that was only for a few pages and doesn’t make up for much. I also enjoyed The Raven, it was a great callback to Edgar Allen Poe and his role in the
very end was nice. But other than that, this wasn’t fun. At all.