Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Date Published: 8th November 2016
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 yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.
At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king's marriage proposal, she 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." - Goodreads
This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review! It will be released on the 8th November 2016!
"You are more beautiful than a birthday cake... your eyes are like ripe green apples sprinkled with cinnamon."
I was so excited to get my hands on this book, I've been waiting for it since I first heard it was going to be written! I absolutely loved Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles trilogy so I had such high hopes for this book! Although I was a little bit disappointed by it, the end sure as hell made up for the parts that fell a little flat for me! I still really enjoyed reading this, and would definitely recommend it to any fairytale retelling lovers!
Firstly, I'd like to start off with our main character, Catherine. I didn't like her at all, I thought she was selfish, childish, spoilt, entitled and just annoying. I couldn't stand her to begin with. She was an absolute idiot. There. I said it. She was an idiot, she would ditch her friends and her family just to be with some boy she's only just met?! I thought it was a reckless thing to do, and not a good message to send out to younger readers either. Although, the fact that I've just gone through a break up probably isn't helping my tolerance of this either. I just didn't understand. It irritated me like crazy. However, by the end of the book, I loved her. As soon as she turned into the Queen of Hearts we all know and love to hate, I loved her. She was ruthless and sassy, she was everything she should have been from the start.
Jest was meh. He was just such a typical love interest that it hurt me. I didn't really have an opinion on him, I didn't care what happened to him. Frankly, it annoyed me that he just charmed his way into her life and made her ditch everyone else. I didn't like him much, but I also didn't entirely dislike him. Hatta, Haigha, the Raven, and all the other smaller characters were great! They each had their different personalities, they were very believable (even as magical and weird people/creatures). It was easy to imagine as if it were all real and not at all fantasy.
I loved the plot, I loved the build up. I loved the balls and royal events, the posh/formal way of communicating, I just loved the 'royalness' of it all. It was great, it was like Downton Abbey in magical book form. What's not to love ey?!
From the very beginning of the book, I laughed. Some things that were said were just so funny, I laughed. It's not often a book makes me laugh or show emotion, but there were just so many times where I laughed. I mean, if someone tried to serenade me with the line, "you are more beautiful than a birthday cake... your eyes are like ripe green apples sprinkled with cinnamon" I would laugh. Cry of laughter even. This book had a great mixture of humour and anguish and sorrow and happiness and sadness and love and hate and romance and friendship and betrayal... I could go on. It was such an incredible mix of so many different emotions.
Most of the book was just a lot of... nothingness? It wasn't entirely boring, but not much was going on, it was just a build up. From around 65-70%, things really started to kick off and this is what saved the book for me. The end was incredible. The action was written perfectly, everything that happened was perfect. Like I said, Cath our Queen of Hearts in the end was bloody amazing. I wish the whole book was just her being a ruthless, evil, 'badass' Queen cos I would have given it 5* and my soul. I can't rave about the ending enough, I loved it a lot.
Gosh this became a long review. Overall, I enjoyed reading this but it was kind of disappointing cos the pacing was just really slow and not a lot happened until the last quarter of the book! But it was still really enjoyable and if there was ever a sequel (I don't know if there will be?!) I'd still read it.