Thursday, November 10, 2016

Heartless by Marissa Meyer *Blog Tour*

I am thrilled to be part of the Canadian blog tour for Marissa Meyer's Heartless along with some other fantastic bloggers!

I am so excited for you to meet all of these characters, but today, along with my review, I get to introduce you to one of my favourites!

Be sure to visit all the stops on this tour to meet other characters, and find out what these other amazing bloggers thought about Marissa's wonderful novel.

The character I get to introduce is mysterious, handsome, and very swoon worthy. He's a world class flirt, and the banter he shares with a certain future Queen is just as delicious as any of her baking.

Meet Jest, royal court jester, and the cause of much blushing and swooning.

See, blushing. If that is not tantalizing enough check out my review below and see if it entices you to enter into Marissa Meyer's version of Wonderland. 

Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Release Date -  November 8, 2016
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 464 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads 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.

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
The word 'Wonderland' fills your head with visions of Mad Hatters, white rabbits, a dangerous Queen, and disappearing cats. It's a place of magic and whimsy. Marissa Meyer takes this fantastical setting to weave a tale of a young woman who will become a queen fond of taking off heads.

If you've read anything by Marissa Meyer before it will not surprise you to find out that the world building is breathtaking. It is filled with wonder, and a sense of being tossed topsy turvy. It's like a spinning carousel, but one that you never want to have stop. This setting serves as the perfect backdrop to the characters that inhabit this story. The setting is larger than life, and the characters even larger.

Madness didn't always reign in Wonderland as the blurb so succinctly reminds us. This journey through Wonderland gives us an up close view of that madness starting to spread. It allows us to see the creation of the world and characters we loved in the classic. This not only instills a connection to the story almost immediately, but allows a sense of nostalgia. Marissa Meyer has captured the essence and whimsy of Lewis Carroll's beloved tale and makes it appear effortless to do so.  There is something so different from the writing in The Lunar Chronicles series which sets this story as something all its own, but there is still something unmistakably Marissa in it as well.

I was spellbound by each of the characters we meet. The way the Mad Hatter's story is woven into Cath's is seamlessly done and rather clever. Cheshire Cat is used perfectly for a dose of humour and, surprisingly, as a voice of reason. The best part of reading a novel that acts like a prequel is seeing these characters anew. They are not necessarily the characters you know from the classic and getting to experience them make steps towards those familiar characteristics is part of this novel's charms.

It is not a spoiler to say that Cath's journey is not a happy one and those looking for a happily ever after will not find that within this retelling. She did not become a tyrannical queen because her life handed her everything she ever wanted. This story humanizes the queen, and makes you see her as a young girl who desperately wanted to forge her own path and fall in love. It allows you to understand what drove her to become the queen we love to hate in Alice In Wonderland. The fact that she is turned into this sympathetic creature, while still retaining the edge and darkness that needs to blossom within her is one of the shining points of this novel. Cath is exactly what she needs to be for this story to work and, as a reader, you'll have conflicting emotions about this fact (and her in general). She's well written, nuanced, and a character who will capture your heart in the end.

The romance is, as expected, electric. There is a chemistry between Cath and Jest that is palpable. Jest is my favourite of the guys created by Marissa Meyer. He charms us as much as he charms Cath. If you are looking for banter there is plenty to be found between these characters which only adds to their appeal. The flip side of this romance is a ticking clock that is symbolized by the novel's page count. The stark reality of what is going to happen creates a tension within their romance that is only matched by the forbidden aspect of their blossoming feelings.

Marissa Meyer's Wonderland is as whimsical as its inspiration and a world that you can easily get lost in. It's magical, heartbreaking, and filled with just enough nods to the source material to appease fans while creating something entirely new for those unfamiliar with it.  It is certainly a novel worth losing your head over. 

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