Marissa Meyer, New York Times bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles, has written yet another imaginative fantasy story. Heartless, a young adult fiction novel published in 2016, is set in the silly upsy-turvy world from Alice in Wonderland. Lady Catherine Pinkerton, heir to Rock Turtle Cove, daughter of Whealagig T. Pinkerton and Lady Idonia Pinkerton, Marquess and Marchioness of Rock Turtle Cove, dreams of opening a bakery with her best friend Mary Ann.
At a ball thrown by the King of Hearts, Lady Catherine meets Jest – the King’s court joker. Just as the King is about to propose to Lady Catherine in front of everyone, Cheshire creates a distraction allowing Catherine to make her escape. A Jabberwock attacks the party – sending everyone running for their lives. Lady Catherine meets Jest in the woods.
“He smiled at her, and it was the friendly sort of smile that reached to every corner of his eyes. Cath’s heart tumbled. During his performance, she had been hypnotized by his magic, amused by his tomfoolery – but she had not realized that he was also quite handsome.” page.51
While Lady Catherine attempts to maintain her plans of opening a bakery, avoid the King’s proposal, evade the Jabberwock, she somehow falls in love with a fool.
Heartless is a wistful story filled with my favourite characters like Cheshire, Hatter, and the caterpillar. Meyer, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, used lines from his work for Jest’s sidekick, Raven. I don’t want to give away too much, but will say I could not put this book down. I give it 5 stars. I recommend this to teen+ who is an Alice in Wonderland fan, or if you enjoy magical thrilling stories.