An Exciting Spin on Wonderland | Heartless (ARC)

*This is a spoiler-free review.


 Book Title: Heartless.

 Author: Marissa Meyer.

 Series: Standalone.

 Page Count: 464 Pages (Paperback).

 Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy and Retelling.

 Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 stars.

*I kindly received a copy from Pan Macmillan South Africa for review, this has in no way affected my opinion. 

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, 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.


I absolutely adored this retelling! It was engaging and magical and it was filled to the brim with yummy treats and Alice in Wonderland references, and I loved it so much!  

Heartless follows the story of our main character, Catherine Pinkerton, the daughter of the Marchioness and Marquess of Rock Turtle Cove. Her fate is to become the Queen of Hearts, but Cath doesn’t want to be Queen. She just wants to find true love and open her own scrumptious bakery, but enter the Jabberwock, the Mad Hatter and magic and nothing turns out like it should.

From the first few chapters I was absolutely hooked! This retelling is really, really good. The writing is absolutely mesmerizing, engaging and so good! I really loved Meyer as a story teller, the plot was so good and all the references to Wonderland felt so familiar yet new. What I really loved was all the food references, it definitely had my mouth watering and I should warn you not to read this book on an empty stomach.

She had glazed the crust and crimped the edges like a lace doily. She had boiled and candied the delicate strips of lemon peel and ground sugar crystals into a fine powder for garnish.

I really loved the plot and I thought reading about the Queen of Hearts as a young, optimistic lady was such a clever idea. I really loved the explanation about how she became the “evil” Queen of Hearts we all got to know in Alice in Wonderland and I though it was well thought out. Although the ending was a bit rushed, and I would have liked for this twist to come a bit earlier for more climax to be built on it, I still thought the entire book was so entertaining and I just absolutely loved it!

I loved that Meyer incorporated some of the beloved characters from the original Alice in Wonderland! This included the White Rabbit (and he was as obsessed with pocket watches as always) then there was Cheshire, which is my absolute favorite character from Wonderland and he was just as snarky and sarcastic. Hatta (the Mad Hatter) also made an appearance and I think he was a brilliant addition to the story.

Why is a raven like a writing desk?

Cath was really such a fun and great character, I really loved her! She had such a creative personality and she was just an overall bubbly character that made you smile. Jest was such a mysterious, but loving character and I adored him. I loved all his magic tricks and I thought that he was the perfect love interest for Cath.

Overall the entertainment value of this book was fantastic and I really couldn’t put it down! I thought the plot, characters and ending was perfect!



  • The scrumptious treats – it had my stomach rumbling and my mouth watering!
  • Catherine was such an interesting character and I loved her.
  • The writing was so, so good and I couldn’t put the book down.
  • I loved the addition of some of the beloved characters from Wonderland.
  • It was really just so refreshing and entertaining.


  • I would have liked a little bit more chapters just before the ending to better clarify the choices that Cath had made.


I’m definitely recommeding this to all lovers of Marissa Meyer, Retellings, Fantasy and Alice in Wonderland. I’m really hoping that she’ll expand on this sometime soon! This book really made me love Meyers writing and I’m thinking of giving The Lunar Chronicles another go.


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13 thoughts on “An Exciting Spin on Wonderland | Heartless (ARC)

  1. I keep hearing how you shouldn’t read this book hungry. I’ll have to keep that in mind, especially after reading that quote 😂. I’ve heard so many great things about this and am glad it’s living up to expectations for a lot of people. I can’t wait until I get around to reading it. Great review! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Melissa 💖 It’s really good, especially if you’re a big Alice in Wonderland fan🐰 And those treats are truly mouthwatering! I hope you enjoy it just as much when you get around to reading it!

      Liked by 1 person

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