Book - 2016 | First edition.
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Long before she was the terror of Wonderland--the infamous Queen of Hearts--she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

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.

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: New York : Feiwel & Friends, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781250044655
Branch Call Number: YA FIC Meyer
Characteristics: 453 pages ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

Catherine is a young girl who is the favorite to marry a king, but she has more of an interest in baking and in the court jester. But this kingdom is in Wonderland, and Catherine has another destiny waiting to unfold... as the Queen of Hearts.

From the critics

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Oct 23, 2017

Check out my review of "Heartless" on my blog at:

Oct 02, 2017

This book was amazing. Anguishing. Beautiful. Delicious. It's a beautiful work of art. It's the lush writing and gorgeous prose and wonderful plot garnished with delicious imagery, wrapped around the bare bones of the plot. It finishes off with a heartbreaking ending, Cath's heart stolen and her spirit broken and shattered beyond redemption. Heartless will always be it for me, no matter how old I grow.
Cath's blind fury, her wrathful passion after Jest dies, keeps the story moving, keeps the tears flowing long after Jest's death. Her change from a whimsical young woman who dreams of opening a bakery with her best friend and maid, Mary Ann, to a shattered and broken young queen her head held high with rage is breathtaking. Hats (may they be joker's hats with stowaway ravens, or ivory berets containing lit candlesticks, rabbits, and gold watches) off to you, marissa!

Aug 08, 2017

So, first things first, I loved the Lunar Chronicles series. I didn't expect this to be like that, but I am a big fan of Wonderland. Unfortunately this book just did not do it for me. To be clear, there were some parts I liked, such as the writing style, Jest (although I'll admit he was cliche, I did like his character), and Hatta, along with a few other things. Now on to what I did not like. One of the first things that made this such a difficult read is how slow the majority of the book is. Around the last 100 pages it does definitely pick up, but I just the book had been more exciting, because I almost gave up on it several times. The next major thing that annoyed me quite a bit was the character of Cath, which is a bit of a problem considering she's the main character. For most of the book, she came off as very whiny and unable to do much for herself. For example, she has big dreams of opening a bakery but she never makes much effort to work for it, until the end. A big part of the book is her whining about how she doesn't want to marry the king and unfortunate her life is, when she probably could do at least SOMETHING about that. The last thing, although this is no one's fault is how it is hard to go in open minded about the book, since it is a prequel. Overall, this just did not do it for me, especially when held up against the Lunar Chronicles, and other Wonderland works, and I felt like I wasted a lot of time on it.

Aug 05, 2017

This book was told in a gripping, beautiful writing style, as with all of Marissa's books. Jest annoyed me, probably because of how cliche he was( dark, mysterious, perfect, black hair, stunningly handsome, wears all black all the time, 'bad boy'...), and Cath was a bit too happy-go-lucky at the beginning. I really liked Hatta, though, and his friendship with Jest. It wasn't as chaotic as I would expect from a Wonderland book. It was a little weird, but not always a good weird, if you know what I mean. But it was a good book, though the Lunar Chronicles are still my favorite of Marissa's books.

Everything about this book was stunning.

The writing flowed on the page, keeping your attention. It was neither too long, nor too short either.

The characters were beautifully written, and Meyer took Wonderland to a whole ne level. My favourite character was, quite obviously, Jest.

All around, this book is definitely my favourite book.

Jul 20, 2017

I was not expecting this book to be done so WELL. I've read the first two books of the Lunar Chronicles by Meyer, and really enjoyed the story and the writing style. I'm really not a fan of Wonderland or Lewis Carroll, but thought this book might be fun since I was familiar with the author. This is genuinely a prequel to Alice in Wonderland- as such, you know where the story will end. That's somewhat of a relief to me, as I don't like surprises and enjoy the journey much more than the destination.
Here are the things I truly enjoyed:
-The character of Jest. His magic, his connection with Hatta, and his flirtations with Cath made the story much more interesting.
- The depiction of Wonderland. As I've previously stated, I'm not a huge fan of it, but I remember watching Alice in Wonderland, and reading the Jabberwock poem. Everything seemed very true to Carroll's world, and the characters all fit into place nicely.
- Cath's turn to the dark. No spoilers here, because you know where the story is going to end up. As the story progresses, you see how she is slowly becoming the Queen of Hearts that you see in the stories with Alice. I love how she starts out with innocent dreams of becoming a baker and falling in love, only to end up where she does- a far cry of how she expected her life to turn out.

What I didn't like really only boils down to Cath's character. She's a coward. She doesn't stand up for what she wants and doesn't speak out until the very end, when it's almost too late. She's too worried about what her parents and the King think. She does WANT the bakery, and makes attempts to gain it under the radar, but never truly speaks up for what her heart wants. Then, there's that CHOICE that she makes at the end that dooms them all. (I won't say what it is, those of you who read the book know what I'm talking about.) I was yelling at her while reading because I knew the second she made that choice, it was all over. I knew it couldn't have turned out any differently, but I abhor characters that don't speak out for what they want, and then stew and feel sorry for themselves about their lots. She had so many opportunities to be with Jest, to run away with him, and she just didn't- and that made my blood boil.
Also, the world and characters are rather silly, but that comes with the territory of Wonderland.
All in all, Heartless is an extremely well done add-on to the Wonderland world. It is a little frustrating wading through the Victorian era niceties and parties (those parts were rather slow) but as a whole, the story was well written, well thought out, and mostly well executed. And, apparently, there is more than one answer to the riddle "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" Who knew?

Jul 19, 2017

There are only three books that have made me cry: Where the Red Fern Grows, The Book Thief, and: Heartless, 4 times. FOUR times I cried. I have read so many books, and this one was heartbreaking. I knew it was going to be sad, because I know the Queen of Hearts is a villain, but reading it and getting to like her and then reading about Jest... :(

Jul 14, 2017

If you like romance, mystery and heartbreaking sadness this is the perfect book for you.

When I read the beginning I thought it was a regular romance/fantasy novel, but when I got to the ending my heart was breaking and I was crying so hard.

sarahbru17 Jul 03, 2017

Characters: 10/10
Plot: 10/10
Writing: 10/10
I went into the book-hole after completing this (the dark, lonely space where nothing seems to matter because the book is over). It was emotionally heartrending and beautiful.
This was so good all the way through--I couldn't put it down. I love Jest so much and I love how Meyer tied in the different elements of Carrol's world (plus Poe and the "Peter Peter" rhyme). The ending was so sad and so satisfying at the same time. Of course I knew where it had to end, but I so didn't want it to end like that. I would re-read it right now.

May 28, 2017

Retelling of Alice in Wonderland and adding some a nursery rhyme character in there (Peter, Peter). Took too long to get into the story (it was after page 300 somewhere). The ending was foreshadowed which burst the bubble.

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Age Suitability

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Nov 28, 2017

blue_dog_8346 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

QuiteArdentlyMyDear thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jul 28, 2017

Blue_Butterfly_87 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

sarahbru17 Jul 03, 2017

sarahbru17 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Apr 29, 2017

green_ant_1650 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jan 16, 2017

blue_dog_8329 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Dec 19, 2016

black_pony_62 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Dec 04, 2016

dinesh76 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Nov 30, 2016

indigo_cat_963 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


Add a Quote

Jan 16, 2017

"Off with his head."

Jan 14, 2017

"Sometimes I have come to believe as much as six impossible things before breakfast."

Jan 14, 2017

"Impossible is my specialty."

Dec 28, 2016

"Sometimes your heart is the only thing worth listening to."

Nov 28, 2016

"She would not allow fate to trick her out of this dream."

Sadly it did.......

Jul 01, 2016

Sweets and Tarts: The Most Wonderous Bakery in All of Hearts

Jun 26, 2016

"But hoping," he said, "is how the impossible can be possible after all."


Add a Summary

Apr 01, 2017

Inspired by Lewis Caroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Marissa Meyer's gives Catherine, a girl who dreams of opening a bakery. Only her parents have other plans- marrying her off to the King of Hearts. Full of romance and mystery, Heartless is the backstory of the Queen of Hearts that you never knew you wanted.

Jul 01, 2016

Catherine is a talented baker and all she wants to do is open a bakery with her best friend and be the person who supplies Hearts with the best pastries and confections. Unfortunately, her mother thinks that's unsuitable for a woman who holds the eye of the yet unmarried King of Hearts.

At a ball where she believes she will receive a proposal, Cath meets Jest, the handsome new joker who immediately steals her heart. Unwilling to risk offending the King or her parents, they enter into an intense (& secret) courtship.

Cath only wants to fall in love and run her life on her own terms. But sometimes, fate has other plans


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