Standalone Sunday: Heartless

Standalone Sunday is a weekly feature created by Megan at Bookslayer Reads which aims to showcase standalone books which you loved or would recommend.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer


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 favourite 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.

After reading The Lunar Chronicles Marissa Meyer became one of my all-time favourite authors, and ever since I started reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has been one of my favourite books. So the combination of my favourite author and my favourite book was always going to be a must read for me.

I had high expectations for Heartless, and while there were some parts I would have loved to see expanded on, the setting of Wonderland a main one, this book was amazing. It stayed true to Lewis Carroll’s original tale while at the same time giving us a heartbreaking back-story to the Queen of Hearts.

Cheshire’s yellow eyes slitted as he held her gaze for one beat, two. Then he began to unravel from the tip of his tail, a slow unwinding of his stripes. “These things do not happen in dreams, dear girl,” he said, vanishing up to his neck. “They happen only in nightmares.”
His head spiralled and he was gone.

You can check out my review for Heartless here.

What did you think of Heartless? Have you read it yet or is it still on your to-read list? Let me know in the comments and let me know if you took part in this week’s Standalone Sunday as well.


52 thoughts on “Standalone Sunday: Heartless

  1. I’m so sorry that I’ve been so busy and haven’t had a chance to see this post till now! I am really happy to hear that you enjoyed Heartless! I’ve been a bit iffy since it’s so hyped, but I do wanna at least give it a try! Plus, if you say it’s good, it probably is! 😂 Thanks, Beth!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s all right, I know what it’s like getting busy on things and blogging falling in the wayside a little.
      Yeah there was a lot of hype, and a fair few mixed reviews, but overall I thought it was a good read. If you do give it a try I hope you end up enjoying it.
      That’s all right! 😀


  2. I loveeeee Marissa Meyer and Alice in Wonderland as well so I was SO excited for this book! I did love certain aspects of it (THE FOOD oh my gosh 😍 and the ending was so fitting but heartbreaking) but I wasn’t really a fan of Cath?? And that kind of put a downer on things ahah. I’m glad you enjoyed this!! Marissa Meyer will forever be one of my favourite authors, love this pick! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah that was literally what I thought; Marissa Meyer and Alice in Wonderland is bound to be a winning combination! 😀
      The food descriptions made me so hungry while I was reading, and yeah the ending was definitely heartbreaking. Oh that’s a shame about Cath’s character but did you enjoy the book overall despite that? Marissa Meyer is an auto-buy author for me, no matter what she releases! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Lashaan. That was pretty much what caught my attention on this book, it’s Marissa Meyer after all. 🙂
      I’m honestly not sure. I know she had a few other releases in the works but in not sure if any of them are fairytale retellings or not. Either way I’ll definitely be reading them! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really enjoyed reading Heartless! I think Meyer did an amazing job recreating Wonderland and capturing that feel to it! I loved seeing the characters before Alice came, and it really gave a different perspective to the Queen of Hearts, until it made you feel sad for her. I loved it and it’s definitely one of my favourite books of the year so far!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did love the story and the characters. I just think in terms of the world building I’d hoped for a little more of Wonderland. That could just be me being picky though, I definitely enjoyed reading about Cath’s story before she became the Queen of Hearts, kind of adds another dimension to the character in the original story.
      I’m glad this is one of your favourite books of the year so far! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I still need to read this one as well as The Lunar Chronicles! But especially this one because I love Alice in Wonderland too and the whole concept of a villain backstory is incredible. I’ve also heard a lot of people say Heartless made them hungry because of the baking. 😂 Hopefully I have the chance to get around to this one sometime soon. Great pick, Beth!! 😊♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d highly highly recommend The Lunar Chronicles Melissa, it’s a favourite series of mine, but Heartless is a good standalone and a good introduction to Marissa Meyer’s work as well.
      Oh yes there were plenty of baking references in this book, it made me hungry when Cath was making lemon tarts and macarons throughout. 🙂
      I hope so too, and I hope you really enjoy it as well Melissa.
      Thanks! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hopefully I get to one or the other this year. Most likely Heartless over The Lunar Chronicles but only because it’s the only one I own a copy of at the moment. 🙈
        Just the thought of reading about a character baking lemon tarts and macarons makes me hungry. Especially the lemon tarts. I might have to make myself some of those soon. lol
        I hope so too! You’re welcome, Beth!! 😁♥

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great pick, Beth! I wasn’t a huge fan of this book (though I did enjoy it) but I must say that it’s definitely a good standalone. While that ending was… killer, I’m kind of glad it’s the way it ended, and it kinda came full circle on the whole Alice in Wonderland thing. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Reg. I think compared to Marissa Meyer’s other series this one wasn’t as good, and I’d hoped for a little more of Wonderland as well, but yeah definitely a good standalone! 🙂
      I liked that too, there was part of me that hope for a happy ending for Cath but that was never really to be was it? 🙂


      1. I’ve never read Meyer’s other books, but I’ll take your word for it! Seems like The Lunar Chronicles in particular has got a lot of hype, haha.

        And yeees, I understand. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be since it was more of an ~origin story~ rather than, hmm, a love story.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah there is a lot of hype surrounding TLC but in my opinion it’s all well deserved hype! 🙂
        I knew going in how it would end, but the more attached I get to the characters the more I hope for a different ending despite that. 🙂


  6. I haven’t read that book yet and I’ve heard some mixed reviews with made me a bit nervous about starting it. I’m glad to hear you loved it so much, though, and Alice’s world….well, I love it so much, so I’ll have to read that one eventually 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I’ve seen some mixed reviews but I think if you enjoyed The Lunar Chronicles you’ll likely enjoy Heartless as well. I do wish there had been a little more of Wonderland in this book but overall it was great seeing another side of the original Alice tale! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ugh, can you believe I haven’t read this one yet? It’s actually ridiculous. And I even have a physical copy sitting on my shelf. 😂 It’s really pretty, though, and I’m praying that I’ll get to it sometime this year! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well in the grand scheme of things it hasn’t been out for too long, and I guess if you’ve always had something else on your to-read list it can be almost easy to see why it’s been pushed back a little bit. Still here’s hoping you do manage to get around to it soon, also here’s hoping it’ll be a book you enjoy as well! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve heard a lot about heartless and the whole lunar chronicles series. I haven’t read any of them though because I’ve heard such mixed things. It feels like everyone either loves it or hates it so I’m a bit scared to read them, I might have to try cinder first and see how I like it for myself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There do seem to be a few mixed reviews out there. I’m firmly on the positive, five-star-review side of things.I loved TLC and I really enjoyed Heartless as well. I hope you end up enjoying them too, there’s nothing worse than picking up a book and not enjoying it, no matter the book or the author. 🙂


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