Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Blog Tour - Character Intro Excerpt & Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer


Heartless Blog Tour banner
 
Hi everyone, welcome to my stop on the Heartless blog tour! A big thank you to Raincoast Books for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this tour! In addition to sharing my review of the book, I'll also be sharing an excerpt which introduces us to a furry feline we all adore! Or do we? ;) Today is also the release date of Heartless so happiest pub day to Marissa Meyer!!!!!


Heartless by Marissa MeyerHeartless
by Marissa Meyer
November 8, 2016
464 pages


Goodreads Summary:
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 yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king's marriage proposal, she 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.

 
The Cheshire Cat
 
Whether a fan of Alice in Wonderland or not, most people have some knowledge of the Cheshire Cat with his big toothy grin and his ability to make invisible any part of him. This infamous kitty pops in and out (literally) at the most inconvenient times. His furry face is one that's hard to forget ;) Read on below to see how he makes his grand appearance in Heartless!
 

“Speaking to the food again, Lady Catherine?”
 
“Ah-ah, not just any food, Cheshire.” She lifted a finger without glancing back. “Might I introduce to you the most wondrous lemon tarts ever to be baked within the great Kingdom of Hearts!”
 
A striped tail curled around her right shoulder. A furry, whiskered head appeared on her left. Cheshire purred thoughtfully, the sound vibrating down her spine. “Astounding,” he said, in that tone he had that always left Cath unsure whether he was mocking her. “But where’s the fish?”
 
Cath kissed the sugar crystals from her fingers and shook her head. “No fish.”
 
“No fish? Whatever is the point?”
 
“The point is perfection.” Her stomach tingled every time she thought of it.
 
Cheshire vanished from her shoulders and reappeared on the baking table, one clawed paw hovering over the tarts. Cath jumped forward to shoo him back. “Don’t you dare! They’re for the King’s party, you goose.”
 
Cheshire’s whiskers twitched. “The King? Again?”
 
Stool legs screeched against the floor as Cath dragged a seat closer to the table and perched on top of it. “I thought I’d save one for him and the others can be served at the feasting table. It makes His Majesty so happy, you know, when I bake him things. And a happy king—”
 
“Makes for a happy kingdom.” Cheshire yawned without bothering to cover his mouth and, grimacing, Cath held her hands in between him and the tarts to protect from any distasteful tuna breath.
 
“A happy king also makes for a most excellent testimonial. Imagine if he were to declare me the official tart baker of the kingdom! People will line up for miles to taste them.”
 
“They smell tart.”
 
“They are tarts.” Cath turned one of the fluted pans so the blossom of the lemon-peel rose was aligned with the others. She was always mindful of how her treats were displayed. Mary Ann said her pastries were even more beautiful than those made by the royal pastry chefs.
 
And after tonight, her desserts would not only be known as more beautiful, they would be known as superior in every way. Such praise was exactly what she and Mary Ann needed to launch their bakery. After so many years of planning, she could feel the dream morphing into a reality.


Review

After reading Heartless I can see why Marissa Meyer is so well-loved by readers. I haven't had the chance to read her Lunar Chronicle books yet but after Heartless, I know I will soon. This book has me love her writing. Her storytelling is spellbinding and I want more.

So I am not the biggest nor most avid fan of Alice in Wonderland but I noticed certain nods to the classic story. I was surprised but excited I was able to pick up on them. It definitely made me appreciate the existence of the croquet games and the importance of the characters such as the White Rabbit and Hatta. They're familiar and made the story all the more relatable and dear to our hearts.


Catherine was so full of dreams and hopes in Heartless. The knowledge of what she was to become weighed heavily on my chest as I read. I hated everyone who wouldn't let her be herself (which ironically also included herself). It saddened me to see her choke down every refusal she mentally had to go along with the requests of her parents and the King for the sake of being the obedient only child and a proper lady. Cath was already kind, noble and brave, I wanted to see her act on her selfish desires for a change. I wanted to see her bakery come alive. I wanted her to be able to share her mouth-watering desserts with the whole kingdom and beyond. Most of all, I wanted her to have the happiness she envisioned with Jest and Mary Ann.


It was absolute sweet torture reading Heartless. Again, that feeling of knowing exactly how the Queen of Hearts will turn out made this an emotional read. Many times I've wanted to save myself from the heartaches but Marissa Meyer spun such an enchanting tale I could not stop. I very much loved seeing Cath and Jest fall in love. Neither intended to have these feelings but they couldn't be contained- a tender yet passionate relationship. Even knowing there couldn't possible be a beautiful outcome for them, I prayed hard for one. You will too when you read this book.

The Cheshire Cat had impeccable timing. He might act lazy and casual with his sarcastic remarks but I felt there was always a purpose to his appearances. Whether it was to give warnings or to dole out advices, it was unwise to ignore him. I can't help but feel even now, if only Cath had heeded his words earlier on or even considered them more carefully then all could've been better. At the end it was fitting that he would leave this line with Cath: "But hoping, is how the impossible can be possible after all." (ARC, p. 426).

I was positively dreading turning the last few pages. Everything just hit me directly in the heart. What a gut-wrenching, heartbreaking but soul-touching story. Heartless made me feel everything and then took it all away. I enjoyed every moment of the sweet misery. Truly Heartless.

5 Cats
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way. All quotes were taken from the Advance Review Copy I received.


Make sure you check out all the other tour stops for more character introduction excerpts and reviews!

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