Heartless by Marissa Meyer – Book Review

Heartless by Marissa Meyer – Book Review

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. 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 a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

“The easiest way to steal something, is for it to be given willingly.”

Origin stories have always been stories that I am fascinated by. Especially if it’s a new take on the specific villain that the story is based on. I believe this is the first book that I have come across that dealt with The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, and I’m so glad that I was able to have the opportunity to read this, thanks to my Owlcrate subscription. What was it about the Queen of Hearts that made her such a horrid person? And why was she so obsessed with decapitating everyone that got on her bad side? This book did an excellent job delving into that story, as well as incorporating elements of the original Alice in Wonderland into this original piece.

Let’s start with Catherine, or as her friends like to call her: Cath. Loving the nickname, although it reminds me of Cather in Fangirl since Cath was her nickname as well. The image that I got of her was that she was probably a little bigger than most of the women in Hearts because she liked to bake so much. But I also feel like the only reason why she was probably bigger in my mind than I anticipated was because of the constant jabs from her mother and how she would have food taken away from her mid-meal or straight up not allowed to eat at all on certain occasions. Cath’s mother, the Marchioness of Rock Turtle Cove was a real piece of work, and I definitely did not like her at all. If there was anyone truly mad in this book, it had to have been her.

Then there’s the amazing Jest, who I have added to my never-ending list of fictional boyfriends. The first time we meet him, he has a sway over the citizens of Hearts with his riddle and magic tricks. Even Cath can’t seem to keep her eyes off him, and is curious to find out who he is and where he’s from. With the Kingdom of Hearts being small enough that everyone knows everyone, a stranger that nobody has seen before is always going to be the talk of the town, Jest being no exception. My heart beats for Jest, and apparently so does Cath’s.

This isn’t just a love story though, definitely not. There is love involved, between Cath and Jest, two strangers that seem to have some sort of attraction between them. But there’s also a real danger out there in Hearts, in the form of the Jabberwock. It’s been many years since a Jabberwock has been seen in Hearts, and if the entire kingdom hadn’t seen one in front of them with their very own eyes, they probably would have been find pretending that it was just a silly rumor and forget it ever happened. But no, the Jabberwock is real, and threatens the lives of everyone in Hearts if someone doesn’t do anything to stop it.

You would think that the King of Hearts would do something, but don’t expect it to happen. Like we’ve seen of him in Alice in Wonderland, he’s a kind-hearted fool, one who would rather have parties and eat treats than actually defend his kingdom and its citizens. That was a complete turn off for me, although I should have known based on the previous versions of him that we’ve seen. No wonder he’s still not married, but who does he have his eyes on? The one and only Cath, probably because he knows that she’s the best baker in all the land. Everyone knows it, and to think if he made her Queen, she could make him treats all the time! That was probably what he was thinking when he wanted to propose to her, because there was nothing that Cath did to make it even remotely a question that she liked him romantically. Either that or he’s just an idiot. I still don’t know which one is more true.

The world of Hearts is one that we have seen before, with talking animals that have human like qualities, special food and drinks that have the capability to change you into something else, and magic. It’s the norm in Hearts, and while some of it is fun, others certainly aren’t. Some of it is actually quite painful, and dangerous. It is Wonderland, after all. What did you expect?

While I won’t spoil the story, we all know that it was bound to have a terrible ending. Terrible in this case meaning that Cath was going to be the vicious Queen of Hearts that we grew up knowing her as. And to think that she started off as someone with such passion about something other than beheading, well we know that something really really bad had to have happened to make her change. I can say that, if I were in her shoes, I probably would have reacted the same way, probably worse than what she ended up as. I feel for her, my heart breaks for her, and a part of me wonders if it really is better to be heartless or not. By the time you get to the end of the book, maybe you’ll have the answer for yourself.

Rated: 5/5 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – Book Review

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – Book Review

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.”

So I went into this book months after I watched the movie, so of course I already had a preconceived notion of what I thought would happen. I will say that there are quite a few differences, but that will be saved for another segment of my Books V. Movie series.  But back to this book

Honestly I thought this book was one of my favorites this year. There were some things that I didn’t like, for example some of Jacob’s behavior. I can appreciate the fact that he didn’t have friends back in Florida, and since he had a falling out with his one and only friend it would make sense that he’s a little less social or more sarcastic. Don’t get me wrong, the sarcasm is amazing and it actually made me laugh quite often. But there was just something about him that bothered me. He wasn’t as brave as I thought he would be, and maybe I just had a lot higher expectations of him from what I wanted to see come out of him. It made it difficult for me to really feel for him, really root for him in every aspect.

Miss Peregrine was an interesting character as well. Seeing her as an old crone, one that has her own sarcasm attached to her with her demeanor and everything else that made me think of her as completely British. For some reason I just imagined her as an older and meaner Professor McGonagall (I doubt I have to say which book series she’s from). But unlike the beloved Professor, this first book didn’t allow me a chance to really fall in love with her character. it definitely makes me want to know more about her, and I’m hoping that I get that chance in the next two books.

The way that this book read really made me feel like this was meant to be a series. So I think with that in mind, I had to stop and think about the fact that not everything would be answered when I hit the end of the book. If anything, I had so many more questions. Like what is it about the ymbrines that makes them masters of time? How exactly do they reset the loop and do they ever get to sleep? What makes Abe and Jacob able to see the hollowgasts and the other peculiars can’t? Did all peculiars come from circuses or at least spend time in one?

Just so many questions.

I hope I get my hands on the rest of the series soon, and be on the lookout for my book and movie comparison where I can write a lot more about my thoughts on the differences. Right now I can’t really say much without spoiling it even more than I probably already did.

Rated: 3.5/5 

The Dreamer by E.J. Mellow – Book Review

The Dreamer by E.J. Mellow – Book Review

The first in a spellbinding contemporary fantasy trilogy, The Dreamer has been awarded a Silver for Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi from the eLit Book Awards, a Finalist Medal for Best Cover Design from The Next Generation Indie Book Awards and has appeared in globally distributed book subscription boxes such as the Sci-fi & Fantasy Book Box.

It’s night. Always night. Dreams guard against the evil forged by nightmares. Infinite shooting stars illuminate a moonless sky. A city stands alone, surrounded by a darkened field. On its fringes, a man watches one star separate from the masses and fall. What survives the crash will unveil a secret centuries long hidden.

Molly hasn’t slept well since the night of her twenty-fourth birthday. Being struck by lightning might have something to do with it, but then again, her chicken did look a little undercooked at dinner. Whatever the culprit, her life quickly catapults from mundane to insane as, night after night, Molly is transported through her once dreamless sleep to a mysterious land illuminated by shooting stars.

There she meets the captivating but frustrating Dev, and together they discover Molly possesses a power coveted by his people—the ability to conjure almost anything she desires into existence. Seduced by the possibilities of this gift, Molly shifts her attention from waking life toward the man, the magic, and the world found in her dreams.

But Molly must ask herself—does something truly exist if you only see it when you close your eyes?

Faced with the threat of losing everything—her job, best friend, boyfriend, and most importantly, that little thing called her sanity—Molly will learn just how far she’ll go to uncover what is real and what is merely a figment of her imagination.

“And then there are the dreams that feel as authentic as reality itself, that seem to exist just as your own life does. Where the emotions you experience there carry over to when you’re awake. They are so real, so genuine, that you begin to question your own sanity. And you know that when the day comes that you finally stop dreaming them, you will never stop remembering.”

Sometimes dreams can seem so real that you aren’t even sure whether or not you actually are dreaming. Those are the types of dreams I crave, the ones that feel so real, that are so close to being the kind of reality that I want that I couldn’t imagine waking up again. But none of those dreams could ever compare to the kind that Molly has, and I still don’t know whether I want to be in her shoes or not.

See, it all started when Molly was going home after celebrating her 24th birthday with her amazing attorney boyfriend Jared. Maybe it would have been better for her to play hooky that night instead of going home to work because that’s when it happened. The whole getting struck by lightning and almost dying thing. Kind of puts a damper on birthday celebrations, right?

Fast-forward to her time in the hospital, while she was in her mini coma, and she ends up dreaming for the first time in her life. And for some reason she dreams about this field with a single tree, with a bunch of stars in the sky, and this mysterious guy dressed in all black. Who is this guy, and has she seen him before? Is he someone from her past that is suddenly making an appearance in her subconscious? Whoever he is, he is certainly dreamy (pun-intended).

Molly basically starts to dream about this land, which she finds out is called Terra, basically a land of dreams. She also finds out that there’s so much more to her than she thought, and while she may have already been pretty sure of herself from the moment we met her, she learns that she is meant for greatness. It almost reminded me of that movie, Night at the Museum, where Theodore Roosevelt talked about greatness. Yeah, that’s pretty much Molly right now.

Not to mention Dev is a book babe, and I’m so obsessed with him that I wish I could dream about him as much as Molly did. Granted, the time that Molly spent with him was 50% rolling her eyes at him and 50% wanting to take his clothes off, but I know there is so much more to this guy. I just want to know his backstory, like who was he before he became this bad ass head of military specialist that is fascinated by Molly and how human she is.

So did I like the book? Loved it. Do I want the physical book as well as the Kindle version? Absolutely.  Do I want Dev to myself?

You bet your ass I do.

5 /5