Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Genre: Fantasy/ Retelling
Release Date: 8th Nov 2016
A very short synopsis:
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.
My spoiler free ramblings….
As a whole, I loved this book. I loved Catherine as the protagonist, loved the romance, loved the plot. Just loved it.
My only complaint would be that the pacing was incredibly slow through the first three-quarters of the book. Other than that; five stars.
I did also feel that whilst we had plenty of time to explore Catherine and her thoughts, the shift in mindset towards the end of the book felt very sudden, and perhaps this could have been executed differently.
Jest is a fun character, and I felt he added some much needed lightness and cutesy romance to the book. I felt that the romance developed in a realistic way, and I enjoyed the fact that ‘cheating’ was not condoned in any way (good work, Marissa!!).
As a lover of Alice in Wonderland I ADORED the little easter eggs hidden here and there, with original characters and places and creatures,. The world-building felt thorough and there wasn’t a moment where I felt confused or lost.
I actually really enjoyed the darker, more brutal elements of the story, as it brought it to life and made it feel like less of a cutesy love story or fairytale.
Five stars, but know: this book should come with a label: WARNING, MAY (WILL) BREAK YOUR HEART SLIGHTLY (A LOT).