► Because of health issues, I’ll be posting my ‘old’ reviews for a while (if you’re following me on Goodreads, you probably have already read them – sorry!!) – I know I haven’t been active for a very long time, but hopefully I’ll feel better soon (I’m particularly hopeful today 🙂
With all due respect to the hatter, I am so upset, that’s not even funny. That’s what being trolled by a novel feels like, I guess. Above that, I am so, so disappointed. Indeed, it’s no secret that my reading time has been seriously reduced over the previous months, making me wonder if I should stay on GR, because what’s the point?! Heartless, though? It sounded so amazing that I made room for it, school and politics be damned. I wish I would have loved it, but apparently it wasn’t meant to be. Sigh.
Me : You don’t get to be so addictive for 40% and crumble into nothing, you fucking book!
Book : WATCH ME
Me : Or I guess you do, but then I’ll go all “Off with its head!” and we wouldn’t want that.
Book : i don’t give a daaaaaaamn OFF WITH ITS HEAD! OFF WITH ITS HEAD! OFF WITH ITS HEAD! *shatters to pieces*
Me : *watching the confetti, stunned into silence*
HA. This is incredibly hard for me to explain because I was very, very, VERY lenient during the first 40%. (What? It happens!)
It went like this :
► I already knew how it would end? No problem, sometimes it’s the journey that counts, right?
► Both Jest and Cath suffered from a serious case of instalove? Oh well, I like them enough. Let’s forget that.
► The writing was decent at best? What, at least it’s addictive. The stories and characters are what matter to me anyway, okay?
And unfortunately, I genuinely believe that the lack of depth of both the writing and the plot doomed the novel in the end. Even with a fantastic premise, Heartless couldn’t hold my interest after the first half, mostly because its characters started to … fade away.
Where was the unapologetic and sarcastic Joker I enjoyed so much in the beginning? Where did the funny and interesting Cath hide when I had to suffer from countless descriptions of how ridiculous that fucking King is (but with whom she’s gonna stay anyway – because of REASONS)? The character’s growth was all over the place and if I completely understand that we humans do go round and round in circles sometimes, it didn’t feel genuine here and the ropes were so thick I could touch them.
Also, WHERE WAS CHESHIRE? Damn, I missed that cat in the second half.
The fact is, we already knew the end, so it was not a matter of WHAT but a matter of HOW. Too bad the HOW consisted in throwing some unnecessary and predictable drama in the pumpkin cake. (See? I don’t even make sense anymore).
Where was the thrill, the tension, when the characters’ decisions started to stop making sense to go through the predictable road? For me, Heartless ended restrained because of Alice in Wonderland, and that made for the most illogical and sudden events. It’s like the author suddenly remembered that she couldn’t do what she wanted, and needed to get her characters where they ought to be ASAP.
What about my emotions?? No, really? Given what happens, I should have cared. Key word being should, because I sure didn’t. I kinda laughed??!
Where was the world-building, when everything seemed stolen and rearranged to suit the forbidden love arc? We get tons of Wonderland – and I mean TONS, so much that we guess many plot points because of it – but also a little Regency thrown in the mix, because ARRANGED MARRIAGE! WE NEED IT! Bleh. Of course I understand that a retelling borrows stuff to the original, I mean, that’s the whole point. Yet when it only makes me want to reread the original instead, it’s not a good thing in my opinion. Especially when I don’t even like the original that much (too weird, even for me *hides*).
► Truth is, in the end, Heartless isn’t a bad book, but lacks subtlety and layers, like a pretty, nice, empty shell.