Honestly, I loved this book and its spin on the Alice and Wonderland universe. It was such a great read and it was definitely worth staying up till 3 am to finish. I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves Alice in Wonderland or is even just a good book about a villain’s backstory.
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.
I got this book the week it came out because I had heard that a new Alice in Wonderland themed book was coming out and I just had to have it. I had also heard people talking about how good it was so I figured, why not join in and give it a read.
This book, at the risk of sounding repetitive, is about the queen of hearts before she actually became the queen from Alice and Wonderland. Cath, the main character is immediately lovable and just knowing that she becomes someone so full of hatred makes the reader, or at least me, want to continue reading if only to understand why she ends up the way that she does. I loved the way the story was told and how the main love interest was introduced.
Jest, as mentioned in the Goodreads review, catches the attention of Cath and becomes the person who most people rooted for her to end up with (me included #teamjest). He was a great character and was the complete opposite of the king which made the story interesting and worth the read.
Her mother, though, I couldn’t stand Caths’ mother. I’m sure it was intended to be that way but how could someone, especially a mother, not see how much she wanted to open a bakery and live with her best friend. She was the only part of this book that I couldn’t handle and it made me really dislike the chapters where she would go on and on about how much Catherines life would be if she becomes a lowly baker that partnered with her handmaiden.
I’m going to talk about the ending now so if you want to avoid spoilers then read no further!
I was so so so upset when I found out that Jest died. He was honestly my favorite character (I loved him just a little bit more than Cath, to be honest). It totally makes sense how Cath would become The Queen of Hearts after something so traumatic happens. If you had told me that the cute, innocent girl who just wanted to become a baker would one day become a cruel woman for the sake of revenge, I probably would have been skeptical and disbelieving.
For me, the ending wrapped things up very nicely, with her overpowering the king and giving away her heart for revenge. It made me sympathize with her character, which I’m sure it meant to, and gain a deeper understanding of why Wonderland was the way it was in the Alice in Wonderland books.