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Monday, December 26, 2016

REVIEW: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Bestselling author of the Lunar Chronicles, Marissa Meyer, is back with Heartless, a standalone prequel to Alice in Wonderland, taking readers on the journey to how Catherine delved into her dark reign as the Queen of Hearts.

Despite her status as one of the most eligible young women in Wonderland, Cath's only desire is to open her own bakery, certainly not to be engaged to the unmarried King of Hearts. And yet, she is clearly his favorite. The night of a ball where she is expected to receive the king's proposal, Cath meets a mysterious and handsome Jest.

They embark on a secret courtship; however, dark times are about to fall upon Wonderland. Cath remains determined to choose her own destiny but madness, monsters and magic play a crucial part in her fate.

As an "Alice" fan, I enjoyed the story of Heartless and Meyer's ability to weave aspects of the classic into a new narrative which also incorporates other fairy tales. There are rich descriptions, humor and some very dark twists and turns.  I didn't adore this as much as the Lunar Chronicles but there are characters reminiscent of those quirky personalities and I like the darker turn because readers have to remember that as a prequel, we already know that something horrible must have happened to make the queen so vile.

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @marissa_meyer

#Heartless #MarissaMeyer #aliceinwonderland #offwiththeirheads #YAlit #teen #fantasy

REVIEW: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

BFFs Meg and Cody were inseparable until they weren't.  Cody feels understandable blindsided following the tragic suicide of her best friend.  How was there no warning?  At the behest of Meg's family, Cody travels to claim Meg's belongings, learning some surprising facts that her friend never told her.

Even more questions shroud Cody's grief, especially when she unlocks Meg's encrypted laptop. Who are these unlikely friends of Meg's? Who is this devastatingly handsome musician Ben McAllister responsible for breaking her friend's heart? And what really happened to make Meg take her own life?

I remain a big fan of Forman's writing style and plots. There is great realism which makes this narrative and others accessible not only for teen readers but for others as well. Life isn't perfect but sometimes tragedy can lead others to discover more about themselves and go on a journey to contemplate where we all fit in the world.

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @gayleforman

#gayleforman #iwashere #YALit #teen #realisticfiction #suicide #grief