All Catherine wants for her life is to open a bakery with her best friend Mary Ann. But her parents have a different plan. For her to marry the King of Hearts. Cath believed her life to be boring and without excitement. That is until the new court jester, Jest, arrives on the scene. In the middle of a grand ball before the king makes a announcement the ball is attacked by a monstrous creature known as the Jabberwock. Since that night, Cath's life is forever changed as she tries to figure out how to open her bakery, avoid the king's advances, falls in love with Jest and evades the attacks of the Jabberwock. All she wants to do is live the life she wants, but there are obstacles in her way at every turn. Soon fate reveals itself and Cath learns sometimes you cannot outrun fate.
As many of you know I am an avid reader of Alice in Wonderland retellings, and absolutely love anything Alice in Wonderland related, so when I seen Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles) wrote an Alice in Wonderland adaptation, of course I had to read it. I have to say this was not what I was expecting, but I enjoyed reading it immensely. There wasn't an "Alice" character per-say, but Catherine is a representation of the Queen of Hearts. This novel is almost a backstory of how she became who she is and the way she is. We see some of the same beloved characters like Hatter, March Hare, Cheshire, but we also see different characters that seem to always take a backseat to some of the other characters like the Mock Turtle or the Walrus. It was interesting to see these characters in a different light than what we see in the classic tale.
I am a huge fan of Meyer's Lunar Chronicles and I came into this novel with high hopes, and this book met every one of my expectations. I wanted to see more of Jest and Raven, and hope to see them more in the future maybe if there happens to be more novels, maybe one about the kingdom of Chess or the white kingdom. Meyer has a certain style to her writing that paints the picture vividly, it is easy to envision everything happening from the turtle turning into the Mock Turtle or the Jabberwock attacks, even smell the delicious tarts that Cath makes. I enjoyed the use of the Fate sisters and treacle, as well as many element from Carol's tale. It was still very much a Meyer story, but held some of the traditional elements we would find in Alice in Wonderland.
I would highly recommend this novel for anyone who enjoys Alice in Wonderland, fairy tales, Lunar Chronicles, and young adult novels. Even if those may not be genres/topics that are your typical go to novel, break out from the norm and check out this book. You will not regret it. I give this book a 4 out of 5 star rating.