Published by Feiwel & Friends on November 8th 2016
Number of Pages: 453
Genres: Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Purchase: At Amazon
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 liked a number of things about the book. Like how many Wonderland characters I recognized, and felt true to themselves. (Like Cheshire!) I also liked reading about the various confections Cath made, and how when she dreamed about Jest, things would appear in her room, grown by the dreams.
Jest was by far my favorite character. He was charming and sweet, mysterious and had so many magic tricks up his sleeve. (Can’t say much more due to spoilers…)
The friendship between Cath and Mary Ann was really good too. They dreamed together about opening up their own bakery. And even though Mary Ann was technically a servant, Cath never really treated her as such.
There were also other fairy tales mixed into the Wonderland universe. Like Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater, as well as Edgar Allen Poe’s Raven (ok, so that’s not a fairy tale…)
However, there was enough that irked me that I have no wish to own or read the book again. First is admittedly my own fault. I couldn’t remember if this was based on the Queen of Hearts or not, and the synopsis didn’t really say. But! At at least one point in the book, there is mention of a Red Queen who is fighting the White Queen. And since I have never heard of TWO Red Queens in the Wonderland universe, I was hoping that Cath was not in fact that Queen.
It was also a bit annoying how wishy-washy Cath was as far as the romance goes. It was pretty much insta-love from the moments she set eyes on Jest. But she kept waffling between marrying the King of Hearts the way her parents were pretty much forcing her to do, or choosing Jest. View Spoiler »At pretty much every turn, she was running off and falling more in love with Jest, but choosing the King over him every time she was given a choice. « Hide Spoiler
I liked Cath at first, when we were seeing her with Mary Ann, and dreaming about her bakery. But the more I read about her, the more spineless I found her. And by the end I just wanted to hit her over the head with a shovel. I slogged through a bunch of the book because I just didn’t care for Cath anymore. But I kept reading because, Jest.
By the end of the book, I knew what was going to happen. (Because Cath is an idiot.) And instead of making me sad, it just made me mad. If not for Jest, Cheshire, and a few of the other side characters, I would say this book doesn’t exist for me, it disappointed me so much. So I’m glad I read it for them, but not so much for any other reason.