Before Catherine Pinkerton became the tyrannical Queen of Hearts she was a youth with dreams. Catherine was the romantic interest of the most eligible bachelor of the kingdom, the unmarried King of Hearts. However she had other goals in life. Pinkerton was an extremely talented baker who was going to open a bakery shop and make enchanting pastries for the whole kingdom. Nonetheless, fate would have other plans for a young daughter of nobility. Since her mother and father believe baking is an unsuitable pursuit for a prospective queen. Then at a ball, where the king was expected to propose to her, she meets the mysterious and charming Jest, the court joker. As kismet would have it Cath feels true attraction. That said, the king, a fat childish man, continues to pursue Cath. As Cath and Jest’s relationship develops Jest reveals something shocking. This revelation leads them on a journey that may end in tragedy for the young noblewoman.
This book is a bittersweet twist on the prominent setting of Wonderland. The author’s writing style was excellent, and I was never bored. The character change in the book was perfectly portrayed. Moreover, the descriptive and emotional writing of it very nearly brought me to tears multiple times. Furthermore, the quirky denizens of Wonderland were flawlessly depicted in every way possible for a book. The conflict of the book, which seemed hopeless, slowly, but surely changed the protagonist. The gradual change and constant conflict created an almost tangible feeling of suspense. However, the backstory of the Queen of Hearts is what made me cherish the book. Before reading this book I thought the Queen was a devious and vicious person from the movie . Yet, this book changes my perception of her from that to one of an innocent youth who was changed by traumatic experiences. Overall, I enjoyed the book and it left me at the edge of my seat the whole time.
The one thing in this book that will make it stick out from all the other books I read is its loss, its gut wrenching, tear-jerking, traumatic loss. I had thought the day would never come when a book would bring me to tears, yet this book, out of hundreds if not thousands of others, was the first to make me do that.
Reviewed by Abhishek, Grade 6, Twin Hickory Library