Friday, April 15, 2016

Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes ARC Review


Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes
Paperback ARC, 316 pages
Published by HarperTeen
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2016
Buy it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.

When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinah's furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath.

Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.



Going into Queen of Hearts, I had high expectations. There is so much potential, so much to work with if you're writing an Alice in Wonderland retelling. I was especially excited because it was from the POV of the Queen of Hearts herself, and I was expecting a badass female character that rivaled Cersei Lannister. I also expected quirky side characters and a really colorful plot. Alas, I didn't get any of these things. In fact, I spent most of the book waiting for something to happen.


And nothing did! There were a lot of little things going on throughout the plot, such as Dinah's abusive relationship with her father—The King of Hearts, plus the story's one-sided romance, and a dark secret within the castle itself. And yet, I was not given any concrete details to understand any of these things. They were just . . . there. I had no idea which details were significant and which were not. By the time I reached the really dramatic end, I simply didn't care, and I was happy that I was done with this book.


All of the characters were so bland. There were several scenes where Dinah and her father got into altercations, and I think they were supposed to be really dramatic and scary, but this was me:





In general, I didn't connect or understand Dinah at all. I wanted her to do something about her circumstances. I wanted her to fight, and really I wanted her to show some kind of depth of feeling—but I got nothing! She just sat around and waited for things to happen to her. 

I would have been fine with Dinah not being a powerhouse woman, but I just didn't understand her at all. She was so wishy-washy, and I couldn't figure what exactly she wanted in her life other than the crown, though she did nothing to help herself in that case either. 


Also, Dinah's relationships and/or feelings towards the other characters made no sense. Why does she like this person? Why does she hate this person? Why doesn't she just punch this person in the face? I DON'T KNOW, which generally was the running theme throughout this entire book. 

Obviously, this book just wasn't for me, but I'm curious about what others will think of it. Have you guys read it? What did you think? Let me know!

11 comments:

  1. I was excited about this one for a while, but I keep seeing poor reviews for it, which is a shame.

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  2. Awe, what a bummer. This is one of my most anticipated reads for this year, so I was hoping to see some really great reviews for it. Ah well. Thanks for sharing your review, and I'm sorry you didn't like it!

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    1. I haven't seen any good reviews of this book, unfortunately. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Uuuugh. I am so sorry this book was so bad Brittany :( Huuugs. <3 Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts about it :D YAY! So glad I did not want it or get it or anything, lol. This book just annoys me.. because Heartless by Marissa Meyer is coming, and that one will be SO MUCH better, loool :D

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    1. That's okay! You can't like them all. I hope you that loved Heartless by Marissa Meyer.

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  4. Aw, oh no! I was hoping this would be a good one. I've been so curious about it since (a) it's about Wonderland so that's a given, and (b) because Harper saw something in it to rerelease a previously self-published book! I guess it still needs some work! :D Great honest review, Brittany!

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    1. Yeah, I was hoping it would be good too, but alas. Oh well. There are other great books out there. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I just found this book today and added it to my list of books to buy. Now it looks like I will be taking it off!

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  6. I read this book when it originally going to be a trilogy and was published by Spark Press & gave it 5 stars both times. They only gave me the first 2 parts before it was picked up by HarperTeen and I've been waiting for the end, but I keep seeing all these bad reviews for it as one book and now I'm concerned they either really messed something up (maybe cutting down to fit into one book?), or the end is just really bad. I kind of still want to read it, but now I'm scared.

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    1. Maybe you and I just have different taste? It's possible that you'll still like it =)

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