ARC Review: Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

7:00 AM



Title: Queen of Hearts
Author: Colleen Oakes
Series: Queen of Hearts Saga #1
Genre: Young Adult, Retelling, Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date:  May 3rd, 2016
Pages: Kindle, 320
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

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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.

  I was given an ARC by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

Queen of Hearts was one of my most anticipated reads of early 2016. Being a lover of retellings, this one was immediately on my list of books to read after first hearing about it, and it being a retelling for the Queen of Hearts was just gold because I’ve never heard about one before. However, I am sad to say that I was disappointed. Because despite the low ratings that some gave this book, I still really wanted to read it and I thought that my opinion will vary with them.

The thing with Queen of Hearts is that I had trouble imagining the world. Yes, it kind of is a given that we would be familiar with the world of Wonderland, but still, there were only few descriptions given in the book. I also hated the fact that I didn’t learn anything from reading this book. There were a lot of hinted mysteries, but no answers were given even in the end. I know that this is only the first book in the series, but I would have appreciated a little information. This actually reminds me of Legacy of Kings, because my problem with it is similar to this one.

That being said, Queen of Hearts is a pretty interesting book. With the mystery to keep me hooked, I read this one for only a day. And of course, it was interesting to see Dinah’s childhood. Actually, it’s kind of strange for me to say Dinah, because I only know her as the cruel Queen whose famous line is “Off with their heads,” which we see was actually something that her father used to say too.

In this book, we see that Dinah's childhood is horrible. Her father is ruthless, and for some reason, he hates her with a passion. We also see a lot of anger in Dinah, even as a teenager, and we see that she was already feisty even back then. And then there's Vittiore, her half-sister who came from nowhere, whom I think is not who she says she is at all. My mind is screaming, "Why, why, why?" which is the main thing that kept me from enjoying this book because none of those were answered.

Even so, I am interested in the 2nd book, although I am not 100% certain that I would read it. I would love to know what happened, of course, but maybe just a synopsis would suffice.


2.5 why-why-why stars


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8 thoughts

  1. Oh bummer. I'm hearing this one leans to so-so of reading variety. It's sad because it does sound sooo intriguing! I love a retelling/origin(ish) story as well! And to have her named Dinah...like the name of Alice's cat just sends happy vibes through me. But erg. Not sure if it's for me now. I'm not sure anymore. Maybe I'll try the library one day. Sorry to hear it wasn't as exciting as you wanted it to be. Very nice and honest review!

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    1. I know, right? That's what I thought too. I hope you'll have more luck with this one than I did!

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  2. I'm sad you were disappointed in this one... :/ I was excited about it, just like you, but I've seen so many negative reviews of Queen of Hearts that I'm not sure I'll read it. But oh well, for a retelling involving the Queen of Hearts, we still have to look forward for Heartless in November, right? That's still great! Ah, so there were some loose ends, it's always disappointing. But maybe there will be answers in the sequels? Also, I'm weirded out by the fact the main character's name is Dinah, because it's Alice's cat name. Like, what a coincidence! Thank you for your honest review! :)

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    1. Yeah. I've also seen a lot of bad reviews before reading this, but I tried to ignore them. Turns out, my opinion is no different from them. Yeah, maybe it was intentional! Haha!

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  3. That's so sad. It look so good, too. I think retellings are difficult because the author has to choose between telling their own story but staying true to the original. Good to know, though. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I know, right? Thanks for stopping by, Alyssa!

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  4. Sounds interesting. Sorry it wasn't great. I might still give it a try.

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    1. I hope you'll have more luck than I did! Thanks for stopping by :)

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