Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

Summary: 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. But be warned…not every fairytale has a happy ending. This is the story of a princess who became a villain. (Books.google.com)

Queen of Hearts was a very solid read. I was intrigued by each character. As much as this book was a fantasy it was a mystery as well. Every character has a secret agenda, or hidden past waiting to be revealed which makes predictions all the harder. I wish there were more interactions with certain characters. I also would have liked to see into the mind of Dinah, the main character, to really understand her snappy personality. The ending took an unpredictable turn which in fact was my favorite part of the book. The biggest aspect that really makes this book interesting is the dramatic irony (I actually remembered an English term!). If you have seen the Disney movie Alice in Wonderland or any other depictions of this fascinating tale, then you may already know where the characters end up. BUT this book does bring up many interesting plot twists that I hope and expect to be answered in the next book. And although it felt that this book was setting up the rest of the series the build at the end was worth it. I would definitely recommend this book to YA readers, fantasy lovers, and even mystery geeks. Even I’m still trying to piece together how the next book is going to start off and the true fate of these beloved characters I’ve known since childhood. I give this book a solid 3.5/5, and will definitely continue with this series. I can’t wait to watch the rest of this series unfold, and pick up where the epic ending of this book left off!

-Madeline

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