Heartless by Marissa Meyer is the official October 2020 pick for the Peanut Blossom Book Club for Recovering Readers.
When it comes to picking a good book club book for October, I always seem to turn to mystery or thrillers. I try to keep our books not too scary, but a darker story just fits well with the season.
This year, I thought we'd mix things up a little bit and turn to a YA book for book club. Marissa Meyer is the author of the Lunar Chronicles: the first book in the series is Cinder, perhaps you've seen it?
I enjoyed that series a few years ago and her book Heartless has been on my to-read list for ages. This Alice in Wonderland spin-off story feels like a fun choice for a time when our kiddos are planning their costumes.
(Did you ever see our whole-family Alice in Wonderland costume when we visited Disney for Halloween?? You can see our pictures here.)
Even if you think YA is "not your thing," I encourage you to give this month's book a try. One of the most-common comments I receive from our club members is that they have discovered new favorite genres from testing out our book of the months!
Peanut Blossom Book Club
This book club pick is one of the awesome books from our sixth year of book club.
We're still going strong! Want to join us?
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What Is Heartless About?
"Long before she was the terror of Wonderland―the infamous Queen of Hearts―she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.
Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.
Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. 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 an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans."
Heartless Book Club Discussion Questions
I believe the best book club questions to spark a lively discussion in your group help readers make personal connections to the story.
You can read about how to write the best book club questions on your own here, but hopefully these will get you started!
Be sure to check out the official discussion in our book club group right here.
Heartless is based on Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, how did this inspired retelling change the way you think about the original Alice characters?
Which Alice in Wonderland character backstory did you enjoy reading the most?
Discuss how the main character Cath turns from a bakery-dreaming teen to a cold hearted queen. What was her turning point?
What would Cath and Jest's romance be like if he had a different role in the kingdom? What would happen to them if fate had not stepped in?
Cath's dream of opening her own bakery is at odds with her mother's plans. Did you follow in your parents' dreams for you or choose your own path? How would you handle this with your own children?
Cath's mom pushes her to marry the king. How involved were your parents in helping you select your future partner? How involved do you plan to be with your own children?
We often enjoy asking a question about who you would cast in the movie if Heartless was captured on film but the author Marissa Meyer has suggested she would prefer to see it adapted for a theater production. Which format do you think would serve this story the best?
Book Club Party Menu
I think it is so fun to plan your book club dinner menu or dessert list based on the theme of the book.
Since Cath dreams of opening her own bakery, it would be so fun to plan a stark red, white, and black baked goodies dessert table.