Swinging London, Summer 1967. Sixteen-year-old Estella, gifted with talent, ingenuity, and ambition, dreams of becoming a renowned fashion designer. But life seems intent on making sure her dreams never come true. Having arrived in London as a young girl, Estella now runs wild through the city streets with Jasper and Horace, amateur thieves who double as Estella’s makeshift family and partners-in-(petty)-crime. How can Estella dedicate herself to joining the ranks of the London design elite when she’s sewing endless costumes and disguises for the trio’s heists?
When a chance encounter with Magda and Richard Moresby-Plum, two young scions of high society, vaults Estella into the world of the rich and famous, she begins to wonder whether she might be destined for more after all. Suddenly, Estella’s days are filled with glamorous parties, exclusive eateries, flirtations with an up-and-coming rock star, and, of course, the most cutting-edge fashions money can buy. But what is the true cost of keeping up with the fast crowd-and is it a price Estella is willing to pay?
Title: Hello, Cruel Heart
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publication Date: April 6, 2021
Publisher: Disney Press
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
This book was nice? There was lots to love and lots to…not love. I suppose a lot like Cruella herself.
I thought Estella/Cruella was an awesome character! She took what she wanted and didn’t care who she had to step on to get there. The cut-throat-ness was real. It was easy to see how Estella came to be Cruella through this origin story. She had a tough past and had to claw her way out of her situation to even begin to climb up the social ladder. Although she does get some awesome opportunities because of her connections, it’s only through her tenacity and diligence to her craft that she truly “makes it.”
That being said, this book was kinda boring. Estella was a great character, but the plot wasn’t all too interesting. The plot doesn’t involve much of Cruella’s backstory. It’s more about how Estella allowed herself to become Cruella.
I wasn’t super impressed by this book, but it could have been worse. Overall, I’m not in love with this book, but I enjoyed the quick read.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a gifted and advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.