Cover Image: Hello, Cruel Heart

Hello, Cruel Heart

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This is a really great book imagining Cruella's backstory. I wouldn't have thought that she would have started her career life as a thief but there it is. I can't wait to see the movie when it's released if it's even half as good as this book.
Was this review helpful?
I received an ARC through Netgalley to review. 
In the ARC, every word that had two Fs together, the Fs were missing. It threw me off at first until I discovered the issue and realized it hadn't been proofread before ARC distribution.
I was looking for something in this story that I wasn't able to find. I found no adventure. I wanted to feel connected to Estella, yet I didn't. I felt like it lacked a lot and could have been so much more. It had potential, but fell flat.
Was this review helpful?
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The origin story of Cruella De Vil follows a teenage Estella living on after losing her mother and stealing to get by with friends Horace and Jasper.   The writing was really well-done and engaging.  

I loved the premise of this book - how did Cruella become Cruella? 

I believe this book was done to prepare ourselves for the movie coming up and I really cannot wait for the movie. 

Thank you again NetGalley and for Disney.
Was this review helpful?
I LOVED IT!! It was quick, entertaining, and Johnson handled the Cruella aspect all the while giving you a character that you still fell in love with perfectly!! Johnson also gave just the right amount of a cleaned up version of the Swinging Sixties which was so fun! I can't wait to book talk this book to my junior high students!
Was this review helpful?
Whoops. Started this book very late last night and then ended up reading it all in one go. Who can resist London in the Swinging Sixties? Not I. And when it’s a prequel of Cruella deVille written by the brilliant and witty Maureen Johnson? Well. I am here for it. Estella is an orphan with a talent for revenge. Also, designing high fashion. When she risks everything she knows by opening her heart to love things go really well. Until they don’t.
Was this review helpful?
Hello, Cruel Heart was a really quick read about Estella also known as Cruella. It is set before the time we know her as a vilain who wants to kill Dalmatians for their fur (thinking about it, she probably is the vilain I hate the most because of that). But anyway, I'm glad that there was no animal abused in this story. Other than that, we saw Estella struggle a little bit as she finds out that the people she wants to be friends with might not be the best people. She'll learn some things and might end up wanting to let Cruella take over her personality but we don't really see it happening even by the end. We know it's coming but we don't see it.

Overall, this was a pretty quick read and I enjoyed it. It was my first Cruella retelling so I can't compare it to another book but while I would have liked a more complex plot perhaps, I was in the mood for a short book and I got it :).

(Thank you for letting me read and review an ARC via Netgalley)
Was this review helpful?
A great primer in anticipation of the new Cruella origin story movie coming out soon! This snappy tale does a great job telling the story of a girl down on her luck, trying to make it in a callous world, etc - almost. The title character, Estella, is plagued by the Gollum like persona of Cruella, whom obviously eventually overtakes her. It was a jarring and strange addition to what could have been pretty straightforward - lonely and talented girl gets screwed by some rich folks and fights her way to the top, no schizophrenia required. This is purely my opinion. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this look at one of my favorite villains, absolutely worth a read for any disney fan! 4/5 stars.
Was this review helpful?
I loved the premise of this book - how did Cruella become Cruella? Following Estella around the age of 16, life definitely seems to have dealt her a rough hand. She is an orphan, lives in a bombed out building and has to resort to stealing for living when all she wants to be is London's top fashion designer. My biggest complaint about this story is the pacing, certain parts would feel really dragged out while others happened very quickly (i.e., the final ending where she decides who she wants to be). I would read another story from this series if there is another Disney villain backstory. I just feel like I will read this book once and not necessarily rush to re-read it. It was a great one-time read though!
Was this review helpful?
I was so excited to get a copy of this book to read while waiting on the movie to come out. To get a glimpse into the life of Cruella and see what made her the person she is was very interesting. 

When Estella's mom passed away while they were moving to London, she had no choice but to pick up where she was and move forward. When Estella was adopted by two other homeless guys, Horace and Jasper, they teach her how to survive in the world, but they also teach her some not so good habits. Estella learns how to steal very well. She also has an eye for fashion and soon makes them some clothes that aid in their stealing charades. 

In the 1960's we learn that there was a part of London that was known as the Swinging London. Who would have ever thought that was a thing? When Estella meets two other young people by chance, she is not thrown into the world of a higher class society. All Estella ever wanted to do was be a fashion designer and make it big. When Magda and Richard take Estella to expensive stores and restaurants to eat, she thinks this could be her chance. Estella meets a member of one of the up and coming band and thinks that maybe she could have a relationship with him. But is Estella really ready for this lifestyle change? When her alter ego Cruella begins to come out, we see a different side of Estella that sort of make you scared to see what she is actually capable of. 

I thought this was a good quick read and gave you something to look forward to with the movie coming out. I am definitely going to watch this movie to see how they depict Cruella in it. There are some things left undone in this book that has you guessing to what might happen in the movie. 

I voluntarily read and reviewed this book and all opinions are my own. Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for an advanced copy!
Was this review helpful?
I was so excited to get a review copy of this novel, since I love Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious mystery series. This is a historical fiction novel, so it’s different than what I’m used to, but it was immediately hooking. The main character, Estella, had such a fascinating backstory that led to her having a very unique personality. I think many people could find something to relate to in her and her challenges really propelled the novel forward. 

The plot itself was a little predictable in some parts, but I was kept intrigued by how Estella dealt with everything that occurred. Also, I admit I was surprised by the ending. I thought it might be leading up to something sad, but that wasn’t exactly how I would describe it. I shall say no more because of spoilers. 

Anyway, this book was written in prequel to a movie that’s coming out soon, so I’m excited to watch that when it comes out. I would definitely check this out if you want a fun read, with some angst and poignant social commentary.
Was this review helpful?
This was an amazing retelling of Cruella’s story. I couldn’t stop reading. I am even more excited for the release of Disney’s new film after reading this book.
Was this review helpful?
This was a fast, enjoyable read. If you're even remotely interested in Cruella, I think you'll at least find the story interesting enough for a quick read.

Was this layered with a rich backstory and multi-faceted characters? Nah. In a nutshell, Cruella comes from nothing, creates a found family with Jasper & Horace, sells out to be friends with the rich kids and then that comes back to bite her in the ass. After all, we know she ends up with Jasper & Horace. We've seen 101 Dalmations. No spoilers here.
Was this review helpful?
This was a great and fun read while I wait for the new live action movie to come out this year! My daughter and I both enjoyed this book.
Was this review helpful?
When Estella's mother dies on their way to relocate to London, what's a girl to do? Survive. Estella gets adopted by two other orphans, Jasper and Horace. They teach her how to shoplift, but she quickly becomes the brains of the operation. Estella has an eye for fashion and designs disguises for the three of them.

What I liked about this book:
1. Swinging London. Who knew? I'd never heard of this term before, but London in the 60s seemed like a very lively place. The clothes. The music. The tourists and energy of city.
2. The backstory. I wouldn't say that Estella became likeable, but I did pity, respect in some ways, and understand her.
3. Familiar characters like Jasper and Horace. Can we say "future henchmen"?

There were a few loose ends to the story. I wanted to figure out who owned the house with the Dalmatian crest. I also wanted a little more hope at the end. How does Estella/Cruella end up rich and powerful? There were some good options in this plot, but the ending left me waiting for more. Perhaps the movie...

Content: clean (no language, no violence, a few kissing scenes, one line of mild innuendo, a lot of shoplifting)
Was this review helpful?
This was a super quick fun read. I love her backstory, and I hadnt read any others about her before. And it was great to hold me over while I wait for the movie to be released
Was this review helpful?
At first, I was really into this. A Cruella YA novel with her backstory? That sounds awesome, right?

Turns out, the trailer for the movie (Walt Disney Studios Live-Action Film, Cruella) that inspired the book is more thrilling in a few minutes than the whole book. I'm sure I'll love the movie, it's like I can already tell I'll love it. The book however was too slow for me. I was hoping for more action or intrigue/drama I guess? I don't know there was just something missing that made it meh instead of amazing like the synopsis made it sound. I got bored and started reading other books when I was in the middle of this one and then finally got back to it. The way it ends means that if there's a next one, that one will be super interesting. Wish we got some of that in this one!

Disclaimer: I received this ebook free of charge from NetGalley. It was my choice to read and review.
Was this review helpful?
Maureen Johnson has given us a remarkable insight into the young orphan, Estella, that eventually becomes the infamous Cruella.  I really enjoyed the back story and how a cunning ragamuffin gets swept up into high society, only to fall from grace.  The characters were well developed and the pacing was on point.  You can feel the inner turmoil that Estella suffers and begin to change your point of view of the nasty "villain".  The only reason I gave it four stars instead of five is that we were left wanting a bit more of the Cruella aspect.  I didn't want the story to end yet. 

Thanks to Netgalley for allowing me to read this fantastic book in exchange for my honest review. 
#DisneyCruellaHelloCruelHeart  #Netgalley  #MaureenJohnson
Was this review helpful?
Hello Cruel Heart is a great origin story for Cruella De Vill.  The story follows Estella, an aspiring designer living on the street.  She gets caught up suddenly in the fashion scene of the 1960's and tries to do anything to stand out.

This was a very fun historical fiction book and origin for Cruella.  This will tie nicely into the other movies, but also works well as a stand alone work.  Estella is a very complicated character that you root for.  I loved Johnson's descriptions of London in the 1960's as well, I felt like I had been transported there.  I will be recommending this to fans of London stories, historical fiction, and Disney fans.
Was this review helpful?
This was my first book by this author, It was pretty enjoyable. I would give this book a 5 star rating! It was a pretty Quick and easy read!
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?