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Hello, Cruel Heart

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3.81  ·  Rating details ·  201 ratings  ·  123 reviews
An electric new story of teenage Cruella de Vil in an original novel inspired by the upcoming Walt Disney Studios Live Action Film, Cruella.

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 Lo
...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 6th 2021 by Disney Press
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  201 ratings  ·  123 reviews


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Nilufer Ozmekik
Feb 22, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once upon a time Cruella deVil was not a villanelle! She was just 16 years old orphan girl who tries to survive by stealing things at Swinging London in sixties! And her name is Estella who has been taught the crafts of being a skillful thief by her two accomplices Horace and Jasper who also share their squatters abode with her.

She’s truly passionate about fashion and she has real talent and quite exquisite taste about it. When her path crosses with two rich twins Magda and Richard, she’s dire
...more
megs_bookrack
Jan 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-read

**3.5-stars rounded up**

Hello, Cruel Heart is an origin story, of sorts, for one of my favorite villains ever, Cruella de Vil.



The timing for this release is perfect for Cruella fans, as we also have a live-action Cruella film releasing at the end of May, starring Emma Stone.

We all know, I just love when a villain gets her time to shine.



In this story, set in 1967-London, we follow a 16-year old, Estella, Cruella's true name, as she branches out for the first time and tries to find her place in th
...more
Alaina
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Okay, yes, I am super excited for the new movie 'Cruella' to come out. So it's really sad for me to say this.. but I was so disappointed and underwhelmed with Hello, Cruel Heart. I think the reason why was because I read two Cruella retelling books around one another. Which I probably should have dove into a completely different book in-between them. Maybe two different books.

I just couldn't stop comparing them to one anot
...more
Elyse (ElyseReadsandSpeaks)
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
...more
Andee
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z-2021-feb, arc
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Full review will be posted on my blog on April 5th.

To call this a retelling of Cruella is a bit of a stretch if I’m being honest. This is fully a historical fiction novel, with the concept of Cruella as an afterthought. This is very clearly a setup to be directly connected with the new Cruella movie, which is fine. The pacing of the book was strange, and whil
...more
Ashley Dang
Feb 18, 2021 rated it liked it
The origin story of Cruella deVil except, her name is Estella and she is a thief/designer just trying to make it. The story is set up as a sort of connection to the upcoming live action film ( which surprisingly I just saw the trailer for the other day and it definitely makes sense). Estella is an orphan who makes a living by stealing, one day on one of her fabric stealing runs she runs into two rich teens, Magda and Richard, who take her into their rich lifestyle. Soon she finds herself invited ...more
laur gluchie
Feb 23, 2021 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I have received a digital Advance Reader’s Copy of this book through NetGalley. This has not affected my rating in any way.
Jenny Ashby
I read 101 Dalmatians at least 20 times growing up so learning that this was an origin story of Cruella had me hooked right away. It wasn't as enthralling as the original Dodie Smith book, but it was a good story nonetheless enlivened by Johnson's always entertaining writing. Watching Estrella scratch out a living and finding hope as she managed to rise above mere survival was great. I kept reminding myself that I shouldn't get too attached to her because I know she's going to be a villain befor ...more
Suzanne (The Bookish Libra)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ruthie
Apr 15, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 instea
...more
Jessica
Feb 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Netgalley and Disney Publishing for an advanced copy of this book.

The trailer for Cruella came out last week, so watching that and reading Hello Cruel Heart really got me even more excited for the movie.

During the London summer of 1967, Hello Cruel Heart follows Estella as she goes from stealing wallets of tourists at Harrods to stealing the heart of the rich young bourgeoisie of the city with her natural sense of fashion.

It felt strange rooting for someone to succeed that we know w
...more
Audra
Mar 24, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really, desperately wanted to love this book as a huge Johnson fan, but it was not for me. I felt the plot too heavily relied on the reader wanting to find out how she becomes Cruella, rather than the plot of the book actually pulling you in. I didn’t feel compelled to keep reading to find out what would happen next, nor did I develop attachments to the character. Super bummed, but you may love it a lot more if you’re a huge Cruella fan.
Betcei
Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Was Cruella always so evil? Was there ever any good in her life? This story tells of her life as a teen and her "family" situation. A quick read for younger fans of Disney ...more
Miranda
4.5 stars, I literally read it in a day so it's definitely entertaining!
Full review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dbrl9...
...more
Joanna Bennett
Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!

I requested to read this from Netgalley for two reasons. 1.) I am obsessed with all things Disney and 2.) I love Maureen Johnson and her writing.

This was a very quick read and one that wasn’t a bore to read. If you go into this thinking you are getting a backstory of Cruella herself, you’ll be saddened by the fact that in this book she is just an alter-ego who is in the mind of Estella (if that’s what you would
...more
Jenni
Jan 27, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute story about Cruella's teenage years. This one does NOT go along with the "Evil Thing" book that came out last year (they are two very different books where Cruella has very different backgrounds). Still, it's a fun story that shows us her relationship with Jasper and Horace in 1967 London. ...more
Melonie
Feb 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Loved the cover and loved the book. It exceeded my expectations! I don't want to give anything away so I will say....I enjoyed it so much I read in one day. I liked this take on Cruella before she became a villain. Vivid colors and characters. ...more
Meghan
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
This book was received as an ARC from Disney Publishing Worldwide - Disney Press in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

Being a fan of 101 Dalmatians and a fan of the work of Maureen Johnson, I knew I was in for a treat with Hello, Cruel Heart and I was surely not disappointed. I absolutely loved the new direction Maureen Johnson took with this book focusing on Estella and the heists she took with you guessed it, Jasper and Horace a
...more
Ms. Yingling
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

It's 1967, and London is swinging. Teen aged Estella can see all of the fun and fashion around her, but she's intent on pick pocketing and stealing what she needs from the stores, including Harrods and Liberty of London. Her sketchy past includes an uneasy childhood full of difficulties at school, self-esteem issues caused by her unusual black and white hair, and a mother who died mysteriously when Estella was 12. Luckily, Jasper and Horace, who were also on the s
...more
Maggie Lovitt
Apr 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good villain origin story. Even better if it’s a villainess origin story, which are often woefully overlooked by the genre. I was thrilled to find a copy of Maureen Johnson’s Hello, Cruel Heart in my mailbox a few months back, but for some reason, I kept putting off reading it.  (READ MORE: https://yourmoneygeek.com/review-hell...)

Then Disney went and released the trailer for Emma Stone’s rendition of everyone’s favorite fashion-icon-turned-puppy-murderer
...more
Tasha Robinson
Mar 27, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have had so little use for Disney's live-action adaptations of its animated classics, and not much more use for prequels like Maleficent, which often don't add a lot to the story, especially since they're all headed for foregone conclusions. But something about the idea of a Cruella de Vil backstory did actually interest me, maybe because it has so much potential — Cruella isn't an evil witch or god or animal, she's an actual person who had to come from somewhere. So I requested the arc of Hel ...more
Alexina
Mar 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-read
Thank you to NetGalley, Maureen Johnson, and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This book is what I'd best call "an origin story" for the infamous Cruella DeVille of 101 Dalmatians fame.

We actually meet Cruella in her younger, teen years, when she is but a second persona/voice within 16 year old Estella's mind. So, in other words, Cruella wasn't always Cruella. She was actually a 16 year old orphan who survived by lifting wallets, and such, from tourists with her adopt
...more
Alexina
Mar 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to NetGalley, Maureen Johnson, and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This book is what I'd best call "an origin story" for the infamous Cruella DeVille of 101 Dalmatians fame.

We actually meet Cruella in her younger, teen years, when she is but a second persona/voice within 16 year old Estella's mind. So, in other words, Cruella wasn't always Cruella. She was actually a 16 year old orphan who survived by lifting wallets, and such, from tourists with her adopt
...more
Starr ❇✌❇
I received an ARC from Edelweiss
3

Estrella grew up on the streets, with only two other orphans to call her family. Growing her skill as a designer via elaborate disguises to help get away with stealing, she doesn't expect that fashion expertise to sweep her away into the upper class world, or wind up with a rising star musician as a boyfriend. But not all things can last forever, and not all friends are real.

I requested this book partially because I'm always up to give Maureen Johnson some love (
...more
Cassandre
Mar 26, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: halo-2021, 2021
I am a huge Disney fan, but I’ve never been all that interested in Cruella DeVil or the 101 Dalmatians movie(s). I’m not a big animal person (except for my pupper, of course), and I think the premise scared me as a child, so I never really returned to the film. I have seen the Glenn Close version a few times, however, and though she was fantastic in the role, the movie isn’t one I return to often. All that being said, Emma Stone is picking up the torch for the prequel/origin story Cruella that i ...more
CatNip S
Feb 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This EXCEEDED my expectations! In all honesty, I went into this book not expecting to like it. I usually don't like books like this because, given that it's a prequel of a villain, I know how it's going to turn out. I was shocked that, despite my predetermined thoughts, I was so enthralled by the book. I'm only slightly disappointed because I sometimes feel like I'm really generous with my reviews and I was thinking, "This is awesome! I can give a book an average review instead of an amazing one ...more
Kylie
Mar 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Origin stories are so much fun. I really liked seeing where Estella (Cruella is her cruel alter ego) came from. Her beginnings were so sad. She got kicked out of school and planned on going to London with her mom. But on the way there everything went wrong, she lost her mom (and blamed herself) and ended up in London by herself at a very young age. There, she was found by 2 familiar characters, Horace and Jasper and
...more
Brianne
Mar 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Hello, Cruel Heart
By Maureen Johnson
Actual Rating: 4.5/5 stars
I received an eARC via NetGalley from Disney Publishing Worldwide: Disney Press in exchange for an honest review.

***Warning: mild spoilers ahead***

In Hello, Cruel Heart, we get to meet a 16-year-old Estella before she becomes the Cruella we all know from Disney’s 101 Dalmatians. We follow Estella as she lives during the summer of 1967 in a swinging London, England. She lives with Horace and Jasper, young thieves and her found family,
...more
Grace
Mar 07, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
First off I would appreciate it if someone could tell me why I love retellings/origin stories so much. Even if I don’t know anything about the original stories. That’s not to say that that was the case with this book; i know just as much about miss Cruella de Vil as any other average pedestrian. But I digress.

Because I usually love a good recycled concept so much, it saddens me greatly to say that I found this book to be…. underwhelming. eSPECIALLY considering how much I love everything else I’v
...more
Caity
Apr 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a really interesting book. It is very well written and I enjoyed reading it but it also wasn’t really what I was expecting. Stella throughout the story hasn’t become the hateful would be puppy murderer yet, but she also isn’t a very sympathetic character. There are some dark moments to her life but she is also manipulative and self centered. She’s not evil yet but she’s also not someone I would voluntarily spend time with. I was expecting more of an explanation of why she was the psycho ...more
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