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Hello, Cruel Heart

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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 Lon 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 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?


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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 Lon 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 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?

30 review for Hello, Cruel Heart

  1. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    **3.5-stars** Hello, Cruel Heart is an origin story for one of my favorite villains, Cruella de Vil. The timing for this release is perfect for Cruella fans, as we also had a live-action Cruella film that released 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 the world. Orphaned at a yo **3.5-stars** Hello, Cruel Heart is an origin story for one of my favorite villains, Cruella de Vil. The timing for this release is perfect for Cruella fans, as we also had a live-action Cruella film that released 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 the world. Orphaned at a young age, Cruella moved herself, and her sweet dog, Buddy, to London, knowing not a soul in the world. It's on that first day in the city that she meets Jasper and Horace. The three kids immediately bond while fleeing from the local police. They're inseparable from that point forward, doing whatever they must to survive. They become family and rely on one another for everything. In her quieter moments, Estella dreams of becoming a famous fashion designer. She spends a lot of her time sewing and creating. She's really good at it. She has an eye. It is partly due to this special talent that she drifts onto the radar of wealthy twins, Magda and Richard, who sweep her into their world as a sort of pet project. They're posh, sophisticated and live a carefree lifestyle that Estella can't even imagine. She's blinded by the money and social circle, thinking she can use their friendship as a jumping off point for getting her name, and fashion designs, out in the world. Before she knows it, it's all happening. Everything she ever dreamed of. She's dating a rock star, for goodness sake! She's also keeping her alter-ego, Cruella, quietly subdued in the background of her mind. Everything is going great, until it isn't. I had fun with this story. It reads incredibly fast. I read it in about 4-hours. I enjoyed learning about Cruella's early life and gaining some insight into her motivations as a character. I see you, Cruella. I get it. Although the story was quick, it did transport me. I was fully engulfed in the world while I was reading it. With this being said, I did expect a bit more substance. I would have been here for even more detail and background. Especially coming from Maureen Johnson. If you are a Cruella fan, a villain origin story fan, or even just a Disney fan, I would recommend checking this one out. It is definitely a great way to get you in the mood for the upcoming movie. I know I will definitely be watching it. Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney Books, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I appreciate it very much!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    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 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 directly introduced to posh,privileged life style of London socialite. She gets attracted of charming musician Peter who also gets fascinated by her talents about fashion and made his band wear the clothes she’s designed! Everything seems going great with her life and she has hopes about her blooming fashion career, she’s happy to hang out with hipsters, discarding Horace and Jasper from her life but are new friends are right for her? As a fan of Truly Devious series I was truly hopeful about this story and it was great to get an arc copy at the same day the trailer of the movie goes viral ! ( but as far as I see Emma Stone is nothing near to Ms. Johnson’s Estella portrait we can easily sympathize with! ) I enjoyed swinging London premise and I loved to see bright sides of Estella ( we already saw dark side Glen Close showed us on the big screen and we truly enjoyed it) the art, the fashion, entertainment, vivid description of London society were enjoyable and well described! Only thing I didn’t like was haphazard ending with too many unanswered questions which made me think a sequel would come sooner. I hope it comes because I’d enjoy this easy to read and riveting, fast pacing, well developed journey! As a big fan of author’s writing style, I hope we may get more books of the series sooner. I think this is fresh, interesting, unique approach to one of the unconventional Disney villanelles! I’m rounding up 3.5 stars to 4 a delightful back story of one of my favorite villanelles before she meets with 101 Dalmatians stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and Disney Publishing Worldwide/ Disney Press for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  3. 5 out of 5

    MissBecka Gee

    An origin story for Cruella de Vil. You get to see the soft side of Cruella (aka Estella) as a child/teenager, and the exact moment when betrayal changes her heart. I loved it! I am now even more excited for Disney's new Cruella movie! Much love to NetGalley & Disney Publishing Worldwide for my DRC. An origin story for Cruella de Vil. You get to see the soft side of Cruella (aka Estella) as a child/teenager, and the exact moment when betrayal changes her heart. I loved it! I am now even more excited for Disney's new Cruella movie! Much love to NetGalley & Disney Publishing Worldwide for my DRC.

  4. 5 out of 5

    La Crosse County Library

    "Estella didn't cry. She hardened." I think those lines from late in the story sum up the heart of this new teen novel by Maureen Johnson. According to her website, Hello, Cruel Heart is "an original novel inspired by the upcoming Walt Disney Studios live action film Cruella." Since I'd recently seen the trailer for the movie (starring Emma Stone and opening May 28th) and enjoyed Johnson's "Truly Devious" mystery series, I thought I'd give this tale of a teenage Cruella de Vil a try. And who d "Estella didn't cry. She hardened." I think those lines from late in the story sum up the heart of this new teen novel by Maureen Johnson. According to her website, Hello, Cruel Heart is "an original novel inspired by the upcoming Walt Disney Studios live action film Cruella." Since I'd recently seen the trailer for the movie (starring Emma Stone and opening May 28th) and enjoyed Johnson's "Truly Devious" mystery series, I thought I'd give this tale of a teenage Cruella de Vil a try. And who doesn't love a good origin story? It's 1967, and 16-year-old Estella is living in swinging London. Her mother's been killed under mysterious circumstances, but Estella's not on her own. She's living in a bombed-out building with her two best friends, Horace and Jasper, and surviving by pickpocketing tourists. It's a rough life but Estella has dreams of changing her fortune and using her talent to become a fashion designer. She gets her shot when she meets a pair of uber-rich siblings who introduce her to the world of wealth and high society. But she soon discovers her dream of being a part of that world carries a high price tag. Hello, Cruel Heart is a story of friendship, ambition, romance, and betrayal. And it's a story of a kid with a cold, cut-throat "inner voice" helping her harden and survive a cruel world. I thought it was a fun, inventive origin story for a classic Disney villainess. 4 stars -Katherine, Youth Services Find this book and other titles within our catalog.

  5. 5 out of 5

    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 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 another and it just made my experience with reading this a little less fun. That being said, I liked Estella as a character but other than that.. she was kind of boring in this one. Again, I couldn't stop comparing no matter how hard I tried. It was interesting to see her being an orphan and finding her way through life but it just did nothing for me. I am glad that I got the chance to dive into this but I'm just really disappointed in myself for not enjoying it. Maybe I will dive into this again but at the moment.. I think I need to take a breather from retellings for Disney characters. This is definitely a 'it's not you but me' situation. Sorry.

  6. 4 out of 5

    kae

    To anyone who hasn’t watched the movie (Cruella), what have you been doing with your time? IT’S AMAZING

  7. 5 out of 5

    Andee

    BLOG|INSTAGRAM|TWITTER|YOUTUBE 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 BLOG|INSTAGRAM|TWITTER|YOUTUBE 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 while I’ve often liked Johnson’s writing for being cut and dry, this missed the mark. None of the characters in this book are particularly likable. I really wanted to like this book. The cover alone was beautiful. However, I kept waiting for the story to reveal itself as the beginning of Cruella’s story. I never got that satisfaction. If this had been marketed as just historical fiction, about a girl who tries to make it in the ranks of the elite while balancing a life of crime- it would have a higher rating from me. Unfortunately, this story allowed itself to pretend to be one thing when it really was something entirely different. This is a huge pet peeve of mine and took away from my enjoyment.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ruthie

    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 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.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne (The Bookish Libra)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 3.5 Stars. Have you ever wondered how Cruella de Vil came to be the way she is? Was she always evil or once upon a time, was she just a normal average young girl with dreams of love, success, and happiness? Inspired by the upcoming Disney live action film, Cruella, Hello, Cruel Heart by Maureen Johnson sets out to explore that exact topic and provide a plausible origin story for this Disney villain extraordinaire. The story is set in London in the late 60’s and follows 16-year-old Cruella, actual 3.5 Stars. Have you ever wondered how Cruella de Vil came to be the way she is? Was she always evil or once upon a time, was she just a normal average young girl with dreams of love, success, and happiness? Inspired by the upcoming Disney live action film, Cruella, Hello, Cruel Heart by Maureen Johnson sets out to explore that exact topic and provide a plausible origin story for this Disney villain extraordinaire. The story is set in London in the late 60’s and follows 16-year-old Cruella, actually known as Estella here, on her quest to become a famous fashion designer. Orphaned at a young age, Estella has been basically homeless for years, living in an old bombed-out building with two boys, Jasper and Horace, who are in similar dire straits. They teach her how to pick pockets and shoplift, and thus the three of them muddle along, stealing enough to survive and forming a little makeshift family of their own. Estella dreams of bigger things for herself though. She aspires to become a famous fashion designer and often steals fabric and other items so that she can practice her craft. Sadly, much of her time is spent sewing disguises and costumes for their many heists rather than the high fashion clothing she dreams of creating. Johnson does a wonderful job of making young Cruella/Estella very likeable and sympathetic. Who wouldn’t root for an orphan, who also happens to be a gifted fashion designer, to realize her dream? When Estella has a chance encounter with Richard and Magda, two of London’s most fashionable young people, and they invite her to join them, Estella wonders if this is the out from her old life she has been looking for, especially when they take such special interest in her designs. She hopes this friendship is the start of something big and is invited to one party after another and is inspired to create dress after dress for these events that are the envy of everyone she meets. She’s so happy doing what she loves and making friends and even meeting boys that I found myself cheering her on that she really would have a happy ending even though I knew it was impossible. The only area where I struggled a bit to connect with the story was that Cruella was used almost as an alter ego whenever Estella did something bad, like a ‘It wasn’t me, it was Cruella” kind of thing. As Estella got a little older, Cruella then became a mean voice in her head telling her would never have friends or love. This Cruella alter ego didn’t turn up very often in the story, but each time she did, it just read awkwardly for me. There was an instance, for example, where she gets into a fight with Horace and Jasper and when she goes to apologize to them later, they’re all “We know it wasn’t you, it was Cruella.” The ending of the book was also somewhat awkward for me for similar reasons. I just couldn’t exactly tell what Cruella was supposed to be. At first I thought maybe mental illness but, by the end, I had more questions than answers. Hopefully the movie will bring some clarity. Even with my Cruella issues though, I still enjoyed Hello, Cruel Heart overall. It’s a creative villain origin story that definitely made me feel sympathy for one of Disney’s most despicable villains, which is quite a feat in and of itself. Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    This was fast paced and it holds your attention once you start reading. Maureen Johnson knows how to set an atmosphere without being too flamboyant and does not natter on endlessly with dialogue. There is a nice balance between the two in this quasi-short take on how Estella became Cruella but not really. There is parental loss, mental health, romance, betrayal and heartbreak in this concise and easy going read. I will say that I wish the incident involving her mother was expanded upon more but This was fast paced and it holds your attention once you start reading. Maureen Johnson knows how to set an atmosphere without being too flamboyant and does not natter on endlessly with dialogue. There is a nice balance between the two in this quasi-short take on how Estella became Cruella but not really. There is parental loss, mental health, romance, betrayal and heartbreak in this concise and easy going read. I will say that I wish the incident involving her mother was expanded upon more but can understand why it wasn't and that I loved the ending. This book isn't spectacular (3 stars) but it is perfect if you're in a reading slump (as I was) and I would definitely recommend, especially if you want some light-hearted tea on Disney villains.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Christi

    I’m not usually a movie/tv tie-in reader, but I’ll read anything by Maureen Johnson. And this didn’t prove me wrong. Even not being my top choice for main character, I really came to like Estella and her fashion.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    A fun easy and quick book to read. It’s not really a Cruella novel as this is more of a story of a young girl finding herself with brief mentions of Cruella as another personality

  13. 5 out of 5

    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 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. Things I liked: - Estella's background as an underground fashion designer. I loved that she was becoming the "it" girl for new and inventive designs. Very easy to believe this same girl would think that skinning puppies would be a great idea. - The beginning part with her mom. What happened?! I need to know more. Who did she run from? Why? Does the movie answer any of these questions?! - The found family with Jasper & Horace. It was kind of endearing to think these two bad guys took Cruella under their wing. Unfortunately, the fast pace left much to be desired because it felt like a surface-level story. I suppose that works for a Disney prequel story for a movie, but I was really hoping for more. We hear in 101 Dalmations how Cruella is an old friend of Anita's and I expected that to make an appearance in this book so I was kind of bummed when it didn't. I also think Cruella was kind of mad/insane and I didn't see a reason or catalyst for that wild behavior in this book. I guess it was supposed to be the Cruella takeover of Estella, but it just wasn't enough for me. This was fine but a little disappointing. I think most people will enjoy it for what it is though - a quick, fun read about a famous Disney villain.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Lee

    3.5 stars ⭐️ An enjoyable read! This plot gave a great backstory as to who Cruella is and her relation to the other characters in the story we know about her, 101 Dalmatians! I’m really excited to see the movie on Friday to see how Cruella’s life plays out! I truly enjoyed getting to know Cruella! Cruella is actually the alter ego of the young Estella, an aspiring fashion designer who has quite a rough childhood! Maureen Johnson includes character traits that really gave me a good look at how Est 3.5 stars ⭐️ An enjoyable read! This plot gave a great backstory as to who Cruella is and her relation to the other characters in the story we know about her, 101 Dalmatians! I’m really excited to see the movie on Friday to see how Cruella’s life plays out! I truly enjoyed getting to know Cruella! Cruella is actually the alter ego of the young Estella, an aspiring fashion designer who has quite a rough childhood! Maureen Johnson includes character traits that really gave me a good look at how Estella must feel and insight as to who she becomes! It is clear how she gets a Cruel 💛 I mostly enjoyed the fashion aspect of this book! I think any one who has an appreciation for fashion will really enjoy that element!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Krystal (Nerdy_book_lover_1987)

    This was a quick fast paced read about Cruella in her teenage years before she became so cold hearted and what made her become that way. It was nice to see a back story to the ever popular clothes maker before her puppy stealing days.

  16. 4 out of 5

    jana [ bookishwiccan ]

    Thoroughly enjoyed this Disney Villains story revolving around Cruella De Ville. I always found her interesting and wanted a look into her past to see how she ended up the way she did, and this was a perfect back story. Definitely would recommend.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lisa D

    Loved it! The evolution of cruella ! The famous character from 101 Dalmatians! Really excited for the movie soon! Love this author!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Taylor (TaysInfiniteThoughts)

    Book Review | Hello, Cruel Heart by Maureen Johnson Hello, Cruel Heart by Maureen Johnson YA, Historical Fiction, Contemporary Disney Press | April 6th, 2021 3/5 Stars Estella has been an orphan for years. Staying alive by stealing only what she needed and living in an abandoned building with her friends Jasper and Horace. When Estella meets Magda and Richard Moresby-Plum, she is thrust into this whole new world of the rich and she begins to contemplate whether she deserves more in life. Estella begi Book Review | Hello, Cruel Heart by Maureen Johnson Hello, Cruel Heart by Maureen Johnson YA, Historical Fiction, Contemporary Disney Press | April 6th, 2021 3/5 Stars Estella has been an orphan for years. Staying alive by stealing only what she needed and living in an abandoned building with her friends Jasper and Horace. When Estella meets Magda and Richard Moresby-Plum, she is thrust into this whole new world of the rich and she begins to contemplate whether she deserves more in life. Estella begins living a new life, even now dating an up and coming rockstar, but it doesn’t last forever. I can honestly say that I don’t remember much about 101 Dalmatians or Cruella DeVil. It was fun to read about teenage Estella and how Cruella came to be. This book was perfectly paced and definitely an interesting read. I really enjoyed learning about Estella, but I also enjoyed the time period. It’s swinging London, with all these rich people just spending their money, wandering and staying in everyone’s super mansions, and talking about things you could only imagine. Estella’s ups and downs throughout the story were crucial to her development and I’m glad I had a chance to read this book and learn about Estella, now Cruella. I’m super excited to see the movie about teenage Cruella with Emma Stone coming out this year, so I guess this was a great book to read ahead of time. Thank you, NetGalley and Disney Press for this arc in return for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Dang

    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 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 to parties, meeting a cute musician named Peter, and being recognized for her designing talents. Yet, as with all good things, something is bound to go wrong, and soon she finds that maybe her new friends arent as great and maybe the boy she’s fallen in love with isn’t as honest as she thought. It was definitely an interesting take on the origin story of Cruella, and they have “Cruella” be sort of a another personality/voice in the back of Estella’s head that she has to constantly keep in check from coming out. It was a fun read and I can see how it was inspired by the live action that is going to be coming out. *Thanks Netgalley and Disney Publishing Worldwide for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review*

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jainab Momo

    LOVED JASPER & HORACE IN IT💕 ~I have been a fan of Cruella since I watched the movie but in this book the heroes are certainly  Jasper & Horace.Teen Estella chose the wrong people leaving Jesper & Horace behind but when she was left by those posh people,it was Jasper & Horace who found her and took her with them once again. Theme : True Friends, Teen Heart.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ~ Missy (FrayedBooks)

    read this and more reviews on Frayed Books: http://frayedbooks.wordpress.com 4.5* This was delightful! I went into this story with really no expectations, and not even knowing much of what this story was about besides Cruella origin story, she’s a fashion designer, and this was set in the late 1960s. I love Maureen Johnson’s writing which is why I picked this up and I’m so very glad I did! This book is “inspired” by the upcoming Disney movie ‘Cruella’, but I should mention, I have not even seen the read this and more reviews on Frayed Books: http://frayedbooks.wordpress.com 4.5* This was delightful! I went into this story with really no expectations, and not even knowing much of what this story was about besides Cruella origin story, she’s a fashion designer, and this was set in the late 1960s. I love Maureen Johnson’s writing which is why I picked this up and I’m so very glad I did! This book is “inspired” by the upcoming Disney movie ‘Cruella’, but I should mention, I have not even seen the trailer for that movie, and beside watching the animated 101 Dalmatians as a kid, that’s about it with my knowledge of Cruella, so to see a 16-year-old Estella who loves designing clothes, I loved this story. The story is set in London of summer 1967 and the setting felt so vivid. The fashion and music and people were described so vividly, I felt like I was there. Estella is a 16-year-old girl who lives in an abandoned building and steals to survive – but her true calling is fashion. I immediately liked Estella, she was down on her luck and did what she had to to survive, but she never gave up her passion of making clothes. She stole scraps of fabric to make wearable pieces she and her two accomplices (friends) could use as disguises as well as every day clothes. Estella has a cruel streak inside of her, which her late mother called “Cruella” who comes out every so often, and Estella works to suppress – she doesn’t want to be cruel to people, but sometimes they just don’t understand how hard it is to be living in poverty. She befriends two young aristocrats who take a liking to her, leaving her real friends, her found family, behind to join the world of glitz and glamour. It was interesting to watch Estella try and navigate a world she knows nothing of, fancy parties and gatherings and things she never even dreamed up – but she’s willing to do what she must to have her fashion designs be seen by more people. While this is categorized as young adult, this felt at times almost like an upper middle grade or lower YA novel – and not in a bad way. This story was easy to digest and that’s what made me really enjoy it – I could simply sit back and enjoy the ride. This was a fun and quick read, and now I’m curious to see the Cruella movie trailer, and the movie itself! If you’re looking for something light and fun to read that has to do with fashion and music in the late 1960s in London, give this one a chance, I’m so glad I did. Audiobook Thoughts I listened to this one as an audiobook and the narrator had a British accent, which was appropriate since this is set in London. I enjoyed this as audio, the narrator was good and it brought the story to life for me. I ended up on 2.5x speed (thanks to Hoopla audio, my choices were 2x or 2.5x. I started on 2x and went up to 2.5 and it felt comfortable.) Recommend? I would recommend this one if you’re looking for something short and sweet and fun. We all know how Cruella’s story turns out, so you know going into this it won’t have a happy ending, but I enjoyed learning more of Estella’s background and really enjoyed the fashion and music aspects. Frayed Books - blog | twitter | bookstagram | fb

  22. 4 out of 5

    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 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 before the book is over, but the reminders didn't work. I could easily see the path she was taking and how it was not going to work out in the end and it made me sad to see how she was let down. Although I loved the "Swinging London" setting, I question whether that will draw my students in or put them off the book since the time period is so foreign to them. Other than that, a thoroughly enjoyable read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    This was a fun young adult read in advance of next month's Book of the Mouse Club podcast episode. I had the chance to see the film in advance, and I think this book does a solid job of tying well into the film but is different enough to stand alone. It takes place before the main events of the film but shares some early flashbacks to her childhood. I appreciated getting to know the character deeper and think teen readers will relate well to Estella's age at this point in the book and easily be This was a fun young adult read in advance of next month's Book of the Mouse Club podcast episode. I had the chance to see the film in advance, and I think this book does a solid job of tying well into the film but is different enough to stand alone. It takes place before the main events of the film but shares some early flashbacks to her childhood. I appreciated getting to know the character deeper and think teen readers will relate well to Estella's age at this point in the book and easily be swept up its world. Older readers like myself can likely tell where the story plot points are headed just from reading the description, but it makes a nice light read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Johnson Barton

    Great beginning to Cruella's origin story! Fingers crossed for a part 2. Great beginning to Cruella's origin story! Fingers crossed for a part 2.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Light-hearted escapist reading, set in 1960s London. The origin story of Cruella DeVille, whose beginning is filled with trauma. How a formerly homeless orphan comes to live smartly by her wits, and with her design skills attracts the posh and soon to be famous. Then something happens...Nice use of historical references to music and places of the 1960s. Fun read for younger teens.

  26. 5 out of 5

    laur gluchie

    I have received a digital Advance Reader’s Copy of this book through NetGalley. This has not affected my rating in any way.

  27. 4 out of 5

    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... 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...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    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 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 will become DeVil and kidnap 101 puppies just to make a fur coat. Will Estella let Cruella to the surface? Read this book to find out and prepare yourself for when Cruella comes out this spring!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Audra

    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.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amber Smith

    This was so good. I went in not really knowing what it was about. I loved it. Estella was such an awesome character. Her development in this was perfect. It was really neat to see her friendship with Jasper and Horace. I loved getting to see a different view of Cruella.

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