Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.
Credits to Goodreads.com
You know I love everything that has to do with Alice, so I couldn’t be more excited to get into this world as it is told to be an awesome retelling of the story I so loved dearly. And come on, the cover, look at that cover. It was all sorts of gorgeous. I bought the entire series because of just the cover, mind you.
I couldn’t exactly say it was a favorite, but I can safely say it was a great retelling with a twist. It kept the whimsical premise of the original Alice In Wonderland yet thrown in with some (sorry, a lot of) dark, grotesque and definitely mad touch. What I love about the entirety of this book is that it greatly sounds and looks familiar but felt a little more like little Alice having a morbid nightmare than having a peaceful adventurous dream under a tree – all in a very interesting sort of way.
The characters in this book are laid very well. I like Alyssa because of her “skater girl” aura and her love for arts (no matter how morbid it gets). Not only that, she’s also smart and can very well stand for herself. I don’t particularly understand why is there a huge amount of hate for her love interest/secret crush/childhood friend – Jeb because for me, well, he’s fine. He’s a bit overprotective yes and that’s a bit annoying, I know, but that’s because in my opinion, having to grow up together and seeing each other’s shit together makes him more inclined to make Alyssa’s life better (I did not mean for that to rhyme, I swear). I just hate that he ever considered dating Taelor, one major off. Why is it, that your dream guy, who secretely likes you anyway, always dates the witch with a capital B girl? Morpheus on the other hand, I am really in doubt. I don’t know if I’ll love or hate the guy. There are instances when I love the wit and humor, but most of the time I despise the lies and seduction. I do not get myself to fully like a character who clearly manipulates the other character’s feeling and emotions. I’d rather go for the “overprotective” one than be stuck with a humorous, (kinda) selfish manipulative psycho. So at this rate, I am more of a team Jeb here. Unpopular opinion, I know. Sorry. 😀
The other characters in this book are a creepy equivalent to the ones we are familiar with like the White Rabbit as Rabid White, Mad Hatter as Hattington, Humpty Dumpty as Humphrey, Tweedledum and Tweedledee as this creepy eight legged creatures- Sister One and Sister Two and a lot more.
The setting was majority based on the original novel but you have to put on a darker trend to get there. It was really an imaginative and magical world to be in just like the Wonderland we know of. I love how the “tests” that Alyssa took whilst in Wonderland is greatly similar to the ones Alice encountered but in a whole different view at the same time. It was really fun re-imagining the adventures of Alice in this twisted mad way.
I read this about a week ago and it started out great – unputdownable great! But as I progress with the story, there are instances that I could not get to understand what was happening. So much for the twists and turns – it really gets confusing. Gearing towards the end and it felt like everything was all over the place.
That is probably the main reason why I could not give it a full 5 stars. But hey, the real Alice in Wonderland novel was all over the place too, don’t get me wrong. But the messiness of this one was different – like it was meant to be something more logical but ended up like a clutter. Other than that, it was a spontaneous, fun and magical read. Would definitely recommend!