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.
Dark & Delicious
One thing I really loved about this book was how dark it was. It took the fanciful, beautiful, wondrous Wonderland (;p) and corrupted the Hell out of it! It became a land full of grotesque creatures, dark backstories and motives, and more intrigue than I could have expected from a fairytale retelling. Not only did it emulate the original world, but it also embellished and broadened Wonderland to make it its own world. Loved it!
Alright. I didn’t want to comment on this, but I feel it’s necessary because it bugged the bejeebus out of me while reading. That would be: the men. All the men in this book are just like: “I know what’s best for you. You just sit in this chair, let me do the talking, and don’t make any decisions for yourself.” Thus making Alyssa a pawn, which, unfortunately, made it feel as though Alyssa was not doing anything so much as allowing things to happen to her. I would have liked her being a more active character because she did have a strong personality.
Realistic in the Unrealistic
This probably sounds quite strange, especially given that Wonderland is known for being ‘unrealistic’ and a bit topsy-turvy, but this story was realistic. Every aspect of the world, the plot, the characters was realistic. They made sense and didn’t simply fall to the whims of the fantastical and nonsensical. Thus, the story, though littered with ‘crazy’ was easy to understand and follow, which made it all the more enjoyable to read.
Jeb… What do I say about Jeb? You mean, besides the fact that he’s a control freak? Other than he believes Alyssa is weak and can’t make any decisions on her own? Ignoring when he continued to act like a self-righteous, pompous, know-it-all?! Yeah… not sure what to say about Jeb. Morpheus
Ah. Morpheus. The dark, brooding, mischievous, delicious, broken, wonderful Morpheus. He comes across as one of the ‘antagonists’ in this story and rightfully so because of how he screwed over Alyssa’s family. However, no matter how many things he did wrong or how many times he screwed up, I couldn’t not love him! He’s soooo… I don’t even know! I just loved him. Probably because he wasn’t a self-righteous ass (see above)!