Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Fiction/Romance/Adventure
Similar Writings: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol, Alice in Zombieland – The White Rabbit Chronicles by Gena Showalter
Plot: Alyssa Gardner is the great-great-great granddaughter of Alice Liddell, the little girl who was the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Since Alice Liddell fell down the rabbit hole, every woman in her family after her has been cursed with the ability to hear and talk to bugs and flowers. Not only is Alyssa worried that she will follow into her mother’s footsteps by going crazy and being committed to an insane asylum, but memories of her childhood “friend” Morpheus start to resurface and she realizes she has been to Wonderland before.
Once Alyssa finds her way to Wonderland, accidentally dragging her best friend and longtime crush Jeb with her, she notices that Wonderland is a much more terrifying and disturbing place compared to Lewis Carrol’s version. The portals back to the human realm have been closed because of the turmoil that Alice created, so it is up to Alyssa to make everything right again. Alyssa must find a way to get home and fix her family’s curse, while also juggling her crush on her best friend Jeb and her conflicted feelings for her mysterious childhood friend Morpheus.
Opinion: I personally LOVED this book and could not wait to get the second book in the series. I have always been a fan of Alice in Wonderland, so books that have a unique twist on the original tale is a MUST read for me. Alyssa is a spunky character with a dark fashion sense but a fear that she’s going to end up going insane like her mother. She can hear bugs and flowers talking to her, so to shut the insects up she makes mosaics with them by stabbing them with pin needles…can you say twisted?! I love it. She has a HUGE crush on her best friend Jeb (who is an amazing artist and plans on moving to London after graduation), but when she meets Morpheus and her memories of him start to come back…she can’t decide if it is the child in her that still cares for him from years ago or if it is something new entirely.
This story overall is written beautifully, full of creative descriptions and comparisons. I personally need a lot of detailed creative writing in any story I read, and this definitely had it all. I loved the spin the author put on Wonderland, making it so that the creatures are complete opposites from what Alice’s mind as a child had described them as. She had made them more innocent and friendly, when in reality they were both horrifying and borderline evil. White Rabbit is actually named Rabid White and he is a creepy skeletal creature with horns, and he is NOT the cuddly worried cottontail bunny that we all know and love. I do wish the ending and the adventures weren’t rushed through so quickly. I feel as if Alyssa’s last battle ended way too abruptly, it feels like it wasn’t described as being as difficult and trying as it could have been.
MORPHEUS. Well what can I really say about the guy, he is a Wonderland half moth half man creature who you love to hate and hate that you love. He is the ultimate manipulating bad boy, but you keep hoping he’s not as much of an insensitive evil mastermind as he is portrayed. Is he GOOD or is he BAD?!?! He takes Alyssa on this wild adventure telling her she needs to save Wonderland, when really, he’s got an ulterior motive behind bringing her back. You see a more sensitive side to him later in the book and see that he may really care about Alyssa, but then he goes and does something selfish and you literally want to reach through the book and smack him for being such an ass. He knows how to make Alyssa tick and make her fall for him all at the same time, and what a snarky sarcastic mouth he has! You just gotta love him.
Jeb is Alyssa’s best friend and crush, but MY OH MY does this guy have a complex with telling her what to do. He cares about her a lot so of course he is quite overprotective, but it just made me feel annoyed and tired of him. Compared to Morpheus he is just boring and unadventurous, and I was secretly hoping that he would just disappear from the picture all together. But hey, I guess I just love the crazy ones 😉
Overall, I loved this book and couldn’t put it down until it was finished. I just purchased the second book in the series, Unhinged, and cannot wait to read it! I definitely recommend this book if you are looking for some adventure and another world to escape into for a few hours! An absolute lovely and exhilarating take on Alice in wonderland.