Reading Level: Young Adult
Size: 384 pages
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: eBook from NetGalley.com
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley(dot)com, so thanks to NetGalley and Amulet books for giving me the opportunity to review this book. I am a huge Alice in Wonderland fan and was super excited to read this book. It was a very good retelling of Alice in Wonderland with a dark feel to it. Think a cross between American McGee’s Alice and Tim Burton’s movie.
The females of Alyssa’s family have been cursed for generations to go mad when they hit puberty. Alyssa herself has heard flowers and bugs talking to her for years and does her best to ignore them. But when her institutionalized mother gets worse than ever Alyssa is determined to put together the clues and break this curse. Little does she know the twisted plot that awaits her in Wonderland.
This is an excellent and dark retelling of Alice and Wonderland. I love how everything from the original Lewis Carroll story is reflected in this story, but darker and a bit twisted. Many aspects of this story reminded me a lot of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland movie. Even down to the fact that the Bandersnatch guards the vorpal blade. There are more elements of faerie in this story than in Burton’s reimagining. The story also reflects some of American McGee’s Alice in Wonderland video game; the white rabid is a truly McGee worthy character in the story.
Alyssa is a believable and engaging character and Jeb is an excellent partner in her journey through Wonderland. Alyssa is dealing with some heavy stuff, yet she is a strong character and does her best to get done what she needs to get done. Jeb supports and respects her, and has that slightly dangerous vibe that a lot of readers will really enjoy.
The story is well done and has some intriguing twists and turns. It was very engaging and kept me guessing. It’s a dark retelling, but it never gets too dark as to be disturbing.
Overall I really enjoyed this retelling, it was well written and very well done. Alyssa is a plucky and fun heroine that is dealing with the tough circumstances, but she deals well. Jeb is an excellent support character, a bit dangerous but always supportive of Alyssa. Definitely recommended for anyone who is a fan of Alice in Wonderland…also great for fans of YA novels about dark faerie-type realms.