Hardcover, 371 pages
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Published by: Amulet Books
For fans of: Adventure, Retellings, Fantasy, Creepy, Hot Literary Guys, Beautiful Covers, YA
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. 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. (Goodreads)
I don't even know where to start with this book. So much of it that I want to cover in this review that I'm afraid I'll forget something and won't do it justice. The cover was amazing, the writing was amazing, the retelling was amazing, just everything was. A.G. Howard definitely outdid herself with this one. I found myself asking at the end: "That was a debut?! For real?" It was just that magical.
The biggest thing that stands out about this book to me is the spectacular job Howard did on the retelling. I was never in doubt that this book was about Alice in Wonderland, but I never questioned Howard's writing either. The dark twist that she put on it made it a little trippy but it fit the story. I mean really, at what point was Alice NOT trippy lol
Another thing that I loved about this book was the characters Alyssa was a strong and smart heroine. Everything that she endured on her journey showed it. Her growth throughout the novel astounded me. Then there's Jeb. OMG I LOVED him. So many times he made me swoon throughout the novel. Even at the beginning when we was barely around. And then there was Morpheus I had heard so much about him before reading the book I even Instagrammed a picture saying I was so excited to meet him. When I finally read it, I HATED him throughout most of the story, but in the end, I must admit, I did fall in like with him. This is really strange because I usually ALWAYS fall for the bad boy.
Finally, the writing style. I was BLOWN AWAY. For the longest time while reading this I did not believe that this was a debut novel. Howard swept me all the way to Wonderland and back each time I cracked open the book. It was spell binding and magical and anything else you can think of that say beautiful. And the plot twists made me want to stop my "life" and just read. I hated to have to do things like sleep or work. I just wanted to park myself on the couch and read until I was finished.
This is an exciting, heart stopping read for all types of fans. Trust me, this retelling is packed with something for everyone. Even if you're not a fan of the original or even retellings, give this one a try. You will not be disappointed.
Overall, I give this
Labels: Adventure, Challenges, Cover Whore, Fantasy, Hot Guys, Retellings, YA