Goodreads Rating: 3.98
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.
I'm not a huge Alice in Wonderland fan, but I really liked this book/series and it's connection to Alice.
It was interesting to read how Alyssa was related to Alice, the real Alice who inspired the Wonderland stories, and her "curse" of insanity and hearing bugs and flowers talk. Alyssa gives background information on the curse a little at a time so the beginning was a little confusing but once you get into it, wow, it hooks you right in.
I really loved how Alyssa was willing to go so far for her mother. Though I questioned some of her decisions, like really trusting Morpheus (even though I was personally rooting for him), I don't know how much better I would have been in her shoes.
I wasn't a huge fan of Jeb. I felt like he was the typical, "big brother figure/love interest" and there wasn't much else to him. Morpheus on the other hand, I really enjoyed. He was funny, sarcastic, witty, and a little devious. Going between the two in the love triangle, I can see her with either one, though I do like her with Jeb, as bland as he can be.
In addition to connecting some of the dots between these Wonderland characters and the ones from the Lewis Caroll book, I REALLY enjoyed all the lies and deception that went on, leaving you not knowing which is up, which is actually kind of cool in itself since it's a Wonderland story.
Overall, very interesting book (especially for Wonderland fans) and the start to a hopefully equally great series.
The Court's Decision: