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.
This is a wonderfully written book. The imagery, creativeness, and world that is created is beautiful. The author has taken Lewis Carroll’s work and created something of her own while staying mostly true to the inspiring work. However, besides the breathtaking, frightening, and captivating world that is created the story lacked a bit. I would have been fine with a quest like story but instead what I read was something that was completely confusing at times. I found myself confused but what people said and their motives. The actual mission and purpose of Alyssa’s journey kept changing that I was left confused and disappointed in the end. Another thing is I don’t mind love triangles in books but for this book it seemed strange. Jeb seemed very misogynistic while the Morpheus was manipulative. I found myself liking Morpheus more but it was obvious who she wanted to be with even when she struggled with it. Also, I found it distracting at times. I was surprised by who Morpheus was from the original story (I thought he might be a new character). I’m not a fan of bugs and Alyssa artistic talent with them grossed me out as well as the many descriptions. Alyssa is a really neat character and she is someone I could see on the streets which made me take a liking to her. The book is very punk which was really refreshing since not many books tend to go in that direction. I think if people like this book the manga/anime Alice in the Country of Hearts is something you should check out. This book should be read for how it is written and the creative genius, despite a somewhat confusing plot.
The next book is called Unhinged and comes out January 2014.