Alyssa Gardner hears the thoughts of plants and animals. She hides her delusions for now, but she knows her fate: she will end up like her mother, in an institution. Madness has run in her family since her great-great-great-grandmother Alice Liddell told Lewis Carroll her strange dreams, inspiring his classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
But perhaps she’s not mad. And perhaps Carroll’s stories aren’t as whimsical as they first seem.
To break the curse of insanity, Alyssa must go down the rabbit hole and right the wrongs of Wonderland, a place full of strange beings with dark agendas. Alyssa brings her real-world crush, Jeb, with her, but once her journey begins, she’s torn between his solidity and the enchanting, dangerous magic of Morpheus, her guide to Wonderland.
But no one in Wonderland is who they seem to be–not even Alyssa herself.
Okay, so what person wouldn’t be absolutely mesmerized by that cover? I don’t think I’d want to be friends with you if you weren’t intrigued by it. I mean, just look at it. If you’re amazed with the cover picture, then you’ll be hooked on the story by the end of the first paragraph. With so many retellings being hyped up in the YA genre, I can see why you’d be weary. I’ve been let down by them, too. But this is not a retelling! It’s a spin-off, meaning you aren’t being told the same old story; it’s being added onto. You’re reminded of things that Carroll wrote, but it’s not overbearingly boring. Most of the things in AAiW are countered by the things that Alyssa discovers, which adds intrigue and gives it a strong identity and a unique feel. And Alyssa is a character that I just want to be my best friend. She wears what she likes, acts how she thinks is appropriate, and she’s a total smart aleck. She stands up for what she believes. She stands up for the people she cares about. She is honestly the coolest heroine I’ve read about in a while. I’d really like to share my opinions on the whole Jeb-vs.-Morpheus-thing but with my big mouth, I’ll spill the entire story and you’ll hate me forever. All I’m going to say is that Jeb is definitely who I would have chosen. I don’t know why you’d choose Morpheus, honestly. Okay, that’s it. I’ll end up telling it all if this continues. As for the book as a whole, find it immediately. Seriously. It’s the best thing in the world.
I should warn you, though, that you’ll never be able to watch Tim Burton’s film ever again without going “No! This is wrong!! Anita Howard wrote something different and I like it her way!” because that really happened last week. Thanks, ABC Family for airing that movie the day I finished this. I fussed at the television for an hour before giving up and rereading the book.