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.Hey, Alice in Zombieland? This is how you write an Alice retelling.
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.
Alyssa, the protagonist, can hear bugs and flowers. Of course, she thinks she's insane, just like her mother. And, again, of course, she's not. Alyssa's ancestor is Alice Liddell, from Alice in Wonderland. She goes through the mirror, and she finds herself in Wonderland. This book put a spin on the Wonderland we know of. It's not happy and carefree; it's dangerous. There, she tries to fix the Alice's mistakes. However, Jeb, her crush, comes along for the ride. Like all popular books, this has a love triangle. Morpheus is from her past. Alyssa doesn't know if she can trust him or not, which is one of the main reasons I like her.
Like I said before, Alyssa is very easy to like. She doesn't do whatever people tell her to do. Her personality was easy to relate to.
I didn't like Jeb as much as Morpheus because he seemed to tell Alyssa what to do all the time. Being the great heroine she is, she does what she wants.
Morpheus is Alyssa's "guide" through Wonderland. I put guide in quotation marks because he left her alone most of the time to figure things out. He also believed in her, unlike Jeb. He's the Caterpillar, or this book's version, at least.
The writing was great, and I didn't realize until half way through that it was in present tense, It was that good. The descriptions were amazing. I could "see" everything happening in front of me. The world-building was awesome.
There's twists through out this book that I felt like I should have seen. As Teresa Mary Rose puts it, " It doesn't follow a straight line with easy connect the dots; it is more of a maze where the floor can fall out at any moment and descend into madness." All the loose ends were tied up very well. I really hope this is a series because I'd love to see more of this world.