For sixteen years, Alyssa Gardner has lived with the stigma of being descended from Alice Liddell—the real life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s famed novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. But cruel jokes about dormice and tea parties can’t compare to the fact that Alyssa hears the whispers of bugs and flowers... the same quirk which sent her mother to a mental institution years before.
When her mother takes a turn for the worse and the whispers grow too strong for Alyssa to bear, she seeks the origins of their family curse. A set of heirlooms and a moth tied to an unusual website lead Alyssa and her gorgeous best friend / secret crush, Jeb, down the rabbit hole into the real Wonderland, a place more twisted and eerie than Lewis Carroll ever let on.
There, creepy counterparts of the original fairytale crew reveal the purpose for Alyssa’s journey, and unless she fixes the things her great-great-great grandmother Alice put wrong, Wonderland will have her head.I honestly don't know why there aren't more retellings of Alice in Wonderland. Seriously, there is so much there to be toyed and changed and molded into a different world. This is exactly what this book has done. It molded the tale and changed elements enough to make it it's own world but by also keeping to the original tale.
In this tale, Alyssa is a descendent of the original Alice and we are quite convinced that the madness the females inherit are due to Alice venturing in Wonderland and changing things that throw off the balance and are such cursed. The bugs and flowers talk and Alyssa can't get a moments peace. Not to mention she is deathly afraid that she will end up like her mother in a mental institution. We start to question the madness as it is shared to consistently with her mother, and so we embark on our journey down the rabbit hole with her to get those answers.
Within this twisty tale we do end up with a triangle. Now this is the first triangle in YA that I have actually liked. Usually in a triangle we find one more suited to the heroine than the other and we have no doubt who she needs to and will pick. In this one both are equally suited for very different polar opposite reasons. I have to admit I still did root for one a bit more only because I found his character much more interesting than the other. Still you do know who she will pick although I admit I didn't want her to choose at all. That is unusual for me because I'm usually yelling at the heroine to just pick already. :)
I give this twisty Wonderland tale 4 1/2 Cheshire Cat smiles. I really enjoyed my time in this very alternate world. I recommend it to those that enjoy retellings of old stories.
I received this eARC from the publisher and NetGalley and no compensation for my review was given.
Happy New Year!