Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Amulet Books
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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.
LOVED. LOVED. LOVED! I truly loved reading this book! (in case you couldn't tell lol)
I had seen this book around the blogosphere for a while and never really had any interest in it until one of my friends read it and raved about it. So I was still skeptical at first, but of course I trust my friends reading choices and decided to give it a try. Boy was I amazed at how hard and fast I fell for this story!! From the synopsis you can see that it's kind of an Alice in Wonderland re-telling, which I totally loved reading. Retellings are kind of my new obsession which works out perfectly because they are popping up everywhere.
The author, A.G. Howard, did such an amazing job writing this story and it was so fun to read. The world building was off the chain! She took our boring and colorless world and turned it into a never ending rabbit hole that lead to a beautiful and fun filled Wonderland!
Alyssa, our MC, is such a fun character to read. She's always known that her family is cursed ever since her (infinite greats) grandmother, Alice Liddell, fell into the rabbit hole and got the family line cursed. The fear that Alyssa has when she starts hearing the bugs and flowers speak to her is so genuinely real that you really feel for her. I mean, I personally think it would be awesome to hear bugs and flowers speak, but after her mother is committed into the asylum for losing her mind for the same things that Alyssa is going through, She becomes extremely worried and fears that she will end up there too.
Then there's Jeb, I mean OHMAHGOD!!!! I think he is so swoony!! Also a bit dramatic, but definitely swoony! Jeb goes above and beyond to protect Alyssa and it's just so romantic to watch it all unfold! I want to say that the love they share is wonderful to see but it's definitely more than that. The bond they share as friends is so special, it honestly makes me jealous. I wish I could find someone that will love me unconditionally the way Jeb loves Alyssa (and the way she loves him.)
Now to Morpheous, I don't even know where to begin with him. I want to say that he's a mix between swoony half the time but also scary the other half of the time! He says some pretty romantic things to Alyssa, which of course gets her to do what he wants, but he also does some pretty scary things that had me questioning his motives. He's definitely a manipulative character but you can tell that he also genuinely cares about her. I definitely had a hard time deciding if I liked him or not but I can tell you for sure that I never trusted him. There were moments when I had to wonder if I actually could trust him but then I realized that if I had to question whether I could trust him then that meant I couldn't.
Overall, I really loved this book and I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of this series! If you haven't read it, I highly recommend that you do!