Before you read too far, you should know that I don't do Synopsis type reviews - if you want a synopsis then you can go read the synopsis. What I want to do here is give my opinion of the book. **Spoilers may happen - you've been warned.**
I was thrilled when this book was chosen for my book club. It has been on my to-read list for quite some time. I am always intrigued by a Wonderland story. I rated this one 3 starts out of 5 on www.goodreads.com. You can also read my reviews there.
Just like every other YA novel, it starts out with a girl who doesn't really fit in anywhere and two boys that she likes. No surprises there. The books is based on our heroine, Alissa, discovering that her family had been cursed due to all of the mistakes that her great-great-great-Grandmother Alice, made when she first traveled to Wonderland. Alissa's mother is in an insane asylum because she's able to talk to flowers and bugs and won't eat food unless it's served in a tea-cup. Alissa fears she'll suffer the same fate if she doesn't break the curse so ... down the rabbit hole she goes ...
I loved the visuals in the book. I can picture the rabbit hole hidden under the sun dial, I can imagine Rabid White (The White Rabbit?) in all of his antlered glory, I can imagine the souls trapped in roses on spider webs ... the imagergy is beautiful and if I could book a vacation to Wonderland right now just to see the scenery, I would do it. That having been said, this book made me feel like Wonderland is very small. Is was as if we crawled through the shrunken door and -poof- we are exactly where we need to be. I would have liked a sence of a vast land and the time it takes to travel through it. Love interest #1, Jeb, travels to Wonderland as well - he's always felt protective of Alissa and couldn't let her go alone but, of course, admits to having no feelings for Alissa at this point. Typical.
I liked that the idea that Alissa, "fixing" all of the mistakes that Alice had made when she first traveled to Wonderland. What I didn't like about that idea was that it felt very point-and-click to me. Let me explain. Have you ever played one of those hidden picture games on your computer? The ones where you're searcing for an umbrella or a mouse and then you find out you can cheat because when you touch the pointer to your object the icon turns into a hand. Click. Done. Puzzle is solved. Alissa wasn't particularly ingenious or adventurous or creative - the solutions were simple. Come to find out, this can be explained by Love Interest #2, the mysterious "caterpillar" Morpheous (who should be played by Adam Lambert if a movie is made) had set up these obstacles as a ruse to get Alissa to become the Red Queen of Wonderland ... Still, even once the simplicity was explained, I was left feeling like the main character of this book is a whitless marionette who cares very little for Wonderland or the people in it.
By the end of the book, I have not fallen in love with either Jeb or Morpheus ... and I'm not sure our heroine Alissa has chosen one either.
In summary, I loved Wonderland, liked the plot and was disapointed in the main character.
I will definitely read the 2nd in the series.