I do not have time to read, but the books just keep getting stuck to my face. UF, HF, YA, fluffy romance, whatever. I love it all.
But I might judge you if you hand out five stars all willy nilly.
So I'm actually surprised to be rating this book as highly as I am, for two reasons.
1. I'm not a big fan of re-tellings.
2. Wonderland freaks me out.
In order to succeed in telling me a story I already know, you have to change it up and make it your own and give me a reason to be interested. For example, have Alice come back from Wonderland carrying a curse, which causes all of her female descendants to hear the whispers of bugs and flowers, and have them all go rather crazy because of it. Then have Alice's great-great-great granddaughter track down the rabbit hole and face her darkest fears in order to break the curse once and for all. That's a good start.
A stunning cover also helps.
Then for good measure, just to make sure I'm paying attention, throw in a character that looks rather like this:
That ought to do it. Attention granted.
I really did enjoy most of this story. It had me turning pages quickly and I finished the book without drifting away to check Facebook or my Goodreads notifications, which is what usually happens when my book is boring me. I really liked the beginning in particular, with Alyssa's mother having gone to an insane asylum because of her delusions, and Alyssa living in fear that the same thing was going to happen to her. There were creepy voices and faces in mirrors and the suspense of not knowing where or how Wonderland would enter the picture.
Honestly, for at least half the book I was so excited to see where it was going. I especially loved the anticipation leading up to her finding Morpheus, who was my favorite character. I showed you what he looks like, right? Yummy, in a blue-haired-crazy-Johnny-Depp sort of way.
Unfortunately, and this has happened to me a lot lately, the YA-ishness of the story brought it down for me. Alyssa is a high school student (junior, almost a senior?) and Jeb was her best friend/secret-crush-who-already-has-a-girlfriend. Morpheus is the mysterious Wonderland character who has been trying to lure her back all her life. I don't know if there is a YA handbook that says everyone must include a love triangle, but it's been standard operating procedure for the last few years and it's rare to find one that works. I liked that the characters in this book were at least a little older (17 to 20-ish), so I was willing to go along with it, but the story towards the end became a little sappy, a little crazy, and a little over-the-top Wonderlandish.
Jeb's character didn't really do anything for me and I was sort of annoyed he even came along at all. I would have enjoyed the story much more if it had just been Alyssa going to Wonderland and the tension came from the story and figuring out whether she could trust Morpheus, rather than from her conflicted girly feels.
Overall, it was a nice little afternoon adventure and I had fun reading it.
Am I clambering for the sequel? Not really.
Will I read it if the reviews are all glowing and amazing?
Especially if Alyssa goes back to Wonderland without Jeb and she and Morpheus become the king and queen and make weird little Netherling babies. Let me know if that's what happens, m'kay?