Alyssa Gardner is trying to ignore all the bugs and flowers and all their warnings and random sayings. She doesn't want to end up like her mom, in an institution and only eating out of teacups. The rumors are that Alice Liddell, her great great...grandmother, actually went to Wonderland and caused a curse on her family. Alyssa never truly believes this even when she hears bug voices and her art looks like strange locations. However, when what should be a routine visit with her mother turns into her mother almost being strangled by her own hair, Alyssa realizes that her family may truly be under a spell. Alyssa is willing to risk herself and her crush Jed to go through the rabbit hole into Wonderland. There she will try to undue the curse and save her mother. When she meets the enigmatic Morpheus and is reminded of her childhood dreams, she realizes he has been guiding or manipulating her all along. Alyssa will face many choices as she tries to undo Alice's mistakes and these choices will change her forever.
This was a dark twist on the Wonderland story and was even more zanier and macabre than the original. It took me forever to finish this and for the first roughly two-thirds of the story, I didn't really like it. However the end had me in its grasp. I actually want to read the sequel now and did not think I would be writing that! It seems the farther you go into the story, the more you get caught in its madness. I think Alyssa is a great character and I can't choose between her two suitors. Most of the time I think they are terrible based on some of their choices, but again the end! I won't say anymore, because I don't want to give away spoilers, but the last about 60 pages sold this book for me.
Favorite Character: Alyssa, she is innocence in a world of madness and loyal and selfless most of the time. I can't wait to see what she chooses in the next book!
Favorite Quote: "Yet, here I am, all of these things. Both light and dark at the same time. If I were to give in to one side of me, would that mean I'd have to give up the other? My heart aches at the possibility. Somehow I feel like I need both to be complete." I think this is a choice we often face in life, when we make a major change or make a major mistake.
This was an almost a did not finish for me, but I am really glad I stuck it out. I think it is like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and you just have to work your way through it, not really expecting to understand everything, but having those ah! moments when things start to click. You just have to embrace the madness. It was a dark read, but had a great ending! 3.5 cups of cocoa.