Author: A.G. Howard
Publisher: Amulet Books
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Paranormal
Release Date: Jan 1, 2013
Purchase: Amazon | TBD | B&N | Kobo
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.YABE traded with me for my copy of Sick by Tom Leveen.
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.
At first I really seemed to have a hard time getting into this book though. Then I got sick and I didn't feel like reading it. So I really took my time reading this one. But I'm glad that I did because Howard had so much detail in this one. It was dark and alluring. The setting of this book was so vivid and imaginative and sometimes disturbing. It made me want to read the original book by Lewis Carroll so I could compare notes. This book also had some surprise twists to the end which was another plus for me.
I really enjoyed the heroine, Alyssa. She wasn't your typical preppy type girl or even the relaxed laid back type. She was punk/alternative and she reminded me of everything that I wanted to be in high school, but fell short of. She has a unique skater girl style mixed with grungy punky flares. The clothes that Howard described in this were just amazing, you could actually visualize what Al was wearing in such vivid detail. And her attitude toward life, aside from thinking she is delusional and crazy like her mom and every other female in her family, was real. She didn't think that she was amazing or all that, she just lived life and tried to not get in anyone's way. But she also knew that there was something different about her but wasn't quite willing to admit it to herself or anyone else.
Now the two guys, oh my. Jeb was not your typical boy-next-door type. He had real family issues and real girl problems. Secretly crushing on Alyssa while dealing with a stuck up snotty girlfriend. He played Alyssa's sidekick throughout most of the book, but was sort of comical about it in the way he would speak to Morpheus and all of Wonderland. He was head strong (as most guys are) and never once doubted Alyssa when she told him all her secrets. He was a true friend and a great love interest.
Morpheus, wow. Even though you kind of hate him, you also love him. He's a netherling. Black wings, blue hair, a love of fascinating hats and wicked fun and deceit. He is everything you just love to hate. He is Alyssa's mysterious child hood friend and her ultimate undoing. But he pulls through in the end for her and that's when you realize that he actually has true feelings for our heroine.
I am definitely in LOVE with this dark, twisted and intriguing different Wonderland. The characters, the plot, the story in general. I can't wait to read Unhinged, book 2 in this great series. And I can't wait to read more from this amazing author!