"Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers - precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. A family curse that stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, it's time for Alyssa to follow in her footsteps. To fix Alice's mistakes. To Wonderland."
A lot drew me to this book, Alyssas mum is locked away in a mental hospital and Alyssa herself is in danger of following right behind her. Plus Wonderland is real. Great!! This book went with the darker and more twisted version of Wonderland, which I think is a cool idea. Taking the odd yet picturesque place and turning it on it head to be disturbing.
Alyssa is an average teenager who is doing her best to get on with her life, which isn't easy when you're teased about your connection to the original Alice Liddell and your mum is locked away talking to bugs and only eating food unless it is served in a tea cup. The one person in this book that deserves some serious praise is her dad. He is desperately trying to keep their life together, its clear he is terrified his daughter will turn out like her mum and every other female in her family. He is still hopelessly in love with her, regardless of her illness and is clinging on to this hope that one day she'll come back to him.
Alyssa does her best to ignore the bugs and plants around her, determined not to go down the crazy route, but after an incident at the mental hospital things change. There's finally some hope. Alyssa ends up being dragged into Wonderland, with one goal. Fix what Alice did and save her family from the madness. Cue love interest.
Jeb is her long time crush and best friend. He ends up going with her, he is hugely protective of her and is desperate to get them home. As much as it pains him to stick it out in Wonderland and watch Alyssa feel the need to prove herself he doesn't hold her back too much. Deep down I think he knows what she is capable of but is so scared to let go of his need to protect her. Enter Morpheus stage left.
Morpheus makes up our triangle. He has been with Alyssa through her whole life, she just hasn't known it. It is obvious he has an agenda and will use Alyssa. He's dark and mysterious, and can show her a whole other side of herself. He does get on my nerves quite a bit, he goes on about what how well he knows her, but really he doesn't. He doesn't know her life Jeb does, and will manipulate her in this game he wants her to play.
There was only one real downside to this book for me, the love triangle I could cope with. Just about it. I feel like the dark and moody thing got taken too far, I have no problem with Alyssa being a punk skater girl, I was a teenager once too. But it seems so over the top, her out fit choice seem so teenager cliché. At first I thought she dressed like it because she looked so much like her mum she wanted to distance herself away from her. I felt like this was her only form of rebelling, because god forbid she does her dad will probably had a meltdown. I'm hoping that after the events of this book it'll be toned down a little in the next.