All the women in Alyssa Gardner’s family are cursed, ever since her ancestor Alice Liddell inspired Lewis Carol’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland they start hearing voices when they reach puberty. Her mother Alison lives in a mental facility because she hears flowers and insects talking and since Alyssa started hearing the same kinds of voices a few years ago she has worried that she will become like her mother. As her mother’s condition starts to worsen, Alyssa begins to learn more about her family’s curse and they truth behind Alice Liddell and Wonderland. When Alyssa finds herself and her best friend Jeb in Wonderland she realizes Wonderland is much darker than the Wonderland in the book and in order to save her mother and herself from the curse she must pass impossible tests.
Alyssa was an interesting main character, I liked her skateboard style and flair and her personality. She was typical teen in that she rebelled against her parents in subtle ways, like with the hair extensions, but she was still naive in her willingness to trust others. I wasn’t sure if I would like Jeb at the beginning but as we got to know him more I really started to like him. His protectiveness of Alyssa was a little annoying when he tried to be a surrogate parent but he was concerned for Alyssa which was nice and who doesn’t love a handsome knight in shining armor!
I wish I had read the original Alice in Wonderland to have something to relate the numerous references with but I still enjoyed the book. The Wonderland in this book is much darker than the Alice I remember when I was little. The characters all have a morbid twist to them and Alyssa’s quest is much more dangerous that Alice. There were so many twists that I was constantly kept guessing what was going to happen next. The ending was just the right combination of suspense, sadness, despair, hope and even happiness. Overall, this was a really enjoyable read.