By H.J. Ramsay
Published August 2019 by Red Rogue Press
Alice’s stories of Wonderland did more than raise a few eyebrows—it landed her in an asylum. Now at 15 years of age, she’s willing to do anything to leave, which includes agreeing to an experimental procedure. When Alice decides at the last minute not to go through with it, she escapes with the White Rabbit to Wonderland and trades one mad house for another: the court of the Queen of Hearts. Only this time, she is under orders to take out the Queen. When love, scandal, and intrigue begin to muddle her mission, Alice finds herself on the wrong side of the chopping block.
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I absolutely love Alice in Wonderland, so I was super pumped to read Ever Alice.
Alice is now 15 years old, and she’s unfortunately been committed to an asylum because she keeps talking of the White Rabbit and the things she saw in Wonderland. And no one believes her. In fact, they think she’s absolutely mad.
Ever Alice switches between Alice’s point of view and the Queen of Hearts’ point of view. I noticed that the year, flower, etc header of each chapter was different and didn’t make sense, but Wonderland doesn’t make sense so I kind of skipped really paying attention to those after a while (except to note whose POV we were going to read in).
I really felt for Alice. She’s scared and confused and just wants to go home. And the doctors and nurses act as though they want to help her, but it doesn’t seem like they do. She’s so naive and just doesn’t seem to understand why she can’t go home and no one believes her about Wonderland.
The Queen of Hearts, Rosamund, is an interesting character. She’s paranoid about everyone and anyone plotting against her to take the throne. And she obviously believes she’s the best thing ever since sliced bread. It was hard for her to ever think she wasn’t liked.
And then we have the Prince of Hearts. Also confusing. Their “romance” (and yes I’m putting it in quotes because really was it even anything?) was suuuper fast and out of nowhere. And he was just about as bad as Rosamund with his behavior.
Wonderland itself is confusing as well as the character, but again, Wonderland is known for being confusing so this just adds to the story, I feel. The characters use opposite terminology (such as saying things are very unimportant when in fact it means it’s very important), and so I found myself paying close attention to what was going on.
Everything in this story feels like it happens so fast. One minute Alice is tumbling her way back into Wonderland, the next she’s in the queen’s service as a lady in waiting.
That said, the cast of characters is as it should be for an Alice retelling, and Wonderland was deliciously confusing like I expected it to be. As an avid Alice in Wonderland I thought this was a neat take on this classic story.
The ending though, I’m not sure how I feel about it. It’s caused me to pause and wonder what I really just read. And that, to me, is the best because I love books that make me question things and think.
I received this book for free via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.