H. J. Ramsay
Red Rogue Press
Published August 1, 2019
About Ever Alice
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.
I think the idea of EVER ALICE is really clever. It seems completely plausible to me that if the Alice from the original story came back from Wonderland and tried to explain her adventures to her family and friends, they would send her to an asylum.
That premise also gives EVER ALICE a darker, creepier feel. This Wonderland feels much more like something created by Tim Burton rather than Lewis Carroll. Several scenes show victims of the Red Queen’s conspiracy theories getting beheaded. She chooses food and drinks that become increasingly gross.
Something felt missing for me in reading the book, though. I wanted more from Alice. She’s a passive character, constantly getting caught up in other people’s plans. Even when she finally (about 60% of the way through the story) commits to a course of action, she still relies on others to lead her to the solution to her problem.
I liked that the story isn’t as simple as a girl falling through a rabbit hole into another world. (Though I guess that doesn’t sound all that simple.) I liked that it left me with questions about what Alice really experienced. All in all, I’d say EVER ALICE wasn’t the best fit for me as a reader, but it was an interesting leap from the original story.
If you’re looking for a reimagining of ALICE IN WONDERLAND, I recommend Umberland, the second book in the series by Wendy Spinale.
Recommended for Ages 14 up.
Alice and her family are white.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Kissing between a boy and girl.
One character reads cards, tea leaves, and palms to predict the future. The Cheshire cat appears and disappears. Ghosts appear and speak to living characters.
Several descriptions of beheading.
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