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.
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.
Alyssa is the great-great-great granddaughter of Alice Liddell, who told Lewis Carroll of her strange dreams, which inspired his classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The female descendants of Alyssa’s family have suffered from a great curse of madness that has stricken the women in her family with insanity. When her mother is taken away to a mental asylum after attempting to kill her own daughter, Alyssa knows that she will suffer the same fate. What Alyssa doesn’t know, is that what she once thought was fiction, is actually a terrifying reality.
The real Wonderland is a world far darker than Lewis Carroll ever let on. In a race against madness, Alyssa must travel into the world of Wonderland with her bestfriend and secret boy crush Jeb, if she wishes to remove the curse that was placed upon her family. She must go down the rabbit hole and travel into dark abyss of Wonderland to undo all of Alice Liddell’s mistakes. There Alyssa must first face a series of tests, before she can accomplish her goals.
Upon arriving to Wonderland, Alyssa meets the surreptitious Morpheus who has been appearing in her dreams ever since she was just a girl. With Morpheus, who may have darker motives of his own as her guide through Wonderland, Alyssa becomes unclear on who are her enemies and who are her friends.
I instantly fell in love with Alyssa’s character right from the start as she was strong willed and faced her obstacles stealthily.
I don’t know how A.G. Howard did it, but she managed to create a whole new world of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with a far darker twist than any of Tim Burton’s movies, and a whole lot more creepy… I can tell a lot of research went into this novel as A.G. cleverly wove the original story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland into her very own.
Her pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.