Welcome to April’s Sunday Street Team!
Sunday Street Team is organized by Nori at @ReadWriteLove28, You can also find her blog, and her own review of Alice in Wonderland High, at ReadWriteLove28!
I was so happy to be a part of this tour, and I want to start by thanking Nori for including me, and Rachel Shane for letting all of us borrow your books!
Alice in Wonderland by Rachel Shane
Publisher: Merit Press
Release Date: 04/18/15
Sixteen-year-old Alice just can’t find a way to be free. Her parents are environmental activists, whose cringe-worthy public protests might involve chaining themselves to a fence and pleading with passersby to “Save the World. Save Alice!” It’s not that Alice doesn’t believe there’s work to be done. But after a petition to start a farmer’s market meets with more snickers than signatures, she figures she should shut up instead of speaking out. At least, that is, until she can find something that feels real. Then along comes Whitney Lapin, a girl who speaks in cryptic riddles and spends her free time turning abandoned warehouses into beautiful gardens. Charismatic Whitney leads Alice on a rabbit trail into the underground–aka secret society–of Wonderland High. Curiouser and curiouser.
Alice is in wonderland! Even though Whitney’s group of teenage environmental vigilantes operates on the wrong side of the law, with them, Alice is finally free to be herself. She stomps on her good girl image by completing a series of environmental pranks to impress the new group: flooding the school and disguising a pig as a baby in order to smuggle it out of a testing facility. She wants to trust them, and she especially wants to trust (or maybe kiss) Chester Katz, a boy with a killer smile, a penchant for disappearing, and a secret that will turn Alice’s world backwards. But then, one of the young vigilantes tries to frame Alice for all the pranks, and she must figure out their secret before she ends up in front of a jury screaming, “Off with her head!”
I’ll start by saying that I’m not a huge Alice in Wonderland fan. Though that is the case, I did enjoy reading this book for a few reasons.
1. I really enjoyed Chess!
I just thought he was the most adorable character in the beginning of this book because he came off as shy, but confident, and slightly mysterious. Those are the type of boys I seem to love in real life, so he just scooped me right off my feet and allowed me to stay that way through the rest of the novel. He was one character I did not want to let go of. Could I have him in real life please Ms. Shane?!
2. I enjoyed the Alice in Wonderland twists to real life.
It was VERY interesting to see how Alice in Wonderland was incorporated into this story. Usually, Alice in Wonderland isn’t taken into a contemporary/real life setting. Normally, it’s used in fantasies because, in essence, that’s what Alice in Wonderland is all about, right? I won’t give anything away, but the way she incorporated different ideas into real life circumstances, such as the Mad Hatter, the fantastical plants and environment, and the Cheshire Cat, were very fun to find, pick out, and stick with throughout the story.
3. I liked the fact that she kept Alice’s naivety from the original.
To me, Alice always just seemed innocent, naive, and almost child-like in some instances. It’s part of her essence, character, and charm. I’m glad that Ms. Shane decided to keep that innocent nature and insert it into her own Alice.
There were also a few things that I didn’t necessarily enjoy; most of which are coming from my own personal preferences.
1. I felt that there were some quirks and descriptors that took me out of the story.
There were times where I was reading this book and I was pulled away from the story because some of the quirkiness that encompasses Alice just didn’t seem natural to me. However, I’m contradicting myself in the same sentence because Alice in Wonderland is full of quirks and odd statements, as this book should be. I just wasn’t a fan of it because it seemed to stop the flow for me. I would sit there and think, “a normal teenager wouldn’t say this”, but we’re not talking about Normal teenagers, are we?
2. Alice was just not a main character to capture my heart.
Like I said before, Alice has just never been my cup of tea. I didn’t truly like her from the beginning because she was just so innocent and naive, but that’s the essence of who Alice is and why she ventures into Wonderland in the first place. I can’t necessarily say that it was by any means a fault in this novel; I claimed before that Alice is supposed to be naive. Alice in Wonderland just seems to not fit with my tastes very well seeing as I’d rather read about the assassin and everything I wish I could be, than to read about Alice and everything that I am.
Overall: 3.5 stars
Well done Ms. Shane! You managed to recreate a wonderful story of Alice in Wonderland and fit the oddness that is this story into characteristics of real life and realistic problems. Not many authors could pull that off and I commend you for even coming up with the idea, let alone pulling it off! It’s a solid start. Congratulations on finishing and publishing your first novel!
Rachel Shane studied Creative Writing at Syracuse University and now works in digital publishing at in New York City. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, young daughter, and a basement full of books. This is her first novel.
Rachel Shane has graciously given us an annotated hardcover of Alice in Wonderland High to giveaway to one lucky winner! You can enter the giveaway by clicking the link below!
Finishing up, I’m so sorry I haven’t been around lately. It’s coming down to crunch time in all of my jobs: Recital time, Keystones time, AP testing time, etc. So I ask you all to please excuse me for a bit! I will get my reviews of The Darkest Minds series and An Ember in the Ashes up sooner rather than later. I just need to find the time to write them.
I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead of you.