Title: Ever Alice
Author: H.J. Ramsay
Publication: August 1, 2019
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Genre: Teens, YA Fiction, Folklore, Fiary Tales
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
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.
My friend found this on NetGalley and knew it was something that would be up my alley. I love love, love fairytale retellings. While Alice in Wonderland isn’t my favorite fairytale I still wanted to read it. I have read Heartless the story of how the Queen of Hearts got her horrific reputation. This one is told from the perspective of Alice herself and the Queen of Hearts as well. I couldn’t wait to start it.
As I started this book I knew that it wouldn’t be like any sort of retelling that I was thinking it would be. Alice is considered crazy because of her wonderful tales and drawings of Wonderland. Her parents have sent her multiple doctors all claiming that they could fix her and everything will be back to normal. They finally decide to take her to the insane asylum that is promising to fix her and get her back to normal. The whole time I was reading this I was getting madder and madder at the parents for locking their 14-year-old daughter away in an insane asylum because she was different than other kids. So what that she wrote stories and drew pictures of things not of this world? She had an imagination that should be supported. I understand that it was the time frame the story took place but still. The story jumps chapter to chapter from Alice to The Queen of Hearts. At times that is super annoying because just as you get into a groove with the one storyline it chases.
The story is well written. The book is exciting. Has all the elements of the original Alice in Wonderland, The Cheshire Cat, The White Rabbit, even the Mad Hatter. Each of those characters has their own storyline. They have jousting events with licorice whips, they have sword fights with real swordfish. The author left me wondering where the book was going with how the story was being told but it left me gasping and shedding a few tears when she finally dropped the shoe so to speak with how she addressed Alice’s healthcare in the asylum. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of fairytale retelling, or even someone who wants a good fantasy based book. I will be keeping an eye out for more by this author in the future.
STAR RATING: 4/5
Pick up your copy of Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and check your local bookstore. Also make sure to add the book to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished.