April 18, 2015
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!"
Alice in Wonderland is one of my all time favorite retellings. That being said, Alice in Wonderland High is my second retelling that I have read. Splintered was the first retelling and I really enjoyed. But if I am being honest, the two books are completely different and do not compare to one another. The setting is completely different but still has the Wonderland atmsophere that I love. Rather than falling into a hole, all the secondary characters were brought to Alice in a High School setting. It's definitely a unique retelling.
The first sentence grabbed me and I was throughly invested up into about half way. If there isnt an enticing mystery and/or plot after 100 pages or so I get really bored. The worldbuilding was very cool and was the most exciting to read about but not much happened in th middle and I found myself skimming just a bit. This book is very character driven and had a lot of dialogue. Sometimes, it was overwhelming but I understood the need for it.
Alice was very quirky and though I didnt agree with some of her actions, I loved her sarcasm and loved her crush on Chester. Chester was definitely dreamy and mysterious. I wanted to know his secrets. I would definitely recommend this book to fans of retellings!
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.
|An ARC was loaned from Nori @Readwritelove28 for the Sunday Street Team|