Monday, October 19, 2015

Alice In Wonderland High by Rachel Shane Book Review--We're All Mad Here


Sixteen-year-old Alice just can't find a way to be free. Her parents are environmental activists whose cringeworthy 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 farmers’ market meets with more snickers than signatures, she figures she should shut up instead of speak 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—a.k.a. 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 really 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 that’s screaming, “Off with her head!”

* A special thanks to Merit Press for this review copy*

I love Alice in Wonderland retellings and that's that. I haven't read one yet that has disappointed me, and this one is no exception.
With an odd backstory of eco-friendly, go green, tree hugging weirdness--I was a little concerned I wouldn't really enjoy this story. I thought it might read a little cheesy but despite my previous concerns--I really enjoyed this story.

A breakdown of the plot: Alice's parents, are what you might call tree huggers. They're very into an eco-friendly lifestyle--but, they're also dead. Dead, and their reputation has left behind a bad taste in everyone's mouths--Alice's the most. Alice can't seem to out live her parents reputation--but there's a large part of her that doesn't want to. You see, Alice wants to continue her parent's work--but she'd rather not be a social pariah while she's at it. In steps the quirky, the odd, and the strange, Whitney, Kingston Hatter, and Chester Katz. Can I just say that I thought the author was very clever in the way she chose to use the names?!

Alice joins this group of misfits, unwanted at first--doing a series of environment pranks. Getting in more trouble than she's ever imagined.

The characters: I loved them. They were what I love about Alice in Wonderland retellings. They're odd, and out there--and down right strange. There's something I really enjoyed about that. They're uninhibited and such fun. Whitney spoke in these weird riddles, Kingston was mad--literally, and Chess had a grin to rival the original cat. 

I really didn't think I'd care for the environmental aspect of the book, and while it wasn't exactly riveting--it was clean fun. It's perfect for actual YA readers--because it never really passes that line that some YA books do. It stayed clean, there was kissing, but it was clean. But it still has crossover appeal--so adults will enjoy it also. It was just a really great, light read. I'm excited to see what Shane has up her sleeve--maybe a continuation? 


  1. Glad this was a new twist on the tale that you enjoyed! I do love odd characters, that make for a nice change of pace. ;)

  2. I love Alice in Wonderland retellings too! I'm definitely going to check this book out, it seems like a great read!
    ~Erika @ Books, Stars, Writing. And Everything In Between.

  3. Love retellings! Although I haven't read an Alice in wonderland retelling yet, I definitely want to :)

  4. You know I am not sure I have read an Alice retelling. I do love Alice in general so I might have to try one. This sounds like fun. Glad you enjoyed it!

  5. I didn't realize that the environment was a big thing in this book. Weird. But I still want to read it because it looks really fun. I've had this sitting on my shelf for a while, so hopefully I can get to it soon. I also really like those character names you mentioned... very cute!

  6. This is so odd, but I'm glad you enjoyed it, Jaz!

  7. I really enjoy retelling and after reading your review I can't wait to pick this up.

    Glad that you enjoyed it!

  8. Alice in Wonderland!!!! ♥♥♥ Sounds really awesome and I'm curious to meet Kingston Hatter! :D

  9. I came across this book before and never really bothered to check it out... sounds like a fun (and odd) set of characters. nice to know that you enjoyed it :)

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

  10. I hadn't heard of this before but it sounds fun, glad you enjoyed it! ~Pam