Hello bookish friends!
I’m so excited to finally share my thoughts on Ever Alice with you – my absolute FAVOURITE book of the 2020 Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA)! I received this book to read and review as part of the 2020 BBNYA competition and share my unbiased opinion with you now. All opinions are my own. If you want to know more about what BBNYA is you can visit the official Twitter account here or the official website here.
BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors. If you are an indie author and want to learn more about this year’s BBNYA competition, or if you are a book blogger and want to become part of this year’s panel, do go and check out the links above! BBNYA is brought to you in association with The Folio Society (if you love beautiful you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group TheWriteReads.
Now, let’s get started with my review! But first, here’s the synopsis…
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.
It’s no secret that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is one of my all-time favourite books. I have reread it often and still enjoy it immensely every single time I read it, so hearing about a new take on Alice’s adventures (or, well, more so what happened afterwards) intrigued me so much, and I am so happy to say that it did not disappoint at all. I absolutely LOVED Ever Alice, and if you’re a fan of the classic story, you should not hesitate to pick this up!
A few years after the original story, Alice has landed herself in a mental asylum by telling people about her adventures in Wonderland. Her parents hope that the institution will cure their younger daughter off her madness – because clearly, she must have gone mad!
I loved that this book also focuses on the Queen of Hearts and gives her the ability to show us her point of view. While Alice waits that the time passes in the asylum, Rosamund (the Queen of Hearts) keeps on beheading the people around her. However, not only that. Her paranoia gets worse and worse, and she fears that there is a bigger plot against her, and imprisons the Queen of Spades. Time for the White Rabbit (aka Sir Ralph) to pay Alice a visit in the asylum. He’s convinced that she is the only one who can fix this madness – meaning who can KILL the Queen of Hearts!
It’s been a while since I last read the classic by Lewis Carrol, and I loved revisiting Wonderland. While it’s been great to see some of my favourite characters again (like the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat), we are also introduced to a number of new ones that add to the story.
Since this story happens a few years after the original story, Alice is now older, and so, some of the themes here are more grown-up too. While beheadings were already part of the Carrolian tale, the ones here include a bit more detail, and beside the gory bits, we also find infatuation and love among the themes here.
Something I absolutely loved in this ‘almost-sequel’ was that so many of the characters I remembered from the original story are now to be found in other characters. The auhor did this in a very fun and engaging way, and some people who are not as familiar with the original story might not even pick up on it! We also find a new game in this story (very much along the lines of the original croquet!), and it was super fun picking up on these details. The only thing that would have made me love this book even more would have been more of the special, whimsical, quoatable characteristic Alice-lines, but finding less of them here than I would have liked did not take away from my reading enjoyment at all.
The ending is dark and you definitely don’t see it coming, but it adds to the more mature, crazier, mad type of Wonderland feeling you get throughout the story. If you are a fan of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, this is a must-read for you! 5 stars from me!!!
Thank you all so much for reading!