Title: Ever Alice
Author: H J Ramsay
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Release Date: Aug 1, 2019
Ever wondered what happened to Alice after Wonderland? H.J. Ramsay tells you, in her great YA novel Ever Alice.
What is Ever Alice about?
Ever Alice has been branded as a retelling of Lewis Caroll’s original Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, but it’s a lot more like a sequel set in that same time period. Without giving away too much of the plot, we follow a 15-year-old Alice after she’s come back from Wonderland, and her parents don’t believe Wonderland is real. As a result, they think Alice is mad and send her to an asylum. But, while she’s in the asylum she is called back to Wonderland for various reasons, and you follow her journey back through the rabbit hole.
But what makes this book standout is that we have two very different unreliable narrators — Alice and the Queen of Hearts aka Rosamund — and each chapter shifts between their POVs. This opens up a lot of interesting avenues for the plot, and there’s a lot of play with dramatic irony which is something I absolutely loved.
My Reading Experience
H.J. Ramsay wrote in the author’s note at the end that she wanted to mix light and dark in this novel, and I think she’s achieved it really well.
Throughout the narrative she sprinkles in well-known quotes from the original while at points also imitating Caroll’s topsy-turvy style when writing scenes set in Wonderland. Her play with language also makes for some really interesting magical-realism kind of moments where you’re not sure what’s real or not — something you don’t often find in plot-heavy YA.
The language is extremely readable, and despite being a slow reader, I got through this novel pretty quickly! It’s got everything you want in an engrossing novel — Romance, Fantasy, Magic. But, it manages to deal with some interesting themes like family loyalty and what makes a good ruler
I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA 2020 competition and/or the BBNYA tours organised by the @The_WriteReads tours team. All opinions are my own, unbiased and honest.
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