Thursday 7 May 2020

WONDERLAND by Juno Dawson

What happens when you fall down the rabbit hole? 

 Alice lives in a world of stifling privilege and luxury - but none of it means anything when your own head plays tricks on your reality. When her troubled friend Bunny goes missing, Alice becomes obsessed with finding her. On the trail of her last movements, Alice discovers a mysterious invitation to 'Wonderland': the party to end all parties - three days of hedonistic excess to which only the elite are welcome. 

 Will she find Bunny there? Or is this really a case of finding herself? Because Alice has secrets of her own, and ruthless socialite queen Paisley Hart is determined to uncover them, whatever it takes. 

Alice is all alone, miles from home and without her essential medication. She can trust no-one, least of all herself, and now she has a new enemy who wants her head...

I've read several Juno Dawson books and she never disappoints. Her stories are always fresh and raw, honest and very addictive. So of course I wanted to check out her latest release with the very cool cover.

Alice attends a posh school and is smart enough to get good grades, even though she rarely bothers to turn up to class. She's a loner and is constantly bored with the world around her. She doesn't have many friends, seems mostly detached from her family, and is tired of her mind playing tricks on her.

So when a girl she recently connected with disappears and she's the only one asking questions, Alice decides to investigate. And falls down a rather bizarre rabbit hole...

I loved this! From the moment I started reading, I knew I was in for an awesome ride.

Alice's voice is so addictive and totally snarky. She really spoke to me. Her inner thoughts had me laughing, nodding in agreement, totally loving her upbeat narrative. Until she hits with the serious stuff. The things that made my heart hurt and vision blur because I felt every word through her honesty and confusion.

There's so much emotion packed into this lovely package. I wasn't surprised, because Juno has such a talent for injecting her writing with so much heart and soul.

I also enjoyed this strange and screwed up version of Wonderland that she stumbles on. She encounters some very weird characters along the way. Some are enigmatic, others alluring, several downright scary, but all of them help her get one step closer to her goal.

Her adventure might begin by chasing a Bunny down the rabbit hole and finding a cocktail of drugs, sex, alcohol and secrets, but it ends with finding out several hard truths about herself.

Wonderland is such an intriguing and trippy experience into an unknown place full of interesting characters and plenty of unexpected twists and turns. It's a heartfelt story about one girl's struggle to fight all the darkness threatening to consume her, while discovering the inner strength she didn't think she possessed.

Oh, and did I mention it also deals with several serious issues and features a bunch of messed-up characters? There's really something for everyone here.

I seriously loved this book. A lot!

Thank you Hachette Australia for sending me a copy. 🐰

Wonderland, May 2020, ISBN 9781786541055, Quercus Children's Books

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