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Not a Great Retelling of Alice

Ever Alice - H.J. Ramsay

Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.


Well not too much to say here besides the fact I didn't enjoy reading this one. I am always down for a fresh take on a retelling of a classic fairy tale, but Ramsay didn't do a good job of developing Alice or the Queen of Hearts. The flow of the book was not very good and I thought the setting of Wonderland could have been done up a lot more than it was. The ending also was a head scratcher to me. 


 "Ever Alice" follows a 15 year old Alice who has been packed away in an asylum by her parents. Though Alice keeps insisting that Wonderland and the White Rabbit are real, her family doesn't believe her. Now that she's older she still hopes she will be allowed to return home to celebrate her sister's upcoming marriage. However, things change again for her when she is taken to a new place that is dangerous to her. And when the White Rabbit shows again, Alice has a chance to return to Wonderland or be lost forever.


Ramsay decides to focus on not just a 15 year old Alice, but an older Queen of Hearts too. Honestly that ends up being a mistake. The writing between the two characters could not be more dissimilar. I ended up skimming a lot of the Queen of Hearts scenes because it was so repetitive. She's a mess and there's a lot of conspiracies surrounding her that I did not care one iota about. And I have to say that it doesn't get better when we switch to Alice's POV. This Alice is not that smart, but also sits around jealous because she has fallen for the Queen of Hearts son Thomas and wants him to pay attention to her. She's freaking 15 and hasn't even been around boys it would seem and her obsessing about Thomas and her "mission" just didn't get together very well. 

Other familiar characters from Wonderland show up her, the Cheshire cat, The White Rabbit, The Mad Hatter, The March Hare, etc. and none of them shone. There is a plot line about the Queen of Hearts and why Alice is rescued by the White Rabbit that made zero sense. And it just felt like Ramsay wanted to mix things up a bit and make this book more similar to the Alice in Wonderland movies directed by Tim Burton. But with an even more shallow look at characters. 


The flow was not that good. I think jumping back and forth between Alice and the Queen of Hearts wasn't a good idea. When Ramsay gets to the ending though is when things take an even more strange turn. One wonders if the author is hoping to turn this into a duology or what.


The setting of Wonderland was flat to me. I just finished "A Blade so Black" and I had the same issues while reading this book that I did while reading that. This book reads as if the author has just a low level knowledge of the Lewis Carroll works and doesn't do anything new with them and or doesn't expand on them in different ways. Besides people talking in an exhausting way, there's not that much there with Wonderland.

The ending was a letdown and I was just glad to put this book down in the end.