Tag Archives: alice in wonderland

Manga Review: Wonderland by Yugo Ishikawa

Seven Seas
October 30th 2015
180 Pages

Teenage girl Yukko awakens to find that she has shrunken in size–but this is no rabbit hole or fairy tale–this is real life! In a desperate and bloody struggle to stay alive, while fleeing giant predators and other twisted dangers, Yukko learns that she is not the only person who has turned tiny.

Can she survive long enough to learn the truth behind her curious transformation?- Goodreads

This is a Alice in Wonderland retelling. But it is no where near your typical retelling. Yukko is the focus of this manga with Alice, technically, the side character (I only read the first volume, so that may be subject to change).

The story takes place in the modern world and Yukko wakes up tiny. She comes to find out her parents are tiny as well as the people of her neighborhood. From the time she wakes up, it is a battle to survive. At first, I thought this manga was going The Borrowers route and I honestly wouldn’t have been mad at that (its a classic movie to me). However, I am glad it didn’t go that route.

This manga is a bit dark. What makes it dark is reading how humanity reacts to this issue. Yeah, you see death. Yeah, there is an emotional pull and yes, you see blood. But you expect some really messed up cover-up from the government but what you don’t expect is how the people around you react. I mean maybe you do but it still isn’t pretty to look at.

In regards to artwork, there is nothing special well let me rephrase. . .  nothing groundbreaking about it. Its good, do not get me wrong but the artwork didn’t caught me; only the story.

The pace of the novel is A+ It moves fast enough where the reader doesn’t feel like the author is adding a lot of fluff and oddly enough the first volume gives you a lot of background information. It is a really good balance and keeps the read interested.

Overall, I liked this manga and plan on continuing it.

3 Pickles

Book Review: Wonder by Christina C. Jones

Warm Hues Creative
Published Jan 22nd 2019
238 Pages

It all came down to me. 

The one who followed the rules, never went looking for trouble – I kept to myself. I just wanted to take care of my family. To not constantly look over my shoulder, worried about the things that went bump in the night. 

I just wanted to survive. 

But that wasn’t meant to be. 

As luck – or fate, or something – would have it, the trouble found me. 

I followed a rabbit through the wreckage of a half-ruined world to get back what was mine, and wound up at the end of it. 

In Wonderland. 

But there’s nothing magical about it. – Goodreads

Now the summary you see above gives you vibes of a cliche story about Alice in Wonderland in a post apocalyptic world. This book is far from a cliche and one of the best Alice in Wonderland retellings I have read in a very long time.

Let’s start with the obvious. How did the author incorporate the classic story into her own? She did it without sucking the life out of her own story. There are a lot of subtle things from the original story that if you aren’t fully familiar with, you will not get it.

For instance, Alice is a woman named Aly (Alyson), the Mad Hatter is a man named Mad (Maddox), Chester is a woman named Ches (Franchesca) and the Queen is a woman named Ruby.

Are there other references to Alice in Wonderland, yes there are but the names didn’t click for me, minus Aly, until after I finished the book and began to rethink the book. And when they did click, I couldn’t stop smiling. I love when authors do little things like this because they turn out to big things.

The incorporation of Alice in Wonderland to the author’s own story was tastefully done. The author stayed true to the story she wanted to tell by adding elements from Alice in Wonderland that enhance what she wanted to portray as opposed to drowning you in  scenes you are familiar with. Alice in Wonderland was what caught my attention to read the book but it wasn’t why I kept reading.

What really blew me away were the characters. Let me first off start by saying, I loved Aly and Mad together. Their attraction for each other grew into something and I was all for it. They were real with each and understanding and the passion they had for each other was on a omg level that we can only strive for in our life lol

I also loved the fact that they remained two individual people coming together as opposed to being Aly and Mad all the time; that whole smothering thing can be super annoying to read.

But what stole the show was Ches & Ruby. They were two of the best women I have read in a very very long time. For the first time ever, I was rooting for the Queen. Ruby is badass and I was so ready to hate her. I was waiting for her to mess up, to ruin everything but at the end of the day I wanted to be her friend.

In regards to Ches, I liked her but like Chester the Cat, she was a complicated soul. I was hoping that the author would give more details about Ches because the author was going around her back story. It wasn’t until the end that I was like OH! Things were implied and even at the end they weren’t bluntly stated and you know what? I am alright with that. Again, this was tastefully done.

The story is told in Aly’s point of view as well as Mad’s. I wouldn’t have enjoyed it any other way. I literally can go on and on about this book, so if you read it and want to chat about it let me know because I am in love.

5 Pickles. 

Book Review: A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney

TBP Sept. 25, 2018
384 Pages

The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she’s trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.

Life in real-world Atlanta isn’t always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice’s handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she’ll need to use everything she’s learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head . . . literally. – Goodreads

I am at the point in my life that I will read almost anything written by a Black (African American) author in the fantasy genre. I don’t see enough of it, specifically YA, and so I jump at every chance to read it. I was excited for this book. Once I was approved for it, I started reading it instantly. I couldn’t finish this book. It was just not for me and here is why:

The author tries way to hard to make Alice relevant to what is currently going on in the world. From the shootings, to White people and pumpkin spice, the author adds these things in the book and all I could think about was

30 Rock Hello GIF

They didn’t fit but I understand why the author did it. To me, she wanted to make the story realistic even though it is considered fantasy. She wanted Alice to be relate able to African American girls and I could get that. It just didn’t work for me.

Another issue I had with this read was Alice herself. She was uninteresting. She didn’t have any real spark or personality. She would have just been another around the way girl, if it wasn’t for her connection to Wonderland. This is not to say that a plain girl can’t do amazing and interesting things. It literally happens all the time in real life as well as fictional but as much as I feel for Alice about what happened to her in her personal life, I couldn’t actually tell you who she is after that.

Finally, Wonderland. The thing about authors, who do a retelling of Alice in Wonderland, is they try to lay on the crazy, the riddles as much as possible. Ms.McKinney is no different. I just feel like as I was reading the book. . . it wasn’t captivating me. I wasn’t interested and I kept trying since I was approved for the book.

I am not saying that others may not enjoy this book. This book has gotten rave reviews. Its just isn’t for me.


1 Pickle

Book Review: Insanity (Mad in Wonderland #1) by Cameron Jace

CreateSpace Published Dec 19, 2013 254 Pages
Published Dec 19, 2013
254 Pages

Its been two years since the accidental killing of her classmates and Alice Wonder is a patient in the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum. She knows she insane, so does everyone around her; except hookah-smoking Professor Caterpillar, who believes Alice can be proven sane if she helps find the modern day wonderland monsters.

Posing as a college student during the day and going back to asylum at night, Alice must find a monster, while also trying to decider what is sane and insane. 

The summary makes this book seem a bit lame. However, it is January 8, 2015 and this is the best book I have read so far this year.

Alice is going through a lot. Due to medications and shock therapy, she doesn’t remember anything about her past and for the most part she doesn’t really want to remember.  I liked Alice because what made her special wasn’t the fact that she may be THEE Alice but she was her own person. She grew, she was witty and she was determined . . . whether determined to find the truth or not, she was a determined girl.

I also liked how Jace put all the characters from wonderland into this modern world. It didn’t seem far fetched at all; it made sense and it flowed very nicely into this story. This made it so much easier to read. Each character had their own develops which I loved. There wasn’t overlapping views, love triangles or unnecessary issues in which the author tries to add fluff to the story.

However, I have two issues with this book. Firstly, there were some predictability not with Alice directly but with the surrounding characters. They were roll your eye moments that were spotted even before it began. My second issue with this book is the line between sane and insane. Alice is constantly going through this battle but you really don’t see it cross reality until the end. I felt that it wasn’t placed well because this is an issue throughout the whole book and it shouldn’t had affected “reality” towards the end.

None the less, I thought this was an amazing read and Jace wrote so well and creativity I want to look more into Lewis Carroll.

4 Pickles.

Manga Review: Pandora Hearts by Jun Mochizuki

Published Dec. 15,2009
Published Dec. 15,2009

Oz Vessalius is about to have a day he will never forget. At his coming of age ceremony, he is sent to the abyss, an eternal prison, for a sin he has no idea he committed. 

In the abyss, he meets Alice, desperate to escape the abyss. She needs Oz’s help in order to leave. But at what cost?

This manga was okay. Oz is okay. The plot is what saved this series.

If you just read the first one, you won’t get much out of it. But if you keep reading it gets good. The story is a play on Alice in Wonderland, which is something I didn’t pick up on til the third book (I think).

I love the fact that the story isn’t one note. It was extremely well written, mysterious and complicated just enough for me to keep reading. However, what I didn’t like about the book was Oz. He didn’t show any growth and I read eight books. He was boring, lifeless and he didn’t failed to actually understand anything that was going on. He was stupid but he did act stupid constantly. Oz had no backbone either.

I understand he is a 15 year old boy but he is the main character. Everything centralizes around him and he was so willingly to throw his life away for the sake of being a hero but he really didn’t know what it all meant. Oz made the manga feel really drawn out. I was seriously tired of his mess.

As for the artwork, it was great! The series is very violent; so there is a lot of aggressive movements in the art. I loved it.

Overall, the manga get 3 Pickles.

Kindle Review: Her Mad Hatter (Kingdom #1) by Marie Hall

*Adults ONLY*

       Self Published  Published July 12, 2012    129 Pages Kindle Ed.
Self Published
Published July 12, 2012
129 Pages Kindle Ed.

Alice lives for all things wonderful. She’s a 24-year-old woman, who has opened Mad Hatter’s Cupcakery and Tea Shoppe with her best friend. Things are going well until a fairy godmother decides that Alice is the one to save the Mad Hatter and in total save Wonderland.

The Mad Hatter is everything Alice has and has not dreamed of. Sexy, strong, rugged and completely out of his mind, Hatter is not an easy egg to crack for Alice but with only three days to fall in love can Alice discover his secret and release her own?

This was such a surprisingly good book I am still flabbergasted. This is an adult version of Alice in Wonderland without the falling down the rabbit hole. Alice is a grown woman who although is single, is not one of those women who are overly shy or has a horrible past that damaged their future. I liked Rose because she held her own without being the overly aggressive woman or the damsel in distress.

I also loved the setting of this novel. Wonderland is a mess but not a dark creepy mess with hidden evils. It is bright, confusing, complicated, bad but really good and it was completely emotion based. When Hatter was feeling crappy, Wonderland was feeling crappy; so it was really cool to see the setting change as Alice and Hatter go through the process of getting to know each other.

I was completely surprised by Hatter because he was supposed to be this bad boy and there was nothing bad about him. He is an attractive man who has stopped looking for love due to some bad experiences. There are some turns in his story but it isn’t in bad taste.

However, despite my love for these characters what bothered me was the huge dramatic scene towards the end. That was extremely dramatic that I am not entirely sure I liked it.  I understand why it was written like that to prove a point about fate but it was a bit over the top.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. It gets 4 Pickles

Book Review: Splintered (Splintered, #1) by A.G. Howard

        Amulet Books    Published Jan. 1, 2013            371 Pages
Amulet Books
Published Jan. 1, 2013
371 Pages

Alyssa Gardner is the great-great-great daughter of Alice Liddell, the woman who inspired Alice in Wonderland written by Lewis Carroll. It is known that the women in the family are crazy but so far Alyssa has been able to contain that craziness.

That is until a routine visit with her mom (who is at an asylum) takes a turn for the worst and Alyssa discovers that not only is the family cursed but there is more to the story then what Lewis Carroll told and there is a way to break the curse on her family.

So down the rabbit hole Alyssa goes but wonderland is a lot creepier than she once read and in order to survive she needs her crush Jeb and a former childhood friend Morpheus, who is all grown up.

This story was creepy. Kudos goes to the author for freaking me out. The story was an awesome read. I was heavily invested into this story and I loved every minute of it. The details was perfect. The suspense and drama came towards the middle of the book, which was no problem at all.

However, I was pissed off. Jeb is controlling and Alyssa is an idiot. The only character that made sense was Morpheus. Alyssa is in love with Jeb. Jeb loves Alyssa but decides to baby her considering that her mother is in an asylum and Alyssa is emotional. Alyssa allows Jeb to control her every move when they are in wonderland. She doesn’t stand up for herself and she is constantly looking for Jeb to save her. Seriously! THE ENTIRE BOOK SHE REFUSES TO GROW A PAIR TO JEB.

I couldn’t stand their relationship and to be honest still don’t understand why the heck Jeb was in wonderland with her anyway. The only time Alyssa stands up for herself is when Jeb has been gone for about three chapters. My issue with this is Jeb is the one she should have stood up to. I couldn’t stand their relationship.

Morpheus was my man! Loved everything about his character; even though he was being portrayed as a villain in the middle and towards the end he was the most loveable character in the story. Everything he did had a purpose which is exactly how it should be.

One other thing I didn’t like about the book was this love triangle/final decision. Why can’t we get a story in which the female lead doesn’t have it both ways? It bothered me that Alyssa was able to get exactly what she wanted because to be honest she,one, didn’t deserve it and two, has responsibilities to take care of. This is why there is always a second book . . . because she’s not taking care of home.

Despite all of this I loved this book and it receives a 8 out of 10, which is pretty high considering I hated the main characters.

Love, Tanya