Look, there's not much that turns me off of a book more than A WHITE GIRL WITH BLUE DREADLOCKS complaining about her long lost heritage with Alice Liddell, but I read the whole thing because people kept recommending it to me and telling me not to judge by its cover, and I try to get past some writing-for-the-age-group in hopes that it'll have other redeeming qualities. By god was I ever correct to judge a book by its crappy cover and obnoxious purple font. It's everything I ever expected it to be. Contrived and not-like-other-girls-y, mixing in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland as the Hot Topic drugfest that people think it is, despite the fact that it was much more than that. But I've always been somewhat open to that, you know? The Wonderland-in-shambles thing got old to me after a while, but I did like American McGee's Alice, but at least the Alice in that one isn't so incredibly a flatline of lookatmeISKATEBOARDandwearlotsofHEAVYEYEMAKEUP.
The second portion of the book is marginally more bearable than the first because the first is wholly ensconced in the WORST of the WHINIEST and unconvincing teenage drama I've ever bothered to read, which is incredibly impressive, considering. Oh, I'm related to Alice Liddell so I get shit for it. People make absolutely lame connections to me and the book that is JUST THE WORST. Honestly the bullying in this book is so whole-heartedly goddamn lame that it makes the character's angst over it even worse
than normal teenage "I'm not normal" angst because you feel like she is overreacting about some of the most miserable bullying ever. I felt more convinced by the preteen in The Wizard movie, showing off his Power Glove and saying he's so bad.
Some of the plot and concepts are interesting, which is why I don't give it a single star because there are parts of it that have potential, but it also suffers one of my pet peeves of "this is a thing that the author just copied down from real life experiences" like Charles Dodgson didn't combine his humorous view of mathematical logic with fairytales to emphasize them. Elements that are relatively missing from this book overall, by the by.
And then the love triangle, GOD. Considering the fact that I highly doubt that in the world of heteronormative monogamous relationships that is typical YA that somehow Morpheus (HE'S CALLED MORPHEUS), Alyssa, and Jeb will find a three-way partnership to be okay, it is a grindingly miserable experience to sit by reading about Alyssa's adventures in waffling between the two of them and the two men acting like your average meatheads who feel annoyed when other men look at their girl. Jeb's the bulky one and Morpheus is the slim, crafty one and blah blah blah and the whole being half- I mean really just all the worst tropes.
oh and the book's dealing with mental illnesses is incredibly bizarre and non-indicative of anything real and again with the people faking mental illnesses thing, and OH MY GOD I MIGHT BE CRAZY and please just stop it.
I'm so glad that this is over.