Friday Feature: Alice, Alice, Who the **** is Alice?

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland I thought I’d take a look at some Wonderland-inspired reads.

The Looking Glass Wars ~ Frank Beddor

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Alyss of Wonderland?
When Alyss Heart, heir to the Wonderland throne, must flee through the Pool of Tears to escape the murderous aunt Redd, she finds herself lost and alone in Victorian London. Befriended by an aspiring author named Lewis Carrol, Alyss tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Alyss trusts this author to tell the truth so that someone, somewhere will find her and bring her home. But he gets the story all wrong. He even spells her name incorrectly!

Fortunately, Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan knows all too well the awful truth of Alyss’ story and he is searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland so she may eventually battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts.

The Looking Glass Wars unabashedly challenges our Wonderland assumptions surrounding mad tea parties, grinning Cheshire cats, and a curious little blond girl to reveal an epic battle in the endless war for Imagination.Published September 26th 2006 by Dial Books

Splintered ~ A.G Howard

splinteredThis stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence.

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own. Published January 1st 2013 by Amulet Books

Alice in Zombieland ~ Gena Showalter

alice2She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies…. Published September 25th 2012 by Harlequin Teen

Hatter ~ Daniel Coleman

alice3“There’s nothing wrong with a touch of madness” – Cheshire Cat

Someday Hatta will save the kingdom. In his mind, at least. But his talents of uncharacteristic kindness and a passion for colors hardly qualify him for such a destiny. In a kingdom that doesn’t need saving, a young man ignorant of social norms is the unlikeliest of heroes.

Along the way, the Cheshire Cat, Queen of Hearts, White Queen, and other familiar characters emerge to fill their eminent roles as well.

Witness literature’s most lovable lunatic’s tangled ascent into madness. Published June 10th 2011 by CreateSpace

Gears of Wonderland ~ Jason G. Anderson

alice4James Riggs lives a normal life with a mind-numbing job, an overbearing boss, and a demanding fiancee. Then he witnesses the murder of his best friend. Saved from the murderer by a strange man in a white suit, James is cast down a hole and into a world he always believed was a kid’s story. Wonderland. But things have changed since Alice’s visit. The Knave of Hearts has seized the Heart throne, conquered all of Wonderland with his steam-powered technological marvels, and rules the land with an iron fist. Aided by the Mad Hatter’s daughter, James journeys to discover why he has been brought to Wonderland and how the tattoo on his arm could be the key to Wonderland’s salvation-or its destruction.
Published October 27th 2011 by CreateSpace

Queen of Hearts ~ Colleen Oakes

alice5As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.

When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinahs furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath.

Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Published February 14th 2014 by SparkPress

One Pill Makes you Smaller ~ Lisa Dierbeck

alice6Eleven-year-old Alice Duncan has a problem her body is, literally, growing up too fast. Gawky, innocent, and tongue-tied, Alice is taller than her teachers, with long, long legs and a voluptuous chest she refers to it as “The Breasts.”

One Pill Makes You Smaller brings to life the surreal experience of being a girl–stuck in a woman’s body. Dierbeck shoots down the rabbit hole of 1970s misbehavior, combining her modern tale with the fantastic universe of Alice in Wonderland, set in the black-lit, drug-infested art world of Andy Warhol’s Manhattan. When Alice is shipped off to a freethinking art camp in North Carolina, she encounters J.D., a sweet-talking adult man who engages her in a dangerous flirtation. This deliciously pop, self-assured debut is an inspired paean to lost innocence. Published September 1st 2004 by Picador

Have you read any of these? Leave a comment and let me know!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books/Authors that made me a reader.

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the image to visit them) who pick a different topic each week. This week the topic is Top Ten books or authors that we credit with our bookishness.

It’s quite hard to single out just 10 books/authors that I attribute to my love of reading but there have definitely been a few significant periods of my life which got me into, or spurred on my obsession love of books.

Childhood Favourites

Roald Dahl: I have a feeling Dahl will be on a lot of people’s lists this week. His books were definitely the first to really capture my imagination and made me realise how much fun reading can be. The Twits was always my favourite, still is.

E. Nesbit: I first discovered E. Nesbit from seeing a film of The Railway Children which my mum loved. I was never such a huge fan, but that led me to 5 Children and It which remains one of my all-time favourites. And it wasn’t until much later that I came across The Enchanted Castle, which is probably what kick-started my love of castles just as much as the next book(s) on the list.

The Chronicles of Narnia: I didn’t truly love these books until after I’d seen the (now hilarious) low-budget BBC adaptation which I still watch now again for a laugh. Thinking about it, TV and Films were strangely enough what got me into reading a lot of the time.

Lewis Carroll: Again, I have a film to thank for my love of this one. I definitely saw the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland first and I think it took me until my college years to be able to actually appreciate the book.

Those pesky teenage years

Point Horror/ R.L Stine: By the time I was 12/13 I don’t think I was reading much at all. It wasn’t cool to read. And it definitely wasn’t cool to read the kind of books I wanted to read. But somewhere along the line I’d developed a love of horror, and when I discovered the point horror series, it was suddenly OK to be a reader again. R.L Stine’s were always the best!

L.J Smith: I can still remember getting a free copy of Secret Vampire with one of the girly magazines I used to buy – I think it was Mizz or something – and I LOVED it so much, I just used to read it over and over. I didn’t even think to look for anymore of her books, I was content with just that one tiny one. Weird. This was probably where my love of vampires came from too. L.J Smith has a lot to answer for.

Music Biographies: It wasn’t always about books for me. When I was well into my teenage years I more interested in music than anything else. I picked up books now and again but music was always more important. I was interested the history of music (I’d gotten good taste off my mum who played David Bowie, T-Rex and Rick Astley (LOL – OK I didn’t appreciate that last one) around the house and I started getting biographies from the library. I was mainly into the sixties, and remember loving ones on The Byrds and Syd Barrett.

Full Circle

Darren Shan: In my twenties, I went to Uni to study creative writing and journalism which also involved a lot of English Lit classes and I realised how much I hate being told what to read. I always did the bare minimum but got through it fine anyway. And I would literally read anything that wasn’t on my syllabus. Bad Student. That’s pretty much when I started reading again, and The Saga of Darren Shan was the first series I really got into.

Twilight: You all knew it was coming right? I remember the first time I saw Twilight in Borders (RIP Borders 😦 ) It had its own display and everything, and I knew from the cover that I needed it. I didn’t even need to read the blurb. I never looked back. And as trashy as it is, Twilight is without a doubt what got me back into YA fiction, and reading as obsessively as I do now. Plus it was the first series that I read where I was counting down the days until the next book was released….sad but true.

August Finds

I wanted to start sharing some of the books that I’ve found through fellow bloggers that I just HAD to add to my wishlist immediately.

In my short time as a book blogger I’ve been introduced to so many new books that would have passed me by and my book wishlist and to-be-read pile is getting a bit ridiculous now, so thanks for that everyone 😛 If nothing else, I’m hoping that this monthly post will remind me what books I got really excited about and why.

So better late than never, here are my favourite Finds from August and where I spotted them.

Click on the images to go to the original posts

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Found on: Chrissi Reads
Why: I loved Into the Darkest Corner by Haynes so I’m looking forward to this.

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Found on: Lost Inside the Covers
Why: Alice in Wonderland with Zombies. Nuff said. Plus look at that cover!!

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Found on: Book Nerds Anonymous
Why: Vampires & another cover swoon!

where-the-stars-still-shine-trish-doller
Found on: Wrapped Up in Books
Why: The cover looks magical, like Christmas.

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Found on: Daisy Chain Book Reviews
Why: It sounds like YA royalty!

Thanks Guys!

Favourites Friday #2: Alice in Wonderland and why I have so many copies!

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Is it excessive to have four different versions of a book? Usually I’d say yes, but not where Alice in Wonderland concerned. As I’m sure is the same for a lot of people – Alice has been one of favourites practically from birth. I don’t actually remember my parents reading it to me but I’m sure they did. Along with The Chronicles of Narnia, Alice is a book I always come back to and I can’t ever remember a time of not having a copy close by.

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This is my bog-standard copy that I’ve had since Uni. I love it because it is battered and tatty and full of almost illegible notes from various essays I had to write.
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This was just a cheap copy I picked up in my teens which introduced me to some of Carroll’s other works including his plays and essays. I’m not sure if I’ve ever read it front to back…I really should.

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Then there’s my favourite.
It’s not particularly old, 1980, but you don’t see many Through the Looking Glass stand-alones these days. I found this in a charity shop and had to buy it. The eight full-page illustration plates by Tenniel are beautiful in colour.

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Which also has the addition of The Wasp in a Wig which I’d not seen before. Books 009

And this is a 2009 Penguin Classic special edition with canvas boards and various extra notes on the text that my friend Dora gave to me. So pretty!Books 010

I love them all for all different reasons so I can’t bring myself to get rid of any of them. Oh, and I’m pretty sure if I went rummaging in my parents attic I’d be able to find the copy I grew up with. I’d love to see that again. I bet it smells amazing! I’m actually going home next weekend, I’ll try and find it if I get the time.