Ready for a reimagining of a classic story? I might have just the thing…
Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay
Genre: Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult
Publisher: Red Rogue Press
Date Published: 1 August 2019
Print length: 347 pages (Paperback)
Alice’s stories of Wonderland did more than raise a few eyebrows—it landed her in an asylum. Now at 15 years of age, she’s willing to do anything to leave, which includes agreeing to an experimental procedure. When Alice decides at the last minute not to go through with it, she escapes with the White Rabbit to Wonderland and trades one mad house for another: the court of the Queen of Hearts. Only this time, she is under orders to take out the Queen. When love, scandal, and intrigue begin to muddle her mission, Alice finds herself on the wrong side of the chopping block.
This book finished in 10th place in the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA for short) and it is not hard to see why the panellists enjoyed this book so much!
I studied Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at uni so I’m definitely familiar with the novel, but H.J. Ramsay takes a story a lot of us know and turns it on its head.
The story splits itself between 15 year old Alice, who has found herself in an asylum, and the Queen of Hearts, whose reign looks to be in a precarious position. I liked the fact that Ramsay chose to focus on the Queen and Alice, as it adds more to the original story and left me eager to read on.
Alice is much more developed – and I’d argue complex – in this version. She is innocent, but also a lot more aware than people think, funny and I found myself rooting for her throughout – particularly in the scenes which took place outside of Wonderland. Ramsay’s Queen of Hearts is just as ruthless, cunning and evil as the original character but – for the most part – I actually found myself feeling sorry for her.
Ever Alice is fast paced and full of excitement, fun and just a dash of tension. It was addictive, I really wanted to find out where the story was going and – once I went down the rabbit hole – I was greeted with plenty of twists, turns and exciting characters.
The book is not only a fascinating retelling, it is also an interesting insight into psychiatry and how mental illness used to be treated. I liked the fact that Ramsay showcased – through the scenes in and outside of Wonderland – that “madness” is everywhere.
Ever Alice feels familiar, with characters we know and fun, nonsensical language much like in Caroll’s original, but it is so much more than the original story. It is exhilarating, quick and full of fun and intrigue. It’s the first book of hers I’ve read but I’m sure – when she releases more – I’ll be reading them.
About the Author
H.J. Ramsay has loved fantasy ever since she was a child. Growing up, she was influenced by movies like Legend, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth as well as books and short stories, such as The Collected Works of Brothers Grimm.
She is drawn to fantasy with a darker side to its glittery world and the idea that things are never what they seem. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles and teaches writing classes at her local community college.
Ever Alice is her first published novel.
I received this book to read and review as part of the 2020 BBNYA competition and the BBNYA tours organised by the TWR Tour team. All opinions are my own, unbiased and honest.
BBNYA is a yearly competition where Book Bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors.
If you are an author and wish to learn more about 2021 BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website www.bbnya.com or twitter @bbnya_official. Please make sure to carefully read the terms and conditions before entering.
If you are Book Blogger or reviewer you can apply to be part of 2021 BBNYA panel via this form
BBNYA is brought to you in association with the Folio Society(http://foliosociety.com) (If you love beautiful books you NEED to check out their website!) And the book blogger support group TheWriteReads.
So, that’s my stop on the Ever Alice Blog Tour with The Write Reads done! Don’t forget to read the other posts for this tour by following the hashtags #BBNYA2020, #everalice, #thewritereads and #blogtour
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I’d love to chat in the comments 💬.
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