{Review/Giveaway} ALICE IN WONDERLAND HIGH by Rachel Shane

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O P E N I N G   H O O K:

Alice in Wonderland High
    IF THERE was one thing I'd learned so far in high school, it was this: good girls are just bad girls who don't get caught. I'd avoided detection for almost three years, perfecting my goody-two-shoes image so my classmates—and the law—would forget all about my unconventional hobby, a social killer best kept hidden, like an STD.

And maybe if I'd kept up the facade I wouldn't be faced with words that never used to be in my vocabulary: expulsion, ecotage, vigilante. Prison.

But the thing is, if I had to do it all over again? I wouldn't change a thing. (Okay, maybe I'd skip the part where I accidentally worse see through pajamas in front of a boy who was not my boyfriend.) What was a little blemish on my high school transcript when it might save people? Save my friends? I had to keep reminding myself of that as I waited for the verdict on all my crimes. Or as I liked t refer to them, my missions.

(Pages 11, US hardcover edition)

Like I said, sometimes both paths are right. The way I see it, both directions lead to the same place. 


I'm a sucker for a story that feels real in my hand, whether it's realistic fiction or fantasy and adventure, I want to be suspended from all logic while I read, to be hypnotized into feeling like my reality includes the world inked onto paper. ALICE IN WONDERLAND HIGH by Rachel Shane, is a read that did just that. Along the same lines of QUEEN OF HEARTS, which I reviewed yesterday, ALICE IN WONDERLAND HIGH find ways to take the quirky colorful aspects of wonderland and filter it into a more realistic environment. Nobody shrinks or grows, unless we're talking in terms of abstract character growth, in which case there's a lot of that, characters losing themselves and finding themselves and showing different sides of themselves.

In this world, our Alice is a mostly typical high school student. I say mostly typical because under her good girl veneer she is a bit of a rebel, an ecological activist, taking after her parents. In the town she's living in eco activists have become rather taboo, frowned upon by the general public, who blame them for stirring up trouble. Alice attempts to stand up for her beliefs in secret, and on her own, until she is invited into a secret society full of intriguing students she's not entirely sure she trusts. It was charming the way Shane gave head nods to original characters from Alice in Wonderland. Cheshire cat is known as Chester Katz, equally charming and mysterious, but very human. Tweedle Dee and Dum are present in the form of Alice's friends Di and Dru, there's even Principal Dodgson. These characters obviously fit into the more realistic setting of the story, but they all have endearing little quirks that pull at nostalgic heart strings.

As a main character, this version of Alice may be one of my all time favorites. She's still a curious girl, still gets a little lost in mysteries going on around her that she can't understand, and she still ends up on trial. This version of Alice is more grown up, however, and she's a fierce fighter for what she believes in. All of the ecological and go green undertones of the story were quite intriguing to me, and I found myself wanting to know what was going on in the town just as much as Alice did. If you go into this wanting a dark twisty fantasy, you'll come out disappointed. But if you go in ready to adventure into a story that stands on its own two feet, captures the narrative mind of a sixteen year old perfectly, while finding clever and creative ways to pull classic scenes into a contemporary piece, then you will probably love your trip to ALICE IN WONDERLAND HIGH as much as I did.


Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG13 ( Kissing, milk making out, occasional sex related thoughts in line with the thoughts of a teenage girl. )
Language: PG13  ( A few instances of cursing, mostly the f bomb, though these are not overly present.)
Violence:  PG Nothing I would call violent. )
Other:  --
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

The cover is quaint and intriguing, makes you wonder what kind of book you're about to step into. The vines shadowing over the red bricked school entrance could be dark insinuations of a mad Wonderland, or something else altogether.
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Rachel Shane
Release Date: April 18th 2015
Publisher: Merit Press
Recieved: Purchased


Sixteen-year-old Alice just can't find a way to be free. Her parents are environmental activists whose cringeworthy public protests might involve chaining themselves to a fence and pleading with passersby to “Save the World. Save Alice!” It’s not that Alice doesn’t believe there’s work to be done. But after a petition to start a farmers’ market meets with more snickers than signatures, she figures she should shut up instead of speak out. At least, that is, until she can find something that feels real. Then along comes Whitney Lapin, a girl who speaks in cryptic riddles and spends her free time turning abandoned warehouses into beautiful gardens. Charismatic Whitney leads Alice on a rabbit trail into the underground—a.k.a. secret society—of Wonderland High. 

Curiouser and curiouser. Alice is in wonderland! Even though Whitney’s group of teenage environmental vigilantes operates on the wrong side of the law, with them, Alice is finally free to be herself. She stomps on her good-girl image by completing a series of environmental pranks to impress the new group: flooding the school and disguising a pig as a baby in order to smuggle it out of a testing facility. She wants to trust them, and she especially wants to trust (or maybe kiss) Chester Katz—a boy with a killer smile, a penchant for disappearing, and a secret that will really turn Alice’s world backwards. But then one of the young vigilantes tries to frame Alice for all the pranks, and she must figure out their secret before she ends up in front of a jury that’s screaming, “Off with her head!”



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