Cover Image: Ever Alice

Ever Alice

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Member Reviews

DNF at 5%

Ever Alice made my head hurt. The language was confusing, and the content didn't always make sense. I know that Wonderland is a magical place, and not everything is supposed to be logical, but readers still need some backstory and context to understand what's going on. Rosalind (I believe that's the queen's name) is bananas, and I think she's supposed to be, but her perspective only made things more difficult to follow. The phrasing and wording were weird, which also made the story a challenge to read. “'Only the most unimportant news,' he said with his tongue sticking out of his mouth." After awhile I stopped reading, because I didn't want to force myself to stick with something I couldn't get into.

Originally posted at Do You Dog-ear? on July 31, 2019.
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Thank you so so much to H.J. Ramsay and to Red Rogue Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I wish my honesty brought happier notes but I am sorry to say, I didn't care for this book. I was the very last thing I should be while reading a story about Wonderland: bored. 
I couldn't connect with any of the characters and I couldn't really connect with the story. I didn't care for the way the classic characters were portrayed in this one and it all just sort of fell flat for me. Nothing really seemed wonderous or out of the ordinary as I hoped it would when first reading the synopsis.
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H.J. Ramsay's Ever Alice almost feels like a sequel to Alice in Wonderland. She comes back from her first adventure and her parents are quite worried about her. Now what is next? Follow along with Alice in this unique turn of events.

Thank you to NetGalley, Red Rogue Press, and author H.J. Ramsay for this ARC!
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Unfortunately, this book was not for me. I usually really enjoy Alice in Wonderland retellings, but I had to DNF this book, SO, I cannot give it a proper rating. I didn't connect with the characters and the storyline wasn't gripping enough when I tried to pick it up. I will purchase a physical copy of the book and hopefully give this story another chance in the future when I'm in the mood for a retelling.
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I am a HUGE alice in wonderland fan. I am also a huge sci-fi fan so I knew I had to check this book out. Sadly, I didn't love the story as much as I was hoping even thought the book was still decent, it wasn't what I was hoping for.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Red Rogue Press for this E-copy. 
What I liked about this book that we get perspective of both the villain and the heroine. I really love Alice in Wonderland so this was delightful.
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This is not a genre that I would have typically grabbed and I'd love to be able to say that this changed my outlook, but it did not. Though I enjoy the story, it just wasn't something that hooked me.
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This was such a fun read and I love retellings and this again proves that fact. The book itself brought me all the way back to my childhood and I felt I relived the adventures and laughs that the original gave me.
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The protagonist was lacking on her own behalf. I did like the overall quirkiness of the book but did not enjoy some elements included within.
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I adore a good Alice in wonderland retelling and I think most people would! I was very eager to read and I am so grateful.
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We all love Alice. Her adventure into Wonderland, however, is not over yet. This perfect retelling and addition to Alice in Wonderland. There was so much drama in this book and I ate it up. We get duel perspective from Alice and The Queen of Hearts(Constance), and Alice is on a mission. This was such a great adventure. It was a good wholesome book that I will be sharing with my students for years to come.
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Thank you so much to the publishers and Netgalley for giving me access to this book. Unfortunately my tastes have changed and I am no longer interested in this book but once again thank you so much for the opportunity!
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I found this book to be fun and quirky. While I enjoyed reading parts of it the book as a whole was OK. I probably would recommend it but then again I may not. It's one of those books that I almost didn't finish but at the same time felt compelled that I had to see it through,
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I did not finish this book. I was confused and uninterested so can not give it a fair review. I do have the book downloaded and may return to it in the future.
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4.5 STARS

As soon as I started this book, I was completely hooked and I couldn’t believe how unique it was, despite the fact that so many characters and events were also in the original story. I think the author did an amazing job of giving this world a great twist and her own flair while leaving the crazy, whimsical and enchanting side that we all love.

I was actually quite surprised by the first part of the book which took part in an asylum and it made me so angry that Alice’s parents had locked her up in an institution when she came back from Wonderland. I think if anything, this book really makes you think about what happened after Alice left Wonderland, but also, more importantly, about what goes on behind closed doors in these kinds of hospitals.

What I loved the most about this book is that you don’t only get Alice’s POV. You also get Rosamund’s POV, she is the Queen of Hearts and it was so interesting having her side of the story. She is clearly mentally ill and thinks that the whole Queendom is plotting against her, and I have to say that it was clever the way the author put Alice in the institution and Rosamund in her Queendom kind of in a parallel because it really makes you think about mental health.

The writing style was so fluid and I just flew through this book. This book was constructed in such a clever manner that it’s impossible to guess all the plot twists, you never see anything coming and I just let myself be swept away by the story, it was fascinating. The ending really gets you thinking, so if you want to read a book that flips everything on its head, is completely bonkers and makes you think “what?” multiple times while reading it, and makes you think about mental health, institutions and the worlds we create to escape, then this is the book for you.

I gave this book 4.5 stars. I recommend this book to people who like mind-boggling plots, ridiculous worlds with clever and whimsical elements, eccentric characters we already know and some we don’t, retellings and a bit of a darker take on stories. However, I must press the importance of checking the trigger warnings first because this book is a lot darker than the original tale and might not be suited to some readers.

Trigger Warnings: vivid depictions of hospitals/institutions, beheadings, violence, cruelty, murder, attempted murder, poison.
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If I’m being completely honest, I enjoyed Alice in Wonderland, but I am not enamoured by it.  However, when I was given Ever Alice as a panellist for the BBNYA, I was really excited by the premise.  I loved the though of delving more into the psychological aspect of Alice’s adventures and also her return to Wonderland for a new adventure. 
Alice is now 15 and is living in a mental institute suffering from ‘delusions’ due to her ramblings and obsession with Wonderland.  Desperately wanting to be free and return home for her sister’s wedding, Alice agrees to a new treatment in Switzerland, but a last-minute change of heart sees her heading back into Wonderland and coming face to face with The Queen of Hearts once more. 
I loved the first part of the novel showing Alice in the asylum.  She’s vulnerable and lonely but still clinging onto her belief that Wonderland and her adventures were real that day.  The treatments used and the way Alice is cared for was quite chilling but fascinating and for the time period – well researched and described.  For me there was a haunting vibe of The Bell Jar which is why I was so unsettled but morbidly drawn to it.  
When Alice returns to Wonderland it’s as zany and wonderfully weird as it ever was.  I feel in ever Alice we see more of it and learn more about the people and places there.  At times I stopped reading and thought “that’s absurd,” but then remembered where I was and realised all was fine.   
Some familiar characters make a return however many now have names which did confuse me in the beginning, but I soon got used to it.  The White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, The Cheshire Cat etc are all there.  Some new faces make an appearance too; the Prince of Hearts, Sabrina and Bess and Marco Polo.      
Something that sets ever Alice apart from its prequel is the use of dual narrative and the voice of the Queen of Hearts.  Despite being a central character, she was never given a lot of page time or character development in Alice in Wonderland and I really enjoyed reading the novel from her perspective.  It was a clever device in the beginning to tell of the two worlds in a parallel sense and then to give the reader insight into a different perspective of Wonderland.  Giving her a name made her more human in my eyes and I began to see her as a person rather than just a malevolent figure.  I also thought The Queen was absolutely bonkers and I quite liked her.   
It’s been a while since I read Alice however for me, this sequel is much darker.  Despite driving myself crazy over my thoughts of the ending, I think the end is darker and very cleverly done.  Having chatted with the lovely @AVoraciousReadr I came to realise that there are several interpretations of the ending which I think really adds to the fin of this novel.  It’s one of those books that the more you ponder over it, the more questions you churn out.  Great fun!
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I read Ever Alice in 2019 and the original Alice in Wonderland at some point in the early 90’s. One of these I can remember vividly and it isn’t the one I picked up in 2019.

Personally I think it’s a monumental challenge for a writer to tackle a retelling or re-imagining of Wonderland and its characters. It’s a story and a setting that lives on for most of us due to childhood nostalgia and it’s also such a bizarre place that recreating it or even pinning down the essence of Wonderland is incredibly difficult to do.

Some versions do better than others but sadly for me this was a bland depiction of setting and characters and there’s not much happening in the way of plot either.

The themes of mental illness in Alice retelling’s including the usage of Victorian asylum’s and the question of ‘was it all in her head?’ may not be original concepts but I actually enjoy when writers or game developers explore those ideas. This was the enticing part of the summary I read that got me interested in the first place. The problem with this particular retelling is that I got the impression the writer wanted to go full ‘dark Alice’ but because this was for the YA market was unable to. There was a hint of this at the end but with the build up being what it was - it just didn’t work.

If you can’t go ‘dark Alice’ then I guess the alternative is ‘full whimsy’ but sadly, a few anthropomorphic cards, talking animals and head choppings does not a Wonderland make. Here it felt more like the name Wonderland was slapped on a setting and the reader had to fill in the blanks.

Out of the two story view points (the story is told through alternating POV’s of the Queen of Hearts and Alice) it’s the QoH’s sections which feel the most Wonderland like but even then the best that occurs is she sees dead people (that was an interesting take), exhibits extreme paranoia (actually justified) and drinks weird teas. Her sections don’t advance the plot but merely serve to show us she is unhinged. Now the luxury of doing a retelling of this nature is we already know that! If we need to see the world from the QoH’s POV then let’s see something different.

I will confess that I skimmed the Alice sections as much as possible. When I said the ‘dark Alice’ ending didn’t pay off due to the build up it’s because this story was never about a young girls possible deterioration into insanity. It wasn’t even about her assassinating the QoH as part of a Wonderland revolt. Once a cute boy (the QoH’s step son) entered the story that took over Alice’s plot.

You’re in a strange land and have joined the rebellion to overthrow their tyrannical leader, you’re being pressured by a white rabbit to commit treason and you spend your time preoccupied over whether a cute boy will fancy you back?! I don’t get it. Alice became a whining teenager and the story was one of a teenage crush. If I‘d known this was a ‘teenage crush’ story from the get go then I might feel differently but if you’re telling me I’m getting Alice and Wonderland then I want an attempt at both those things.

If you’re looking for a different take on the Queen of Hearts I would suggest Heartless by Marissa Meyer. If you’re looking for creepy then play American McGee’s Alice and if you’re looking for originality then there’s no other place to go apart from the original itself.
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This was a really neat retelling! The book takes place years after the original, when Alice is 15 and she once again follows the white rabbit back to Wonderland. I loved Alice in Wonderland growing up so I was excited about this.

At first I didn’t quite know if I would like this but once Alice went back to Wonderland I was hooked. I just had to keep reading to find out what happens to Alice and the fate of Wonderland.

All your favorite characters are back such as the Queen of Hearts, the white rabbit, the Mad Hatter, and the Cheshire Cat. There are some new characters too that you'll learn about!

I really liked that the book was told from both Alice and the Queen of Hearts’ perspective. Having the queen’s point of view was very enlightening. It gave her character more complexity and dimension from previous versions.

I found that the style and tone of the book was a good continuation of the original. The retelling keeping with the spirit of the original while offering a unique twist.

Overall, I really enjoyed this Alice retelling. If you love Alice in Wonderland, give this book a try!
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You can find this review and all of my others over at www.readbookrepeat.wordpress.com

Actual rating of 3.5

Did you ever wonder what happened to Alice once she escaped Wonderland? What the conversations following her ordeal must have been like? Look no further. In this story, Alice is fifteen years old, and she still remembers everything about Wonderland. This in turn finds her admitted to an asylum by her parents to help deal with these delusions she keeps speaking about, and they must be quick about it because Alice's sister Mary is to be married, and Alice is expected to attend. So when Alice's regular Doctor is unable to fix her, he seeks the help of a colleague in Europe, who has been trialing a new procedure to help with madness. Alice is terrified, she doesn't want the procedure, but there's no way out of it, until the White Rabbit appears and grants her an escape. Now back in Wonderland, Alice finds herself immersed into the world that everyone told her was not real, only this time, things are different. This time Alice has been beseeched by the Aboveground Organisation to take out the Queen of Hearts...Will she be able to do it before it's Off With Her Head?

I was pretty excited when my request for this ARC was accepted. This story then proceeded to sit on my kindle for around twelve odd months because I over-requested last year and ended up with so many ARCs to get through. What excited me about the premise of this story was that it reminded me a lot of a game I played in my youth called American McGees Alice. In which, the game opens with Alice's house burning down and her becoming committed to an asylum because, from memory, I think her parents died in the fire. In the game, Wonderland was severely warped and wasn't the quirky and fantastical place of the original story, it was cut throat, terrifying and downright broken in what it had become. So I was kind of hoping that this would be similar to that. In a way, it kind of was, but for the most part, it was nothing like what I had hoped, but that's okay.

There are some gruesome parts to this wonderland, but for the most part it jumps between "something's not right" to childish in parts. But I feel that this may have been the intention of the author. The Queen of Hearts comes across incredibly childish, and we're not actually privy to her age or anything, so I had this bizarre image of a woman in her 50s with the mind of a 10 year old, basically. For some reason though, this really worked for the story, because what is more terrifying than a ruler who has the mindset of a child?

The 'quirkiness' of Wonderland was still there in this story, however, I found it to be somewhat warped, not to the extend of my beloved American McGees, but warped none the less. The story itself managed to give the feeling of unease and discomfort with it's descriptions of foul smelling and tasting teas, scratchy blankets, prickly pillows and lumpy mattresses. So I feel like the slight spin that Ramsay put on their version of Wonderland did come through in the execution.

One of the twists I had picked virtually from the beginning when Alice is first escaping back to Wonderland from the asylum in Europe. However, I hadn't picked ALL of the twist, so one part of it did come as a surprise in a rather circular way (I'm not going to go any further into this or give comparisons to what it's similar to as I feel like this blows the biggest twist in the book).

The story is told through third person perspective, alternating between Alice and Rosamund the Queen of Hearts. Alice came across rather flat for me, and more like a plot device than a character, which I was a little disappointed about. There were a lot of characters, and they were all given screen time, I just felt as though Alice didn't come across as the protagonist the way she should have considering it's a continuation of her story. But the more I think about it, I feel like this was done for a reason and has to do with that big twist I was talking about so I'm gonna shut up about it now. One character I didn't quite understand was Marilyn Montague, I don't really understand her purpose in the story or why she was a carbon copy of Marilyn Monroe...maybe I missed something?

The biggest problem I had with this book was the pacing. For the first half, it was incredibly slow going, and while things were happening, they just weren't that interesting. I considered DNFing at around 28% but decided to stick with it, and I'm glad that I did because once you get past the 50% mark, I felt like the story really picked up the pace and I became invested in what was going on.

All in all, this was an interesting extension of Alice's story and I really enjoyed reading Ramsay's take on what life possibly could have been for Alice after her escapades in the original story. If you find yourself struggling in the first half, do try and push through because the ending is worth it and I feel that the story really does pick up in the second half.
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I received this book as an eARC for free in exchange for an honest review via Red Rouge Press and Netgalley. 

I was really excited to read this retelling of the alice in wonderland story I loved as a kid ever since I watched the movie for the first time. And it started off very promising with the descriptions of wonderland that seemed to really show the reader the weirdness of it all. That being said I think where the book fell flat was in the plot where there seemed to be a lack of a driving motivation moving everything forward. I also feel like the queen's character though intriguing at times, never really went that far past mustache twirling super evil villian character. 

If you love worldbuilding this could be a great read for you, but being a plot loving reader myself, this was a miss.
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