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The Lost Wonderland Diaries

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Sweet relatable characters are set into the familiar framework of Lewis Carrol's Wonderland and their adventure is fun and perfect for middle grade kids who feel less than perfect.  A fun read sure to delight.
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4.5 stars, just because no one takes 5-star reviews seriously.

This story is adorable. I may be biased, coming to it with a love of the Wonderland stories, but then again, one of my least favorite things is when a modern author takes a perfectly good classic and tries to reinvent it, and then RUINS it for a new generation of readers. If you're going to mess with the best, you had better be a master.

Savage clearly *gets* Wonderland. We don't shy away from the weirdness for even a second -- in fact, he seems to revel in it; however, he also pulls in Carroll's own mathematical background, providing a surprisingly solid, logical foundation on which to build a lot of Wonderland's bizarre mechanisms. This book took the utterly unfathomable wildness I typically think of and made it, in some ways, make sense. I liked that, but I also hated it. But mostly I liked it. Why <i>is</i> a raven like a writing desk? 

And I can't stress my fondness for the two protagonists enough (although is Tyrus an antagonist? I can't decide). Tyrus's unapologetic acceptance of himself contrasted with Celia's pain and discontent tugged on my heartstrings, and I know their feelings and internal struggles resonated with a lot of my young readers. These two are real and believable, from their differing gifts, abilities, and challenges, to their sometimes fraught friendship, to their panic and also resourcefulness in the face of everything Wonderland throws at them.

It's been several months since I actually read this, and I would like to mention specifics that I loved, but I'll need to go back and re-read. I do know when that warm, delighted feeling fills me up when I think of a book, it's worth a share.

Highly recommend both to lovers of Alice in Wonderland and to younger readers who may not be familiar with the originals; this could be a fun way to introduce a reluctant classic consumer to that world.
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I go into any retelling with bated breath and a lot of leeway.  

J. Scott Savage did a fantastic job with creating a world that is similar to Carrolls.  The same verbiage that Carroll uses makes or breaks a Alice in Wonderland retelling.  

I loved the words, I loved the world, and I love the word play, the riddles, and characters.  The MC was a very relatable young lady.  She has dyslexia, which is something that is almost never talked about in books and I really enjoyed how Savage wrote her and the ways she is able to help herself with her disability.  

We will definitely read this book in our book club!
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Celia and Tyrus are both library nerds - Tyrus because he loves to read and Celia because her mom is the new librarian in town. The two strike up a fast and sure friendship and Celia reveals to him her personal issue ... she's dyslexic. Most people don't understand what that means and she's usually assumed to be, at best, stupid and at worst, carrying a disease. Tyrus is the first person who really seems to get Celia.

In their new-found friendship, they find that they share a love of the works of Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) and Tyrus informs Celia that Charles Dodgson kept diaries his whole life but after his death, his family discovered that four of the diaries were missing.  Celia admits that she's actually related to Dodgson - his great, great, many great grand-niece.

Going through a collection of old books in a box belonging to Celia's family, they come across four leather-bound books. With awe, Tyrus announces that he believes they are Dodgson's missing diaries.  But more importantly, while going through one of them, Celia and Tyrus become transported into Wonderland.

But the Wonderland that Lewis Carroll wrote about has changed.  Many of the characters are still there, but some have become ruthless monsters and Tyrus and Celia want only to return to their home. They will have to solve many riddles and puzzles and avoid being beheaded by the Queen of Hearts and they still may not find the secrets that will get them home.

I've long been a fan of the Alice in Wonderlands books and I'm a sucker for anything related to the books, but at the same time I am hesitant to read anything in this universe because it's not likely to live up to the original. J. Scott Savage's tale is a worthy offering, helped by the fact that this isn't Alice returning.

The math involved here is cleverly done and quite appropriate for the story and as a young reader adventure story, this is quite enjoyable.

As a "Wonderland" story...?  This is clever and fitting in many ways, but it lacks the magic and spark of the originals.  The darker nature of some of the much-loved original characters really doesn't work as well as it should.  The original Alice's characters were pretty dark on their own without giving them some nefarious motives.

This is often the problem when playing in someone else's world - to make it unique means messing with what's already there.  

Overall, I enjoyed this and would recommend it as an exciting fantasy for some readers, but it hurts a little bit to recommend it as an Alice in Wonderland adventure.

Looking for a good book?  The Lost Wonderland Diaries by J. Scott Savage takes readers back to Wonderland with two new young human guides, but it's not the Wonderland we left when we closed Lewis Carroll's books.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you so much to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for my copy of The Lost Wonderland Diaries by J. Scott Savage in exchange for an honest review. It published September 8, 2020.
Wow! What an enjoyable retelling of Lewis Carrol's classic Alice books! I loved the way everything was off-kilter, but stayed true to the story itself. I also loved that there was a dyslexic character and that it was really portrayed in an honest way. I have someone close to me with dyslexia, and the way Celia experiences it seems pretty similar to this person, and the social implications as well. 
I also loved the character growth and development, reading about the challenges, failures and triumphs along the way.
I think any Alice fan should definitely add this to their list!
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Celia just wants to pass her time in the shadows and not bring attention to her learning disability. When she is stuck at the library, she stumbles into a new friend and a gateway to the infamous Wonderland. But something is wrong with Wonderland and all the residences, will Celia be able to help restore the wonderful chaos? The Lost Wonderland Diaries breathes new imagination and wonder into the classic tale of Alice and Wonderland. All of the classic characters are present, such as The Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, and the Cheshire Cat but Savage goes one step further to reimagine how time would have affected them. Celia and Tyrus are amazing protagonist and counter balance each other, which will have a wide range of appeal. Celia's growth throughout the book is a pleasure to read and her character as a whole is dull of depth and dimension. This story brought more understanding of wonderland and other chaotic aspects that are not in the original but could have been. The further exploration of Lewis Carrol was also a pleasant surprise , giving both new and old readers a new look on a beloved author.
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I looked at this one more for myself. I am obsessed with anything Alice in Wonderland but oddly don't like the original. This is such a cute story. I love the writing and the atmosphere. Well done!
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This is a complex effort to weave a new story through Alice's adventures.  The premise and main characters were strengths. However, without a deep, deep knowledge and understanding of Alice in Wonderland and Carroll's world, this story is too weighed down by overly detailed references.  I really wanted to like this book, but the well-intentioned attempt to align with Carroll's work (content and style) just made it confusing and terribly hard to enjoy.    Readers who have read Carroll closely and repeatedly would no doubt get more out of this one than I did.
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I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

The Lost Wonderland Diaries is possibly one of the best re-telling/follow on stories of the Alice in Wonderland books. 
When I came across this book on netgalley I jumped at the chance to read and review it, especially with Alice in Wonderland being one of my all time favourite books. I was not disappointed! This book sucks you in from the first page to the final sentence. 
This book shows an undoubted level of knowledge and understanding by the author about Lewis Carroll and the wonderland story.  J Scott Savage has an incredible talent with the same kind of word play, number play, rhymes and riddles as Lewis Carroll and really makes you feel it is written by non other than him too! 
Such an incredible book that has made me fall even more in love with Alice in wonderland.
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Quite a fun read!  I love the adventures that Celia and Tyrus share in Wonderland while trying to make their way back home. There's always something special when introverts find friendship and compliment each other in their strengths.  It's refreshing to have protagonists learn how to lean into their strengths instead of focusing on their deficits. Nothing like trying to save Wonderland and get back home to do that!
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Excellent addition into Alice in Wonderland folklore. THE LOST WONDERLAND DIARIES Introduces new, young readers to the world created by Lewis Carroll, and includes just enough to satisfy longtime fans.
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Whilst this was quite a nice deviation from the standard Alice in wonderland retelling, I found myself getting very bored and DNF around 70%.
With all of the clues and foreshadowing it was obviously to me that the Dyslexic Celia was Alice’s chosen replacement which made her search for the actual chosen one irritating. I quite like Tyrus and his mathematical brain but often found that the Wonderland aspect was too overdone: things were crazy just for the sake of being crazy.
Whilst this might appeal to a younger audience, I must admit that it passed me by.
Having a main character with dyslexia was a very good plot point and showed inclusion as well as making it her ‘superpower.’
I think I would have preferred if there were more references to the actual lost diaries.
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Fans of Alice in Wonderland will enjoy this modern-day sequel, and those who haven't read Lewis Carroll's classic will want to seek it out. Keeps the spirit and many of the characters of the original, along with introducing two young protagonists, Celia and Tyrus, that kids can easily relate to.
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Celia is frustrated to be the new kid stuck with a bookish mom, the legacy of Lewis Carroll, and struggles with dyslexia. But throughout this story’s word play, logic and logistics, nods to Alice’s original adventures and new challenges to face, this story is a beautiful continuation of a beloved classic. As an Alice fan, I tend to have a tough eye for what I look for in Wonderland spinoffs— and this text would be ideal and enjoyable for my middle grade readers. Thank you Netgalley for the ARC!
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For someone who admittedly hasn’t read Alice in Wonderland, The Lost Wonderland Diaries really felt like I was reading the Lewis Carroll classic. J. Scott Savage captures the essence and writing style of what many of us associate with Alice in Wonderland. Sometimes it felt like there were many similar scenes, but for someone who hasn’t read the original, I honestly can’t say whether that would be bothersome or not.

It was predictable in the overall grand scheme of things, but I think if I handed this to middle school or late elementary school me, she would’ve taken the book and only come out at the end of the book.

The Lost Wonderland Diaries was a lot of fun to read as Savage has us following along Celia and Tyrus in their journey when they stumble upon one of Lewis Carroll’s lost journals and get pulled into the world that inspired the classics. But unlike the classics, there is something more hostile that wants to break into the real world, and both Celia and Tyrus come across various puzzles they work together to solve so they can leave Wonderland.

The two of them undergo growth throughout the course of the story that was a joy to read, starting out as two kids unlikely to cross paths much less becoming friends. As they solve more puzzles and uncover a plot from the Queen of Hearts, they slowly become friends, recognizing each others’ strengths. They go from just wanting to leave Wonderland to developing a relationship with the residents of the world and wanting to save them as well.

The Lost Wonderland Diaries is quick to read and entertaining, with plenty of wordplay and logic, perfect for younger readers.
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I enjoyed this book from page one all the way to the end of the book! If you love Alice in Wonderland, then this is the book for you!  Celia and Tyrus are outcasts that meet in a library, which forces them to go on an adventure similar to the movie Page Master. But in Wonderland. I was engaged through the entire book as wonderland's character came into contact with Celia, the math buff, and Tyrus, the bookworm.
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Celia and Tyrus discover the legendary Lost Diaries of Wonderland and fall into a portal that pulls them into the same fantasy world as the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter. However, Wonderland has vastly changed. Some of the characters that Tyrus remembers from the book have been transformed into angry monsters.
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I'm a huge Alice in Wonderland fan and this was a fun story to share with my 8 year old opening her eyes to the amazing world of Wonderland. I can't wait to read more from J. Scott Savage and see if we get more about Wonderland
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I'm not really a fan of the original Alice in Wonderland, but I have read other things by this author that I quite enjoyed (e.g. <i>Farworld</i>). So, when I heard this author speak about this book specifically, and he really captured my imagination, I decided to give it a chance. I'm glad I did. It didn't blow me away, but it was entertaining and I really liked the characters of Celia and Tyrus. I felt like both were really well fleshed out and totally relatable. 

This book has some of the same whimsicality of the original Alice books, but the characters are far more likeable and relatable and the story line just seems a little more grounded in reality. While this may not appeal to some readers, it does appeal to me. I read a lot of fantasy and I love world-building and immersing myself in fantastical things. But, silly and nonsensical just annoys me. Somehow, despite the original source material, Savage manages to weave a tale that perfectly balances logic and imagination. If you're a fan of middle grade adventures, fractured fairy tales, Carroll's original work, or Savage as an author, I definitely recommend this book to you!

Disclaimer: I received a free electronic copy from the publisher through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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I had a difficult time getting into this book, perhaps it was because I haven't read Alice in Wonderland. I read a synopsis of the classic, and that made this book easier to understand. Sometimes the play on words and scenes was great, and sometimes I felt it drug the middle of the story on too long. I really like the premise of the book--that you need a balance of creativity and logic in this life. I like Celia's journey to become more comfortable with her dyslexia. Overall, I enjoyed the book and hope there is a sequel.
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