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BOOK REVIEW: Ever Alice by H J Ramsay

What the back says... 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.

I was very lucky to have been able to read this book as part of the 2020 BBNYA competition and the BBNYA tours organised by the The Write Reads Tour team.

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 or twitter @bbnya_official.

Ever Alice was my favourite from the very beginning. I found the concept really interesting, to take a well known story and then answer the question - what happened next? - was very clever.

Taking place years after Alice's first trip to Wonderland, her stories of what happened and the characters she met have landed her in an asylum to get better. Her stories were too far fetched for anyone to believe so there is only one explanation - she's mad. 15 year old Alice soon realises that to talk about Wonderland and the friends she made will not help her to leave the asylum quickly, she hides notebooks with her drawings in the hopes that no one will find them.

Whilst we see things from Alice's point of view, the book is also written from the point of view of the Queen of Hearts. A very insecure character who rules through fear, is completely paranoid and chops off heads for fun. The paranoia has taken over her life, even resulting in her executing the man she loves. Her staff and subjects tell her everything they think she wants to hear, some of whom use it their advantage.

When Alice is taken back to Wonderland we catch up with other familiar names and get pulled into plots, schemes and power plays. There are twist and turns aplenty with a little romance thrown in too.

The plot kept me gripped all the way through, whilst it did carry some familiarity from the story we already know it also differed enough to offer a new slant to Alice's time in Wonderland. There wasn't a weak part of the story, seen from two points of view, the character development of both main characters was strong and as we follow them both we finally see what is really happening which culminates in what I think is quite a heartbreaking ending.

All the characters were well written and for me, not entirely how I remembered them, maybe my memories of the story have been skewed by too many film adaptations but it has made me want to re-read Alice in Wonderland. If anyone was to ask me 'should I read Ever Alice?', my answer would be a resounding Yes!

Again, 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

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