Don't say Beetlejuice three times.
.Dreaming of Wonderland : Living in reality.
"All I have to do is set the power free. Escape the chains of humanity, let madness be my guide. If I forget everything but Wonderland, I can become beautiful pandemonium.”
Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole, faced the truth of her family curse and come out with her sanity mostly intact. This book takes place in the human realm after Alyssa choose to come home instead of staying behind. But Wonderland isn't ready to let go of her, as it starts to bleed into her world Alyssa realises that something just isn't right, especially when Morpheus decides to make an appearance.
In my previous review I shared my hopes for this series, mainly the love triangle. I was hoping that it would become less of feature as Aylssa has discovered who she really is and the looming threat to Wonderland. The other thing I didn't enjoy was how over the top her sense of style was, it seemed a bit much for me.
I thought it was a great idea to set this book in the human world, Alyssa is still figuring everything out but she knows the truth now. So reading her deal with having to 'normal' again was great, missing being able to fly and be free was great. There is a dark seductive power that comes with being part of Wonderland. But once Wonderland starts to bleed through and Morpheus arrives she finds it hard to keep it in check. Morpheus wants to let the reckless side of her out, he wants her to embrace what lurks below. Unfortunately Morpheus can be quite blind to what's in front of him, Alyssa didn't grow up in Wonderland. She is a whole different person, and that's what makes her special, she has the best qualities from each world. So she'll never become truly savage because it's not who she is in our world.
My most favourite and redeeming part of this book, other than the setting, is the family dynamic. Mum's home. This is all her dad has ever wanted, he's never given up hope on his wife, Thomas wants it all to just go back to how it was and for Alyssa to cut her mum some slack. Reading them trying to be a family again is great, her mum is quite over protective and doesn't like what she wears and naturally Aylssa wouldn't like it.
But her mum is hiding something, and it's great. She just doesn't want to talk about it, the frustrations that Alyssa deals with feel so real. All of it from her mum telling her how to dress to wanting to squeeze Wonderland into a box and bury it. She is the one person she could talk to about it, and to be honest would help them bond again, it made me want to know more about her mums past and what happened when she went down the rabbit hole.
Alyssa and Jeb. This whole love triangle part is hugely tiresome for me, she gets jealous so easily especially when he is commissioned by a mysterious woman to produce a portrait. Sure I get it, he's working round the clock and isn't spending all his time with her. But he's doing it to provide for them, it's who Jeb is. But what I find ridiculous is that whilst she is blowing the situation up in her head she's off flirting with Morpheus as usual. I guess due to the fact that Jeb no longer has her memories Alyssa can confide in Morpheus.
This was a promising second book with some great parts, the end was defiantly a strong finish setting everything up nicely for the final book. The end of the book is just chaos, but in a good way. Slowly things are coming to a head and Wonderland won't wait anymore.
I was tagged on Instagram in the #loveithateit tag, so here we go...this took me a few days to decide, all my answers are in no particular order.
▪️Favourite three series:
2.The Lunar Chronicles
▪️Least favourite series:
3.Witches of East End
▪️Three favourite characters:
▪️Three least favourite characters:
Tristan and Yvaine were happy together. Not forever-after, for Time, the thief, eventually takes all things into his dusty storehouse, but they were happy, as these things go, for a long while - Stardust.
▪️Least favourite quote:
Don't know, but pick anything from Twilight or Fallen series.
▪️Series with a good first book but not the sequels:
Witches of East End.
Question of the day: have you started thinking about your 2018 reads??
"The four friends walked to the edge and peered down. All of them were suddenly aware that nothing in life is ever quite as it seems when you are planning it. This hole right now looked deeper, darker, more like - well- a grave, actually."
If any of you know me and follow my Instagram you'll know that this is completely the opposite of what I would normally read. It's quite strange really, I love watching a good murder mystery or thriller on TV or film but not to read. My assistant manage at work was reading this and told me about it, she absolutely loved it and told me the premise: a groom is buried in the woods as a prank on his stag do and the only people who know where he is are involved in a car wreck...except for Mark. Mark is the one person who should know where the stag is but remains adamant he knows nothing.
It was quite surreal reading this book as it was set in Brighton and the surrounding West Sussex area, which is where I live. It was so weird reading a book with a location I'm so familiar with. This book was race against time than finding a murder, which made it feel more fast paced. A real sense of urgency.
The narrative switches from several characters so the pace of this book ticks over nicely, it never really slows. I was expecting this book to be from Detective Grace's point of view the whole time, so it was welcome surprise that it jumped around. This book constantly feeds you different bits of information from different people with so many twists and turns. It was brilliant. Serval times whilst reading this it had me literally shouting on my lunch break, although I did guess a lot of the story. But for me it didn't make any difference, it was such a great book.
There is so much I want to say about this book, but spoilers. In summary, it's a lot like a Dan Brown book. In the sense that it's fast paced, full of twists and turns and switches from character to character. For those of you who are uncomfortable about reading a character buried alive not much time is spent with him, and when it is he tends to pass out or falls asleep.
"Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers - precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. A family curse that stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, it's time for Alyssa to follow in her footsteps. To fix Alice's mistakes. To Wonderland."
A lot drew me to this book, Alyssas mum is locked away in a mental hospital and Alyssa herself is in danger of following right behind her. Plus Wonderland is real. Great!! This book went with the darker and more twisted version of Wonderland, which I think is a cool idea. Taking the odd yet picturesque place and turning it on it head to be disturbing.
Alyssa is an average teenager who is doing her best to get on with her life, which isn't easy when you're teased about your connection to the original Alice Liddell and your mum is locked away talking to bugs and only eating food unless it is served in a tea cup. The one person in this book that deserves some serious praise is her dad. He is desperately trying to keep their life together, its clear he is terrified his daughter will turn out like her mum and every other female in her family. He is still hopelessly in love with her, regardless of her illness and is clinging on to this hope that one day she'll come back to him.
Alyssa does her best to ignore the bugs and plants around her, determined not to go down the crazy route, but after an incident at the mental hospital things change. There's finally some hope. Alyssa ends up being dragged into Wonderland, with one goal. Fix what Alice did and save her family from the madness. Cue love interest.
Jeb is her long time crush and best friend. He ends up going with her, he is hugely protective of her and is desperate to get them home. As much as it pains him to stick it out in Wonderland and watch Alyssa feel the need to prove herself he doesn't hold her back too much. Deep down I think he knows what she is capable of but is so scared to let go of his need to protect her. Enter Morpheus stage left.
Morpheus makes up our triangle. He has been with Alyssa through her whole life, she just hasn't known it. It is obvious he has an agenda and will use Alyssa. He's dark and mysterious, and can show her a whole other side of herself. He does get on my nerves quite a bit, he goes on about what how well he knows her, but really he doesn't. He doesn't know her life Jeb does, and will manipulate her in this game he wants her to play.
There was only one real downside to this book for me, the love triangle I could cope with. Just about it. I feel like the dark and moody thing got taken too far, I have no problem with Alyssa being a punk skater girl, I was a teenager once too. But it seems so over the top, her out fit choice seem so teenager cliché. At first I thought she dressed like it because she looked so much like her mum she wanted to distance herself away from her. I felt like this was her only form of rebelling, because god forbid she does her dad will probably had a meltdown. I'm hoping that after the events of this book it'll be toned down a little in the next.
The creator of the amulet locked that magic within it, but it's the same magic as is in you and me. There is the same correct of power that moves through us all. The Essence as I call it. The Essence of it all. The Essence of us all.
This post can originally found at MissKatiEllen.
Welcome to my March post, I’ve been feeling rather determined to finish about three books a month and so far I’ve been managing this. If hope to get a bit more in but I struggled with one of my books.
I’ve really been enjoying Laini Taylors series, the second book starts off almost where we left it. Karou with all her memories back and living in hell. This book is set in the other world and the narrative jumps between her and Avika, as well as random seraph and chimaera. I felt this was a nice touch as it makes the story more grounded, more real. Seeing the war through those not directly evolved.
As well as Days of Blood and Starlight I also read the short story, Night of Cake and Puppets. Zuanna and Mik both appear in the second book, providing so much needed stress relief, but this short story is just for them. How they met, it’s a cute little story that takes place during the first book, after Zuanna has discovered the truth and before Karou disappears completely.
I don’t know why but I had quite high hopes for The Picture of Dorian Gray. I think because there have been various adaptions of the story and character I expected a bit more to the story. I did enjoy it on the whole, but there were the odd moments where I felt like I was skim reading. It was very descriptive heavy, which I found unfortunate.
Girl on the bridge: the blue haired beauty who'd fought angels in Prague, hands held out before her and inked with indigo eyes. They'd made the cover of Time Magazine, and had since become synonymous with demon.
This review can be found at MissKatiEllen.
"Freya Beauchamp is trapped in 1692, in Salem of all places, with no recollection of her past. When little Annie Putnam is one of the first to make accusations of witchcraft, her landowner father jumps at the opportunity to consolidate his power and expand his holdings in Puritan Salem Town.
Meanwhile, twenty-first-century North Hampton has its own snares. Joanna and Norm consult the Oracle for advice, and Freddie and his pixie allies search for a missing totem that could reopen the passages of time and help bring his sister home. When Ingrid bumps into an old flame, she finds that her new love for Detective Matt Noble is in doubt."
It's safe to say I had a lot riding on this book and little pay off. I don't think it's possible for one book to salvage a whole series, and if it was this book didn't do it.
This book got its half star for the Salem section of this story, giving us an insight to what the three witches went through the first time round. Like the Crucible, it goes to show what people will do for power and the enormous consequences of rumours and whispers. When no one can be trusted Freya has to be careful, if she is caught by the wrong person...game over.
Back in the present her family scramble to find a way to bring the young witch back before it's too late. Once again this family never talk to each other, never tell each other what they plan to do in there efforts to save one of their own. They're all working towards the same goal, but they never work together. Something that this family fail at in each book.
Ultimately I'd watch the Lifetime series that was cancelled far too soon. I had high expectations for this series after I read the Blue Blood novels, I enjoyed the Norse mythology behind the witches and the Salem element; but it was wasted.
This review can be originally be found at MissKatiEllen.
"Celia is a harbourer of memories, knowing what has already been always seemed so insignificant- until she meets Lo. Lo's memory is drowning in the vastness of the ocean. She's transforming into a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid- terms far too pretty for the soulless monster she's becoming."
I cannot stress how much I've been enjoying this series, at this point I would definitely recommend reading the previous two books. In Sweetly it didn't matter if you hadn't read Sisters Red, but there is a thread linking these books together. And it's that tiny thread from Sweetly that becomes the main subject of this book. Ocean girls.
From reading the full blurb I thought this was going to be a love triangle, and with a sigh I accepted. The fact that the previous two books weren't like that meant I could get over the love triangle thing. I can gladly say no love triangle, these girls have their own lives, own paths and their interest is Jude is different too.
Celia is one of three sisters that possesses a gift, seeing past, present and future. It's not that Celia doesn't want to embrace her gift, she doesn't want to be like her sisters. Using it for their own gain, getting boys to fawn all over them. Plus what use can she be knowing someone's past in an instant?? But then Lo appears and she finally feels useful. She can help this strange, and slightly scary girl to remember who she was, what happened to her and where she came from.
Lo. Lo is an ocean girl, knows nothing about who she, or who others like her were. All she knows and understands is the now, to become human again you must take a soul. Easier said than done, a lesson learned early on. But what Lo, and everyone else like her knows is that one day if they're lucky the angels who brought them to the ocean will come back for them, leading them to their new life. Queue Celia throwing a spanner in the works, Lo starts to remember and becomes torn. When she's in the ocean she's happy, it feels part of her, natural. But the small part of her that remembers won't go down without a fight.
The theme of these books are all about identity, Lo has to fight to cling on to the memories of her past or let them go like the rest of her kind and Celia is learning there is life outside of her sisters shadow.
This post can originally be found at MissKatiEllen.
Although slightly later than usual I bring you my reads from February. I didn't get to finish as many as I would have liked, but that's what happens when you take a week off work for your birthday. As it was my birthday I decided that it only be right by picks were Disney related.
The first book I finished was Poor Unfortunate Souls by Serena Valentino. This is unfortunately the last in her villains series, which I'm absolutely gutted about. I love the world she's created, the references to other Disney Kingdoms, how some characters lives are already entwined. This story was about Ursula, but due to this amazing world that's been created I felt her story lacked compared to the previous two books. The story was kept interesting changing from different people's POW but I felt like there was so much more being hinted at, begging to be explored.
The second book I finished was Once Upon A Dream by Liz Braswell. This is her second Disney 'what if' retelling, this is completely unlike her first book. Due to the nature of Aladdin the beginning was quite literally the film and things only changed when Jafar got the lamp, whereas in this book we are in the dream world that Aurora thinks is real and we got chapter versions of what happened and 'what happened'. This book is much slower by comparison, A Whole New World was filled with constant fighting and things happening. Aurora getting to grips with the dream, with herself, coping with two sets of memories. Discovering so much was a lie in both worlds. The books downfall is that you will her to be this strong girl but she keeps pulling this poor me routine, her life was a lie, she was abandoned, she grew up in the woods away from her family. Thank God Prince Phillip is there to throw in his point of view, growing up as a royal isn't everything either.
My final book was Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I loved this book, I don't know what I was expecting but it certainly wasn't this; and that's not a bad thing either. What I enjoyed the most about this aside from the whole thing is her relationship with Zuanna. Their friendship is so believable, even if Zuannas over the top personality isn't. Although Karou never technically lies to anyone, flashing that smile she has and everyone shrugs off the weird things and chalks it up to it just being Karou. And Zuanna is like that too, but everyone has a breaking point and pushes the issues. Where does she go, what are these errands Karou is always disappearing on?? There is only so much a friendship can take until a smile no longer makes the cut. It's hard to talk about this book without giving anything away. Two worlds, one consisting of Angels and part human part animal, the other the world as we know it. Both as real and as the other.
Originally posted on MissKatiEllen.
It’s official, we are already one month down into this crazy year, and this month I managed to pack in a crazy amount of reading!! If you haven’t already I would really recommend picking up Sally Greens series, I cannot wait to start reading the third. Completely hooked.
Now I’m a sucker for a book with a beautiful cover, guilty as charged, and when I saw these new covers in Waterstones I had to do it. These editions are by Coralie Bickford Smith, The Fox and the Star, and are gorgeous. They retail at £20, I bought Jekyll and Hyde for myself and the other for my mum as a birthday present. I also plan to buy her Withering Heights.
I really don’t remember buying this many books but clearly I did. Poor Unfortunate Souls is the last book by Serena Valentino, which I’m gutted about because I love the world she has created. With only two more books left to come in the Throne of Glass series, the final and a novella, I picked up the assassins bind up of the first 5 novellas. Also thought I’d grab the first in her other series, although I won’t start reading that for a while.