What if Wonderland was in peril and Alice was very, very late?
Alice is different than other eighteen-year-old ladies in Kexford, which is perfectly fine with her. She'd rather spend golden afternoons with her trusty camera or in her aunt Vivian's lively salon, ignoring her sister's wishes that she stop all that "nonsense" and become a "respectable" member of society. Alice is happy to meander to Miss. Yao's teashop or to visit the children playing in the Square. She's also interested in learning more about the young lawyer she met there, but just because she's curious, of course, not because he was sweet and charming.
But when Alice develops photographs she has recently taken about town, familiar faces of old suddenly appear in the place of her actual subjects-the Queen of Hearts, the Mad Hatter, the Caterpillar. There's something eerily off about them, even for Wonderland creatures. And as Alice develops a self-portrait, she finds the most disturbing image of all-a badly-injured dark-haired girl asking for Alice's help.Mary Ann.
Returning to the place of nonsense from her childhood, Alice finds herself on a mission to stop the Queen of Hearts' tyrannical rule and to find her place in both worlds. But will she able to do so . . . before the End of Time?
The twists enhanced a much loved quirky story!
Unbirthday, by Liz Braswell, is a charismatic twisted tale for fans of Alice in Wonderland who remain “curiouser and curiouser!” It is an enchanting spellbinding story based on the familiar characters of Alice in Wonderland, but not the Wonderland as we may know it.
Although Alice’s dreams of Wonderland are so vivid that it’s easy to believe Wonderland is truly real, over the past eleven years she’s outgrown such unlikely and unbelievable dreams. As a young adult, she can hardly remember all the glorious details and somewhat wishes that she hadn’t told the dreams to go away. She loves her mother, father, and sister, but is able to relate more closely to her quirky Aunt. While her older sister is more concerned with trying to find a suitable match for her, Alice would rather go on adventures with her most prized possession-her camera! When her family is seated to eat breakfast and her sister brings up the topic of a nice young man that Alice might like to meet, Alice quickly grabs her toast and rushes out the door with her camera. She wanders the streets of her town taking pictures of both familiar and unfamiliar faces. Before going to her aunt’s house to develop the prints, she meets a young man she had never encountered before, Mr. Katz. She is quite taken by his appearance and intelligence and hopes that they will meet again. At her aunt’s house she developed the prints and is shocked at what she sees! Although other people see the images she actually took, when she looks at the prints she sees images from Wonderland! Most startling of all is the message “Help Me!” She is also quite taken aback when she sees an image that looks like her with a sign saying “Unbirthday.” As eerie as it is to see images in the prints that others cannot see, what’s most disturbing is the look of desperation, helplessness, and rage on the faces in the pictures. At that moment she is determined to find the rabbit hole that she once thought was only a dream so that she can return to Wonderland and help them.
While rushing through the town in a desperate search for a rabbit hole, Alice once again finds Mr. Katz. She’s exhausted from looking everywhere she can think of trying to find the exact rabbit hole and tree from all those years ago. She asks him to tell her a story from his homeland before his parents immigrated to England and is slightly embarrassed when she feels herself getting drowsy. While laying back and peering at the ducks in a nearby lake, she has a sudden realization about Wonderland.
The next moment she is back in Wonderland, but nothing is as it once seemed. When she arrives it is only moments before the Queen of Hearts has executions planned for three of her familiar Wonderland acquaintances. She wastes no time in creating a distraction so that they can escape, but it still doesn’t solve their problems. Since Alice is 11 years older than she was when she first visited Wonderland, has finished her education, and has stopped growing, the only way she can be of any help is to forget everything and go back to the way she was. Is that even possible?
Readers will get lost in the beautiful and wonderful tales of Alice and her experiences in Wonderland all over again, but most important, Unbirthday will twist your mind around a completely different version that you’ll love just as much! I highly recommend this book, and am grateful to Liz Braswell, Disney Hyperion, and Netgalley for allowing me the privilege of reading Unbirthday. My review expresses my honest opinions.