This book, which is the first in the A.G. Howard series, is an inspired re-telling of the Lewis Carroll classic, Alice in Wonderland.
The story centers around a teenage girl named Alyssa and a curse on her family line, but the approach is more about how Carroll really just got it all wrong. How Wonderland is much darker and much more dangerous than we were originally led to believe.
We spend the majority of the book trying to discern the true intentions of a being called Morpheus, while young Alyssa makes her way through the world trying to live up to a prophecy of sorts. Jeb, her real life love interest, does his best to help her accomplish what she enters the world to do. Ultimately, that goal is to save herself from a lifetime spent in an institution, and to find a way to prove that her mother isn't insane either, before shock therapy destroys what seems to be left of her mind.
Now, don't get me wrong. This book isn't perfect. The writing is simplistic and the dialogue can be a little weak at times, but it's technically a YA title, and so it works. The writing is obviously geared toward the YA demographic. All that aside, it's still a fantastic, mesmerizing read. I didn't want to put this book down long enough to do anything. I fell in love with the characters, especially our dark anti-hero and Chessie, and agonized over every tragedy that befell our heroine along the way.
Long story short, I highly recommend checking it out. I definitely intend to read the next book in the series, and I'm currently in the middle of the novella which is from the perspective of Morpheus. I'll keep you posted.