I received this advanced copy book from Harlequin Teen, in exchange for my honest review.
I love the cover as it plays on the Alice in Wonderland theme as well as the title does. There's also the byline reference of "Off with their heads" which is a line said in Alice in Wonderland but also comes to befit this book too.
It's a very pretty and delicate cover, though the girl on the cover kind of looks haunting in a fragile way. The dress the girl is wearing looks gorgeous. So would the cover make me want to find out more about the book? Yes, definitely.
I wasn't sure when I initially began reading this book, and I readily admit it has taken me longer than usual to read it. However that was more due to me being too ill to read than the book. Once the book picked up pace, it never really stopped. There's plenty of action, fighting, blood and a little bit of gore. Alice or Ali as her friends call her has lost everything and almost everyone she loved in an accident. Ali's father always had an obsession about "monsters" so as a family they rarely went out at night (when the monsters came out).
However on Ali's birthday she persuades her mum and dad to take her to Emma's school recital. The car accident happens on the way back, and it's the first time Ali "sees the monsters" her father obsesses about.
Alice moves in with her grandparents, attends a new school, and meets new people. One of the people she meets is Cole. Every time she looks at him something weird happens, a kind of vision.....
Alice has to fight to be accepted by Cole and his group of friends. Yet by becoming friends with them everyone else at school avoids her. Alice as to endure a lot of pain in her "new" life, both physically and mentally.
I don't really want to say much more to give away major spoilers, yet I feel I could talk forever about it and really do recommend you read this book.
I loved how Gena Showalter writes, her descriptions are detailed but not overly so. I immediately fell in love with the characters, Alice, Cole, Kat, and Frosty etc. I also loved the character of Emma, even though she seems to flit in and out of the story. (You'll see what I mean when you read it). Also there are little clues as to what is to come along the way, little mysteries to solve. Like why does Alice keep seeing a cloud shaped like a rabbit? Is it some sort of omen? The book also has it's dose of teenage angst with the are they in a relationship or not question too. There are quite a few surprises, and twists and turns that I didn't expect. You think you know all about a certain character and then bam! you find out something that totally canges how you look at that character.
So did I enjoy the book? Definitely Yes. Would I read a BK#2? Yes please! Would I read more books by Gena Showalter? Prior to reading this book, I had only ever read short tales by her in various anthologies. I think I will now actively seek out books by this author as I enjoyed how descriptive she was. Do I recommend this book? YES!