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Reviewed by Melody Shepherd for Readers' Favorite
In Return to Wonderland, Tanya Lisle introduces us to a very different Alice from the girl who left Wonderland several years before. This Alice has learned the hard way to keep her mouth closed about her childhood adventure. Released from home for the first time in years to attend the prestigious Lucena Academy, she is determined to keep her head down and act normal. She's off to a good start with high grades, a sweet roommate and new friends, but when a purple haired boy claiming to be the Cheshire Cat appears, Alice is terrified that her secret will be discovered and she will be sent home. Insisting that Wonderland is in danger, Cat shoves her through a portal to see for herself. Confronted with a far darker Wonderland than she remembers, Alice must decide if she cares enough to save it, or leave it to its fate.
After reading this book, I immediately put the rest of the series on my 'to-read' list. Characters make or break a book for me and Tanya Lisle's characterization was good. Alice in particular was well rounded, trying to walk the line between behaving normally and not losing the enchantment of Wonderland. Cat was an intriguing blend of enigma and annoyance. I instantly liked Adrianna and her brothers and hoped they would be drawn into Alice's ongoing adventure. Although Alice's older sister Lori was only mentioned a few times, she was one of my favorite characters and I look forward to finding out more about her fate in the sequels. In Wonderland, the inhabitants both old and new inspired my interest, compassion and sympathy, except for the Queen. The story ended with just the right mix of partial closure, but many questions still need to be answered. For a fresh take on the classic story of Through the Looking Glass, I definitely recommend Return to Wonderland.