Rating: 5 Stars
Synopsis via Goodreads:
Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she’s always dreamed of.
That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.
As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind.
If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she’ll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.
Me, at the beginning (waiting for Morpheus to magically appear):
When Morpheus appears:
And telling myself: Don’t loose it, girl. Don’t you dare start happy-dancing in the middle of the room. Again.
And when Jeb appears:
You’re loosing me, buddy.
I’m not the type to pick “teams,” or whatever. But I’m starting to wonder if that’s just a loosing battle. Because, boy, I just can’t make myself care about Jeb.
He’s soo . . . infuriating.
Okay, I get it. He’s the “good” guy. The one that doesn’t want Alyssa to have these problems with Wonderland and wants to protect her. Every. Stinkin’. Minute. But, hey. He’s one of the good one’s, right?
Well yes . . . and no. Not just because I am on a direct spiral to “teamdom” or whatever, but because the guy is a complete . . . (fill in the blank with the naughty word of your choice).
Like, he has his good moments, the kind that makes me nod my head and go, “Good guy.” But then there are the other, more common moments when all I want to do is kick him in the shins. Hard.
And I’m just like, Seriously? You’re seriously acting like that?
Not that Morpheus or Alyssa are perfect (by no means, pssh). There are many, many times when Morpheus makes me want to gouge his eyes out and give him a good nagging to.
Or just ignore him. Yeah, that would probably work better. (You get it if you’ve read Splintered).
But Morpheus is just one of those completely unique characters. Obviously, since this is an Alice in Wonderland parody, him being the Wise Caterpillar makes him both wise (obviously) and cunning. Infuriatingly so. It’s like you (as the reader) are constantly at war with yourself about how to feel about him. You feel like it’s your duty to glare disdainfully at the pages and words in front of you because of how he treats Alyssa and all the secrets he keeps from her, but at the same time, you really want to soften your features. Because 1.) he’s, well, Morpheus, for Pete’s sake (this says enough) and 2.) you can tell that there’s more that neither you, nor Alyssa, knows about him quite yet. And while it is obvious to me Alyssa is going to choose Morpheus over Jeb, at this point I can’t really imagine why.
Yes, Morpheus is chaos and seduction incarnate, but he also lies and manipulates Alyssa all for her “best interest.”
Good gosh, Morpheus, are you just trying to give me reasons to dislike you?
But at the same time, you find things out about Morpheus in this book. About why he’s like the way he is. It doesn’t make the things he’s done or doing any better, but you get why he’s choosing his path a little better. And because we are creatures of empathy, that makes all the difference.
Oh, and how Morpheus treats Jeb? Hilarious.
But now, alas, I must wait a year (*sob*) before I can see the blessed (read: infuriating) Morpheus and his seduction-incarnate persona, because, woe is me, I shall not read another character even close to him in the meantime.