From the modern Alice dumped in the Aquarian Age of the late sixties, to the present day Alice, tormented by body image and emotional issues, to the Alice of the future, launched forward through time and space, FALLING FOR ALICE offers five fresh takes on Lewis Carroll's classic tale. For 150 years, people all over the world have fallen under Alice in Wonderland's spell. Now, follow five Young Adult authors down the rabbit hole to discover Alice like you've never seen her before. One thing is certain-this is not your mother's Alice.
The blurb is supremely accurate in saying that these are "new Alice" stories. I think this book was a worth-while read for all Alice in Wonderland lovers. While I wish the tales were a little more reminiscent of the story we all know and love, I can appreciate each of these authors renditions. If nothing else, this book will expand your thoughts on who Alice could be, should be, and may have really been.
Below is a summary of each story. SPOILER ALERT.
"Drunk" by Dawn Dalton:
This is perhaps the darkest of the five stories, but it's also my favorite. I feel like the character was both intriguing and disturbing. It was very unpredictable. Alice is a monster. She steals and drains people's emotions and longs for a male figure in her life, but when she meets the boy with at-like hazel eyes, everything changes. Her vampiric thirst subsides, and the emptiness her father created is now filled with promise and adventure.
"White Rabbit Rx" by Denise Jaden:
Dumped, lonely, self-conscious, and overweight Alice visits the Hatter High dealer hoping he can fix her size issue. He prescribes her "white rabbit," which apparently has a lot of side-effects.
Favorite line: "Nothing makes sense unless you look at it the right way."
She drinks the concoction that gives her headaches and heightened senses, but it also gives her a skinny figure. She eventually wants the pill reversed and takes something to make her go back the way she was. It's a story about embracing and loving who you are.
"Alice At Woodstock" by Shari Green:
Alice gets cuts from her own band. She doesn't play all summer and has sworn off music until she finds herself at Woodstock, where she's told to "Let no one steal your song." Eventually she realizes who she is and who she's always meant to be.
"Wormhole to Wonderland" by Kitty Keswick:
Alice is on the starship Jabberwocky with her own artificial intelligence, Dinah. Twelve females and twelve males have been programmed to serve a function on another world, including Alice whose function is to learn and create literature. The only problem is that she's a creative thinker and that's frowned upon by the Originators.
Favorite line: "He's mad, you know. We all are."
This tale is the most like the traditional Alice we're familiar with. She falls in love with Hacker, who helps her escape and embraces who she really is without the programmers.
"Wonder in the Stars" by Cady Vance:
Alice's boyfriend convinces her to apply to the NASA teen mission to the Wonder space station. He uses her connections to NASA via her dad, who died on a space mission, to secure his own spot too. When he realizes he's got all he needs from her, Alice must suffer through the mission alone. In the end, she sees what her dad always loved about space and ends up being "the girl who saved Wonder."
A few weeks ago, I attended the OWFI Conference. I had a pleasant experience and learned a few things that I believe will be helpful in the future. Here are the highlights in quotes:
No one will care about your career like you will. -- Trisha Leigh
If you have some success in self-publishing, it can be a positive to agents. -- Agent Panel Discussion
Formula: Hook + MC + i(2) [inciting incident] = Pitch. -- Brenda Drake
You can't sell great writing, but you can sell a story. -- Jerry Simmons
Be unexpected. -- Leon Husock
You don't have to tell the reader everything. They just need to want to know everything. -- Melissa Nasson
These were just a few of my favorite quotes throughout the conference. I'm glad I got the opportunity to go and learn from these industry professionals. It was an energizing experience just to be around so many like-minded writers.
I'm thrilled to have the lovely and talented Kristen VanRisseghem on the blog today. Her book is fantastic! You'll definitely want it in you library.
Zoe Jabril could be just another 17-year-old girl attending parties with her friends and checking out cute guys—except her best friend is a Guardian Angel, and the boy she crushes on is a Nephilim, half-Angel, both sent to Earth to protect her. A high school classmate happens to be a trendsetting shopaholic Fairy. And now there’s a new Werewolf in town.
Now Zoe has to deal with her feelings toward Shay, who spreads a strange electrical current through her body every time he touches her. She is under constant attack from Demons, trying to kill and stop her from fulfilling the Prophecy: a girl will be born who will unite the Enlightens to battle evil. Then on top of that, between boring homework and drama with girls at school, she has to control new found talents if she’s to prevent the Devil from escaping Hell.
In order to do so, Zoe must devise a kick-ass plan ASAP or watch everyone die, because she’s running out of time. She turns eighteen in two months—the date Armageddon kicks off.
I stumbled into Kieran as a tremor moved through me, the hairs on my arms stood at attention like tiny lightning rods. “Do you feel that?” my voice sounded breathless, even to me.
He glanced sideways, “Feel what?”
“Look.” I held out my arms to him, “I feel strange. Like someone…” I rubbed my slightly numb hands over my forearms and sucked in a breath, as he hooked his head around. I fell into step beside him. “Never mind. It’s probably nothing.”
This happens when lightning’s about to strike, right?
The heat from the sun radiated off the few cars parked along Boutique Row, their owners engaged in mid-afternoon shopping. Store fronts displayed the new and trendy ‘must-have’ dresses, shorts, and shoes for the spring season. I paused to see my reflection. Not a hair was out of place. Thank God.
The Coffee Grind’s signature cinnamon dessert scent wafted through the air and my teeth hurt with the memory of sinking them into it time and again. What I wouldn’t give to be able to park my back end on one of their leather wing-back chairs and crack open a book, while the fire crackled next to me in the original stone hearth.
“Earth to Zoe,” Kieran’s gentle voice broke my trance. He poked my shoulder. “Are you going to order or what?”
My face flamed. “You could’ve ordered for me.” I rummaged through my purple backpack. “You know I get the same thing every time.”
Kieran watched me rub my arms, as he told the cashier, “She’ll also have an ice water.” He tilted his head toward the menu board. “Anything else?”
“Did you order me a chai?” I asked.
“Cause you know I can’t function without a good cup of—”
“You can’t function with it, either.”
Then I turned my attention toward the clerk, unsure if I recognized him or not. I hope he doesn’t know me. “Nothing else. Thanks.” I handed him some bills.
“How’s track going, Zoe?” the clerk asked.
“Think you’ll make it to State?”
I realized he was a sophomore on the team. Our paths crossed during several meets. He looked thin in his black polo shirt, and I knew a mirror would reflect a similar physique in me, though my lavender sundress tried to disguise it.
I shrugged. “I have fast times, but we’ll see. If I don’t make it this year, there’s always senior year.”
My fingertips skimmed the glass display of mammoth muffins and assorted pastries as we moved down the aisle to the ‘Pick-up Here’ sign. A heavy coffee aroma hung in the air.
A figure in dark clothing with yellow-tipped, spiked hair stared at me from outside the glass entrance door. His eyes narrowed on contact with mine.
Chills rushed through my body.
What inspires you to write?
Just about anything. Sometimes it’s like an itch that must be scratched.
Tell us about your writing process.
I usually write at night, but I can force myself to focus during the day, too. I don’t use white boards, sticky notes, or index cards. I just write.
Do you listen to or talk to to your characters?
Of course I listen to my characters. They are the ones who really are telling the story. It’s my job to write it as they see and experience it. But if they talk back to much, I will threaten them that I’ll kill them off. That usually quiets them down.
Who are your favorite authors?
JK Rowling, Kristin Hannah, Sophie Kinsella, and Julie Kagawa
How did you decide how to publish your books?
At first I queried to agents and then to publishers. I was picked up by a small publisher but eventually I decided to leave and self-publish. For me that was the best decision to make. I needed the control and it’s all on me now. So if something isn’t getting done, I only have myself to blame.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the self-publishing made so easy, there will be an ever-growing area for this. Eventually I could see the large companies merging and POD becoming the big wave of the future.
Kristin D. Van Risseghem grew up in a small river town in Minnesota with her parents and older sister. And after receiving a double Bachelor of Science degree from Winona State University in Paralegal and Corrections, she worked as a Paralegal for various law firms around the Twin Cities for 14 years. Then she left the legal field and is now a Senior Buyer for a technology company.
Currently, Kristin lives in Eagan with her husband and two Calico cats. She also loves attending book clubs, going shopping, and hanging out with friends. She has come to realize that she absolutely has an addiction to purses and shoes. They are her weakness and probably has way too many of both.
In the summer months, Kristin can usually be found lounging on her boat, drinking an ice cold something. Being an avid reader of YA and Women’s Literature stories, she still finds time to read a ton of books in-between writing. And in the winter months, her main goal is to stay warm from the Minnesota cold!
Kristin’s first book, The Guardian, a Sword, & Stilettos, is published by Kasian Publishing.
"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference."— Elie Wiesel