The Wonder of You by Harper Kincaid
Modern Alice in Wonderland Re-telling
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What if Alice didn’t fall down the rabbit hole, but instead, traveled through Lincoln Tunnel into another kind of Wonderland: New York City.
The best day of twenty-five year old Alice Leighton’s life was the day she got to put her nothing special, lil Southern town in her rear-view mirror. Good-bye to phony ‘bless your hearts’ and ‘I’ll pray for you’ crap, all while talking trash behind her back. She’s New York City’s latest addition and she’s going to work her ass off proving she earned her spot in the country’s top grad program.
Never again will she let some jerk derail her future and break her heart. Oh, and no more players. She’s D.O.N.E with the ‘cool guys’.
Getting caught up in Dare Grangeworth, the art world’s resident bad boy, was not part of her Alice 2.0 plan, even if he is just her type, with his beard, tats sleeves and intense green eyes. When he’s not dodging the press or his cultish fan base, Dare’s making art that makes a statement. Women seem to lose their heads around him – all the more reason why he finds Alice’s candor refreshing. He’s used to women giving in – not giving attitude.
He has to get to know this girl, even if it means allowing himself to be the subject of her research. Before too long, he becomes more than a simple outlier she can explain away. And for him everything starts to feel larger than life and upside down, like a heady rush, all while desperately trying not to lose his heart.
Become lost and found in this re-imagined story of Alice and her cast of characters, in a world where Wonderland meets Sex-and-the-City.
The worst thing about this book, is that it ended.
I love the homage to Lewis Carol’s Alice in Wonderland. It’s so easy to see how the characters in TWoY related Carol’s characters. Partly because of the obviousness of the names, but also because of the characteristics of the supporting cast.
Each chapter begins with a Lewis Carol quote that correlates to what happens in the chapter – whether that’s Alice finding her way in a new and strange place, wondering what role she has to play, or trying to figure out which way is up or down.
Alice and Dare are nicely developed and, while they both have their backstories that affect how they react to the other, they aren’t so over blown that as a reader you think, “Well, that’s just ridiculous.”
I read The Wonder of You in about a day and a half. It immediately sucked me in and made me late for work.
Somewhat related: You’d think after 35+ years of reading I’d have it figured out that I can’t just “read a few pages”. But no, not so much.
I loved Alice’s big moment at the end (you’ll know it when you get to it) and was cheering right along with the crowd. Even though TWoY takes inspiration from a fairytale, it is so relevant to what is going on today. I loved the way that was incorporated into the story in such a seamless way without being preachy or lecturey (yes, that’s a word).
If you sign up for the author’s newsletter, you’ll get a bonus epilogue. I haven’t received it yet since I read the ARC, so I’m a little miffed. She’s also looking for reader input on what characters you’d like to see next: Rayna, the Red Queen; Lulu, the White Rabbit; or Caroline: the big sister. Make sure you reach out and let know. I want them all at the same time. Apparently that’s not possible, so someone is going to have to choose for me.
Born in California and raised in South Florida, Harper Kincaid has moved around like a gypsy with a bounty on her head ever since. For years, she was a jill of all trades and a master of none, but is now tickled hot pink to pen stories that break and mend people’s hearts for a living. Kincaid believes seduction occurs from the neck up, which is why her characters are smart, sexy, and slightly quirky – and definitely worthy to be your next hard-core book crush.
When not writing, she adores listening to indie, lo-fi, complaint rock played on vinyl, the theater, well-informed optimism, happy endings (both kinds), and making those close to her laugh ’til they snort. She is a self-admitted change junkie, loving new experiences and places, but has now happily settled in the cutest lil’ town, Vienna, Virginia.
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