Author: Cameron Jace
Insanity is a quirky, somewhat bizarre modern take on Alice in Wonderland. (Of course, the oddities fit in quite well with Carroll’s original tale). After reading this book, I’m still not quite sure if Alice is mad or not, and I have a feeling that that’s just what Jace wanted!
The story follows Alice Wonder, who has been locked in an insane asylum for the past two years because she killed everyone in her class. However, her already insane life gets a little crazier when an infamous murderer named Pillar (who is referred to as Professor Caterpillar in the synopsis – he was once a professor, but he now lives in the insane asylum along with Alice) blackmails the man who runs the asylum into allowing her to go out into the “real” world and try to catch a murderer before he kills again. The murderer just happens to be the Chesire Cat. Even more insanity ensues.
- It’s crazy! Well, this is kind of a negative, but really mostly a positive. I’m warning you now, though, that you won’t necessarily be able to keep track of what’s “real” in this book and what’s not. Just when you think you have it all figured out, you’ll get thrown for a loop again! Like I said, at the end of the book, I still wasn’t sure if Wonderland is real or if Alice is just plain crazy!!
- It’s crazy! Pillar and Alice’s antics are just insane fun! I spent the entire book trying to figure out if Alice is really the Alice – sometimes you think she is, and then you’re just not sure. Is it maddening? Yep. Is it interesting? Definitely.
- Alice references. Not only does this book have TONS of references to the original tale, it also talks a lot about Carroll himself (or, I guess I should say, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson himself). Because the idea is that Wonderland is real, Carroll’s actions in the real world are just as important as the Alice story (and they play into the murder plotline). I loved meeting the Wonderland characters throughout the book and finding out who their modern-day alter egos were. You never knew who was going to show up next or what they were going to do!
- Alice. I really loved Alice and felt very sorry for her. I mean, she’s finally starting to convince herself that everything she believed about Wonderland was just madness (and she actually doesn’t even remember any of it because of electroshock therapy) and then she gets plunged right back into it all! Alice struggles to convince herself that she’s not mad. And once she gets out into the real world, she begins to think it’s madder even than Wonderland – but her top priority is always rescuing Constance (the girl who the Cheshire Cat has abducted).
- Pillar. Pillar is just plain crazy. No ifs ands or buts about it. On the one hand, he’s a murderer and you should probably hate him, but on the other hand, he’s kind of likable in a crazy sort of way. Sometimes you have no idea if he’s helping Alice or if he’s just leading her on a wild goose chase (and occasionally you wonder if he’s even real). I love it when characters straddle the line between good and bad, and Pillar definitely does that!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Wonderlander, Neverlander, Unicorn-chaser, enchanter, musician, survived a coma, & totally awesome. Sometimes I tell stories. Always luv the little monsters I write young adult paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and science fiction mostly. The Grimm Diaries series is a seven book saga that deals with retellings of fairy tales from a young adult POV – it connects most of the fairy tales together and claims to be the truth about fairy tales. I live in San Fransisco and seriously think circles are way cooler than triangles.