Monday, April 23, 2018

[Book Review] Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, "and what is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations?"

So begins the tale of Alice, following a curious White Rabbit down a rabbit-hole and falling into Wonderland. A fantastical place, where nothing is quite as it seems: animals talk, nonsensical characters confuse, Mad Hatter's throw tea parties and the Queen plays croquet. Alice's attempts to find her way home become increasingly bizarre, infuriating and amazing in turn. A beloved classic, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has continued to delight readers, young and old for over a century.


I am a bit biased with this story since it’s been a favorite since I was young enough to start reading chapter books on my own. However, I have not read this book in so long I wasn’t sure if my feelings on this story would be different with this new re-read. I’m really glad I still love this story just as much, if not more, than I did when I was younger.

The characters are just as odd and charming as ever. I don’t believe I realized this before but Alice is way younger than I thought. She’s about seven years old but for some reason I always pictured her around ten. She definitely acts like a little kid a lot more than I remember but she's also really smart. She’s eager to prove herself as intelligent and brave which can make her come off as a bit of a know it all. Little Heather definitely related, which is probably why she loved Hermione from the Harry Potter series so much. Also, I loved the cast of characters in Wonderland. The Purple Caterpillar, Mad Hatter, March Hare, White Rabbit, etc. it was like reuniting with old friends which made me feel really nostalgic.

The plot is all over the place but that’s not a negative aspect in this instance because that’s kind of the point. Nothing makes sense in Wonderland but it's because the world and characters are magical and whimsical. Every chapter or so is a new adventure for Alice which made for new creatures to meet and I really enjoyed that. The overall story is about a girl who falls into a rabbit hole into a different world but there isn’t a continuous storyline throughout the story other than her wandering Wonderland and interacting with the citizens. I know that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (ha) but I really liked it. I don't need a lot of action or a fast paced plot to like the story, as long as I am enjoying the characters, writing, or world I am happy. I am pleased to say I was happy with all three.

The writing is very straightforward so it jumps right into the story. Like many children’s stories it’s pretty short, but because we don't have a beefy plot I think a shorter story was the best way to go. I never felt like it was dragging on and I wasn't unsatisfied by the end of the story. I forgot how funny this story can be. Alice’s banter between the different characters and the way she stands up for herself and sasses the characters is really entertaining. Although it's a children's book, it doesn't talk down to the reader which I really like. I think this book is a great one for younger readers. I highly recommend it to all readers, but I think this is a great book for a kid who is starting to read more chapter books. I loved reading the book and then watching the Disney movie when I was younger.

Thanks for reading!

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