Return to Wonderland: Looking Glass Saga by Tanya Lisle
Alice is brought back to Wonderland in this modern reimagining of the classic.
Years after that fateful fall down the rabbit hole, Alice has moved on from the memories of Wonderland and is now attending the prestigious Lucena Academy to get a fresh start.
Unfortunately, a purple haired boy appears at school and reveals himself to be the Cheshire Cat. He speaks in riddles about how Wonderland is a much different place than when Alice last visited and tempts her with a visit back. Alice must decide whether or not she will go back, or the Cheshire Cat will make the choice for her.
Book Review by Tanya Kaanta
Return to Wonderland by Tanya Lisle is the first in the Looking Glass Saga, first published in 2014. The story, as you can probably guess, follows Alice after her fated trip down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. After returning to her family, she’s realized she can no longer discuss her experience and tries to bury the memories.
The story begins with her first day at the prestigious Lucena Academy. After convincing her parents she is ready to go to boarding school, she also looks forward to the start of a new chapter in her life. Yet when she arrives at Lucena Academy, she’s immediately greeted by a boy who is none other than the Cheshire Cat in disguise. As is his usual M.O., he speaks in riddles though enough to alert Alice that all is not well in Wonderland since her departure.
And her return is imperative to help right the negative changes. As the title suggests, Alice returns to Wonderland. What happens once she is there sparks a whole new adventure, as she encounters different concerns with the Royal cards, the Mad Hatter, and all the friends we met in Lewis Carroll’s original Alice in Wonderland. Yet their issues are warped and changed.
Amidst this turn of events, Alice is befriended by a family of students who also are not what they seem from the onset.
As this is the first in the series, I’m hoping the remainder of the series incorporates more of Alice’s friends back at Lucena Academy. In the first book it felt as if they were introduced and then immediately pushed to the background. My guess is they will play more of a role as the series progresses.
Overall, this book is a cute “what if” to the original Alice in Wonderland, after she returns to her life on Earth. It’s perfect for young readers middle grade and up.
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