Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Review (My Favorite Book Everrrr)

Synopsis: 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.

Review: it’s a cliché and cheesy and I hate when people say it, but…ALL OF THE STARS

THIS IS MY FAVORITE BOOK.

No qualifier. No excuse. No “one of my favorites.” This one is it, y’all.

Well, also Through the Looking Glass. But THAT’S PRACTICALLY THE SECOND HALF OF THE SAME BOOK. (And other examples of my inability to make decisions or commit in any way to anything.)

I currently have 18 copies of this book. I’ve attempted to read it at least annually for the past three years. And by “annually,” I mean I last revisited this book less than nine months ago.

But hey, it was a different year then, technically speaking.

How do I even review this? I don’t know where to begin. (Just a heads up that my obsessive personality is going to become verrrrry clear as this review progresses. I’m not proud. This is who I am, you guys. I was a member of the fandoms of some teen pop sensation or other for nearly ten consecutive years. I’m no longer thirteen but I still need an outlet. Honestly I’m quite afraid that if I don’t have an obsession, I’ll become a drug addict. Lots of pent up energy.)

Well, I’ll say that I always, always, always feel enveloped by this book. I have never picked this up without feeling instantly submersed in Wonderland. And it’s really my favorite place to be. It’s hard to feel unhappy when you’re in the greatest setting ever created.

And there’s that. I firmly believe this is the most amazing and beautiful and confusing and curious setting of all time. It’s immersive, and it’s strange, and it’s so unique and fantastic and creative and I love it so much. I can come up with even more loosely positive adjectives if that overwhelming number didn’t suffice.

Wonderland is my Hogwarts. While many readers pray their letters just got lost in the mail, I’m constantly hoping I’ll see a white rabbit in a waistcoat and fall down, down, down into what must be the center of the earth.

I love Alice and her curiosity. She may also be my favorite character ever. She’s funny and sweet and childish and such a blast to read about. Her reactions to everything are so, so funny. Her curiosity always outweighs confusion and fear. I’d like to wake up one day and be Alice. I’ll likely become one of those creeps who pays millions for plastic surgery in order to “resemble” some celebrity or other.

On an unrelated note, anyone have millions of dollars they’re trying to get rid of?

I’m also fiercely protective of this book. I constantly pick up retellings only to be utterly disappointed. (Like Heartless. Get out of here with your shoddy Carroll-stealing.) DO NOT, DO NOT! GET ME STARTED ON THE TIM BURTON FILM ADAPTATION. Horrific. Alice, an adult? Alice, engaged? Alice FIGHTING THE GODDAMN JABBERWOCK?

But I do love the original animated Disney adaptation. There’s a certain quality to the book that’s captured within that film, which I haven’t found recreated in any other retelling or use of the setting or adaptation.

Oh, and one more thing, while I’m here.

THIS BOOK ISN’T ABOUT DRUGS, YOU SURFACE-LEVEL INTERPRETERS OF SYMBOLISM. It’s not that easy, boo.

In the words of BBC News, “[the drug] references may say more about the people making them than the author.”

Lewis Carroll isn’t thought to have been a user of drugs, the Caterpillar was smoking tobacco, and the mushroom is no more magic than the various cakes Alice eats.

Honestly, the drug reading is simple and boring. It’s such a stretch to attempt to read each character as a different substance. And scrolling through countless quasi-psychedelic GIFs to find actual ones was irritating, too. Ah, yes, real art: taking images from a 1951 children’s film but messing with the colors and movement until it looks like nothing more than a trigger for epilepsy. Enough, Tumblr.

Alice in Wonderland carries as much or as little significance as you want it to. It’s everything from a mindless romp in an imaginative land to a depiction of the effects of a ruthlessly authoritarian system of justice.

Just have fun with it.

And please, for the love of God, stop applying your weird psychedelic edits to a Disney movie.

Note on the audiobook: This time around, I listened to the audiobook, to switch things up. Scarlett Johansson read it. I loved her funny accents and hated her overly-acted narration. A mixed bag.

Bottom line: This is my favoritest and I doubt it will be dethroned anytime soon. Come at me, every other book.

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17 thoughts on “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Review (My Favorite Book Everrrr)

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      ahh totally read it!! it’s so short and i love it so much. (which is obvious by now lol.)

      i am an obsessive collector of copies of this book. they are so gorgeous i cannot resist

      Liked by 1 person

  1. delphinethebabbler says:

    Are you me?!?!? Alice in Wonderland is, likewise, my absolute FAVORITE book of all time! I have like 5 different editions of the book as well as 2 mangas of it!
    Even the movies, I could watch repeatedly and still not get sick of it.
    I feel as if the drug references are more a reflection of the author himself, being a heroine addict, than the book. I feel as though the book is more of a lesson for all ages to never let go of our imagination and allow ourselves to continue to dream regardless of the demands of reality.
    Great post Emma! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      thank you!!! always fab to encounter another Alice fan!!!

      ah i love all this! esp. the imagination reading. i do have to be really annoying for a hot second (i’m v protective against the drug-symbolism reading) & say…Lewis Carroll wasn’t a heroin addict. opium use was totally widespread at the time, but there’s no evidence that Carroll himself used it recreationally – and def none indicating he was addicted to it. i think the drug reading really limits the wonder and creativity and imagination of wonderland :/

      Like

  2. JanilleNG says:

    This was a wonderful post!!! I totally understand your passion and “obsession” since I feel the exact same way about my own favourite novel, Jane Eyre. (I’ve written a bunch of ranty/gushy posts on my blog about it, going on and on about my favourite elements too!) I have actually gotten into fights with my friends over Mr. Rochester, so I can sympathize with your frustrations about any critiques toward Alice.

    It’s lovely to read about how excited and enthralled Alice makes you! It’s my favourite thing in the world to discuss literature so emotionally and with so much feeling! 🙂

    Like

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      love this!!! jane eyre is such a great book. i’m past due for a reread. thank you so much for this!! i’m off to check out your jane eyre posts 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. TheReadersBay says:

    I LOVE IT TOO! This was the first ever original detailed book I read when I was in grade one. I didn’t understand half of the vocabulary words back then so I got all the mini versions as well and even though I don’t have 18, I do have 11 versions of this book haha! Love it!!
    You know you should read Caraval by Stephanie Garber. It is so much like Alice in Wonderland (ofc, not better) but a lot of things are similiar so you may like it. (Or not, depending upon your perpetual dislike of the world lol)

    Liked by 1 person

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