‘Wonderland’ – Juno Dawson

Wonderland is a riot of hedonism, mental health issues and privileged people trying to keep their positions of power. It’s bonkers, and at times reads like we’re following someone on a bad trip. I felt myself pausing for breath at times to gauge whether people could ever be as awful as they are here…and I think they probably can.

In Wonderland Juno Dawson takes us on a journey with Alice, a transgender girl who becomes worried when a friend of hers (Bunny, no less) goes missing. At her exclusive school, nobody seems concerned. So when Alice finds an invitation to an exclusive weekend party she decides to attend in the hope that she can learn the truth of Bunny’s disappearance.

As we follow Alice through her Wonderland experience we have so many of the characters you’d expect – transported to their contemporary rich clique. Alice finds herself having a number of exciting new experiences, but there’s a clear dark undercurrent that threatens to consume her. The very real threat she is under is presented in an almost cruelly casual way. Someone wants Alice out of the way…but how far are they prepared to go?

When we learn of Alice’s mental health issues, knowing she is without her medication means I was never quite sure what was happening and what Alice was imagining. The ending brought a number of strands to a head, but didn’t really resolve much for Alice.

Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read this before publication.