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08 August 2021

Book Review: Wonderland by Juno Dawson

I decided to review a book by a YALC author for each day of the event, and the final book is Wonderland by Juno Dawson. I can't wait to see her reveal and reading!

I have read Wonderland a few times - the whole London trilogy is incredible and if you haven't read it you need to. I'd also recommend the audiobook, narrated by the author herself.

Wonderland by Juno Dawson

Welcome to the party.

Alice lives in a world of stifling privilege and luxury - but none of it means anything when your own head plays tricks on your reality. When her troubled friend Bunny goes missing, Alice becomes obsessed with finding her. On the trail of her last movements, Alice discovers a mysterious invitation to 'Wonderland': the party to end all parties - three days of hedonistic excess to which only the elite are welcome.

Will she find Bunny there? Or is this really a case of finding herself? Because Alice has secrets of her own, and ruthless socialite queen Paisley Hart is determined to uncover them, whatever it takes.

Alice is all alone, miles from home and without her essential medication. She can trust no-one, least of all herself, and now she has a new enemy who wants her head...

A searing exploration of mental health, gender and privilege, from the most addictive YA novelist in the UK today. 

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5 Word Review: Family, friendship, retelling, belonging, power.

5 More Words: Strength, life, change, debauchery, wealth.

I have put off reviewing Wonderland for the longest time, because I didn't want the London Trilogy to end. Clean and Meat Market are utterly magnificent, messy, masterful, and Wonderland joins them being marvellous. I loved how Lexi got a couple of mentions from characters too, it was like it all circled somewhat back around to the first book.

Wonderland takes the excess and the messiness of the previous books and takes it to new extremes. It truly displays the power of wealth, what you can get away with when you have the privilege of old money.

Alice is rich, but she's not rich. She can spend a grand with barely a bat of an eyelid and minimal guilt due to her mum's success, but she's still an odd one at school where most of the wealth is generational and unimaginable. The privilege is... It's something else. The excess is beyond what I can comprehend. Think Gossip Girl but very British and far messier.

Alice goes through a lot in Wonderland - she confronts her own feelings and behaviour, she is in physical danger, she has to get through transphobia and the fetishising of who she is. It's a difficult read at times.

I loved how the story and the mystery was slowly revealed, and how the personalities of everyone involved came to the surface. With the Wonderland event everything was heightened, and it was forced proximity with added drugs and entitlement. 

Wonderland is a ride. It's wild and scary and powerful. A fast paced, messy mystery. I almost couldn't keep up. I loved the way it played with the themes and aesthetics of Alice and Wonderland. Mystery, attempted murder, drugs, secrets... It's the best kind of mess.

What unit would we measure love in? Heartache? Memories? Daydreams?


  1. Interesting. I like your concept of 5 words review. I should think more about it when I write my review verdict. Here is my latest example so you can see what I mean by verdict:

  2. Ohhh, I've never read any Juno Dawson but I've heard such great things about this book! Definitely think I'll need to give it a shot


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