Find the diary, break the curse, step through The Looking Glass!
Fifteen-year-old Alice Montgomery wakes up in the lobby of the B&B where she has been vacationing with her family to a startling discovery: no one can see or hear her. The cheap desk lights have been replaced with gas lamps and the linoleum floor with hardwood and rich Oriental carpeting. Someone has replaced the artwork with eerie paintings of Elizabeth Blackwell, the insane actress and rumored witch who killed herself at the hotel in the 1880s. Alice watches from behind the looking glass where she is haunted by Elizabeth Blackwell. Trapped in the 19th-century version of the hotel, Alice must figure out a way to break Elizabeth’s curse—with the help of Elizabeth's old diary and Tony, the son of a ghost hunter who is investigating the haunted B&B—before she becomes the inn's next victim.
The Looking Glass - Jessica Arnold
Publisher - Month9Books
Release date - April 15th 2014
Alice In Wonderland has a soft spot in my heart, it's the only book I remember my great-grandmother reading me before she died! I love re-tellings and when I came across the synopsis for The Looking Glass I knew I had to read it. Our main character is Alice Montgomery and she's staying in a haunted hotel with her parents, on vacation. Whilst she might have the more famous Alice's name and there are numerous mentions of mirrors, rabbit holes and other assorted 'Alice-ism's' The Looking Glass is more of an ode to the Gothic mystery novel with Alice as the inspiration.
The hotel that Alice and her family is staying in was once the home of Elizabeth Blackwell and her family. A talented actress, she descended into madness after being jilted by a possible con-man, taking her father and sister along for the ride. Obsessed by a witch hiding in her mirror Elizabeth finds some books containing spells & other information on prolonging your life by taking the souls of others. Fast forward to the present day and Alice finds herself firmly lodged in the spirit side of the hotel, frantically looking through the mirror whilst trying to work out how to escape from the limbo she finds herself in and finding the means to break the curse placed on the house by Elizabeth.
I can quite honestly say I loved everything about The Looking Glass except for one thing - the case of insta-love between Alice and Tony, the son of a ghost hunter who is staying in the hotel hoping to catch a glimpse of something ghost-like. This was the only part of the story that felt under-developed and unbelievable, the fact that Alice could communicate with Tony while stuck in the house would lead to true love between two teenagers a short period of time later did not ring true and so slightly spoiled the book for me, dropping from 'up all night' to 'stay up late' instead. I can understand them developing feelings for each other as time went on but as the time period of the book, Alice's part anyway, was only over a few days the relationship felt too rushed for me, to be as intense as it appeared to be by the end of the book.
Everything else was fantastic though. Between a peculiar little girl appearing on the wrong side of the mirror taunting Alice, Elizabeth's discovery of the blood stained journals, the race to find a way to break the curse placed on the house and Alice escaping from it herself lead to a great story. I love this sort of Gothic mystery with ghosts, witches, hidden attics and curses. Combine all those elements together with the dual story of Alice & Elizabeth and you get a compelling read, one which was hard to put down. In my opinion it's almost a wholly original take on the Wonderland story and the story is wrapped up in one book, a very rare thing these days although I'd quite happily read a prequel about the original witch! If you're a fan of anything vaguely Gothic and/or inspired by Alice then make sure pick up a copy of The Looking Glass, you won't regret it.
Jessica Arnold writes YA, codes e-books, and is currently a graduate student in publishing at Emerson College in Boston. She spends most of her time in class or work or slogging through the homework swamp. If she has a spare moment, she’s always up for a round of Boggle. Given the opportunity, Jessica will pontificate at length on the virtues of the serial comma, when and where to use an en dash, and why the semicolon is the best punctuation mark pretty much ever.
Winner will be drawn on May 9th!
Four (4) winners will receive an e-book copy of The Looking Glass by Jessica Arnold (INT) ·
One (1) winner will receive an e-book copy of The Looking Glass by Jessica Arnold AND a $10 Amazon Gift Card or B&N Gift Card – Winner’s Choice (INT)
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