Monday, August 15, 2011

Alison Wonderland by Helen Smith

Summary/Cover Image from Amazon:
After her husband leaves her for another woman, twentysomething Londoner Alison Temple impulsively applies for a job at the very P.I. firm she hired to trap her philandering ex. She hopes it will be the change of scene she so desperately needs to move on with her shattered life. At the all-female Fitzgerald’s Bureau of Investigation, she spends her days tracking lost objects and her nights shadowing unfaithful husbands. But no matter what the case, none of her clients can compare to the fascinating characters in her personal life. There’s her boss, the estimable and tidy Mrs. Fitzgerald; Taron, Alison’s eccentric best friend, who claims her mother is a witch; Jeff, her love-struck, poetry-writing neighbor; and—last but not least—her psychic postman. Her relationships with them all become entangled when she joins Taron for a road trip to the seaside and stumbles into a misadventure of epic proportions! Clever, quirky, and infused with just a hint of magic, this humorous literary novel introduces a memorable heroine struggling with the everyday complexities of modern life.

When Alison Wonderland first arrived in the mail, I read the summery and was instantly intrigued. P.I.s, witty, eccentric characters, and road trips all in one book? I simply couldn't wait to get started on it! Sadly enough, Alison Wonderland ended up not being my cup of tea exactly. It contained lots of potential and an interesting premise, but the overall execution left something to be desired, in my opinion.

Alison was an interesting character. I loved the story behind why she was called Alison Wonderland- it was sweet yet a little sad at the same time. However, the thing was besides little facts here and there I felt I never really got to know Alison deep down. Sure, I knew she worked as a P.I., had a somewhat shaky past, and an odd relationship with her neighbor, but besides that I felt the characterization didn't exactly doing deep down. The same could be said about the supporting characters. I knew who they were from basic facts and could keep track of them, but I never really felt like I got to know them. Even the characters who took the spotlight in their own short chapters, didn't exactly jump of the page and come to life.

The plot of this, however, was interesting as I mentioned above. It contained little bunches of mystery here and there and some surprising twists. However, I sometimes felt that it wasn't as fully as developed as it could have been, and that some details were just a bit too murky, especially toward the end were suddenly a bunch of things came into play at once. It was a bit over the top, and the conclusion it reached wasn't exactly satisfying. Instead, I felt like there was more left to say about the story and its characters.

Helen's writing was good, and I'm interested to see how her storytelling will develop over time, because while this Alison Wonderland did need some more development here and there, she did create a good basis for the story.

In all, Alison Wonderland wasn't my kind of book for a variety of reasons. However, as always, this is just my opinion. Others have enjoyed the book. I just wasn't one of them.

Grade: C

Alison Wonderland is now out!

Source: Publicist at Little Bird Publicity- thanks Katie!


  1. I'm sorry you didn't really enjoyed this one, but maybe her other books are better! ;) I wonder why she's called Alison Wonderland. :)

  2. I love the title of this one. The cover is pretty too. I'm sorry to hear you didn't enjoy this one as much, though :(

  3. I hate it when I can't connect with characters. =( That is one of the things that will make or break a book for me. Sorry you didn't enjoy this one all that much!! Thanks for the review!!


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