By: Cameron Jace
GoodReads Summary: After accidentally killing everyone in her class, Alice Wonder is now a patient in the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum. No one doubts her insanity. Only a hookah-smoking professor believes otherwise; that he can prove her sanity by decoding Lewis Carroll’s paintings, photographs, and find Wonderland’s real whereabouts. Professor Caterpillar persuades the asylum that Alice can save lives and catch the wonderland monsters now reincarnated in modern day criminals. In order to do so, Alice leads a double life: an Oxford university student by day, a mad girl in an asylum by night. The line between sanity and insanity thins when she meets Jack Diamond, an arrogant college student who believes that nonsense is an actual science.
I really didn’t know what to expect out of this one. With the current trend of revamping fairy tales and legendary gods and monsters, you never know if you’re skimming the same story with a different setting, or just revisiting the same characters dealing with their immutable pasts. Plus, this being my first book by Mr. Jace…. Well, here’s to finding new treasures.
Once I got past the first chapter I decided to suspend disbelief in a way I haven’t done, ever, for a book. (Movies…yes, books, no. I tend to be critical on a completely different level for books.) So…not only am I slipping into an unknown world, I’m doing it in very different shoes. I feel like this is the only way to completely enjoy the crooked mind of Mr. Jace. Suspend your disbelief. Stop trying to make sense of every word, every scene. Let it wash over you until you’re drowning in the strange. Not everything has to be spelled out for you and handed to you on a silver platter.
The variety of grammatical and editorial pitfalls seems to add a certain authenticity to the madness, a jaggedness that keeps you on your toes. This is what I mean by knowing the rules before you can break them. Mr. Jace did a fantastic job of breaking all the rules in this book. His words are the paint on the canvas of the abstract.
Glancing through the reviews, most people are already embracing the difference. But you can’t please everyone all of the time. There are those who obviously have a hard time allowing the borders of their brain to melt into nothing. Therefore, Insanity is definitely not for everyone. It is not meant to be. It is not the pop song with the traditional formula for reaching the top of the charts with its catchy tune. It is not even close to any traditional work found in the literary cannon.
My advice to future readers is to embrace the insanity, let the madness slither into your brain, ignore tradition and jump through the rabbit hole.