ARC Tour Review: Wonderland

Wonderland by Joanna Nadin: Book Cover

Product Details

  • Pub. Date: February 2011
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Format: Hardcover , 224pp
  • Age Range: Young Adult


She’s back. Jude’s childhood friend — sexy, daring Stella— returns to their stifling hometown, and life will never be the same again.
Sixteen-year-old Jude has to get out of tiny Churchtown. She has to escape her outcast status and her pathetic dad, who hasn’t gotten past her mother’s death. The one bright light is drama, her way out, if only she can get into the Lab, a prestigious program in London. Then Stella, Jude’s childhood best friend, swaggers in after years away. With bold and magnetic Stella by her side, Jude knows she’s capable of anything. But Stella’s influence extends well beyond the theater. Soon Stella’s wild and dangerous streak begins to cause trouble for Jude — yet Jude can’t bring herself to abandon Stella and the attention she’s always craved. And besides, now that Stella’s back, there’s no stopping her. In Jude’s dark and tangled story, British author Joanna Nadin plumbs the aftermath of loss and the consequences of becoming the person you always wished you were.

My Thoughts

This book had a great opening.  The flash to what is the end of the book draws you in and make you want to know more.  Jude, after the song, is struggling to make it through school, without a mother, and at the butt of the Plastics jokes.  Just when things are looking terrible, Jude’s friend, Stella, reappears seemly out of nowhere.  Jude knows that her father and good friend, Ed, will not approve of Stella returning as she always leads to trouble.  Stella encourages Jude to do things she never would have done, smoke, drink and just get into a lot of trouble.  Jude is torn between Stella and Ed.  Sometime she just needs one of the other and Stella has the tendency to just disappear for days at a time.  Jude applies for The Lab, her dream of drama school, but once she gets there she can’t go on and Stella goes in her place.  Once accepted, she tells Ed and their romance begins to bloom.  Jude realizes that her relationship with Stella must end, but can she make this happen or will Stella suck her back in as always.

I thought that this was an okay book.  The most frustrating part for me was that I knew at least part of the ending about half way through the book.  While there were still a few twists and turns in the story line, I was disappointed that I figured part of it out.  Despite this, I still enjoyed the story and the depth of the characters in the story.  There is a lot of drink drugs and sex in this story.  More than I would have expected from a YA book.  This should be kept in mind when making decision for who should read this book.

My Rating

3 out of 5 stars

*This book was provided to me by I Read Banned Books for my review.  All opinion are my own and I was provided no compensation other than the opportunity to read the book.

Review: Heavenly

Heavenly (Volume 1)

Product Details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Creek Publishing, LLC (November 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933963808
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933963808

Product Description

I met someone who changed everything. Matthias. My autistic sister’s guardian angel. Honest. Inspiring. Funny. Hot. And immortal. That was the problem. What could I do? I did what any other girl would do-I fell in love with him. Zoe’s sister darts in front of cars. Her brother’s a pothead. Her parents are so overwhelmed; they don’t see Zoe lost in her broken life. Zoe escapes the only way she knows how: partying. Matthias, a guardian sent from Heaven, watches over Zoe’s autistic sister. After Zoe is convinced he’s legit, angel and lost girl come together in a love that changes destiny. But Heaven on Earth can’t last forever.

My Thoughts

I finished this book a few days ago and have been having trouble really putting my feelings about his book into writing.  I was so touched by this book.  Each character felt so real, like I could meet them anywhere.  I could feel how connected the author is to the story making it much more than just a story rather a movie unfolding before my eyes.  Each person was so well defined, it was not like just the main people were defined but each and every person.  When there was pain, I felt it like I was in the story.  I enjoyed that way that the author build life to Matthias and let the read build their own assumptions and ideas.  The plot was well thought out and believable.  I see this happening in any house across the county. I really enjoyed the honesty in the book and it truly opened my eyes. No spoiler here but I am going to say that I never expected the ending.  I also did not want this book to stop.  I wanted to keep reading about this family and the challenges. Please if you get the opportunity to read this book – DO IT!  I am looking forward to reading the other books by Jennifer Laurens in the near future.  


5 Stars

Please check out my interview with Jennifer here.

*The author provided me a copy of this book for review.  No other compensation was provided.  All opinion are mine and mine alone.