“I’ll need to say this: this novel was unique and I am talking about the way the story and certain events occurred. I loved this! There were moments when I was confused, but that was all in the plot and in the end mostly everything is clear. I also enjoyed all the surprising twists, so if you like...”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“Did not live to the promise of its first chapter. 2.5 stars”see full review » see other reviews »
“I’ll need to say this: this novel was unique and I am talking about the way the story and certain events occurred. I loved this! There were moments when I was confused, but that was all in the plot and in the end mostly everything is clear. I also enjoyed all the surprising twists, so if you like being surprised; this is the book for you.
It would be impossible for me to put it under just one genre. When I started reading the synopsis I had the impression that it was a drama, after reading it I found out that this book had adventure, mystery and comedy as well.
And I don’t say this very often, but I liked all the characters in this book. I enjoyed the different personalities Helen Smith attributed to every character. Still I had one favorite character, well I liked her more: Taron. I liked her craziness. I liked her more than I liked Alison, but that of course is just me being attached to a character that is not the main one.
There was also a life lesson, or at least I saw it. Alison breaks up with her husband because he was cheating on her. Still she acts tough and understands that life goes on either way. She proves that she is a strong and independent woman and decides to get hired as an investigator at the same company that helped her prove that her husband cheated on her.
This book was fun, filled with amusing situations, smart and funny dialogue. I recommend it to anyone that needs to laugh hard.
“Did not live to the promise of its first chapter. 2.5 stars”StoryHeart wrote this review Wednesday, November 7, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Originally published at http://rubys-books.blogspot.it/2012/07/book-review-alison-wonderland-by-helen.html
One of the first things that came into my head after reading this book is "What a brilliant opening!" Seriously, you have to love a heroine saying this:
"I'm waiting for Mr. Wonderland and when I find him I'll get married. Until, then I'm staying single."
It's such a smart answer to anyone bothering you about your personal life, right?
Then there's the cover. I love the red, black and white and how they look together. It's like a mystery, making me wonder how colorful London - and the world in general - would look like if I looked at it from Alison's POV. And I can honestly say Alison's view of the world is quite unique. Afraid of letting her guard down with another man, due to her cheating ex husband, she'd rather live in a pseudo-relationship than trying to see if a real relationship would actually work. She's afraid of rejection, though I can hardly blame her. Her job isn't helping either. As a female P.I, she's mostly hired to prove an estranged husband or boyfriend is a cheater. At some point she gets a "secret mission" to check out some company dealing with genetically altered vegetables.
Besides Alison, we get to meet some interesting characters. We have Taron, Alison's friend, who is one of those unique friends. Taron is the kind of person who will either drive you mad or make you a happier person. She thinks her mother is a witch and she believes in horoscopes, witchcraft and things like that. I do believe she's the type who can make a really sad person to smile. Then there's Mrs. Fitzgerald, Alison's boss. She seemed like the motherly type. For some reason, she left me thinking that she cared for each and every woman she met through her agency, be they employees or women hiring her for different reasons. And many other characters that I won't talk about, because then I'll probably give some unwanted spoilers :P
There are some funny moments in this book too. I actually laughed out loud a few times.
I felt as though the ending wasn't exactly the way I had hoped it would be. There was some suspense regarding Alison's job and one of her marks and I was waiting for something more spectacular to happen. Then again, maybe it was the right ending for Alison, proving that not always you need a big "boom" at the end of a frightening experience. Though I did see Alison grow up as the story progressed.
Anyway, if you love chick lit, you might want to check this out. I know I really enjoyed reading this book!”
“This is the story of Alison Temple (who fancies calling herself Alison Wonderland!). Cheated on by her husband, she now works for the detective agency she hired to follow her errant husband. She has been given a huge case to investigate involving improper activities and involving the worlds first 'shig' (a sheep crossed with a pig). Suddenly her friends are in danger after her daffy client turned best friend loses her address book. Now she must get to the bottom of the mystery before anyone is hurt. With a cast of kooky characters to help her on her way, it can't be that difficult, can it?
This was a fun little mystery. it had me laughing out loud in places. The cast of characters was fantastic and kooky. I particularly liked the interplay between Jeff and Alison and the 'will they won't they?' thread running through the story. The friendship between Taron and Alison was great as well, particularly as Taron is utterly bonkers! The problem for me though, and it was really only a small problem, was at times it felt like two different stories going on. On the one hand we had the major investigation, and then the road trip with Taron and Alison and the quest to find a baby for Taron's mother. That being said, I still loved the story and all the mental images it evoked! It was an enjoyable romp with laugh out loud characters and moments.”
By Helen Smith
Alison Templar hires a detective agency to find out if her husband is cheating on her, unfortunately he is so she leaves him in a blaze of glory and decides to work for the all-female P.I. firm that she had hired. Taron, Alison’s crazy best friend, hires Alison to help her find an abandoned baby for her mother to apprentice in magic. All the while there are people who are after Alison because she may know too much.
This book is not for everyone but if you are a fan of the Christopher Moore style of writing then you will love this book. It’s crude and funny and with a touch of magic the author manages to bring to life a novel that is so ridiculous it’s hilarious. Taron is my favorite character with her outlandish ways and her farfetched stories that hold just a hint of truth behind them. It was definitely an interesting read! Though like I said not everyone will like this novel it has sex and drugs, even a few other things not for the faint of heart.
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“Alison Wonderland reminds you that you don’t have to fall down a rabbit hole to encounter the strange and fantastical. It leaps off the page at you. Be warned, however, you can’t sit back and lazily read it. You’d get lost for sure, because it does jump around. The reader leaps from the head of one character to the next with little warning of the impending change, but once you’ve learned that this could happen at any moment it becomes one more quirk of the book. Just as you can never guess what the characters might say next, you can’t get too comfortable that you even know who might be saying it. It keeps you on your toes.
It may not be to everyone’s taste. Alison and her cohort tend to treat everything from love poems, to mysterious Buddhist drummers, to blow-jobs with the same nonplus equanimity. Personally I thought this enhanced the novel in the same way that seeing someone tell a bad joke with a stoic, straight face is somehow funnier than when they’re grinning. Others, however, may think it falls flat. This I’m afraid is probably just a matter of preference. You like it or you don’t. I do.
Reading Alison Wonderland, I’m perhaps in a relatively unique position. I’m an American living in England. This is of note because there are some definite cultural references in the book that those outside of the UK would not get. Helen waxes lyrical about Lichorice Allsorts, Jammy Dodgers, and Wagon Wheels, for example. While not wholly unheard of in the States (I can’t speak to the rest of the world) they aren’t common enough to evoke familiarity as intended in the novel and I can see that this might leave people scratching their heads and wondering ‘what was all that about?’
Overall, I enjoyed Alison Wonderland. I liked the quirky characters’ ability to accept their comrades’ foibles unquestioningly. I liked the seemingly random nature of the events and the obscured ending. I never could decide if it was happy or not. I did feel a little bit like I knew every detail of a week (or so) of Alison’s life and very little about Alison, but knowing too much just might have ruined the magic.”
“Excellent storyline, but is crying out to to expanded upon. This book could be twice as long and still grip readers. ”Linlou wrote this review Friday, April 20, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Odd and not what I expected.”Lisa C wrote this review Tuesday, January 3, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Alison Wonderland suspects her husband to cheat on her and so she decides to ask a private detective agency to help her spy on him. The disturbing truth about her unfaithful man comes to light and Alison decides to leave him and become an investigator for the agency herself. There she works on a case that soon becomes threatening to her and her loved ones.
Because of the title I suspected a somewhat strange story in terms of Alice in Wonderland. And weird things are happening indeed. Alison is suspected to have found out more than she did, her neighbor Jeff, who is in love with Alison, is kidnapped and questioned by the company Alison investigates about and she helps her friend Taron to find a baby to keep.
It's all very quirky and though the book starts out promising it never really has a point. The characters' mindset is mostly grotesque and following their thoughts was often hard because those too never went somewhere. The characters and setup of the story could have been more enjoyable if there was an actual plot.
But the development of the relationship between Alison and her neighbor Jeff is a nice part of the story. Though this relationship is rather odd because it is actually a love affair, both, Alison and Jeff don't seem to acknowledge, it is pleasant to read about. I wish Helen Smith would have concentrated more on it.
All in all it was not really my cup of tea as I would have hoped for more plot and mystery, be it strange or not.