Grabbing the envelope containing the precious application for drama school, Jude knows that once again her self-doubt will get in the way of her mailing it. So when she brings the letter back home and places it back in her drawer, her mind begins to wander back to earlier days; back to the outgoing childhood friend, named Stella, that she used to have. Stella had come during those sorrow-filled days after her mother had passed away when she was only eight, and had encouraged Jude and was there for her when her mother no longer could be. She realizes that if Stella were still here then she would mail the letter for her, because Stella was always the brave one, the one who was never afraid of anything. Not long after that, to Jude’s surprise and overjoyed happiness, Stella arrives, the picture of perfection and ready and willing to turn Jude into that glowing, standout actress that she longs to be. Jude has always dreamed of moving to London and getting away from her boring, lonely, unremarkable Churchtown life where she lives unhappily with her pathetic dad and younger brother above the local post office owned by her father. She sees drama school and Stella as that glimmer of hope for her life; but when Stella begins to take things too far, will Jude embrace her new identity or take back what is rightfully hers: herself?
I enjoyed Wonderland, by Joanna Nadin, and I think that she did a very good job at writing and planning the plotline for this story. She wrote in short fragments a lot of the time, which kind of represented how people sometimes think, and I thought that was pretty unique and made the pages fly by quicker. I enjoyed the characters; Ed seemed like he would be the perfect boyfriend, Jude was extremely easy to relate to, and Stella’s outgoing personality made for an interesting read. The conclusion definitely was surprising. I was not expecting what had happened at all; I would have never guessed that it would, but in a way, it definitely did make sense, and I enjoyed how the story came together in the end. Wonderland is a great, quick summer read and I am looking forward to seeing what else Joanna Nadin writes in the future.
There was a lot of alcohol substance, sex and sexual suggestions and such, foul language, smoking, illegal drugs, and unruly behavior, rebellion, and disobedience.
Reviewer City, State and Country: Upper Strasburg, PA USA