• Isn’t Dinah the name of the cat in the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland?
  • I seriously thought Harris was going to be the white-rabbit; pre-white rabbit phase of course.
  • She’s smashed a butterfly, and kicked a bird. Where does she get this mean streak from??
  • Okay, so Dinah clearly hates her dad in chapters one and two. But her least favorite part of winter is her dad leaving? What happened in the past two years??
  • I kept thinking about that line, so I thought about it a little longer and Dinah was saying, “Outside of when my father leaves, winter is my favorite time of the year.
  • I like the class descriptions, I think that’s interesting.
  • I actually thought Dinah was talking about horses when she was describing her favorite scents, and I was about to be pleasantly surprised. But I’m OK that there’s a love interest too. This one seems like it could actually come true as opposed to the “forbidden love” arc.
  • I can understand her feelings regarding Vittiore. I think resentment runs deep and maybe it’s not as much that Vittiore exists but also that her father so clearly favors her. But I was also hoping Dinah would try to become Vittiore’s friend as they both have mothers who are dead, a serious DOUCHE for a father and a half-sister. I also think that would be a more interesting narrative than the I-hate-my-sister arc that is more prevalent.
  • Looked back at all the interactions with Wardley and I cannot fathom why Dinah likes him.
  • Yes, after that scene in the Heart Box(?) I definitely don’t like him.
  • It is BLATANTLY apparent to me that Faina Baker is Vittiore’s mother. HOW DID DINAH NOT SEE THAT?
  • The last 50 pages the third important event in the book is happening and I have no clue what else happened.
  • 2/10 for reasons listed below.

OK section change: Major issues I have with this book:

  • The characters. I like don’t care about them at all. I felt they were not fleshed out properly. For example: Dinah is actually the kind of person I could like, I think. But I feel like the author can’t make up her mind about Dina’s personality. The first look we have is that she’s a neglected child who throws tantrums when she’s 15 and smashes butterflies. It sets me up to believe she’s a compassionate person with a mean streak. But that’s not what she’s like at all the rest of the book. She generally seems like a mostly nice person. I feel like I would have liked her more if we actually heard what she was thinking more. Then there’s Wardley, who exists in the book for who knows why. We hear about how great he is and how Dianh loves him; the intro at the beginning about them being childhood friends is good. But I don’t feel like they have enough interactions for me to actually be invested in their romance. He just seems like a plot device. He’s furious with Dinah for wanting to go to the Black Tower and doesn’t speak to her for the next two months, but then that issue is NEVER addressed ever again or resolved. And the next time Dinah sees Wardley at Execution Day he winks at her. Definitley not behavior for someone who’s mad. Wardley basically becomes important the last like 50 pages of the book. Then there’s the King of Hearts. I mean, I know this book is short, but I didn’t get to know any characters fully. I just received pieces of all of them and then the author told me, “put them together.”
  • The writing. I felt like the writing was cluttered and disorganized. I read one sentence and I was thoroughly confused. Nothing about the writing did it for me. The descriptions were not rich and lacked fluency.
  • The world. I was excited to read this book because it’s set in Wonderland. To be clear, I’ve never read Alice in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass. But I did enjoy the Disney version of the book, if that says anything about my reading preferences… In the end, nothing in this book, except perhaps maybe the fact that Dinah calls everyone a “card” and the constant name references (Dinah, Queen of Hearts, Harris [presumably the White Rabbit], The Mad Hatter) remind me of Wonderland at all. It’s like Oakes created a world and just choose names from Alice in Wonderland.
  • The pacing. In this book everything felt either rushed or completely slow. The first jump is two years and then later three months and then later a month later. Like we know nothing of day to day basis and there’s very little setup for what’s coming.