Cathy Cassidy’s latest offering is inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. It’s a modern fable – the journey Alice has to navigate is from coma to reality, from victim to protagonist, from hapless enemy to wary friend. The Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland riffs spliced through her unconsciousness lacked the intrigue of the real-world, and I had to remind myself not to skip them because I wanted to get to the meat of the girl-on-girl crime!
Looking Glass Girl is a joy to read, and the group dynamic rang heartbreakingly true. Alice found the transition from primary to secondary school difficult. Her friends became her tormentors and she feels adrift, alone. When an invitation to a sleepover arrives, she can’t help but accept, her need for friendship outweighing her hard-earned mistrust of her former friends’ intentions. But something happens that night. Alice falls. And nobody, not Savannah, not her mum, not even The Mad Hatter, know if she will ever get back up.
The mystery of what happened the night of the sleepover is compelling and though there are no surprising twists, the predictability of Alice’s fate added to the story. The reader knows what has happened, but not exactly what has happened. The reveal, when it comes is satisfying. And the sprinkling of romance is properly adorable.
I’m ashamed to admit this was my first Cathy Cassidy. I read it in a single sitting and will be going back for more.