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Wonderland Paperback – February 5, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Some books just beg to be screenplays...they're so visual and create such vivid pictures in their readers' minds that you naturally want to see them on the big screen. That's what you get with David-Matthew Barnes' new YA book, Wonderland...if you pass this by because it's for young adults, you'll be missing one of the most intensely filmable pieces I've read in a long time. Almost every scene here would look wonderful in IMAX." Out in Print: Queer Book Reviews

"After her mother's death from cancer, Destiny is sent to the tiny South Carolina island of Avalon Cove to live with her uncle and his partner... there are plenty of warm moments between Destiny and her new family." Kirkus Review

"Barnes is known for his unique and creative fiction, and this novel, appropriate for teens and adults, continues in that vein. It's valuable for all as a look at LGBT teens, tolerance, embracing differences in each other, as well as an interesting perspective on fate and the hereafter. Absolutely loved it and you likely will too. Five stars out of five." Bob Lind, Echo Magazine

"The plot and general concept of this was great and quite refreshing after so much angsty YA stuff...I also really loved the relationships and pairings in this...there was this recurring idea about what truly makes a family come to life." The Perks of Being a Bookworm

"...this touching young adult book about giving others a second chance...is a well-written story of true love and friendship that anyone can appreciate...Barnes calls upon the reader to consider the meaning of true love and friendship as well as the reasons for sacrifice. Although this novel belongs in any youth collection, adults will also appreciate the descriptive and evocative writing." The GLBT Round Table of the American Library Association

About the Author

David-Matthew Barnes is the bestselling author of twelve novels and several collections of stage plays, poetry, short stories, and monologues. Two of his young adult novels have been recognized by the American Library Association for their diversity.

David-Matthew has written over forty stage plays that have been performed in three languages in eight countries. His literary work has been featured in over one hundred publications including The Best Stage Scenes, The Best Men's Stage Monologues, The Best Women's Stage Monologues, The Comstock Review, and The Southeast Review.

David-Matthew was selected by Kent State University as the national winner of the Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Award. In addition, he has received the Carrie McCray Literary Award, the SlamBoston Award for Best Play, and earned double awards for poetry and playwriting in the World AIDS Day Writing Contest. He has received national awards in the Split This Rock Poetry Contest and the New Works for Young Women Playwriting Competition.

David-Matthew graduated magna cum laude from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta with a degree in Communications and English. He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing at Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina. He also attended American River College in Sacramento, the Theatre School of DePaul University in Chicago, and Columbia College Chicago.

David-Matthew is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, the Horror Writers Association, International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America, and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

David-Matthew is the Program Director of the Theatre Arts and Dance Department at Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, Colorado.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (February 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602827885
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602827882
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,677,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David-Matthew Barnes is the bestselling author of twelve novels and several collections of stage plays, poetry, short stories, and monologues. Two of his young adult novels have been recognized by the American Library Association for their diversity.

David-Matthew has written over forty stage plays that have been performed in three languages in eight countries. His literary work has been featured in over one hundred publications including The Best Stage Scenes, The Best Men's Stage Monologues, The Best Women's Stage Monologues, The Comstock Review, and The Southeast Review.

David-Matthew was selected by Kent State University as the national winner of the Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Award. In addition, he has received the Carrie McCray Literary Award, the SlamBoston Award for Best Play, and earned double awards for poetry and playwriting in the World AIDS Day Writing Contest. He has received national awards in the Split This Rock Poetry Contest and the New Works for Young Women Playwriting Competition.

David-Matthew graduated magna cum laude from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta with a degree in Communications and English. He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing at Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina. He also attended American River College in Sacramento, the Theatre School of DePaul University in Chicago, and Columbia College Chicago.

David-Matthew is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, the Horror Writers Association, International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America, and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

David-Matthew is the Program Director of the Theatre Arts and Dance Department at Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, Colorado.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leeanna Chetsko VINE VOICE on November 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Do you believe in magic?

That’s one of the integral questions in WONDERLAND. Almost everyone asks Destiny if she believes in magic, from her uncle to her new best friends. And she says she does, which leads her on a fantastical adventure.

Within hours of moving to Avalon Cove, to live with her new guardians after her mother’s death, Destiny meets Tasha. The two immediately hit it off, becoming best friends, and within a few more hours, Destiny has another new friend, Topher, and is on her way to Wonderland. Wonderland is a mysterious place Tasha and Topher insist she visit. But when Destiny sees the decrepit mansion, she wonders if they’re pulling a trick on her.

But they aren’t. For as soon as she steps into Wonderland, Destiny is whisked away to a magical place. It is very reminiscent of Alice falling into the rabbit hole. The mystery behind Wonderland, as well as its inhabitants, is one I’ll leave up to you to find out. That mystery is what kept me reading the book, because at first, I was a little skeptical. But trying to figure out what Wonderland was, and what was going on, kept me interested.

The reason I was skeptical because Destiny, as well as her friends, learn that their true loves are at Wonderland. And then they fall in love immediately after seeing those true loves. Insta-love is not a favorite trope of mine, but here, I set aside my disbelief and went with the story. In the end, I was pleased I did, because I liked how everything came together, how Destiny, Tasha, and Topher found their true loves. I decided to look at it as each character having their soulmate in Wonderland, which worked nicely when I found out the truth.

I also liked that the characters were so accepting and open with each other.
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Format: Paperback
Destiny Moore is a fifteen year old who is sent to live with her gay uncles, following the death of her mother to cancer. Leaving behind her life in Chicago, she has problems adjusting to the very different vibe of Avalon Cove, a rather strange island community in South Carolina. She makes quick friends with the sassy and energetic African-American bisexual Tasha and the sweet but rather shy and tormented gay Topher, two fellow teens who will likely share her position as "outsiders" when school resumes in the fall. But this is the summer, and her new friends set off to show her around, including a visit to a mysterious, old house they refer to as "Wonderland." What all three experience is something that changes their lives forever, as it has already for many others in their community.

Barnes is known for his unique and creative fiction, and this novel, appropriate for teens and adults, continues in that vein. It's valuable for all as a look at LGBT teens, tolerance, embracing differences in each other, as well as an interesting perspective on fate and the hereafter. Absolutely loved it and you likely will too. Five stars out of five.

- Bob Lind, Echo Magazine
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Format: Paperback
I have been waiting for this book since the author announced it would be coming out. I was intrigued by the concept and it did not disappoint. There are moments when there are Alice in Wonderland elements, however, it is not that at all. There is more romance and magic involved. Quite a few twists and turns as well.

The character I enjoyed the most was Topher. Not only is his name interesting, but I liked his character and how he begins to stand up for himself in the face of his bullies. I would have liked to have seen more of the story but from his point of view.

The only issue I had with the book was towards the end. I felt that it wrapped up so quickly! I wanted more! Adrianna tells Topher and Tasha what to expect, but I didn't want that at all. I wanted to see, from their perspectives, what happens in order for them to save their soul mates. I wish it had been more difficult for Destiny, too. I felt that it was almost too easy for her at the end.

Aside from this, I did enjoy the novel. Perhaps a sequel with Topher in the lead roll?
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Format: Paperback
Wonderland was interesting. I thought it was going to be a retelling of Alice in Wonderland but it wasn't. I really liked the LGBT aspect of the book. Most of the characters were either gay or bisexual. I find it easier to identify with books about LGBT characters for some reason. The book is a YA book, but I think adults will enjoy it as well. The book teaches that even though the people we love may die, they never really leave us. Destiny loses her mom to cancer, but she still has good memories of her. I liked all of the characters. Even though Bettina was a pain in the ass, I liked her fashion sense. My favorite character was Topher. Even though he faced adversity every day, he never gave up. He could have stopped running and let the bullies catch him but he never did. I hope that the author writes a sequel. I would love to watch everyone's relationships progress. I would also love to learn more about Bettina and whether or not she does have the gift of sight.
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David-Matthew Barnes possesses extraordinary insight into the thoughts and concerns of young people, particularly young woman and members of the GLBT community. His writing is touching, funny and leaves you feeling as if you have always known (and loved) each character. This novel tackles some of the most profound truths of loss and being lost yet it emerges with positivity toward self and others from which readers of any age can benefit.
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