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Izzy Moffit's Road to Wonderland (Road to Wonderland Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
A great quality of this book is the psycological-ness of it. I get Izzy, I understood her feelings of heartache and abandonment. Her insecurity and her hopefulness, her feirce protectiveness of the ones she loves were described exquisitely. Her life was a rollercoaster of emotions that I will gladly ride again.
We are soul sisters, connected by heart if not by blood. I love her more that anyone else in the world.
Best friends don’t just ride through the good times side by side. They fall when the other falls, too. If she is going to get herself arrested, well then I’ll be right beside her, laughing the whole way through while Lori sits on the sidelines, shaking her head at us, no doubt laughing even harder.
Time takes away all those memories you try to cling onto, because new ones push past, bigger and brighter than the last and worm their way into their place. Time makes you forget. Time makes you question. Time isn’t a healer. It’s a destroyer.
Rumour has is that we, as a collective, should never say never. They say (whoever they are), to place that kind of restriction upon our lives will only limit our experience and cloud our judgement in the future.
"Izzy Moffit's Road to Wonderland" is a story of survival, friendship, and love. We follow Isabella Moffit on a journey of discovery, a true coming of age story with all of its highs and lows. We meet Izzy when she is ten years old, a child with the weight of the world already heavy upon her tiny shoulders. Her life is not good. The only light in her world is her best friend, Paris. The two girls formed a bond when they were both four years old, and that bond only grows stronger as they travel through life's experiences together.
"No-one can compare to her because there's no-one else I trust with who I really am, flaws and all."
But as integral to Izzy's existence as Paris is, this story is very much as the title suggests--Izzy Moffit's road. We watch as she navigates through life with a past that quietly tears at her despite her efforts to move forward. She is marked, her very being tinged with the darkness and fear that bleed into every aspect of her world. And, really, isn't that how it always is. We may deal with, overcome, heal from our pasts, but their mark on us is immovable.
"Every negative thought I've ever had about myself burns holes in my happiness, threatening to send it up in a burst of flames at any given moment."
That said, Izzy Moffit is no wilting flower. She is not weak, whiny, or helpless. Our heroine is determined, willful, and stronger than anyone her age should ever have to be and more than someone twice her age hopes to be. She carries the weight of the world on her shoulders because it's what she knows, what she was conditioned to do early on. Though, she also does this because, to her core, she is caring, giving, and selfless, more concerned with taking care of others than she is about her own well-being. But she is also fallible, so humanly fallible. She makes mistakes, errors in judgment that lead to disappointment, heartbreak, and disasters along the way.
"The smell of blood tinges the air around me and I soak it up like I'm a damn wild animal. The blackness never weakens and it never fades to a grey, not once. Not until it's all too late."
While there are definitely moments of lightness in this story, mostly, it's heavy. It's heavy through the moments of happiness, pain, frustration, loss, victory, etc. But it's also so bright, so hopeful and inspiring, and exactly what life typically is, told through the voice of an amazingly observant and intuitive protagonist with whom I cannot imagine anyone not falling in love.
"Then I stand back and I stare into the reflection of my own bright blue eyes and I wait...And I wait...And when I finally see it, my skin rises and prickles with relief because there's a fight left in there somewhere; the small, hidden spark of fire in my eyes just told me so."
One thing that I love about this debut is that there is absolutely no awkwardness. Not in the dialogue. Not in the prose. Every action, every experience, every emotion rings with such authenticity that there is not one moment of pause in reading the story. Victoria L. James writes this story from somewhere so deep, so pure, it's hard to believe that it's not an exact recitation of events from her real life.
I won't give any spoilers here. I think that the blurb says enough about the type of book this is. What I will tell you, assure you, is that this book is worth the read, worth the experience. Victoria L. James is a gifted novelist whose words will draw you in and make you feel like an omniscient being floating through the universe she's created, feeling every moment of excitement, pain, joy, fear, anger, etc. strike through your gut as it does the characters'. And, if that's not the sign of a good story then I don't know what is.
This book is the first release in the Road to Wonderland Series and it ends with a "to be continued," but it is absolutely a standalone novel. The ending is not a cliffhanger, though it promises the opportunity for further exploration into Izzy's life journey, should you wish to follow the character. The author explains that this series will include releases from not just her, but a group of authors whose stories will depict characters on their journeys to Wonderland.
Victoria writes beautifully, I’m not ashamed to say I cried, I laughed, I gasped, everything that Izzy (and Paris) felt, I felt it along with them. It’s actually incredibly hard to edit a book you enjoy so much, I constantly had to go over it as I realised I was ‘reading’ instead of ‘editing’ and I’m looking forward to reading it purely for pleasure.
We meet Izzy and Paris in the Prologue, aged 10, immediately you can feel their bond, but also Izzy’s struggle. Her life is clearly poles apart from her best friend’s but even aged 10 they are funny, you actually can visualise this conversation between two 10 yr olds….
**“I’m her anchor.”
Unable to stop myself from looking up, still struggling against the pain that’s floating around in the back of my head and making my eyes fill with water, I turn to her and frown. “You just swore.”
“You did it first,” she replies, holding back a giggle.
“No, no I didn’t. I said anchor… anchor!”
“Like one of those things on a boat?” Her little button nose turns up at the end, something she only ever does when she’s confused. **
As Izzy grows up and her life at home becomes unbearable, she's forced to run to the only other place she's ever called home. She runs to her best friend, Paris, and the Hemsworth family for help.
Aged 17 she picks herself up with their support and feels like her life can only be on the up, because it could hardly get worse, right? Hmmmm life has a way of letting you think that, then kicking you right were it hurts with a sucker punch!
As the people around her change, she changes and grows, and grows up, with a few visible battle scars, and a few not so visible and watching how she copes truly makes you think that what doesn’t kill you, does make you stronger.
Izzy’s struggles are heartfelt, she is a character you immediately bond with, she is very real with very real emotions and flaws and as her life rollercoaster’s you can’t help but cheer her on when she fights back, and scream nooooooooo when she is knocked down. Her relationship with Paris is so reminiscent of any teenage girl’s relationship with their best friend (well mine anyway) and that in itself is fairly poignant.
I’m not going to lie, the story, in parts, is a tough read, but then so is life, you will also laugh OUT LOUD and you will FIST PUMP in triumph at times, what you won’t do is put it down until then end, until you’ve finished it…and smiled.
Some favourite quotes:
**“You're beautiful,” he whispers softly, reaching up to tuck my hair behind my ear so he can see me properly.
“Lay off the cheap beer, Matt. It's messing with your head.” I chuckle awkwardly. There's no real laughter behind it at all. It's just a noise for me to make that I'm hoping will drown out the thudding sound I'm certain my jaw must have made when it landed on the floor.**
**I look down briefly, unsure I can find the strength to continue with this conversation, my head nodding in slow acknowledgement of his question.
“The will is in place, but it's not enough for me. I can leave you all the material things I have in this world, but what I want more than anything is to leave you with my voice.”
A single tear drops down my cheek as I look back at him.**
**The next thing I know, I wake up in a cold, dark room, the faint glow of the moonlight drifting through the windows, casting eerie shadows around my barren apartment. My neck aches from the angle I’ve been laid on it as I try to turn and look at the flashing, red numbers on the clock that sits on my small fireplace. It’s almost one in the morning. I haven’t eaten. I haven’t moved. I haven’t even taken off my robe. I haven't celebrated. I haven't even seen a single second of the night.
Most importantly, I haven’t heard back from Paris, either.**
**My days in Cyprus seem to melt away in a haze of Parker-induced fun and conversation. After our introductions at the bar and several more drinks, Jack convinced me to dance with him poolside and ignore the gazes of those around us.
I can’t be sure what makes me agree to his every suggestion, but no matter what he tells me to do, he always seems to have a way of making it sound like a good idea. **
**Paris lifts her head as though what I've just said has had the exact same effect on her. Her eyes light up under the midday rays of light and her hair blows around her shoulders, framing her face. The smile playing on her lips is genuine and full of excitement. “Wonderland. I like it.” **
So go and grab this book from 17th Oct – put it on your TBR – you will NOT regret it. And put a note on your calendar for Paris’s story – coming early 2015!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
“My daddy says that’s why you have to live each day as though it’s your last… or something like that. I dunno.Read more
WOW WOW WOW.What a book and what a amazing writer.Read more