Sunday, August 25, 2019

Literature Review: The Search For Alice

They are always with toddlers...adolescents....and, yes...even as adults. Children's literature and Fairy tales! As we first learn to speak and comprehend, these tales are the first stories we hear. Our little selves learn good vs. bad from them...we learn morals...we learn hope and fear...and most of all we learn to allow our own imaginations to function. We try to throw them out in our teen years...after all, they are simplistic and ignorant of our own complicated lives. Without knowing, we let the logic (magic?) of those tales return and sort out our confusion and self-loathing, and propel us to adulthood. Remember Alice? As adults we finally get it...we were Alice! Hence Amy Koto's fairy tale of witches, vampires...and us, The Search For Alice.
She's an awkward high school gal, Kallie. Yep, home life is a mess, friends are superficial, and she is more comfortable with her cat than any human. A perfect candidate for being a cutter or anorexic. Amy Koto develops her so well and she is so familiar, as is her fate. But wait, her fate takes a weird turn when she is cast into an alternate reality (or is it a parallel universe...who knows?). Kallie ends up in a weird world much like Alice did in Lewis Carroll's epic. Scared and feeling the victim she meets an ominous figure who she will come to love...a vampire, Ches. Ches becomes her object of desire and affection and he adores her.
Not all is well...Queen Hartley desires to control Kallie and own her. Hartley abducts and imprisons Kallie for nefarious purposes and only Ches has the ability to rescue her...or so it seems. Kallie will be thrust into a demented game that will make her face her pathetic real life in a different light and also to force her to see her true self. Kallie's image of herself seemed accurate, we've all met Kallies. Now Kallie will have to eschew what she and the world has said she is and live up to her real self...the self that is waiting to be untapped. Her salvation depends on the realization that her doom is not inevitable...but she must fight a battle. As the adorable Ches and evil queen tug at her, Kallie will need to do some tugging of her own, and if successful, the rewards will be glorious, but failure will surely doom her.
When we were toddlers, fairy tales molded our brains to look for the good and seek it over evil. Cynicism and pessimism then invade our psyches and our own ability or desire to reach back to stories that once ignited our imagination. They become our elixir to do well for our world and put truth over a desire for self-ruination. Amy Koto's horror/fairy tale should inspire awkward teen age girls...but also speak to us adults. If that transition hasn't occurred yet, purging cynicism and self-hatred in favor of striving forward for good and self-hope...then take The Search For Alice as an instruction book, instead of a fairy tale..and fight the battle that unfolds in this tale.
To buy this book on Amazon, click this link The Search For Alice

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