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Omg I did not want this book to end All the stars from me And can we get Simon James Green an Oscar or something for consistently writing the absolute sweetest muppets I ve ever known Full review at When the new Simon James Green appears electronically or otherwise , one puts Naipaul and Forster aside and one is richly rewarded This new story about 16 year old Alex and his social clumsiness is deftly plotted, weaving a love story with a bit of a mystery Others can summarise the narrativeextensively I focus on the fun of the novel.It is as funny as Green s books about the hapless Noah, with moments causing loud belly laughs The mystery about the threat to Wonderland, the town s games arcade, is interesting enough to keep the attention, but not so dramatic that it overshadows the romantic aspects of the story Speaking of romance that scene at the lake Beautiful, timely, pleasing spot on If one says that this story suggests amature yet age appropriate approach from the author, it sounds like such an old person perspective But it is there, and it predicts a growing and enriching oeuvre for this young author I hope, in time to come, he will be able to portray characters inadvanced decades of their lives, characters that are as endearing and humorous as his teenagers from this early stage of his career His ability to observe people closely and find the fun in their lives will ensure success in such ventures I will be reading every single last book from Simon James Green s pen.Alex se storie is effens meer kompleks as Noah s n, maar dit maak dit nie minder snaaks of vermaaklik nie Die manier waarop die sosiaal lompe Alex maats maak met sy medewerknemers by die plaaslike speletjiesarkade word uitstekend uitgebeeld, veral die manier waarop hy verlief raak Daardie toneel by die meer is kostelik en kosbaar Intussen bedreig iemand die arkade, wat n spanningselement in die storie inbring, sonder om die warmte van die mense te oorskadu Ek sal alles lees wat Simon James Green publiseer hy is n drie romans duidelik n fyn waarnemer en n gedugte komediant. Just an absolute charming young adult story Slow burn, sweet, romantic, fun and funny Very easy reading, this author shows SO much skill and talent I have loved everything I have read so far, and am super excited for his next romantic pairing Such a great voice I hope Simon James Green has a stab at a New Adult romance sometime I d love to read about characters in their twenties This author s voice would be fantastic for it. A Scooby sized mystery for socially awkward Alex and his new friends Ben and Efia to solve means great fun reading for me This was as good, maybe better, than the author s Noah books were, and just as awkward and touching Green can really write Alex gets a summer job at a game fun house in a pier type resort town and it is being sabotaged by a mysterious person who leaves ominous notes Amongst this there is an interesting cast of characters who could all be guilty And of course, there s perfect Ben, who we want to win so badly The meet cute and the budding will they won t they is sweet and fun and rewarding I figured out the guilty party, but not too early as for it to be easy or overly predictable, and there were great twists and turns to keep the reader guessing It worked out well, but that wasn t really the best part of the book Ben and Alex were the real focus and that hit all the right notes I d love to see a sequel. How do you rate a book that you know you were definitely too old for As in, I like me some YA, but some just definitely 100% written for people who aren t older than 16 Nothing wrong with that, but how do you approach rating reviewing something like that Sigh. Warning This book is full of cute smoosh and adorably awkward boys If that s your thing, you ve hit the jackpot also hmu, you ve obviously got excellent reading taste and I m always in need ofsickeningly sweet gay romance stories Alex in Wonderland is the perfect summer YA read it s got a slow burn romance the best kind of romance disagree fight me , a hopelessly awkward protagonist, a lovably diverse and three dimensional supporting cast, a compelling mystery, and bucket loads of comedy Having trudged my way through my last book and finding myself in a bit of a reading slump, Alex in Wonderland came at just the right time For me, reading this book was like eating a box of expensive chocolates you know the ones where they use words like oozing and decadent and sensuous you tell yourself it s a treat and you re just going to have one or two and make them last And then next thing you know you ve scoffed the whole box and you re ugly crying because why are you such a mess, like seriously That was me with this book I wanted to savour it and take my time but I couldn t help myself Onechapter turned into five and the next thing I knew I d made it to the acknowledgments Oops.Now the way I determine whether a book is good is if it embarrasses me in public like the time I cried on the bus reading Onjali Q Rauf s The Boy At the Back of the Class Alex in Wonderland passed the test yay for Simon James Green, boo for me I read most of this book in my bookshop s caf during my lunch breaks and every time and I mean EVERY GOD DAMN TIME I found myself laughing out loud at some ridiculous scene Let me tell you, I got a lot of strange looks from customers I m also pretty sure that an elderly couple moved to a different table just so they could get away from me Great But the book genuinely is that funny And what s so great about the humour is that it is British humour So much of the LGBTQ YA I read is published in America, and I love those books with all my heart, but there s something distinctive about British humour that Americans just don t get so it was so refreshing to find that in Alex in Wonderland.So anyway, a random assortment of things I liked about Alex in Wonderland Homophobia there s none of it I get that homophobia exists but it s nice to read an LGBTQ book where abuse and violence isn t the focus and where characters can live their best gay lives authentically without fear of persecution yaaaas Representation not every character is white hooray and G isn t the only letter in LGBTQ getting repped in this book As a side note why is it so hard to find LGBTQ books with multiple queer characters What is that about Mystery a huge part of this book centres on the mystery of who is trying to sabotage the Wonderland arcade The Scooby Doo esque mystery was great fun and I genuinely didn t predict the outcome THAT END SCENE WAS PERFECT I can totally just imagine Alex being like, Okay gang, let s split up and look for clues Ben you re with meI would love to see a sequel for this book I hope you re listening Simon I need to know what happens next and I d love to see it from Ben s perspective Ben is one of my favourite characters and it would be great to see how he handles things and comes to terms with stuff being vague and mysterious because of spoilers and all so a book from his viewpoint would be amazing I d also love to see this book adapted It would make the perfect Netflix series and with so many YA contemporaries getting picked up for television, I think Alex would do wonderfully So to summarise, this book is pretty darn great If you re looking for a good summer read, you absolutely need to pick it up You ll definitely not regret it Though you may become a little bit too emotionally attached to two fictional boys But hey, you win some you lose some. This book was the dose of summer joy THAT I NEEDED AND YOU NEED TOO That is basically my review Buy the book Now Read it Love it Enjoy it and wait for the Netflix film, because this is the perfect project for a Netflix film, I can see it now and am available for cameos I have a lot of arcade experience as per below This book was a joy in so many ways I used to go to the beach every summer with my mother and whether it would be Blackpool or Brighton I would always bring a bag of 1ps and 2ps for the arcade I love the noise and the colour, the vibes and the sounds and would pour all my money into the machines trying aimlessly to getthan I put in or enough tickets to win an amazing prize This isn t something that has left me only last week i did the same thing on a night out see picture But this isn t about me it s about Alex and Wonderland.It was very easy to fall in love with Alex s character Like Noah he has this charm to him, an insecurity, that I think a lot of felt like at his age and after a drink he gets messy Yes Alex He s also unlucky in love Alex keeps falling for people that are unobtainable a theme that he keeps coming back to throughout the book I felt this hard and it was one of the many ways that this book spoke to me This is what really makes a book When you can see yourself within a character it makes it all feel a littlelike I m not the only one We all know the trials and tribulations of having to go out into the world and get a first job and, by chance and a bruised head Alex manages to get a job off Maggie at Wonderland I think we all have or meet a Maggie in our lives This hardheaded, independent woman so gives no f s and we love her for it, because there s a heart underneath and she is the pole that prods Alex to unwind and break out of his shellTHANK YOU MAGGIE At Wonderland we meet a great cast of characters in Efia and Ben who take Alex under their win and a summer of drama ensues Efia has this sass and this boss attitude that I loved she s that strong headed friend that you want and need and then there was Ben.Oh Ben When a character like Ben is introduced to a book I think we all instantly relate to a Ben we ve had and create a picture in our head of our own Ben Or in my case Ben s..there have been so many Ben s and you create this idea of who you Ben is, which helps this Ben come to life I loved the softness to Ben here, he was funny and caring and this is where you really wanted something to happen for them Even if he has a GF It s funny because Efia calls Ben out on this supposed gf who spoiler alert we do meet but it reminded me of having to create that persona of the fake girlfriend My Girlfriend who lives in Canada Avenue Q vibes It was something I did to detract from the hate and to build up a pretence and I think its something a lot of us do, so reading it you feel a deeper connection to the story and you then start double and triple guessing whats going to happen and end up shouting OMG JUST KISS ALREADY when you re on public transport This is helped in large by this great, naturally flowing writing style that s full of humour I m shipping you so hard Bex aubergine emoji, banana emoji, winking tongue man that i was flying through the book I think I finished it within 24 hours and I really didn t want it to be over at the end Talking of shipping Bex which I did and you will too l lets talk about the restaurant scenes because there s so much to pick apart there On the one hand it was a super cute date, it was beautiful slow moment in the book, very atmospheric and how we would all love a date to go The bit with the foreheads I nearly died I also need to give a special shout out to the waitress I LIVED FOR HER She was only in two scenes, but like they say i drag race, make every moment count and boy did she I was on a date one and person at mini golf said to us in jest if you need me to save you just shout Pineapple and it was very much this in the book She was funny and came for the jokes and it added this next layer to the moment Within all this goodness there were moments in these scenes that are very much relevant issues that LGBTQ people still face in public There was a moment of hands touching and not being able to feel comfortable to show that emotion in public, or having to create the distance when someone comes over Its something a lot of people face and this adds the grit to the book Or even having people make eyes at you like you re a baby panda doing something cute like just holding hands and its a spectacle Its something a lot of us still feel and I m glad it was given light here It was these small moments that brought up issues that LGBTQ youths face that really elevated this book and made it a relate able reading experience mixed in with all the humour and drama.I was sad when I d finished, but had this warmth in me because of everything this book had made me feel, the ups and downs the laughter and the tears, and I ll continue the story in my mind in the way I want it to play forward I had so much fun not only reading the book but writing this review, and I hope you did to Get on it and let me know what you think Actual rating 4,5 5 stars This book is 487 pages of second hand embarrassment, cringy moments and Alex being 100% awkward.In other words it was absolutely hilarious and I pissed myself laughing Alex is all alone for the summer break, becaus his friends are all away on holiday.His dads girlfriend is pestering him about getting a summer job.Also Alex is 16 and a whirlwind of hormoneslooking for a boyfriend.It s a book about friendship, finding yourself and accepting who you arebut it s put in such an awesomely funny story There s also some kind of crime mystery going on and we get two soft, gay boys constantly crying over being overwhelmed by their feelings.I loved it, it was super thrilling and I read it within 3 days 5 starsAbsolutely wonderful This had everything I love the most in a YA romance it was funny, sweet and romantic, all in a very slow burn sort of way I especially adored Alex He was so incredibly awkward and shy and I just wanted to hug him over and over again Okay, his love interest was pretty freaking adorable too. ^FREE E-PUB ↻ Alex in Wonderland ⇲ In The Town Of Newsands, Painfully Shy Alex Is Abandoned By His Two Best Friends For The Summer But He Unexpectedly Lands A Part Time Job At Wonderland, A Run Down Amusement Arcade On The Seafront, Where He Gets To Know The Other Teen Misfits Who Work There Alex Starts To Come Out Of His Shell, And Even Starts To Develop Feelings For Co Worker Ben Who, As Alex S Bad Luck Would Have It, Has A GirlfriendThen As Debtors Close In On Wonderland And Mysterious, Threatening Notes Start To Appear, Alex And His New Friends Take It On Themselves To Save Their Declining Employer But, Like Everything In Wonderland, Nothing Is Quite What It Seems