April 12, 2015

Sunday Street Team: Alice in Wonderland High Excerpt

Hosted by Nori.

The Book
Alice in Wonderland High by Rachel Shane

22753362
Sixteen-year-old Alice suppresses her need for rebellion after a petition to start a farmer’s market receives more snickers than signatures. That is until Whitney Lapin, a girl who speaks in cryptic riddles and spends her free time turning abandoned warehouses into beautiful gardens, leads her on a rabbit trail into the underground–aka secret society–of Wonderland High. Curiouser and curiouser.

Even though Whitney’s group of teenage environmental vigilantes operates on the wrong side of the law, Alice has never felt more free to be herself. Soon she stomps on her good girl image by completing a series of environmental pranks to impress them: flooding the school and disguising a pig as a baby in order to smuggle it out of a testing facility. But the group refuses to help with the farmer’s market or reveal their hidden agenda. She wants to trust them, and she especially wants to trust (or maybe kiss) Chester Katz, a boy with a killer smile, a penchant for disappearing, and a secret that will really turn Alice‘s world backwards. When one group member tries to frame Alice for all the pranks, she must figure out their secret before she ends up in front of a jury that’s screaming, “Off with her head!”

The Author

Rachel Shane
Rachel Shane is a young adult author represented by Jim McCarthy at Dystel and Goderich. Her first book, ALICE IN WONDERLAND HIGH, which reimagines the classic story in a contemporary high school setting, debuts April 2015 from Merit Press.
When not writing, she works in digital publishing where she oversees the creation of ebooks, iPad apps, and other technologies for a major publisher in NYC. Prior to working in publishing, she was a computer animator where she designed the 2007 Superbowl graphics, a 3D Barbie movie, and a bazillion commercials.
She lives in NJ with her husband and a future young adult named Quinn (who is named after the villain in ALICE IN WONDERLAND HIGH).
Excerpt

[Kingston Hatter] sat cross-legged on a large rock, a green blown-glass tube in front of him. The tube spread out into a bulbous sphere at the base, with a stopper extending in the opposite direction from the tube. Keeping his eyes on me, he dipped his head and pressed his lips around the mouth of the tube. He flicked his lighter onto the stopper. Bubbles boiled inside the base. His chest contracted, staying concave for a few moments. Then he blew out a puff of smoke in my face.
                I coughed, recalling the first riddle Whitney had given me. Marijuana. It certainly didn't smell like cigarette smoke.
                "Who are you?" Kingston's eyelids dropped over his red-rimmed eyes. "What do you want from us?"
                I blinked at him. This was why he had made me come out here? "What am I doing here?" I crossed my arms.
                "You're gonna give me some answers."
                My blood stilled. We were alone, in the middle of the woods, and no one knew where I was. But I couldn't let Kingston see that fear and use it against me. He would be counting on that. So I forced myself to act like Whitney: aloof and unafraid. I lifted my chin. "I don't think you're very good at seeing the future."
                "I see the present fine, though." He curled his legs beneath him. "In fact, I see you don't really have a good reason to join up with us. Well, except for your little crush, but I hope you're not that pathetic."
                A million reasons why I wanted to join bottled up in my throat. Each one pegged me as desperate. If Whitney were faced with the same problem, she'd spit a riddle in his face, her confidence unaffected. I stole a page from her playbook.
                "That's nonsense. Nothing's what it is, because everything is what it isn't. And contrariwise"—Ugh, hopefully it would never get back to Di and Dru that I'd stolen their favorite word—"what it is, it can't be. And what it can't be, it could. So there." Okay, maybe I needed to leave the riddles to Whitney.
                He blinked at me.
                I sighed and added, "Whitney and Chess seem to accept me anyway. I think I've proven I'm not going to rat you out."
                "Doesn't matter. I don't trust you."
                "Then why are you smoking pot in front of me?" I rested one hand on my hip. "We both know this isn't about trust. Perhaps you should explain yourself."
                He shrugged. "I have my reasons."
                With Kingston, I couldn't be sure his reasons were logical. I shook my head. "Whatever." Clearly he was trying to intimidate me and make me uncomfortable by smoking pot in my face. "I don't have time for this." I turned around and started back the way I had come.
                He slithered off the rock and cut me off. "That's where you're wrong." He grabbed my shoulder. "You have all the time in the world." His nails dug into my skin as he shook his watch in front of my face with his other arm.
                I froze in place. Would he really hurt me? Out here with no one to rescue me?


Giveaway for Annotated Hardcover of Alice in Wonderland High

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