Izzy Moffet’s Road to Wonderland
by Victoria L. James
Making it to seventeen in one piece isn’t usually a concern for your average teenager, but if there’s one thing Isabella Moffit has never been, it’s average. Dragged through life by parents who couldn’t care less and surrounded by violence on a daily basis, Izzy reaches that epic birthday milestone in her life with only one person to thank for getting her there: her best friend and soul sister, Paris Hemsworth.
Vowing to stand side by side through thick and thin since they were four years old, the two of them have made it this far and are confident that now is their time to tackle the world head on, one shaky, naive little footstep at a time.
Except they have no idea what awaits them both on the other side of adulthood, and before either one of them can strap on their hard hat, they’re taking so many knocks and bruises that Izzy’s childhood suddenly seems like a stroll in the park.
Dodging as many bullets as they can along the way, Izzy tries to hold on to Paris’ hand for as long as possible without either one of them slipping away. But no-one ever told them how rough their journey would be. No-one told them that friends and family would change or leave along the way. And no-one told them that for every good intention they have, there’s a thousand people out there with bad ones, waiting to rip them apart.
“My daddy says that’s why you have to live each day as though it’s your last… or something like that. I dunno. He talks a lot of rubbish around the dinner table. He calls himself the owl because he says he’s wise. I think he’s an owl because when he’s really, really mad at me, he’s able to do that non-blinking thing that makes me apologize quicker than I want to. Uch, I hate that.”
“He used to have a special scent about him – one I can’t even begin to describe without making him sound like he worked in a bakery by day and rolled around in fields of lavender at night. But it was there and it was him.”
“I want to speak, but I’m silenced by sensation as my skin begins to sing his name.”
“My imagination is running so wild, I feel like we’re stumbling into a really bad horror movie, and the only people that can’t see the watchful eyes in the shadows happen to be us.”
“I want to be somebody’s everything. Not just physically, but mentally too. I want someone to love me and adore me enough to say the thought of anyone else having you makes my heart ache. You are mine, forever. You know? That kind of all-consuming love where you’re powerless to stop it.”
“He felt like he was always meant to happen. He felt right. I’m just not sure I can trust my own judgement at the moment.”
This book was exceptionally well-written, achingly real, and no less than heartbreaking. It gutted me, it intrigued me, it fascinated me, and despite the fact that I am no fan of angst – I couldn’t put it down all day. I was sobbing and smirking all in the same hour. My eyes stung, my lower lip trembled, and my nose ran while I read. The character of Izzy is exquisitely built and fully fleshed out with incredible insight from the ground up. She has by her own words, an “incredible ability to seek out disaster.” I adored her, and I hurt for her as she was constantly left behind by everyone she ever cared about. Ms. James has an incomparable talent for painting vivid an indelible pictures with her words. This is one of those books that is going to rattle around in my head for the ages. I am eager to continue on with the rest of the series.