Paris Hemsworth’s Road To Wonderland
by Francesca Marlow
‘Paris Hemsworth’s Road To Wonderland’ is the second novel in a new adult series, which tells the tale of a seventeen-year-old girl’s tragedy. A tragedy that steers her down an unlikely path full of twists and turns.
Paris is a naive, feisty fashionista who floats, carefree, through her life in 1990’s Manchester, thanks to her three great loves: her father, her best friend, and her motorbike. Izzy Moffit is a shy, quiet, literature lover who has been surrounded by violence daily, seeking solace in movies and music. The two are an unlikely duo, but since the age of four, they have been inseparable, always promising to be there for each other no matter what.
That is until one day Paris receives heart-shattering news which turns her life upside-down. Suddenly, their friendship is tested in ways it never has before, and just when things are starting to look up for them, adulthood steps in and kicks them both in unimaginable ways. Paris is forced into a life full of fear, guilt and doubt, which sees her evolve from the feisty, fun young girl she once was into something she never thought she’d be. Weak.
Having hit rock bottom, Paris is left with two options: climb the ladder back up or continue to swim in the sea of despair. The first option is easier said than done when you have no hope or faith left, when the loves of your life have all moved on, and you think you’re alone in the world. In the war against addiction, Paris knows it is only a matter of time before something has to give, but she is unable to predict at what cost.
“That’s how we roll. Always have. She’s the brains and I’m the beauty, or that’s how it seems to be perceived to outsiders, even Moffy, I think.”
“We’re like salt and pepper. Completely opposite, but when mixed together, we are an explosive combination.”
“I move closer towards the paper, cautiously. God knows why; it’s not like he can jump out of the page at me.”
“You killed the fish we had by feeding them burnt pizza.”
I am totally digging this shared Wonderland story and timeline by different authors. I adored the first book (Izzy Moffet), and was ever hopeful starting the second, but knew not to hold my breath as reading a series can be a crap shoot and not only was the author unfamiliar to me – but oh my, this must be her first book as it was the only one I saw listed for her in Goodreads. With more than a bit of trepidation, I took a deep breath and dived in. Hmm, in sharp contrast to Izzy, the character of Paris was far more difficult for me to care for. Paris is a complicated diva – selfish, immature, impulsive, irresponsible, lazy, full of self-pity, and lacking in self-control. She had led a charmed life until the age of 16 when her father died, until then, she had been an indulged and doted on princess with a wild streak and a bad temper. Without a rudder, she quickly spiraled into a lifestyle of sensation and addiction – which unfortunately also included a violent man and an ever worsening lifestyle. Izzy to the rescue, I knew she would be, as this book follows the same timeline as book 1. And by the end of the book, I was enjoying the Paris and Izzy duo yet again.
Kudos to Ms. Marlow, first book or not, she did an excellent job of capturing the downward spiral of addiction. It was all there – denial, selfishness, self-rationalization, and the unending cycle of procrastination in taking personal responsibility. As a strong and independent woman who is no fan of angst, Paris’s behavior and thought patterns frustrated me and became somewhat tedious. However, Ms. Marlow’s writing was highly insightful and diamond sharp. She already has strong skills – is well on her way to mad skills – and is going on my list of ones to watch.
Francesca Marlow discovered her love for writing a few years ago when having some role play fun on Twitter with her best mate. They were inspired to create a world of their own which really helped her to channel every day thoughts and emotions, to deal with the daily grind of ‘life’. Never once did she think it would lead to releasing her first novel which she confesses to being one of the proudest moments.
Aside from releasing a novel, two of Francesca’s biggest accomplishment to date is her two little ladies which mean the world to her. She’s a Yorkshire lass and romantic at heart, with an eclectic taste in music and a great love for films; all of which continue to be a source of creativity as well as well deserved relaxation moments. A new-found love for the gym has led to a healthier, happier Fran, so when she’s not being a mum, working, reading or writing, she can be found lifting weights or just generally exhausted in a heap in her snuggle chair.