Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

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HarperCollins, 2016. ISBN 9780008175399
(Age: 12+) As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah's days are filled with boring lessons and endless royal duties, and the constant humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, and the love of her life. When a stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she's ever wanted threatens to crumble down around her. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. Dinah now must run for her life before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.
Ok, when I first started reading this book I thought that it was going to be a cliched story of Alice in Wonderland, I recognised traits among the characters from the original e.g. Harris as the white rabbit, George as the mad hatter. Dinah's character frustrated me to no end. She was a whingey and a spoilt brat. However, as the story continued, the character grew some depth. As the king's character started to untangle, the story became engrossing. The writing of the story was relaxed allowing a younger audience to easily follow along. My problem was I was waiting for the characters to evolve into the characters in Alice in Wonderland but once certain events happened Dinah and her family and friends all stood by themselves. There are another 2 books to follow on from this one and I am excited to be able to read them.
Jody Holmes