Review: Death of the Mad Hatter

Death of the Mad Hatter by Sarah J. Pepper

I give this book a 3 and a ½, but am indecisively bumping it down to a 3.


I’m not a traditionalist in the basic sense of the word. I appreciate things for what they are, but I was disappointed in this reading experience and probably not for the reasons you may think.  Overall, I commend this author for the ingenuity of taking a classical, commonly known, story and turning it into something completely new, but beyond that, I have issues.

First off, I was expecting this story to be more New Adult than YA (not a big fan of YA, but was willing to give New Adult a try). I had so much trouble taking, what I believe was supposed to be, the serious aspects of this story seriously because of all the high school banter. For YA fans I’m sure this isn’t a problem, but for me it was.

There is more than a good amount of crazy in this story and the added darkness was great, but some of the repetition came off as annoying, and I think it was supposed to be mysterious or add to the “crazy”. Crazy I get, but sometimes even that didn’t seem to quite hit the mark. In the story, we are supposed to have an understanding that Al is tortured, but it just comes off as silly and weird playtime to me, most of the time.

The best part of the story development, to me, was the notion and significance of the “sweets” being the link to either sanity or insanity. As far as logic goes, I know it’s Wonderland and there doesn’t necessarily need to be any logic, but there were some things that either did or didn’t happen that really didn’t make sense to the overall goals of the characters.

I loved the rummperrabit and the spiders! I was not disappointed that I read this book; it really wasn’t that bad. I’m just disappointed that I didn’t like it more. I’m such a fan of all things Wonderland, but this story was only okay.

Still, I’d recommend this to anyone who likes Wonderland tales, fantasy, and or YA fiction, with the mention that this is a little dark.

This review has been posted to GoodReads. If you’d like to obtain a copy of this book, try this link.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

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Toi Thomas

I like reading, writing, cooking, dancing, movies, and music. I'm a big kid and choose to see the world in my own special way. Yes, I'm educated, but I haven't let that stop me from being who I want to be. I'm a wife, teacher, author, blogger, and more.

4 thoughts on “Review: Death of the Mad Hatter”

  1. Sounds like a hit and miss for you, but like you say, it’s always a challenge to put a new spin on a classic tale, so kudos to the author.

    1. Yeah, she really did have some great ideas. I just don’t think I was her target audience.

    1. Yeah, some of it I just didn’t get, but that could just be me. In any case, I love the cover art. It has, however, gotten some other really great reviews.

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