Title: Take Your Medicine
Author: Hannah Carmack
Category: Young Adult
Alice “Al” Liddell is from Echola, Alabama. She leads the life of a normal teen until the day she’s diagnosed with vasovagal syncope – a fainting disorder which causes her to lose consciousness whenever she feels emotions too strongly.
Her mother, the “Queen of Hearts,” is the best cardiothoracic surgeon this side of the Mason-Dixon Line and a bit of a local hero. Yet, even with all her skill she is unable to cure her daughter of her ailment, leading Al into the world of backwater witchcraft.
Along the way she meets a wacky cast of characters and learns to accept her new normal.
Take Your Medicine is a southern gothic retelling of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Note: I received an eARC from the author in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This is a modern retelling of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and I was pretty interested when I heard of it. I read through the book but unfortunately, I didn’t find it holding up to my expectations.
Alice ventures farther than her family’s property and comes across two girls who go by Rabbit and Kat. The main issue we focus on, as far as I could discern, is her VVS—vasovagal syncope. This causes her to faint whenever she feels emotions strongly, which isn’t good at all. Even though her mother, a surgeon popularly known as “Queen of Hearts”, has consulted the best doctors and has researched, any cure hasn’t been found.
So when Al meets Rabbit, who dabbles in “witchcraft” and offers to try to find a cure, Al jumps on it. She also really wants friends so she starts hanging out with them.
On the story overall, I didn’t see a point. We see romance between Al and Rabbit, Al’s problem with VVS and her relationship with her mother but what I DIDN’T see was a point to the story. It’s a simple retelling without a buildup or crescendo. There isn’t a specific plot that gets you in, and that made me really befuddled when I finished the book. What was the point of the book?
Alice‘s life was PERFECT before she got diagnosed with VVS. She has a “before” and “after” now. I think what I liked about Al was that, even though she loves her mom and respects her opinions, Al still has hope that there could be a cure. So she lies to her mom and sneaks out, making friends with people she’s not meant to meet.
Rabbit is a cautious person, really good at healing and.. she’s okay. Honestly, I didn’t get very much of a feel on her.
Alice’s mother is the mother hen you would expect. Especially since she’s a doctor, she’s very good at caring for Alice. She also really knows Al, takes interest in her and is very protective of her. It backfires sometimes but it’s all for the good.
As I said, I don’t understand what the point of the book was. What was the plot, except reading about VVS and a teenage love between two girls? Characters loosely based on a classic story but what is the plot?
If you want a light-hearted read to breeze through, you can pick this. But to be honest, I probably won’t remember a thing about the book in a few days.