Welcome back to the bookclub! In November, we read Wonderland by Jennifer Hillier for The You’ll Read Too Bookclub! If you wish to access all of the latest updates/information, click here. Spoilers ahead!
Quick Reminder: This month we are reading ‘The Last House On Needless Street’ by Catriona Ward.
Today I’m going to discuss the book in the same way I normally do the IGTV videos. You can find the IGTV video for this talk on my bookclub Instagram page. I’ll give a quick plot summary plus my overall star/scare-factor ratings. Then I will share the discussion topics and trivia questions. Please include all of your answers and opinions down below. I want to know exactly what you thought. I’ll also leave the answers to the trivia questions at the very bottom of the post, so if you wish to guess without being spoiled, do not scroll to the end until you’re ready. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
WONDERLAND by JENNIFER HILLIER – NOVEMBER 2021
Welcome to Wonderland. By day, it’s a magical place boasting a certain retro charm. But before daybreak, an eerie feeling descends. Maybe it’s the Clown Museum, home to creepy wax replicas of movie stars and a massive collection of antique porcelain dolls. Or maybe it’s the terrifyingly real House of Horrors. Or…maybe it’s the dead, decaying body left in the midway for all the Wonder Workers to see…
OVERALL STAR RATING
If you know me, you know I love a creepy, amusement park setting. This thriller/horror did not disappoint. I gave it 5/5 stars. It was my first Jennifer Hillier book and won’t be the last. I enjoyed this so much. There were many layers and different stories at play. It was so well structured and paced. I was very impressed how the multiple plot points weaved together seamlessly, without becoming convoluted. I did guess the killer early on but there were many other reveals that shook me. I highly recommend it.
OVERALL SCARE-FACTOR RATING
I gave it a scare-factor rating of 3/5 stars. The opening scene with the Ferris Wheel really got under my skin. Also, this story focuses on real-life horrors rather than supernatural scares. The violence, abuse and sexual assault will make you more uncomfortable than the Clown Museum.
1.) What were your theories regarding the identity of the serial killer?
As mentioned above, I did guess the killer early on. All of the initial suspects were just way too obvious to be the actual murderers. The culprit felt off from the beginning.
2.) What were your opinions on Vanessa as a protagonist? Was she a bad person/parent?
I don’t think Vanessa was a bad person or mother, but she was deeply flawed. I love troubled protagonists. They are real and relatable. She harboured dark secrets and relied heavily on vices, instead of focusing on her children. She definitely came through for them in the end but was far from perfect and definitely needed intensive therapy to process her past.
3.) Wonderland was home to years of corruption, crime and sexual assault. Why was it so beloved by workers and the town?
I honestly cannot answer this question. I wrote it in the hopes that my bookclub members would be able to enlighten me. I am baffled as to why Wonderland was so revered by the townspeople when its history of corruption, crime and sexual assault was well known by the public. I can understand the nostalgia and obviously it was a huge source of income for Seaside, but it still had a terrible reputation. Please tell me your thoughts.
Easy: What is the type of guy Bianca goes for?
Medium: What horror movie is referenced frequently in the book?
Large: How many ID cards showed up at Hovey’s place?
I hope you enjoyed the book club discussion in this post and on Instagram. As mentioned above, share all of your thoughts in the comments below! If you have any feedback/suggestions to improve the bookclub, please let me know. I look forward to talking to you all next month! Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo
TRIVIA ANSWERS: Easy: Blond, 18 and handsome. Medium: Candyman. Hard: 19.