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Published: March 5, 2018
Author: Hannah Carmack
Hannah Carmack is a recent graduate of Northern Illinois University. She enjoys volunteer work and spends most of her time with the organization STEM Read, connecting authors and reluctant readers through hands-on STEM activities. Her debut novel Seven-Sided Spy was released January 2018.
Synopsis: 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.
Opinion: I want to thank Hannah herself for providing me with a copy of Take Your Medicine. It was an amazing story and honest to God, not long enough. Girl, I need more.
I feel like an idiot because it specifically says this was a Southern Gothic retelling of Alice in Wonderland. It took me til about 57% through the book to get the name references as far as Rabbit, Kat, Mads, March, and the twins (their names are evading my memory at the moment.) I felt dumb. The references are there though and I adore this retelling.
Al’s relationship with her friend *wink wink not giving away names because that’d spoil it* is adorable. I love the fact that Carmack incorporated her in as never having felt that way about a girl before. The way Carmack describes Al’s realization, so to speak, that she likes girls, it is almost like we are discovering this new part of her with her.
I love how the main character is struggling with vasovagal syncope, which is a disorder I personally had never heard of. Vasovagal syncope is a fainting disorder that happens whenever someone feels emotions too strongly, or stressful triggers. It helps draw awareness and shows the everyday life of someone who is diagnosed. Unfortunately there is really no known way to treat VVS. The main treatment is avoidance of triggers. Which is all explained wonderfully in the book.
I really loved the descriptive factors in this novella. It made you feel like you were there in the trailer with Rabbit, Kat, and Al. One of my favorite lines in the beginning that really stood out to me was Al’s description of Rabbit’s hair. She is described as having “…hair as read as a marigold.” HOW BEAUTIFUL IS THAT.
Everyone needs to read Take Your Medicine. You will absolutely love it. If you are reading this right now ADD THIS BOOK TO YOUR WANT TO READ SHELF. Do it. You will not regret it.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★★