Sara arrives in Oxford determined to prove she's smart enough for the world's most prestigious university. As a bonus, she'll finally convince her mother that studying Victorian novels doesn't mean wasting her life. And she'll accomplish everything in a storybook home to life: the towers and cloisters once inhabited by the real Alice in Wonderland.
(your hook starts here)
Three weeks into term, she's sure of nothing except how close she is to failure.
She's always loved literature, but now she's churning out weekly essays and defending her ideas to a roomful of students—all of them smarter and better prepared. Just as she thinks she's catching up, her tutor assigns a remedial reading list. She tries to find supportive friends, but she's surrounded by touchy librarians, snooty Rhodes Scholars, and classicists who set their books on fire (yea!!! wait...not their hair??) Even the university bewilders her: of course it should have plenty of dusty historical archives, but is she really the only person who thinks it's dangerous to stack toxic, pornographic film negatives above thephotocopier?
The day Sara admits failure, she makes a poignant discovery in the library stacks.
As Sara struggles to address her weak points and honestly face up to her motivations, she's confronted by an unhappy student intent on destroying everything Oxford represents—including Sara herself. The only way she can prevent tragedy is to prove she's learned how to untangle the myths of Oxford from its reality.
What the hell is "toxic, pornographic film negatives" and can I have some?
Long on events, short on plot, but there's a fire so there might be hope. Start over.