Sunday, November 2, 2014

Splintered by A.G. Howard (review)

Splintered (1)
by A.G. Howard
Genre(s): Retellings, Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 371
Published: January 2013
Publisher:  Amulet Books
Splintered (Splintered, #1)

Summary:   "This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
     When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own."

Review:   I had mixed feeling going into this. I have been curious about it for some time but the feedback I kept hearing was very mixed. I ended up on the side to enjoy this twisted retelling, as additional telling to the story of Alice in Wonderland.

     We should, by now, all know the story of Alice in Wonderland (if you do not go read the book or watch one of the many renditions of the movie). What we do not know is how some of the points are a bit...skewed, to say the least. There is no White Rabbit. There is a Rabid White. Yes, I said know the crazy, foaming at the mouth, don't let it bite you... Yep. and that is only the beginning as Alyssa finds herself traveling further into Wonderland.

     She goes there to save her mother from a curse of madness laid upon their family. She is the descendant of the original Alice and her childhood friend Morpheus has beckoned her to his world. Her friend, and romantic interest, Jeb travels after her.

     It was quick to see Alyssa is going to have guy trouble. On one hand we have Jeb. He is sweet, friend to the family and all around good guy. However he is also possessive and has a girlfriend even though he wants Alyssa more. Then there is Morpheus. Hot mothman of wonderland, childhood playmate of her dreams. He is the enigma of this book. And, like Alyssa, my feelings toward him are of hate and love. To understand this you will have to read the story. Regardless, he is a very interesting character and I cannot wait to read more about him in the next book.

     Alyssa must set right the wrongs of the original Alice to save her mother. She meets many wild, crazy characters. if you thought the original story was wacky, you have read nothing yet.

     At times this book read a bit slow and at others a bit fast but the adventure was fascinating! AG Howard has a unique voice and I have never read things described in a similar manner to how she pulls things off. A couple of my favorite short descriptions she has are:

     "We turn to find Morpheus standing there with enough rage to send the Devil packing for heaven."

     "I feel lost yet strangely at home, like a flea who has taken up residence on a zebra."

     Some amusing, others bizarre, but they are all entertaining.

     Last thing to discuss is the cover. This is what first drew me to the book. I love it. And when I took it off the hardback copy I have I found a lovely surprise! this inside is etched beautifully too in a title design! So either way, it is appealing to look at.

     Overall I am pleased with this first book. While not the greatest writing in a literary sense, the story is twisted an draws you into the madness of it all. I am eager to read book two very soon.



  1. OOOh nice review! I have this in my TBR Mountain of Doom! Can't wait to get to it myself! Again, great review!

  2. This reminds me of Dreaming Anastasia for some reason. Maybe just because of the Alyssa/Alice similarity; in Dreaming Anastasia we have Anne/Anastasia. This one's been on my radar for a bit. Must read soon :)

  3. I just got this one and Unhinged! Super excited to start because I've heard lots of lovely things about the series. Your review's definitely pushing me to start this now :D

  4. I really enjoyed this one too. I am a sucker for Alice stories, and really anything that retells classic children's tales. Could have lost the love triangle, though.

  5. I've been thinking of reading this, bumping it up on my TBR. Thanks for the review!

  6. Great Review! This has been on my TBR for a while so I definitely need to get it.

  7. I've been curious about re-tellings like this for a while. I have no idea if i would like it or not. Don't really know if i should go for it or not! :/

  8. I am re-reading Splintered right now in anticipation of reading the sequels. My first go around with it, I loved it. My second time? I love it still, but I am having serious issues with Jeb and Alyssa as characters. They are both making me want to slap them silly. And as much as he may drive me crazy, I gotta say I love Morpheus! I am glad you enjoyed this one, and I hope you like the next two books. I am intensely curious to see the hardcover book without the jacket, now!

  9. I'm glad this book was good for you. I just won the third book in a giveaway and have mixed feelings about whether I really want to start the series. Thanks for the lovely review :D

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

  10. I really enjoyed this book but I honestly think I would have liked it more had it not been for the love triangle. I didn't care for Jeb at all, I think he was annoying and he hindered Alyssa's potential. I'm not sure if I will get to the next books, I'll probably wait for the last one and see how it ends. Awesome review!

  11. Good review! This book is one of my favorites because I love Alice in Wonderland retellings. :)

  12. Good review. This book is part of my favorite series. :)

  13. Good review! I love this series because I love Alice in Wonderland retellings. :)


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