Review: Splintered by A.G. Howard

Splintered by A.G. Howard

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.

First Line: I've been collecting bugs since I was ten; it's the only way I can stop their whispers.

ReviewI love reading retellings or in this case it was more of adding to the tale, and even though Alice in Wonderland is not my most favorite of the classic tales the cover to Splintered made me go into some crazy fan girl mode and I had to read it, needless to say I got my hands on an advance copy and devoured this dark twisted world that was created by Howard.

This tale follows a teenager named Alyssa who is a descendant of Alice. Her mother is in a mental institution due to a curse that falls on all the women from Alice Liddells side and Alyssa has just found out that Wonderland is actually real and in order to stop the insanity that falls on all the descendants she needs to go down the rabbit hole and end the curse. What she finds is not the Wonderland that was told in Lewis Carrol's Alice's Adventure in Wonderland but a world that is sinister, dangerous and full of madness.

Where do I began without going into fan girl mode, there was so much creativeness thrown into this that it did not fail to meet my high expectations. This has to be the darkest version I've read of this particular tale, all the Wonderland characters were not at all the cute friendly beings we have come to imagine but they were twisted and shuddersome and a thrill to read about all at once.

Even though this is mostly an adventure type book there is romance and to a point a love triangle. Which had me knock it down the half star that I did, well that and the way things wrapped up with with her and the main love interest at the end, I would explain further but that would be giving away some major spoilers. We have Jeb who is a childhood friend of Alyssa's and who she has had a crush on for years but he is too busy dating a girl who is a complete bitch to Alyssa and not to mention Jeb at times treats Alyssa like a child. And then when we get to Wonderland there is the complicated and very layered character Morpheus who has motives of his own and even though he is someone I shouldn't like, I did. I enjoyed all the scenes that involved him because he made things very interesting and was one of the driving forces behind all the incredible twists and turns this book took.

Overall Howard is obviously a very talented and imaginative writer to come up with something as amazing as Splintered and I can't wait to see what else she has in store for us. Also I would love to see this version turned into a movie. Anyways I highly recommend it especially for fantasy lovers.

Memorable Quote:

“I hate you," I say, the sentiment muffled against his heart, hoping to make it true.
"And I love you," he answers without hesitation, voice resolved and raw as he holds me tighter so I can't break away and react. "A crossroads, my beautiful princess, that was unavoidable—given our situations.” 

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