Series: Splintered, #1
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy, YA
Source: Bought it
Goodreads | Purchase
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.
Splintered, as the synopsis states was a book filled with grotesque madness. A kind that is so utterly amazing and magical, I am craving to jump in again so Unhinged, hurry up and show your face to the world! (Actually, not the cover. Ugh. Morpheus is on it.)
Alyssa Gardner was never normal. A family curse that stretches far back to Alice Liddell, who inspired Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Alyssa has been hearing voices from the insects ever since she was young. However that’s not all, with her mother becoming madder by the second, Alyssa sets foot down the rabbit hole in desperation to save her family from the curse- also accidentally bringing her crush, Jeb along for the ride of madness. My first intentions for Alyssa were relatively weak as her decisions were disagreeable nevertheless I grew to like Alyssa as the story went through. She’s strong hearted and loving, willing to put herself on an unpredictably dangerous journey through the Wonderland.
Our two other protagonists are Jeb and Morpheus, who are also the two sides of a love triangle. I am not a fan of love triangles however this one was comparatively bearable, nothing excessively dramatic or angst-y. I’d like to just say that I will forever and always be Team Jeb, despite his character flaws (which is completely okay to have) like over-protectiveness (which was sweet sometimes), Jeb was a sweetheart that cared dearly for Alyssa but not so damn much that it was flooding with cheesiness. Per contra we have anti-hero, Morpheus- a.k.a lying bastard that I wish to never see again. I am in complete shock that there are people who actually like him. But my heart only has the capacity to love one character in Splintered and that will always go to Jeb. *insert heart eyes here*
Apart from the characters and romance, I do believe the strongest and most lovable aspect was the writing. A.G. Howard is an absolutely magnificent writer when it comes to descriptions and a great story line. This whimsical mania would not be as effective without the writing. I do hope her writing sustains through the upcoming instalments as what actually kept me reading was the writing. Standing ovation right here, ladies and gents.
Sadly, there’s another side to the coin. What I didn’t like aside from Morpheus (who didn’t really ruin my enjoyment, I just hold a strong grudge against him) was the pacing. It took quite some time for Alyssa to actually be in Wonderland and I just wished that it hurried up a little near the beginning. Yet I guess the beautiful father-daughter relationship half-ly made up for that. Yes, people, we have a fantastic family dynamic here. With Alyssa’s mother stuck in hospital, her father had to take Alyssa under his wing.
All in all, I am satisfied with Splintered and cannot wait for Unhinged. I also have my fingers crossed that the third book will have Jeb’s beautiful face on it. It’s only fair.
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