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.
Plot: 4 out of 5
The plot to Splintered drew me in right from the start. While parts of it did bore me, overall it was a fast paced read that kept my attention and my heart racing. I didn’t expect to fall in love with this story, characters, and world as much as I did. There were so many unexpected twists and everything was explained overtime. The ending was different, but I did enjoy it.
Characters: 4 out of 5
Alyssa was a character that I liked from the start. She was spunky and outspoken. Plus she actually had some self esteem. Sure she was shy, but she didn’t go on and on about how ugly she is like some main characters in YA fiction today. She was so strong and you could tell right from the beginning that she really loved her family and friends. I really connected with her in more then one way.
Her best friend and love interest Jeb, took me awhile to get used to. He was overly protective and controlling at first, but towards the end I kind of liked him. He wasn’t such a bad guy afterall. I just got annoyed with how he tried (and failed) to protect Alyssa. Although I will admit that I do ship him with Alyssa.
Morpheus amused me quite a bit. At times he reminded me of Loki and other times he reminded me of Rick Riordan’s version of Hades. If you know me, you know I tend to root for the bad guys *coughs* so when Jeb was being overly controlling, I decided to fawn over Morpheus. He was quite hilarious and at times I even felt sorry for him.
Overall writing/setting: 5 out of 5
I really have no words to describe how utterly swoon worthy A.G. Howard’s writing style is. Unlike most young adult fiction today that all starts to sound the same overtime, her writing will stick with you long after you turn the final page. It’s so vivid, emotional, and original. The minute I started reading Splintered I fell in love. It was just so perfect.
And the setting? O_o It was just about perfect. I typically despise fairy-tale retellings because they don’t even compare to (sorry, huge classic fan here!) the original version, but with Splintered I just fell head over heels with how original and unique A.G. Howard made her wonderland. Even the original idea just blew me away.
Overall, I really loved Splintered despite it’s few faults and hope to read it again soon. Plus…just don’t get me started on how pretty and shiny the cover is.
I’m giving this book four out of five stars. Recommended for 16+ due to romantic content young readers may find disturbing. You can buy Splintered on Amazon here.