Dec 24, 2014

Review--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.

So I FINALLY read A.G. Howard's Splintered and it was quite enjoyable! There were a few times in the book where I didn't quite grasp what was happening, mainly with some of the tasks and then the later reveals...but overall, I really liked it!

Alyssa and Jeb have been neighbors and best friends for years and Alyssa has always had a crush on Jeb as well. Sadly, Jeb has a girlfriend, Taelor, and she's a rather nasty sort too. But then there are times when she's not. She was a puzzling character; how she can be so cruel to Alyssa one minute and then kind of turn around and almost-but-not-quite apologize. And Jeb is kind of deluded when it comes to Taelor's nasty behavior, naturally.

Alyssa is a character that comes from the hard life. Her ancestor was the real Alice Liddell, and was the inspiration for Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, but there's a family curse that comes from that. All the women in Alyssa's family have been cursed with madness, Alyssa's own mother is in the asylum. And Alyssa herself can hear bugs, which is why she uses them in her art. It's a bit creepy watching her kill them in her traps, but it's a quick death at least. Still creepy. Alyssa starts to dig deeper into the family curse and learns that Alice may have actually gone to Wonderland, for real. After following a few clues, Alyssa soon finds herself in the real Wonderland...with Jeb in tow.

Jeb somehow came with her on her magical trip and now the two face Wonderland together. Alyssa is following the voice she remembers from her childhood dreams and it leads her to Morpheus, a Mothman kind of guy that takes on the role of the Caterpillar. 

I have to say, this was quite a fascinating story, it's not at all a straight up retelling of Alice in Wonderland, it's something far different. And I really liked it! Morpheus was definitely by far the most intriguing character! He was a puzzle I have yet to solve really! And with Jeb there as well, there was definitely a sort of love triangle going on. Alyssa has feelings for both of them, but I felt like it was clear where her heart truly lies.

This was a well paced book! We don't start off in Wonderland but have some good buildup to it, then once in Wonderland, naturally everything is madness. Wonderland is not at all like we thought it was. Alyssa must correct the messes her ancestor Alice made in order to set things right. And it's something that must be done if Alyssa ever wants to go home again with a curse free life. But she'll learn that it's not as easy as that!

A.G. Howard writes a magnificent story here with a twist of Wonderland! I wasn't sure what to expect from it based on all the love. And while I am not quite in the epic love, I am in the wow, this was awesome stage of the game! Now onto the next one!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars


  1. This book looks brilliant, great review! I love the idea of the twisted wonderland and taking a turn on such a sweet story. Merry Christmas!!
    Naomi @The Perks Of Being A Bookworm

  2. Great review. I always wondered about this book but from your review it doesn't sound like I'd enjoy it much.
    Kristin @ Book Sniffers Anonymous

  3. LE SIGH. I know Alyssa is all about Jeb, but I won't accept it! Morpheus won my heart in Unhinged! <3 You're such a quick reader Jessica, you'll be all caught up by the time Ensnared comes out (novellas and all!)


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