Thursday, January 22, 2015

Splintered: A Review

Description (Goodreads):

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.

My Review:

I have always liked the story of Wonderland, from Disney's production to Tim Burton's version. I love all the different things that are possible in this world. And A.G. Howard has definitely brought up a wonderful new version.

It is dark, darker even than Tim Burton's version--or at least, I think so. The creatures are described to be horrifying things that I am glad don't actually exist. There are few of the creatures I actually think are considered only slightly freaky. I can't really go into depth about the creatures here, but if you read the book, the imagery will certainly take hold in your head.

Alyssa has been the victim of talking bugs and plants for several years now. The only time she finds true peace is when she is listening to her iPod. She fights everyday to not succumb to her crazy like her mother had. She lives with her father, her best friends living on the other side of the duplex from her. Everyone mocks Alyssa for her mom's fabrications of Wonderland, and only Jebediah and his sister Jenara come to her rescue.

As Alyssa is swept into Wonderland, she discovers how all the voices from the bugs and plants around her were just the beginning. Now she is in a world where anything can happen. Physics doesn't exist, and the one we think of as the Caterpillar is actually a dark, mysterious, beautiful creature named Morpheus.

Morpheus is full of hidden agendas. I can understand Alyssa's confusion about what to think about him. He grew up with her in her dreams, and all the suppressed memories and feelings are coming back. Morpheus can be seductive one moment, raging mad the next, and then incredibly sweet. Though he flashes through emotions as if they were sweets, I found myself liking him. Though he had many rash ideas, and followed them out too often, he is a part of Wonderland and is a part of the insanity there. In the end, I like what he did. I believe, at the end of this book, he ended up being good, but then again... he's so hard to read.

Alyssa was a good female lead. Not the best I've read about. I didn't exactly love her, but I didn't hate her either. She sacrificed much for the ones she loves. The fact that she gave up so much and went through a ton of crap, shows me how devoted she is, and is not a character to stand idly by and let things happen to her. I thought that was awesome.

Jebediah aka Jeb. I don't really know what to write about him. I always thought he was a good friend to Alyssa, but boyfriend material for her? Um... not really. I love the bond he shares with Alyssa as a friend. They had gone through so much together growing up, and the minute they got romantically involved, I had this foreboding feeling that things were not going to end well, especially when Morpheus was clearly in love with Alyssa too.

There's a clear love triangle in this books, but it didn't feel too overbearing. It fit well with the story, so it hardly bothered me.

I love the world building in here. Since this is a book about the mysterious Wonderland, Howard had to be descriptive, or else the essence of the story would not have held. It was beautiful and horrifying at the same time. Let's just say this isn't a Wonderland I would want to visit.

I give this a 4 out of 5!


  1. I love this series! I am so glad you are giving it a chance. I have yet to read book three other than the first four chapters but I am excited to start it.

  2. I was really impressed with this one. I still haven't been convinced to read the last book, yet. I am glad you liked the world building. I am annoyed at the love triangle.

  3. The darkness sounds well done in this one

  4. I thought this story was really well done. It was so unique and creative and I could totally envision Wonderland and the creatures. The cove is one of my favorites as well. I have the second book on my shelves and need to read it, like so many others! There is not enough time for reading. ;) Great review!