Splintered by A. G. Howard
January 1st 2013 by Amulet Books
Genre: YA Fantasy
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.
Rating: 4 out of 5
First off, the cover is beautiful! I know that some covers can look better on computer screens than in real life, but this was gorgeous even on a printed book. It even got the seal of approval from my Mum 🙂
The first night I was reading Splintered, I was so freaked out. It was the beginning/ middle and oh my goodness! Every creak that my bedroom made I nearly jumped out of my skin! The descriptions were so vivid and made me feel like I was there with Alyssa as she heard the insects talk to her, as she found out about Wonderland, as she met all of the creatures that Howard done so well to recreate into something dark.
I first read Alice in Wonderland a couple of years ago, and I can remember thinking that it was freaky. There are so many things that happen in the book that you forget, or only vaguely remember and that’s what made reading this book so great. It felt like I was in a dream and only half remembering things that had happened. For instance, the scene with the walrus and the clams, I remember something about it and the scene in Splintered helped with that, but I don’t remember details.
I’m probably not making much sense but in the short, it felt like a dream and very unearthly whilst reading.
The only thing that kept me from rating this book a five was the romance. Jeb, the best friend, was so annoying. He was always so protective and overbearing. Get out! I can’t tell you who Alyssa went with in the end because that would be mean, but if I were her, I would go for Morpheus.
It’s a bit like in the Phantom of the Opera. Even though the Phantom is mean and obsessive, that’s what draws you to him. And then the other guy comes in and it’s like, get out! So yeah, you know my choice!
As a character, Alyssa was very easy to like. When she was in Wonderland, she didn’t let herself become a stupid, whimpering princess. She did stuff. Stuff that I can’t tell you about because it’s all SPOLERS! Although, she needs to stop kissing the guys, ‘kay?
I actually stayed up all night to finish this book. That good, people. That good. BUT, personally I think Splintered would have been perfectly fine as a stand-alone novel.
A.G. Howard is most at home when weaving the melancholy and macabre into settings and scenes, twisting the expected into the unexpected. She was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. She always wondered what would’ve happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and she hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child.
A.G.’s pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.
Let me know what you thought of Splintered! Thanks for reading! xx