Saturday, February 8, 2014

Review: Splintered by AG Howard

Book: Splintered by A.G. Howard
Series: Splintered #1
Released: January 15, 2013
Publisher: Amulet
Pages: 384 (Kindle)
Rating: 4.5

Splintered (Splintered, #1)
I love this cover. Gorgeous font. Love it all.

From 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.

First things first, I have an insane amount of books on my kindle waiting to be read. So many, in fact, that I made my husband choose my next book since I was feeling even more indecisive than usual. He scrolled through all the choices and summaries and immediately decided on Splintered. He's a big fan of Lewis Carroll and the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland. I'd been meaning to get to reading this for a long time, and thanks to my husband I finally did. I'm very glad I read this book. I really enjoyed it and even more exciting is upon finishing the book and reading the author bio, I discovered that A.G. Howard lives in my hometown (I live in a small-ish town. So yeah, this was super exciting for me as it never happens). So down the rabbit hole I went.

Obviously this book appeals to people that enjoy Carroll's story and the movie(s), but be prepared, this book is CrAzY and messed up. The world Howard creates in her version of Wonderland is fantastically creepy, and I mean that in the best way possible. She takes the well-known characters and twists them and makes the much darker. The White Rabbit is actually the Rabid White-an antlered creature that is mostly skin and bones. Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum are actually two spider-like creatures in charge of the dead. The Mad-Hatter is still mad, but he has no face. Creeeeep-y.

But in the midst of all the creepiness, there's Alyssa. She's a descendant of Alice, THE Alice, from Carroll's stories. We meet Alyssa before she ever steps foot in Wonderland. She lives with her dad and her mom Alison is in an insane asylum. She's a skater girl who works in a vintage clothing shop. What I love so much about Alyssa is how level-headed she is. Even when the world is going bonkers around her she is able to think clearly (well, almost always. coughhuggingMorpheuscough).

Let's take a moment to discuss the two guys in Alyssa's life. Morpheus and Jeb. Ahhh Jeb. He's Alyssa's best friend/crush since she was in 6th grade. He follows Alyssa through the mirror into Wonderland and helps her through all her trials. He's sweet and kind and caring, but also daring. He does everything he can to help her. But then there's Morpheus. He's the one who came to Alyssa in her dreams to teach her about Wonderland. He's all dark, mysterious and has this kind of power over Alyssa.

There were so many twists and turns in this story. I'm usually pretty good at figuring out plot points, but this one kept me on my toes the entire time. Every time I felt I finally had something figured out, BAM, wrong. I loved it. I really enjoy stories that surprise me.

Most of all, the writing in this is absolutely breathtaking. Howard does a magnificent job of balancing the writing to sound like Alyssa and maintaining the beauty of the story. The visuals that are created are stunning. I would LOVE to see a graphic novel of this. The world and this story would lend itself fantastically to one.

1 comment:

  1. I want Morpheus to win and if I won the contest I would choose the book Splintered because it's my favorite book ever.