Author: A.G. Howard
Published: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Amulet Books
Source: Bought from Fully Booked
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.
*Image and synopsis from Goodreads
From the moment I saw Splintered on blogs, I knew I had to read it. The cover oozes with absolute brilliance and mystery. The green, red and blue colors, as well as the striking eye of the blond girl, encompass a magnetic pull that will entice anyone who sees it. The words “Welcome to the real Wonderland” will compel readers to explore the intriguing world of this fictional masterpiece.
I loved the story. Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite childhood tales and reading Splintered transported me back to that world. I didn’t expect that the Wonderland in Splintered is dark, eerie and crazy. It is very different from the Wonderland I knew as a kid. But you know what? I found it AWESOME. A.G. Howard did a fantastic job in constructing the world. The sequences of events in the book are wonderfully presented and the powerful, vibrant descriptions produced a cinematic effect in my imagination. I was also charmed by the impeccable and enchanting writing style. It enraptured me from the very beginning until the last sentence of Chapter 21. So beautifully written! To be honest I read this book in two weeks because I devoured every word. And by the time I finished reading, it was difficult for me to let go.
The madness started with the introduction of Alyssa’s character and her ability to hear voices of plants and insects. I really liked that the main character is presented alongside her intriguing gift. It immediately gives that creepy sensation that crawls on your skin until you’re cloaked with the spine-chilling mystery of the story. I’m always amazed by books that give readers “feels” right away, because it means they are in for a wonderful haunting experience.
So the story takes readers deep into the origin of Alyssa’s ability when she decides to embark on a quest for truth—about her identity and the supposed “curse” that runs in her family. And down the rabbit hole she goes…with the swoon-worthy, selfless and oh-so-handsome Jebediah Holt. Jeb is Alyssa’s best friend who she has a crush on since forever. In the course of their journey through Wonderland, their feelings toward each other were magnified. The passionate kisses and tender moments they shared will make your heart explode with giddiness. Believe me in this one because I caught myself blushing as I read those scenes. 🙂
Now enter Morpheus, the radiant and mystifying winged creature from Wonderland, who frequently visited Alyssa’s dreams when she was a child. Morpheus added flavor to the recipe of this stellar novel. His character’s alluring and daunting presence infused excitement and tension. Some readers may view him as a “villain,” with him being the backbone of conflicts and obstacles in the story. But for me, his manipulative nature is what makes him Morpheus. And even if I’m Team Jeb, there’s something about Morpheus that made me like him. I can’t fathom what that something is but I have a strong feeling that Morpheus is so much more than what I perceived him to be.
This gripping tale of madness and magic took me to a one of a kind adventure and I’m so thrilled there’s a sequel. That ending was a total cliffhanger! I’m so excited to read more! 🙂