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 know that Grace reviewed this book way back in the beginning days of Escape Inside the Pages (2013), and ever since then I’ve had Splintered on my TBR list! I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it, though I must say I wasn’t as impressed with it as I thought I would be…
Alyssa has always been different from those around her, she’s mocked by her peers for her relation to Alice Liddle, and never lets on that she can hear the flowers and insects interact for fear she’ll be compared to her already institutionalized mother. However, when the real world and the mysteries of Wonderland start to collide, Alyssa quickly learns that her delusions are quite real. When she discovers that there is a way to save her not-so-insane mother from a family curse, she finds herself diving head first into the depths of the very dark very real Wonderland accompanied by her long time friend/crush Jeb and childhood friend/Netherland (real term for Wonderland) moth (aka the Caterpillar) Morpheus.
Splintered provided a brand new Wonderland that I hadn’t encountered before. Everything you thought you knew about Lewis Carroll’s tale is completely warped in this book. Heck even the names of the classic characters are completely different. Netherland is grim, crooked, and full of deceit and bloodshed, but of course magic surrounds the whole way through. I commend A.G. Howard for the ingenuity placed into this story. There was clearly quite a bit of detail placed into shaping the history behind Alice’s story and why everything played out the way it did.
Alyssa was a strong female lead, there was no denying that, but I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around who I thought she should be with. Jeb was nice and sweet for sure, but then you have the cunning and mysterious Morpheus who clearly cares about Alyssa, he just has a very twisted way of showing it. The love triangle killed me in this book, because I knew that Alyssa should probably choose Jeb, but I guess I just liked Morpheus better. Not gonna lie, the ongoing battle between the three of them (Jeb, Alyssa, and Morpheus), got redundant, and I found myself struggling to get through parts of this book. It just seemed liked some of the content dragged on a little too long, I felt a little detached through it. Then again, I was super distracted while reading this book, #collegelife, #midterms. I am not the type to use hashtags, but I just don’t know how else to put it.
By the time the ending rolled around, the pace picked up and I found myself pulled in more so than I had been earlier in the book. The ending was definitely frustrating but intense and unexpected. I bought the second book when I bought the first so as not to miss the sale that was going on at the time, so I will be reading book two and I’m hoping I become more engaged this time.
If you are an Alice in Wonderland fan, then you will definitely appreciate reading Splintered. Buy it on Amazon here!