Customer Reviews for

Splintered: Splintered Book One

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

18 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

   I've always been a fan of Alice in Wonderland. When I heard S

   I've always been a fan of Alice in Wonderland. When I heard SPLINTERED was Wonderland, only darker and a lot more delicious, I was dying to get my hands on it. 

   Lucky for me, SPLINTERED is just as good as I expected. No, not just as good. It exceeded my expectati...
   I've always been a fan of Alice in Wonderland. When I heard SPLINTERED was Wonderland, only darker and a lot more delicious, I was dying to get my hands on it. 

   Lucky for me, SPLINTERED is just as good as I expected. No, not just as good. It exceeded my expectations and topped my list of requirements. It was incredibly good. Dark and delicious. Totally awesome. 

   Yes. That good. 

   A.G. Howard knows how to keep the words flowing, the world growing, and the characters living. I'm not normally a fan of pony-tailed guys, but Jebediah Holt is an exception. I mean, come on, isn't his name hot enough? And then there's Alyssa Gardener - daughter of a madwoman who sips pot roast from a tea cup. She's a skateboarder, a bug artist, and an all around unique protagonist you won't find anywhere else. 

   And then there's Morpheus - the bad guy with a soft side and an amazing accent and fashion sense. He also happens to be a moth. I especially loved him in the end. 

   SPLINTERED is a whirlwind of fun. Dangerously thrilling tea parties, flesh-eating flowers, walrus eating clams (no, it isn't the other way around) - SPLINTERED has the whole shebang. Including a story that will make you feel all the feels and end with your heart racing. In a good way. 

   Rest assured, there isn't a cliff hanger ending, though I would love to see more of Alyssa, Jeb, and Morpheus. In fact, the ending is perfect. From start to finish, SPLINTERED is a must-read. Trust me when I say it's as gorgeous inside as it is on the outside. A.G. Howard is an author to watch. 

posted by IceyBooks on December 28, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

hmmm.........

Looks haunting, creepy, warped, twisted, and hair-raising. In other words, I cant wait to read it!!!!!!!!!

posted by 1372731 on April 26, 2013

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  • Posted December 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

       I've always been a fan of Alice in Wonderland. When I heard S

       I've always been a fan of Alice in Wonderland. When I heard SPLINTERED was Wonderland, only darker and a lot more delicious, I was dying to get my hands on it. 

       Lucky for me, SPLINTERED is just as good as I expected. No, not just as good. It exceeded my expectations and topped my list of requirements. It was incredibly good. Dark and delicious. Totally awesome. 

       Yes. That good. 

       A.G. Howard knows how to keep the words flowing, the world growing, and the characters living. I'm not normally a fan of pony-tailed guys, but Jebediah Holt is an exception. I mean, come on, isn't his name hot enough? And then there's Alyssa Gardener - daughter of a madwoman who sips pot roast from a tea cup. She's a skateboarder, a bug artist, and an all around unique protagonist you won't find anywhere else. 

       And then there's Morpheus - the bad guy with a soft side and an amazing accent and fashion sense. He also happens to be a moth. I especially loved him in the end. 

       SPLINTERED is a whirlwind of fun. Dangerously thrilling tea parties, flesh-eating flowers, walrus eating clams (no, it isn't the other way around) - SPLINTERED has the whole shebang. Including a story that will make you feel all the feels and end with your heart racing. In a good way. 

       Rest assured, there isn't a cliff hanger ending, though I would love to see more of Alyssa, Jeb, and Morpheus. In fact, the ending is perfect. From start to finish, SPLINTERED is a must-read. Trust me when I say it's as gorgeous inside as it is on the outside. A.G. Howard is an author to watch. 

    18 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 14, 2013

    Sometimes a book comes along that grabs hold of you with every q

    Sometimes a book comes along that grabs hold of you with every quirky, wonderful thing it has and doesn't let go.  You become completely engrossed in the author's world and when you have to come back down from your cloud  it's completely disorienting.  Splintered is that book.  Like many of you I grew up loving Alice In Wonderland.  I'll admit it gave me some pretty interesting nightmares as a kid but mostly I fell in love with curious Alice, the goofy Mad Hatter and especially that clever albeit creepy Cheshire Cat.  So, with that being said, I'm always apprehensive when a re-telling or continuation comes along.  Luckily Splintered does real justice to our Alice.  Howard pays tribute to Carroll's story while at the same time creating her own version.  The mixture of Carrollian nonsense and whimsy mixed with real emotion and depth of character make this the perfect companion to the original tale.  I think Mr. Carroll would be proud.




    LIKES:




    Wonderfully dark - Howard definitely does not shy away from the unsettling and morbid.  That's part of what makes this such a cool reading experience.  Alyssa, our heroine, is an artist.  Her medium: dead bugs.  This could be considered just gross until you find out that she can speak to bugs.  Just as a little taste here's the first couple of lines of Splintered:
    "I've been collecting bugs since I was ten; it's the only way I can stop their whispers. Sticking a pin through the gut of an insect shuts it up pretty quick."
              And we're off to a running start.  Wow.  Now, I admit that I have an aversion to bugs so I feel no sympathy for them.  Had this been a sentence about puppies I would have shut the book immediately.  However, bugs are fair game and this line is just so raw and full of angst and ick that it sucked me right in.  This darkness follows throughout the whole story.  One of the best parts about this book is Alyssa having to face her own darkness.  It really enhances the story and makes it a lot of fun to read.
    I actually like the (sort of) love triangle -  Okay, so I don't know if this can actually be considered a love triangle, but that's probably why I enjoyed it.  Alyssa loves Jeb.  They are obviously meant to be together.  He's sweet, trustworthy, fun and super duper hot, also human.  Then there's Mothra *cough* I mean Morpheus.  Also hot, and snarky, amazing and magical.  But her love for Morpheus seems more platonic.  They have a mutual admiration for one another and an unbreakable bond.  Even if he wants more.  Still, I loved the back and forth between the guys.  It added a lot of humor to the story.
    MORPHEUS!!! -  Three things you need to know about this guy: he is the ultimate bad boy, he has an adorable British accent, and he has an insurrection hat.  I'm sold.  The only problem was that I couldn't picture him as he was described.  I adore Once Upon a Time and all I could picture when reading this was Jefferson.  But I'm cool with that.




    I mean seriously how can I not?  Good grief.




    Plenty of Wonderland for purists - One of the things I was most worried about was how Wonderland would be portrayed.  Would it be recognizable?  Gladly, Splintered is filled with allusions to the original book.  One of the most fun parts of reading this book was finding all of the little Alice Easter eggs hidden inside its pages.  Although all of the characters have been changed in some way, they are still recognizable and Howard ties the stories together brilliantly.




    DISLIKES:




    Sometimes Alyssa makes me shake my head - Okay so it's not like Alyssa is stupid by any means but some of her decisions can be filed under "things that make me go 'hmm'".  A great example is when she decides to get a forged passport and fly to England by herself.  Apparently our heroine has never seen Locked Up Abroad.  
    Too much explanation of things we should be able to figure out on our own - this is probably the only thing that really bothered me about this book.  Although they were relatively few, there were several instances where the author explained too much about the plot, when it would have been more fun to figure it out on my own.  Luckily this didn't happen too often and it didn't really damage the reading experience.
    Even with the couple of flaws that I found I have to give this book five stars.  I was completely captivated by Alyssa, Jeb and all of the netherlings.  Howard has managed to create a new version of Wonderland that is just as exciting, enticing and mad as the original.  I know it may only be January but I would be surprised if this one doesn't end up on my best of 2013 list.  It was just that good.  I can't wait to see what else A.G. Howard does with her writing. I'll certainly be first in line to read her next book.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2013

    Amazing

    This is the greatest young adult fairy tale story I've ever read! I hope there will be a part two!! I fell in love with Morpheous he is tricky and wicked but also amazing and loving. I love how Alice is both dark & light/ good & bad. I love what she looks like when she's in Wonderland, truly amazing and more than beautiful! This is my top 5 favorite book! A total must read no matter how old you are!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

    Absolutely enchanting

    One of the best novels I've read in a long time...

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2013

    Fun and exciting

    This is a wonderful book. It has a fun and exciting story line. If you are wondering if this book is any good, dont wonder anymore. You will be pleased.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Well this is what I was looking for! If you have every read A

    Well this is what I was looking for! If you have every read Alice and Wonderland and enjoyed it, then I highly recommend that you read this book. It's every bit as crazy as the original!
    I particularly enjoyed the fact that Alyssa is trying so hard to be normal. It can't be easy when you are the relative of Alice Liddell and everything is joke in reference to the original story. She's in love with her best friend who happens to be dating the queen bee of Alyssa's tormentors. It's no wonder she doesn't want people to think she might be following the family tradition. But, when she discovers that Wonderland might actually be real, she stops at nothing to figure out how to get there. She has to find a way to save her family from the curse they are under.

    The minute she enters Wonderland is when the really awesome part of the story starts. If you've read Alice in Wonderland, you know that the story is nothing like the Disney version. Take the original and add to it and you might have an idea of what the read Wonderland might be like. There were so many aspects of this story that I just latched on to. I loved how Alyssa has to correct the mistakes that Alice made that the characters have been living with. It never dawned on me that havoc Alice's visit might have created. I was completely taken with our wise caterpillar, despite that agenda he might have had. He was a surprising complex character.

    The journey to correct those mistakes was interesting. I had forgotten how Wonderland is a little bit of a twisted place and nothing is as it seems. I loved how the author was able to incorporate those idiosyncrasies and add her own twist to the story. Everything seemed to be a riddle and need to be solved in a way the fit Wonderland and not the world we know.

    This was really so close to a 5 star book for me. But, the end kind of lost me. I know what Alyssa was trying to do, but it was really too much. It felt like too much happened it just a couple pages and I was left to process it all. It was one of the instances were I had to go back and reread to make sure I had understood what had really just happened. I'm not sure there was another way to solve it though.

    Overall, a fantastic add on to the story of Alice in Wonderland. If you've never read the original, you might be surprised by how dark Wonderland really is. I however, loved it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2013

    Yea for Alice books

    I love alice in wonderland stories. This is a very good book, and I thought it was a novel. Its not, its a series, and I'm looking forward to book two :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    Wonderful!

    Dark, twisted Alice in Wonderland! 297 pages of nonstop twists. I could not stop reading. Loved this book, highly recommend to everyone!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2013

    A beautiful read

    Absolutely loved it! Ms. Howard is off to a brilliant start. This is the best adaptation of Carroll's Wonderland I have ever read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2013

    Deliciously mad!!! Is the only words I can think of to describe

    Deliciously mad!!! Is the only words I can think of to describe this book. Pick it up and read A.G. Howard will net fail you I promise :D

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2013

    Control freak

    I think that jeb is a contral freak. He is way too overprotective and its like hes restraining her from what she can do. Iprefer morpheous to jeb cause he is protective over alyssa but not to the point to frusteration. Overall the was pretty good other than jeb

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    I love Splintered!!!!!!!!! I finished in within two days. my fri

    I love Splintered!!!!!!!!! I finished in within two days. my friend's, Taylor Barnett, dad's cousin is A. G. Howard and i want to meet her so bad

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013

    Splintered

    First things first my name is Alison curran. I love your book.This book feels like I'm actually in the real Wonderland. The part I like the most is at the end when Alyssa Gardner told Tealor what she can't do. I have read this book3 times already.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2013

    Splintered

    I love love love this book!! Its great and Jeb is sooooooo HOT!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I loved, loved this book!

    This book consumed me, I just couldn't get enough. I loved it beginning to end! Poor Alyssa, she hears flowers and bugs talking and she's afraid she'll turn up like her mother. She tries hard to act sane so she doesn't end up in an asylum like Alison. Alison tells her it's the family curse that Alice created when she went to Wonderland. In order to break it Alyssa decides to go to fix it. Jeb her hot neighbor/friend/crush stumbles upon the journey also. So together they accomplish the tasks. We can't forget the mysterious Morpheus. He's her guide and ally down there, but he has his own motives.
    Wonderland is completely different from the Disney version. It's more dark and creepy. If you like Alice in Wonderland re-tellings then you will definitely enjoy this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2013

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a r

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Abrams and Netgalley.)
    Alyssa is hiding a secret. For the past six years, ever since she got her first period she has been able to hear plants and bugs talking, sometimes to her and sometimes to each other. As mad as this sounds, what scares Alyssa most is that her mother has been in an asylum for years for exactly the same reason. That’s why she doesn’t let anyone know what she can hear for fear of being locked up too.

    Alyssa has a legacy to uphold though, her ancestor was the real-life ‘Alice’ from the Alice in Wonderland story by Lewis Carroll, and now it seems that it is up to her to break the curse on her family, caused by the original Alice’s actions.

    Desperate to save her mother more pain and unnecessary treatments, Alyssa searches desperately for a way back to Wonderland to break the curse, and eventually finds herself down the rabbit hole with her secret crush Jeb.

    Alyssa doesn’t understand how things work in Wonderland though, and the man who guided her there – Morpheus may not be as trustworthy as he originally seemed.
    Can Alyssa possibly break the curse? Can she right Alice’s wrongs and set Wonderland to rights? Or will she find herself tangled up in an even bigger mess?


    This was a total fairy-tale, filled with evil queens and helpless flowers! Alyssa was a fantastic ‘Alice’, and Wonderland was just so utterly strange and intoxicating.
    Wonderland was a work of art in its own right, with no attention to detail spared. I don’t remember ‘Alice in Wonderland’ all that well, but each event in this book seemed to echo Alice’s original adventures, just with the twist that Alyssa was trying to put Alice’s wrongs to rights. The world building was elaborate and imaginative, and the storyline was new. There were also plenty of extra little touches to take this story from a copy, to a complex story in its own right.

    I really liked Alyssa, and her fashion sense made me an instant fan! Love the gothic fairy look! (Imagine the girl on the cover with a bit more black eye makeup and some blue dreds among the golden locks and that’s the Alyssa in the story). She obviously wanted to help her mom, but she wasn’t a martyr either, and she did make mistakes. She was sort-of unprepared for what Wonderland would throw at her, and there was an on-going theme throughout the book that in Wonderland nobody can be trusted, and nothing is what it seems.
    Jeb was a welcome addition to the story, with his continuous jokes and name-calling at Morpheus’ expense, and a hidden alpha-male protectiveness of Alyssa. The little touch of romance was good too, although I wasn’t overly impressed by the Alyssa-Jeb-Morpheus love triangle.

    On the negative side, I did get quite confused towards the end. I found all the different things that were going on, and all the different ideas and prophecy stuff hard to follow, and I’m still not sure I really get it now. The storyline was quite complex, especially towards the end, and trying to work out exactly who said what, when, where, and why and what effect that had upon Alyssa’s present day situation was a bit difficult to follow, I think I’d need a pen and paper to try and work it out.

    Overall though, this was an interesting spin on the classic ‘Alice in Wonderland’ story, with depth and character of its own, and if you like fairy tales, you’ll like this.
    7 out of 10.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Read Nov. 19th 2012 Splintered was enchanting and eerily dark.

    Read Nov. 19th 2012

    Splintered was enchanting and eerily dark. It took me a bit to get into it at the beginning, but it ended up pretty amazing. It's definitely not an everyday read, the details and descriptions are awesome and the dark insidious tale integrated into it makes the tale its own stand-alone story with Alice in Wonderland just a basis of it. I loved it!

    Alyssa’s metamorphosis from grungy Goth teen to full blown Wonderland Netherling Queen was a painstaking journey, riddled with confusion, twists, scary characters and a world so different from Carroll’s classic tale, it can stand hauntingly on its own. The gruesome landscapes to the wondrous places Alyssa visits on her quest to free her family from the ‘Liddell Curse’ amplifies her hidden powers, suppressed memories and true self−bringing her to the conclusion that she and Queen Red are more similar than she ever would have thought.

    I enjoyed how the author took this tale and spun it into her own. It had the right amount of darkness, turns and riddles to keep me wondering what the heck was going on, especially with the conniving Morpheus. I loved him, then hated him, then loved him again. He was that suave and he made Alyssa feel that way throughout the treacherous tasks she has to complete. I am amazed how things that didn’t make much sense at one point in the story, made absolute sense in the end. It was definitely a huge web of details that came into the heart of an unforgettable adventure. I wouldn’t mind a follow up of this at all, it would definitely be on my must read list.

    I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Wow. Splintered is one of the best debuts I've read all year. It

    Wow. Splintered is one of the best debuts I've read all year. It seriously blew me away. I was scared to read it because it had such a gorgeous cover, and I've heard such great things about it, so I had really high expectations. I was not disappointed. Howard is a fantastic edition to the talented ranks of YA authors. The world-buliding was amazing, the characters were all unique and well-developed, and the plot was insane (in a good way). I'd recommend this book to anyone, and I know I will re-read it a billion times. Splintered cannot be missed. 

    The thing that stood out the most in this book was the world-building. Howard did an outstanding job at painting the landscape of Wonderland. I felt like I was actually there. I could easily picture the craziness that constituted Wonderland, and the insanity that surrounded Alyssa's life before she went to Wonderland. Even though I have never (thankfully) had bugs or plants talk to me, I still felt like I could relate to Alyssa because Howard made things so easy to imagine. I haven't had a reading experience like that in a long time. 

    The characters were unbelievably well-developed and unique, especially the Wonderland characters. I really enjoyed getting to know all of the characters, even though no one was what they seemed. Howard kept me guessing about everyone, even Alyssa. I trusted Alyssa as a narrator, but she didn't even know who or what she was... other than kick-ass. Okay, well she didn't realize she was kick-ass, but I did, She was a strong and independent lead. She wasn't bratty, emo, or selfish, even though she had a tough life. She grew even stronger over the course of the novel, too, which I liked. Jeb was a terrific love interest, and for once, I was on the side of the nice guy. Morpheus grew on me, but I still liked Jeb better. Jeb was also unique, and was a bit of a "rebel," but he was still sweet. Morpheus was extremely selfish for a good part of the book. However, both Jeb and Morpheus evolved throughout the course of the novel, too. You don't see the love interests growing in most books, so this was a pleasant surprise. The other secondary characters, from both Wonderland and the mortal realm, stood out, too. There were no filler characters in this book. 

    The plot itself was non-stop suspense, but not a whole lot of action. There was tons of adventure, but not many "fight scenes" or anything like that. It was still impossible to put this book down, and the pacing was perfect. While there was a bit of love triangle, there was no insta-love, and there never was really any choice. Basically one guy served as a temptation while the other was the one Alyssa actually wanted. However, things got a bit complicated, and I'm curious to see if this will be a standalone novel or part of a series. The ending tied things up nicely, but there is room for a sequel if Howard and Amulet so choose. 

    Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone, especially if they loved Alice in Wonderland. The world Howard created is a bit darker than Carroll's, but I liked it more because of that. I don't know what else to say other than this book is amazing. Give it a try. You won't be sorry. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I've never had a good run when it comes to retellings. I've read

    I've never had a good run when it comes to retellings. I've read a couple retellings of literary works, such as Jane Austen's books, and I've never really been that impressed. However when I picked up Splintered and read the synopsis, I was instantly enchanted. Yes, enchanted. I am not a big fan of Alice in Wonderland but A. G. Howard went all out on the creativity and trying to make it her own, and that she did. Unfortunately, this book wasn't for me. I couldn't get past the amount of details and characters so it wasn't that great of a read. I have to admit, Splintered started off great. A curse that is hereditary and a girl who is afraid she's next in line to the psych ward where her mother is at. Alyssa just turned 16, and from her mother's blabbers, the curse is activated then. She only started believing in her mother's hysteric ramblings when she started hearing voices, ones belonging to insects! That was when she started doing some digging. I loved how the premise was laid out and I also liked the brotherly figure that Jeb, her friend, took up. Also, what was original was that Alyssa is Alice's great granddaughter! However everything went downhill with the introduction of Morpheus. I automatically hated him. He was a pompous, over confident, sleazy jerk in my books. I didn't like how manipulative he was and how Alyssa somehow couldn't resist and stay away from him. As soon as Alyssa went down the rabbit hole, my interest went downhill with it. I grew tired and restless trying to keep up with all the characters as well as the details in the book. I feel like people who are fanatics of Alice in Wonderland wouldn't have a problem keeping up, but like I mentioned above, it wasn't one of my favorite fairytales and my memory of the story is almost nonexistent. I also didn't like how trusting Alyssa was of Morpheus. Even though he tricked her multiple times, she still wanted to see the good side of him. I really struggled with this novel and ended up skipping detailed paragraphs trying to reach the ending. I was also so confused with what went down in the end but I didn't have it in me to go back and reread and try to get it. In other words, I felt like I've spent too much time on this novel already and it was time to close that chapter. Needless to say, many bloggers that I trust in their bookish opinions have absolutely adored and loved this one. Which is why I'm chalking it up to another freak thing where I am the only one who didn't like a book between all the ones that did. Be sure to check it out and give it a try, I am sure you'll enjoy it way more than I did. 

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2014

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Splintered b

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***




    Splintered by A.G. Howard
    Book One of the Splintered series
    Publisher: Amulet Books
    Publication Date: January 1, 2013
    Rating: 4 stars
    Source: Hardcover copy won from a giveaway




    Summary (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.




    What I Liked:




    First: I have never read Alice in Wonderland - not the original, or any retelling. I know very, very little about that book. I know the references (like the Cheshire Cat's smile, or we're all mad here, etc.), but I have not read the book. Or watched any movies, or whatever. So... my background knowledge, going into this book, was very scant. This may or may not skew my opinion of this book, who knows.




    I really enjoyed this book. I think the author's been following me on Twitter even before I started following her. I've been tracking this series even before it came out - I remembered seeing Splintered in the BAM closest to me in December 2012, about a week before release, but I didn't buy a copy (I knew of the book, but wasn't really interested in the Alice retelling). So I'm quite familiar with this book. I know all about this series, the fandom, the dreaded love triangle.




    Which is inevitably one of the biggest reasons why I waited so long to read this series (just months before it all ends, better for me and my impatience). I wasn't too interested in the series, the fandom is powerful and very overwhelming, and that freaking LOVE TRIANGLE. Just the thought of it had me going in the other direction. And the hype... it was too much. Nevertheless, I have endured (and really enjoyed) the first book!




    Alyssa (haha yay, a book whose heroine shares my name!) goes down the rabbit hole in order to undo a curse placed on the women in her family, thanks to Alice (her great-great grandmother, or something like that), who messed up things in Wonderland. But Alyssa doesn't mean for her friend/crush Jeb to follow her to Wonderland. now they're stuck there until they can get help to break the curse and get out. And helps comes in the form of the Caterpillar, Morpheus, who is actually a moth. Cool.




    Like I said before, the fact that I haven't read the original Alice in Wonderland story could affect my opinion of this book - but I thought this book was incredible, in terms of its uniqueness and originality. Alyssa's weird obsession with dead bugs, and the reason behind it. Her "insane" mother, who really isn't insane at all. Alyssa's strange childhood, her focus on hiding her underlying madness. The first chapter is mind-blowing, in my opinion. At first, I wasn't really sure of the point of everything with the dead bugs, but it's really cool and disturbing and cool!




    That being said, one of the best and most captivating things about this book is the imagery. The depth of the descriptions of anything and everything in this book is incredible. The moths, the daisies, the creatures, even things like clothes - everything was really well-defined and well-described. I was swept away by the descriptiveness of the scenery, the characters, the little details.




    I haven't read the original book, but it seems like this book is actually pretty original, independent of it being a  retelling of Alice in Wonderland. Meaning, Howard takes things from the original story and adapts them. In this book, Alice in Wonderland is a work of fiction - it exists as a book in Alyssa's world, just as it does in our world. But Wonderland is like a parallel world or something - it exists, and Alyssa has been there before (though she does not remember). So, Splintered isn't quite a retelling, honestly, though it's marked as one. It's more like an embellishment, or a continuation. In my opinion.




    I liked Alyssa. She's got this edginess to her, one that I wasn't expected. I suppose it's linked to her progressing "madness" and her refusal to accept it and be like her mother. Alyssa is tough and yet not invincible. She knows her shortcomings, but she also has a good feel for her strengths. I'm not a huge fan of some of the things she did in the beginning of the book (and boy, do they come back to haunt her), nor do I approve of the fact that she ALLOWED her father and Jeb to make the decision about London for her... but, overall, I really liked her, and by the end, I found that I was really rooting for her.




    I like Jeb. He's a bit controlling and overly protective - I hated when he just up and decided that they needed to leave Wonderland initially, or that Alyssa needed to do xyz. However, I think, for the most part, that I like him. He has a good heart - I can see why Howard would have him as the Knight (elfin knight, something like that). I get the feeling that he is the dominant love interest... no matter how tantalizing Morpheus is.




    Ohhh, do I like Morpheus. I'm totally team Morpheus, but not in the way that you think. I've already resolved myself to the fact that Jeb holds Alyssa's heart, and vice versa. However, I LOVE Morpheus. He is tricky and devilish, selfish and deceptive. As a character, I LOVE HIM. As a love interest, sure, he's hot, he's lovable, he's naughty, but I have a feeling that Howard is leaning towards Jeb, and so I'm not getting to attached to the hope that Morpheus and Alyssa will get a happy ending. And honestly, that's okay. I like Jeb, and I don't care THAT MUCH. That's what not reading a series immediately will do for you - you won't be as invested in the love triangle. This is why I binge-read love-triangle-related book series (the ones that I actually want to read, like this one).




    This book isn't too long and it never felt that way. I didn't have a problem reading this book (gorgeous writing style, yo!), and I was constantly wondering what would happen next. Lucky for me, I won this book AND the next book in a fabulous giveaway, so I'll have my review of book two up on the 18th - exactly one week from today!




    What I Did Not Like:




    Like I usually say about series with this particular feature... love triangle. Ew. I hate love triangles. And this one is shaping up to be a vicious one, I can tell. This book introduces the characters, and honestly, I don't feel strongly about neither Jeb nor Morpheus. I mean, I have a feeling that Jeb and Alyssa will end up together. I just can't see it happening for Morpheus. Poor guy, because he is my favorite. He is so complex and awesome, I love him! But as a love interest? Meh. But seriously, enough with the love triangles. 




    I mentioned this above, but Jeb. In the beginning, I had my doubts about him. How dare he act like he should have a say in whether or not Alyssa should go to London?! Her dad, maybe, but not a friend. And he's dating a bully, a girl who tormented Alyssa throughout school. Who turns a blind eye to that?! Who just acts

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