Splintered (Splintered Series #1)

Splintered (Splintered Series #1)

4.6 156
by A. G. Howard

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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…  See more details below


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.

Praise for Splintered:

"Fans of dark fantasy, as well as of Carroll’s Alice in all her revisionings (especially Tim Burton’s), will find a lot to love in this compelling and imaginative novel."
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Alyssa is one of the most unique protagonists I've come across in a while. Splintered is dark, twisted, entirely riveting, and a truly romantic tale."
USA Today

"Brilliant, because it is ambitious, inventive, and often surprising — a contemporary reworking of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,’’ with a deep bow toward Tim Burton’s 2010 film version."
The Boston Globe

"It’s a deft, complex metamorphosis of this children’s fantasy made more enticing by competing romantic interests, a psychedelic setting, and more mad violence than its original."

" Protagonist Alyssa...is an original. Howard's visual imagination is superior. The story's creepiness is intriguing as horror, and its hypnotic tone and setting, at the intersection of madness and creativity, should sweep readers down the rabbit hole."
Publishers Weekly

"While readers will delight in such recognizable scenes as Alyssa drinking from a bottle to shrink, the richly detailed scenes that stray from the original will entice the imagination. These adventures are indeed wonderful."

"Attention to costume and setting render this a visually rich read..."
Kirkus Reviews

"Wonderland is filled with much that is not as wonderful as might be expected, and yet, it is in Wonderland that Alyssa accepts her true nature. The cover with its swirling tendrils and insects surrounding Alyssa will surely attract teen readers who will not disappointed with this magical, edgy tale."
Reading Today Online

"Creepy, descriptive read with a generous dollop of romance."
School Library Journal

YALSA’s 2014 Teens’ Top Ten


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Howard's first book is as much a quilt as manuscript, stitching together bits of the zeitgeist with thread of the author's own spinning. Lewis Carroll's Alice serves as a backdrop, while characters like Brandon Lee's Crow and Neil Gaiman's Morpheus are models of dark desire. Protagonist Alyssa, however, is an original. The descendent of Carroll's Alice, 16-year-old Alyssa can hear bugs talking and fears she has inherited the madness that plagues her mother's side of the family. The only way to silence the insects' voices is by killing them, using the corpses as material for her ornate artwork. Howard's visual imagination is superior; a cavalcade of weirdness dances across the pages as Alyssa and her secret crush, Jeb, traverse a nightmare Wonderland, trying to save her institutionalized mother and resist the seductive influence of Morpheus. The story's creepiness is intriguing as horror, and its hypnotic tone and setting, at the intersection of madness and creativity, should sweep readers down the rabbit hole. Ages 14-up. Agent: Jenny Bent, the Bent Agency.
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Children's Literature - Elizabeth D. Schafer
Insects and flowers talk to teenager Alyssa Gardner who has heard those intrusive voices since puberty awakened her unusual abilities. Descended from Alice Liddell, the inspiration for Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass (1871), Alyssa copes with her family history tainted by insanity. Living with her father, Alyssa misses her mother Alison who is confined in a mental hospital and provides Alyssa cryptic clues and warnings relevant to Wonderland. Aware doctors have scheduled electroconvulsive therapy for Alison, Alyssa realizes she must go to Wonderland to rescue her mother and restore stability in their lives by attempting to reverse damages Alice inflicted there. Adeptly incorporating literary elements from the original texts, this narrative provides motifs, symbols, characters, settings, and themes true to Carroll's imaginative vision. Readers vicariously enter the macabre Wonderland with Alyssa and her romantic interest Jeb who encounter situations jeopardizing their survival. Among challenges she must successfully complete, Alyssa empties an ocean created by Alice's tears. As she traverses the intricate, dangerous labyrinth of this malevolent Wonderland filled with illusions and paradoxes, Alyssa realizes it is saturated with more dire dilemmas than the whimsical concepts Carroll's stories presented. She meets contrary beings, including predatory moth-man Morpheus who has stalked her since childhood. These characters confound Alyssa with their absurdities, brutality, and malice, enjoying her discomfort, misery, and struggles to resist succumbing to madness. The thrilling, suspenseful tone intensifies as Alyssa strives to prevail in by outwitting and battling fierce, sinister antagonists, discovering truths regarding her identity and destiny. Read with Simon Winchester's The Alice Behind Wonderland (2011) and Frank Bedor's trilogy The Looking Glass Wars (2006), Seeing Redd (2007), and ArchEnemy (2009). Reviewer: Elizabeth D. Schafer
VOYA - Jessica Miller
When Alyssa Gardner hit puberty, she got not only the usual growing pains but also her dose of the family madness. She had not wanted to believe it, but when she starts hearing insects and flowers talking, she realizes it is definitely true; the women in her family, descended from the famous Alice Lidell who inspired Lewis Carroll's tale of Wonderland, are cursed to lose themselves to insanity. When the mysterious man from her dreams gives her the opportunity to break the family curse, Alyssa cannot do anything but choose to follow him through a mirror into the land that seems to haunt her. What Alyssa finds is a dark version of the tale most know and love, as well as fantastic secrets about her own heritage. As Alyssa descends into this mad world, she must decide whether to stay or go home, and whether to trust the boy she has grown to love or the man who haunts her while she sleeps. Howard's compelling reimagining of Carroll's classic tale is mesmerizing. With every remembered detail, Howard adds a dark and creepy twist. Even Alyssa has facets that the reader may not originally expect. The characters have motivations that make for a more intriguing and power-hungry tale than the original, and ultimately readers will find themselves on the edge of their seats, unable to predict who will survive this twisted place. Libraries looking to add to their fairy-tale retellings should definitely consider purchasing this title. Reviewer: Jessica Miller
Kirkus Reviews
An Alice returns through the rabbit hole in this cinematic if oversaturated goth-punk retelling of Alice in Wonderland. When she reached adolescence, Alyssa Gardner began to hear voices, like her mother and the other "Alices" before her. Instead of talking back, she kills the whispering bugs and flowers and uses them in her morbid art, maintaining her spot as school oddball and tortured artiste. Madness, gift or curse, Alyssa ignores the legacy of Alice Liddell until she must enter Wonderland to save her mother. With hot crush Jebediah Holt--artistic, scarred and with an endlessly fascinating labret--in tow, Alyssa races to correct the original Alice's mistakes, drying up the sea of tears, punishing the walrus and restarting the tea party. Alyssa's rather muddled mission becomes even more convoluted thanks to tasks assigned by Morpheus--a dark butterfly-boy who has haunted her since childhood. Alyssa thrives in the chaos, though characters' murky motivations cast her as pawn rather than queen in Morpheus' ever-shifting chess game. Howard playfully employs Carroll's original matter, but the absurd Victorian framework suffers under the weight of a standard teen love triangle as well as added issues of parental abuse and mental illness. Attention to costume and setting render this a visually rich read. More Tim Burton than Lewis Carroll, a sensuous version of Alice's adventures for the Hot Topic crowd. (Fantasy. 14 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—This darker, modern update of Alice in Wonderland is more likely to please fans of Tim Burton's film adaptation than those of Lewis Carroll's novel. Alyssa, 16, is a descendant of Alice Liddell, the girl who was Carroll's inspiration for Alice. Her mother lives in a mental institution, and she herself struggles with hearing voices from insects and flowers. Do the women in her family suffer from a curse that can somehow be traced back to the original Alice? The opening chapters drag a bit, but the action picks up when Alyssa finds herself in Wonderland, fighting for her survival-and for her mother's sanity. Howard maintains a lush atmosphere throughout, reintroducing Carroll's characters as truly nightmarish monsters. Though Alyssa's ongoing quests can sometimes seem aimless and the requisite love triangle forced, teens looking for a creepy, descriptive read with a generous dollop of romance will gravitate toward this title.—Hayden Bass, Seattle Public Library, WA

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Product Details

Amulet Books
Publication date:
Splintered Series, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)
HL780L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

A. G. Howard wrote 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. She lives in Amarillo, Texas.

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Splintered 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 156 reviews.
IceyBooks More than 1 year ago
   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. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Catie22 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best novels I've read in a long time...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
pagese More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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 :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dark, twisted Alice in Wonderland! 297 pages of nonstop twists. I could not stop reading. Loved this book, highly recommend to everyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely loved it! Ms. Howard is off to a brilliant start. This is the best adaptation of Carroll's Wonderland I have ever read.
BttflyofKYCW More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love love love this book!! Its great and Jeb is sooooooo HOT!
terferj More than 1 year ago
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.
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(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.
Literary_VixenAP More than 1 year ago
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.
Falln2books More than 1 year ago
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. 
YoungMensanBookParade 27 days ago
Splintered, by A.G. Howard, takes a dark, unexpected twist on the classic Alice In Wonderland Tale. Instead of a young, innocent Alice, the main character is Alyssa Gardener, who is a not so typical teenager with a dark past. Alyssa’s great-great-great grandmother was the inspiration for the character Alice, based on her personal experiences in Wonderland. Alyssa’s family is cursed with hearing voices of plants and insects, which causes her mother to be sent off to a mental institution. In hopes of breaking the curse, Alyssa takes a journey down the rabbit hole, where she finds nothing in Wonderland is exactly as it seems. I was hooked from this book from the first few pages! It is definitely one of those books you just can’t put down. Likeable characters, romance, and plot twists keep this book interesting. I give this book five stars, and I would absolutely recommend this book. I look forward to reading the rest of the novels in this superb series! Reviewed by Emily T., age 15, Broward Mensa
Andrea17 More than 1 year ago
When I was little Disney's Alice and Wonderland used to terrify me. Not because I thought the movie itself was terrifying, but because I didn't want to imagine myself in Alice's position: stuck in an unknown world and unable to get home. Fast forward some years and I know now Alice's story was all in her head and it was just a dream. Or was it? The interesting thing about Splintered is that A.G. isn't so much retelling the story, but writing a sequel. While people look at Alice in Wonderland as a fantastical story, Alyssa soon finds out that Wonderland is a real place and Alice really did fall down the rabbit hole. A.G. treats the story as sort of stepping stone to Alyssa's story. Alyssa Gardner is a direct discontent of Alice Liddell and the women in her family have been cursed ever Alice's Wonderland visit. They can hear bugs, plants, and is for some reason or another end up going crazy. Alyssa's mother is in a mental health facility and a relative of Alyssa's even threw herself out of a hospital window to "test her wings." Alyssa started to hear bugs herself when she was thirteen, a fact she keeps from those she loves in fear of turning out like her mother. I enjoyed the first part of Splintered, but it's when Alyssa and Jeb (an unwilling participant in Alyssa's journey), find themselves in Wonderland things really start to pick up. A.G. takes the well known aspects from Alice in Wonderland and kind of flips them over. For instance, the White Rabbit is actually name Rabid White. It's these little touches that allow A.G. to make a well known story her own. I liked Alyssa, but my only real issue with her was feelings for Jeb. Jeb, her best friend / neighbor / crush, is dating Taelor, a girl who has bullied and mocked Alyssa her whole life. I didn't understand that at all. "Hey, you're my best friend, but I'm going to date your bully since grade school. Cool? Cool." He was controlling and overbearing. She's clearly capable of handling things on her own and his protectiveness wasn't cute. Morpheus however . . . hi! He's a fabulous anti-hero with his secrets and manipulation. He's Alyssa's inside source to all things Wonderland and curing her family on the curse - which will more importantly save her mother and allow her to come home. We learn a many thing about Morpheus as the story goes on and the more we learn, the more I like him. A.G.'s writing is absolutely spot on and perfect. She is able to concoct this world and truly bring her readers into it. Her words are beautiful and lyrical, bringing her dark and twisted Wonderland to life. The plot is full of twists and turns that keep those pages flipping. I ordered Unhinged and Ensnared the minute I finished Splintered and I cannot wait to delve back into Wonderland to experience the magic that is A.G. Howard.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the most amazing book I've read in my life. I would suggest this book to people 14 on its really good and I fell in love with all the characters
AllisonMM More than 1 year ago
LOVE the beautiful cover art. I devoured this book. The characters are unique, and I like the internal conflict of the main character. As someone who also loves Alice in Wonderland in its original form, I was excited to dive into this. It did not disappoint!
saze_says More than 1 year ago
absolutely amazing
Sparrowhawk24 More than 1 year ago
Splintered, “The Real Wonderland” managed to take everything I remembered from my own childhood adventures in Wonderland and turned them inside-out-sideways-long-ways-upside-down, twirled those memories a bit here and there, and then tossed those memories up into the air where they wondrously ruptured into an explosion of magical delirium. In other words, it was pure madness in every sense of the word! On that account, if you are looking for a wholesomely strange steampunk-gothic experience, than you will most definitely enjoy the atmospheric tone in this series. Okay, I have an unbirthday party to attend to now, until next time! WHAT I LIKED:  + The plot started off with a great deal of heart and spark. Each chapter is just as mystifying as you’d expect it to be, but what I deeply relished most about Splintered, was A.G. Howard’s idea of interlacing Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland into this prose. It was woven together so brilliantly to such an extent, that there were more than a few instances where I sat entranced believing it all to be true! So much so, that I ventured off (utterly obsessed) into reading autobiographies on the real Alice Liddell; truth be told, I have never actually read Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, crazy I know! Instead, I grew up becoming acquainted with Disney’s version of Alice. Oh but mark my words, Splintered is no whimsical version of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, this nether-world is “unhinged!” See what I did there?  I should also mention that since reading this book, I have watched not only Disney’s version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland twice, but Tim Burton’s too! Also, for some strange reason, I suddenly feel the urge to start wearing black and red petticoats; oh dear, have I gone mad? “I’m afraid so Little Sparrow. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.” + The strongest attribute of this book is Wonderland itself; it is dark and beautifully recreated with fantastically deranged visuals: the ominous plants and flowers, the abstract netherlings and creatures, the lucid landscapes, the delicate aromas, the extravagant costumes and blistering battles, the cover art and the entire book as a whole is peppered with a dark goth edginess, that I loved it immensely! That is to say, A.G. Howard succeeded! She managed to procure inspiration drawn from elements found within the original storyline and twisted them up in a magically demented way and gave us a Wonderland that was refreshing and invigorating; I was positively impressed! + Aside from A.G. Howard’s atmospheric writing style and luscious world building, I also loved the originality of the netherlings and one character in particular: the malevolent Morpheus – who is dark and oh so beautiful! I sat bewitched reading through the chapters that highlighted Morpheus. The witty comments and comebacks between Jeb and him were so absorbing, it literally felt as though I was basking in gossip and slander + I loved how scenic and vivid the adventures in Wonderland all begin, only to gradually increase in an absurd symphony of nonsensical delirium. Even more alluring though, were the enchanting riddles and the deftly plot twists + Speaking of plot twists, placing a psychological twist within Splintered’s plot line, all while gaining inspiration from Wonderland’s origin story was genius! I am finding that I am repeating myself here yet again, but in the spirit of nonsense, I’ll let this one slip through. Now, where was I? Oh yes, the psychological twist, it truly worked! I found it was the driving force that kept me reading, because it was Alyssa’s way of dealing with her internal struggles. Plus, you were able to genuinely feel Alyssa’s endless pain, as well as her regrets as she desperately tries to justify her actions and convince herself that she has not gone mad. This is where I found myself rooting for her, but only here. WHAT I DIDN’T LIKED:  – Owing to the internal drama surrounding the love triangle between Jeb and Morpheus, I simply was not able to connect with Alyssa, At. All. As aforementioned, the narrative started off strong, but the more Alyssa fell into the repetitive cycle of her indecisive nature, the more I began to resent her. I just felt like I couldn’t truly grasp a concept of who she was exactly. In many instances, it felt as though Jeb and Morpheus carried out the defining for her ¿ which in turn, caused me to sway back and forth a bit too much to play along with their silly clichés and muscle-flexing festival – This takes us to the love triangle. I have nothing against love triangles, truly I don’t, but when a love triangle falls under the tug-of-war category, it becomes extremely exhausting, and forces me to throw unnecessary tantrums, and harbor meaningless feelings against fictional characters ¿ which in turn, affect my mood! For this glaring reason, I am not a fan of the love triangle in this series. (view spoiler) – I understand that attention to detail is necessary to paint and illustrate the elements and scenes found within a book and/or world; especially, one as ludicrous and nonsensical as Wonderland. However, as you can probably imagine, the chapters in Splintered were incredibly long and drawn-out. More specifically, the author spells out everything. I didn’t enjoy this aspect in particular as it made me assume the author felt I held no imagination of my own. This is just me though, your mileage may vary from my own  AFTERTHOUGHTS:  Setbacks aside, Splintered was profoundly thought-out and imagined. In the end, I found I enjoyed the narrative more than I thought I would. I am not certain however, if I would recommend it to all, but if you are ever looking to lose yourself in an imaginative dark and twisted atmosphere, where anything is possible, and where nothing makes sense, then read this series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this series more thab any other. The last book's epilogue just about killed me though. Overall it was a great story and it should be something put into every library and store. One on every shelf.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unique spin on a classic story