Description: 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.
REVIEW:I’ll admit once again to be attracted to a book by just its cover. Everything about this book cover called to my attention. A.G Howard brings us a twisted yet fun to read story that will have your head spinning with images of a twisted Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Splintered is the story of Alice’s cursed after visiting Wonderland and Alyssa, the great great grand daughter destined to break the curse.
I have to start by saying that I am quite impressed with the quality of the writing, the details and the world building. Your mind is transported to a world that is a lot more surreal and fantastic, grotesque, dark and vicious than the Wonderland we have come to love. Alyssa is the main character, and the descendant of Alice, the girl who entered through the rabbit hole. Alyssa isn’t your typical teenager, she can hear the insects talking, the flowers and trees, though she has found a way to silence them, it isn’t always in the nicest way. Since Alyssa has to live with a curse, she finds it difficult to maintain her sanity, knowing that it runs in the family she is trying to keep her “ability” a secret. Cursed with the ability to speak to the animals, she has tried since she was a child to live a normal life while keeping her mother’s problem a secret. Now that it is in her power to break Alice’s curse, she must travel to wonderland and fix the mess left behind by Alice.
There were a few scenes in which I was enthralled, the scene when Alyssa and Jeb must dry the ocean created by Alice’s tears. The tea time scene when Alyssa is under the powerful spell of a berry and she shows a more sensual and playful self and the way Jeb reacted to her insinuations. It was very cute and quite mature if you ask me. Splintered has the most details I have read in a book since Harry Potter.
I liked Alyssa, her struggles go beyond the regular teenagers drama, she should be worry about finding a boyfriend, going to college, instead she has to worry about ending like her mother, at the bring of getting electrical shocks to alleviate her madness. Alyssa is caring, loving and smart. Though I didn’t like her inability to communicate with her mother, even knowing that what her mother kept telling her was true, I liked how freely and willing she was to sacrifice her future to help her mother. Though I liked Alyssa, there were a few things I didn’t like about her character such as her dependency on her friend Jeb. There are times when I thought she was waiting for him to save her, to make decisions for her, to help her shape her future. I think her character would’ve been a lot more enjoyable if she would’ve been a little bit stronger, with a tougher attitude and with less insecurities.
Since Alyssa was supposed to break the curse, there were times when I wished I could’ve shaken her a few times. Her reaction towards certain situations was borderline annoying but there was other times when she was just perfect. Jeb on the other hand, was pretty much perfect. He was understanding, loving and caring. Though he didn’t talk to Alyssa about his feelings sooner, I totally understand his reasons. His concern and maturity made me like him even more. I think overall this story is really good, I like the details, the characters and though I think the author went a bit too far as to bringing so many secondary characters to the table, they added spice and uniqueness to the plot. Add Splintered to your list, just keep in mind that this is a Young Adult read, don’t expect much action or hot romance. But enjoy the adventure, I certainly did.
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Do I recommend this book? Yes!
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