Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Splintered - by A.G. Howard

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl's pangs of first lover 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 fmaily 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's keeping 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 sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

4.5 stars

The thing I loved the most about this book was the imagination it took to write it. The imagination! The fantasy! The color! The darkness! The amazing twists and turns the plot takes... I have to say, Howard did an amazing job with her debut novel. I couldn't put it down! 3 stars out of the 4.5 go to the amazing plot. I really didn't have any idea where Howard was going to take me. Every chapter was something new and interesting. Howard has a dark, bizarre imagination,  which made it perfect for this evil retelling of Alice in Wonderland. Alyssa Gardener is the descendant of the original Alice Liddel, and she is a messed up kid. I don't blame her since her own mother tried to kill her when she was young with a pair of gardening shears, she also has a good chance of ending up in the same mental asylum as her mother and the bugs talk to her. Yeah, she hasn't had an easy life. But despite that she pushes forward with new dreams and goals. I have to admit that I really enjoyed Morpheus. He is a mystery right from the beginning and he continues to make your head spin as the book progresses. The book is filled with a few other side characters and I love how they all seemed to have their part and added to the story. They weren't just faces in the background, they all had something to contribute. Okay, now to criticize it a little bit. I really didn't agree with the teasing, sexual side of Alyssa and her romance. Morpheus, I get it, he is a seductive weirdo and that kind of added to his chaotic persona. But Alyssa and Jeb... no, I didn't really like that part. I would have liked it better if the romance between them had been a little bit more innocent. That's the only reason I didn't give this book a full blown 5 stars. 

Wonderland... oh it is a creepy, messed up place. You definitely wouldn't want to go there for vacation. But the creatures, the chaos, the political intrigues, the surprises, the color, the magic, Morpheus. It makes you want to go there anyway.

So... Yes! Get this book! Read it! Enjoy it! Laugh, shiver and puzzle along with it! I promise you won't be disappointed... I hope.

I would suggest 15+ for some disturbing and sensual scenes.

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