Thursday, February 21, 2013

Review: Splintered by A.G. Howard

Title: Splintered
Author: A.G. Howard
Publisher: Amulet Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Fantasy/Retelling
Release date: January 1st, 2013
Pages: 377 (ARC)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Won
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

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.

Alyssa's family is far from normal. Her great-great-great grandmother was Alice Liddell and every woman in her family before her has been slowly driven mad.  There's a curse having to do with Wonderland, and Alyssa will do anything to figure out what it is in order to save her mother from having to go through shock treatments.  Little does Alyssa know, Wonderland isn't nearly as pleasant as it seems in Lewis Carroll's story.

I loved every single part of this story.  The characters fit their roles perfectly and I found Alyssa to be quite likable.  She proves to be a strong person, even when she believes that she's dragging everyone else down.  Jeb is her absolute best friend and when he follows her into the rabbit hole, it only proves his loyalty.  Not every character proves to be warmhearted, though, as we quickly find out.  Alyssa becomes unsure of who to trust, the lines between good and evil bleeding together.  Eventually, Alyssa realizes that she can't always wait to be rescued and she will learn to rely on herself to find a way back home.

When they enter Wonderland, we quickly realize that all of the ideas we've had in our heads about the magical realm are completely different than the way the author envisions it.  Everything described is very dark and macabre, but I couldn't help but fall in love with it all.  From Alyssa being able to hear the thoughts of flowers and bugs and turning them into works of art, to the hideous and surprisingly realistic descriptions of each creature, I was kept on the edge of my seat.  Even though I know Alice's story quite well, Alyssa's story is completely new and exciting.  I can't forget to mention the romance, either, because that was just as thrilling and dangerous as the new world that the main character is thrust into.

I found everything about Splintered to be beautiful and disturbing, both completely unexpected and familiar, as though the reader is merely looking through someone else's eyes.  The author included characters we all know and love, but there were also many new and treacherous qualities about them.  This book is perfect both for long-time fans of Alice in Wonderland looking for a fresh perspective, as well as readers looking for a fantasy with descriptive writing and incredible storytelling.


  1. I have this one, but I haven't read it yet...

    Great review!

  2. Omigosh, I want to read this book soo bad!

  3. Thanks for the review. I've seen this cover around and have been debating about it, but you're making me want to read it.

  4. I loved this one, too! Well, I loved everything about it but the two possible love interests LOL. I just couldn't get behind her being with either one of them! BUT I absolutely loved what the author did with all the other characters, including Alyssa, and especially the Hatter and The White creepy and creative and dark!

    Great review!