Splintered by AG Howard
Published: January 1st, 2013
Publisher: Amulet Books
384 pages (ebook)
Genre: Young adult fantasy
Acquired this book: From NetGalley
Warning: May contain spoilers
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.
I read Splintered several weeks ago, and I’ve been writing bits and pieces of my review without being able to complete it because I didn’t feel like I could do the book justice, no matter what I said. Quite simply, Splintered was brilliant. It’s not often that I call a book brilliant, but Splintered was brilliant. Not only was this one of my favourite books of 2012, it was one of my favourite books ever. It was enchanting, mesmerizing, sexy, disturbing, creepy, absorbing, twisted, funny, and beautiful.
This book made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me fall in love, it made me gasp out loud. It made me feel so many things, and often all at once. I absolutely loved Alyssa. It was her job to untangle the secrets of her family and its ties to Wonderland, and I thought she was strong, brave, genuine, independent, and relateable. Her actions and reactions were genuine, her voice authentic, and I absolutely adored her.
I also loved the interactions between both Alyssa and Jeb and Alyssa and Morpheus. This was one love triangle I had absolutely no problem with, and while I thought both boys were super sexy, I was Team Jeb all the way. He was loyal, steady, and protective - everything Alyssa needed in her crazy, messed-up life - while Morpheus was dark and mysterious, seductive and dangerous. Alyssa shared a history with both of them, but she and Jeb shared more than that; they understood each other's emotional and physical scars.
I’ve always been a fan of Wonderland in its many incarnations, but this could possibly be my favourite. Howard’s version of Wonderland is lush and vivid. I was right there with Alyssa, seeing it all, feeling it, tasting it, experiencing it. The way Howard took the well-known Alice story and turned it on its head, playing with little details to make them fit into the story was absolute genius, and made me more and more excited with each new revelation.
Full of twists and turns, action, romance, and beautiful writing, Splintered is an unforgettable story that will grab you and never let go.
In accordance with FTC guidelines, I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No money or compensation of any sort exchanged hands. I review books to share my love of reading, and I'm always completely honest in my reviews, good or bad.
*Thank you to Amulet Books and NetGalley for sending me an ARC of this book for review.*
Have you read Splintered? What did you think? Are you a fan of Alice in Wonderland?