Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Review: Splintered

Splintered by A. G. Howard
Splintered #1
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: January 1st, 2013
Source: Library
Date Read: 7/11/14 to 7/13/14
371 Pages
Rating: ✰1/2

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.

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The amount of amazing books I have read in the past two weeks have been astounding. I am on a streak! For now! Haha. But anyways, back to this amazing book, the first in its trilogy, Splintered. Another fantastic fairy tale retelling, focusing on Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland". But here, the place actually exists. And also, it's dangerous.

Alyssa Gardner, our protagonist of the story, doesn't come across Wonderland by accident. No, she searches for it actively because of her cursed family lineage. And also, her mother is currently at an asylum due to her "madness", in other words, the curse, and is due to get shock treatments the following Monday. That means, Alyssa has until Monday to find Wonderland, fix everything the original Alice messed up, and get back home safely.

Unfortunately for her, she involves Jeb, her long time crush who has a girlfriend. While she discovers a mirror that leads her to Wonderland, she accidentally brings Jeb with her. So now, along with Jeb, she has to untangle all the mysteries and riddles surrounding Wonderland and her own life, undo all of Alice's mistakes in order to break the curse, and also find a way home.

And of course, what's better than introducing a love triangle! Haha. Though to be honest I think this love triangle worked out quite well throughout the story. Because there's DECEPTION and TRUST ISSUES and honestly if I was Alyssa, I wouldn't know who to actually listen to, because on one hand, Morpheus is hot and attractive and used to visit Alyssa in her dreams (stalker-ish much?), but then he's also dark and mysterious and just why would you trust him?? And then there's Jeb, Alyssa's long time crush and "mortal" knight. Basically in the end I still haven't chosen either.

Maybe I just don't care???? Hahaha. They both have their faults though

Yes, but the characters. I really liked Alyssa. She was determined to see everything through the end, even though at some points she knew that she didn't have a chance. This is where our love interests come in. One thing I didn't like about Jeb though, is that he constantly thought he had to watch over Alyssa. Even before they both went into Wonderland. I'm sure she could make decisions for herself. In the end though, he realizes his mistake and kind of redeems himself for it. Key words are "kind of". I still don't really like him much.

And then there's THE WORLD of WONDERLAND. I love how the author twisted the world of Wonderland, so that everything is actually creepy and dead looking. So no, no fuzzy rabbits and fun tea parties. In fact, just throw everything you know from the Disney Wonderland out the door. Even Tim Burton's doesn't compare to this level of creepiness.

Honestly this movie is NOT SCARY 
AND I LOVED discovering the truth along the way. Honestly, I wouldn't have been able to figure it out on my own. It's definitely exciting to see a novel unravel all it's mysteries until the very end.

To be honest, I did get slightly confused at some points throughout, even though I tried to read very closely. I want to say that I got about 90% of it, which is really good if I consider what else I've read in the past. Also, part of the ending was slightly unbelievable, but what the heck it's Wonderland and magic. I don't want to think too much about it.

Anyways, I'm definitely looking forward to the next book in the series (which is at the library!!!!) I thought this book was really, really good. Also probably one of the best fairy tale retellings I've read in a while (after Cinder). So yes, GO READ THIS :D


  1. I've heard so many fantastic things about this series - if Tim Burton's Wonderland isn't as creepy as this one...well, that just means I have to get my hands on this book sooner! Great review!

    - Kritika @ Snowflakes & Spider Silk

    1. Thanks! So far it's living up to its fantastic-ness

  2. I love reading books like these! I can't wait to get a copy of this soon. It looks so exciting :D

    Jillian @ Jillian's Books

  3. I did get a little teeny tiny bit confused at the end (I had Mime explain to me the finer details) but OMG I AM GLAD YOU LIKED THIS BOOK BECAUSE I LIKE IT. (You probably didn't know I liked it...*whistles less than innocently*) IT IS PERFECTION. Morpheus. Although I kind of agree. Alyssa doesn't need either of them. Pfft. She's awesome on her own. But still. Morpheus.

    1. NO I DID KNOW YOU LIKED IT! STOP BEING INNOCENT. Actually you were the reason I picked it up SO HA. Haha and your obsession with Morpheus. I think I do kind of prefer him over Jeb, but I'm waiting until I read the next book to decide.

  4. I envy the number of good books you've been reading lately! I'm still stuck with only 2- or 3-star reads, and I'm not sure how much more I can take before I fall into a reading slump. D: But back to Splintered -- I can't count the number of positive reviews I've seen for this book so I have no idea why I haven't bothered to pick it up yet! Especially since I love Alice in Wonderland a lot.

    I'm so curious about the mistakes Alice made that cursed her entire family. And it's always a plus to have mental health issues in books; call me weird, but I really enjoy reading about mental health and asylums. Hoping this aspect doesn't disappoint, because it seems to be only a minor plot in the story. And boo for a love triangle... but thankfully it worked out okay for you? Haha, I guess I'm okay with triangles or squares just as long as the love interests aren't cliche and there's no unnecessary drama. The over-protective guy almost always grates on my nerves, though.

    "I love how the author twisted the world of Wonderland, so that everything is actually creepy and dead looking." -- AHHH a dark and horrible Wonderland? GIMME. This actually reminds me of Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. Apparently Oz isn't that bright and happy place in that book, too. I really like it when authors turn worlds into darker and scarier places. Just makes everything ten times more interesting to read.

    Anyway, I think it's safe to say that Splintered is going onto my wishlist! Man, your excitement is contagious -- I'm feeling hyped up for the sequel even though I haven't even read the first book yet. ;D Lovely review, Val, and I hope Unhinged is just as good or even better than this one was!

    1. Hahah this is what the local library does to you. I find a book in the blogosphere that I like, then I look it up on the library website, AND YAY IT'S THERE (usually), and the later I go pick it up. That's why I'm reading so many good books. When I go back to school this will all change. wah.

      Yes you better be curious. You will be surprised :D
      I think this is my first book that's about mental health and asylums, but I don't think it disappoints (well I can't really have an opinion of it, I don't know much about the subject)

      Yep the love triangle kind of worked. BUT JEB IS ANNOYING.

      Hahah I hope you get your hands on this book fast! I just borrowed the second one from the library! Wooooo

  5. Ohh YAY, so glad you loved Splintered! I can't believe I haven't read it yet, I'll definitely need to get my hands on it soon. Great review, Val!


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