Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Splintered by A. G. Howard

Splintered (edition 2013)

by A. G. Howard

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
62710415,477 (4.03)29
Authors:A. G. Howard
Info:Amulet Books (2013), Hardcover, 384 pages

Work details

Splintered by A. G. Howard



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 29 mentions

English (103)  Swedish (1)  All languages (104)
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
This book almost made it to five stars, although there were enough moments when the writing didn't make sense - eyes doing things that eyes can't do - that I took off one half star. Basically, there were some issues that I don't think people will see, or care about, but that I did see, and did care about, and that dampened my enjoyment slightly. Like when a wave of frustration ripples through some knights. Frustration that Alyssa feels, although she doesn't see it on their faces. (No explanation of how she feels what they feel, either.)

Overall, however, this book was amazing. It's a modern day, twisted retelling of Alice in Wonderland; it acknowledges it's predecessor in almost every way, in almost every scene, and yet manages to remain original at the same time. There is enough that is new, and that is Howard's as opposed to Carroll's, that it kept me guessing until the end. There is a new plot intertwined with the new reincarnations of Carroll's characters.

Alyssa comes from the Liddell family lineage, and the women in her family are crazy, to the point where her mother is in an asylum. Alyssa sees her future in Alison, her mother, while also deflecting the taunts of her schoolmates about her family history. It doesn't help that her nemesis, Tealor, is dating Jeb, the boy that Alyssa has been in love with forever. Or that Tealor's family owns the sports park, Underland. Add to the fact that there are monetary issues, and Alyssa's life is about as chaotic as you can get.

It all gets so much worse when her mother's mental state gets even more compromised, prompting Alyssa to find a way into Wonderland. Her past, Alice's mistakes, and Morpheus - a winged man who can turn into a moth - all come back to haunt her. And because nothing can be straightforward with Alyssa, Jeb follows her into Wonderland.

The story is, more of less, them trying to get back home. Because it seems as if no teen book is complete without a love triangle these days, I present Jeb/Alyssa/Morpheus. Now, I've read a couple reviews, and yes, they forced me to think about this triangle while I was reading. One of the complaints is about Jeb - he's controlling, to the point where he physically keeps Alyssa from doing some of the things she wants. Morpheus is, on the other hand, almost a trickster, forcing things to play out according to his will, but this means that he's manipulative and a liar. On the other hand, Alyssa shows loyalty and affection for both Jeb and Morpheus, and they both show loyalty and affection for her, both sacrificing to the point where I was unable to doubt their feelings for her. As far as they both go, I can understand their actions, due to their past histories.

Jeb's father was abusive, and while he does carry Alyssa out of a skate park after she's injured herself to prevent further injury, and physically restrain her during parts of the novel, they're only when logic tells him that she'll hurt herself. And not 'me-big-cavemen, me-protect-woman' logic. Actual logic. Add this to the fact that he knows that her mother is in an asylum, and that mental illness can be hereditary, and there is an actual basis for his concerns, and his need to be her, quite literally, white knight. Do I agree with his actions? No. Did I think he was an ass sometimes? Yes. But I can't say I can't understand, or that I can't sympathize with the choices he has to make. He's not my first choice as a love interest, but I'm not sure he's as bad as he'd made out to be at first glance, especially given the last couple pages of the novel.

Morpheus is also one of those nebulous characters, that seems like a total douchecanoe, but who redeems himself. Given the situation he finds himself in, the slow revelations of the hard choices he has to make, I can at least understand why he sees these manipulations as his only choice. (I also liked him more as a love interest throughout the novel.) His history, the truth of who he is, and why he does what he does are given in insanely small bits and pieces. I just wanted to know more about him the more I got to know him. And like Jeb, there are a couple of pages - a little before Jeb's redemption - where Morpheus becomes likable. Morpheus is, in the end, a complex character, a shade of gray that I appreciate.

Even Taelor has her reasons for being nasty. Another complaint I read was about digs about Taelor. However, there was no slut shaming that I can remember. Yes, Alyssa wanted Jeb, but she didn't call Taelor a slut or a whore. She didn't think Taelor stole Jeb; she acknowledges that she never said anything about wanting him, and lost out on that opportunity. Taelor is nasty to Alyssa, for a multitude of reasons, ranging from her dad ignores her so she's got an attitude to everyone, to the fact that she realizes that Jeb may be in love with Alyssa and feels insecure about the fact. Alyssa's family history, and her mother, make her an easy target as well. Of course Alyssa and Jen (Jeb's sister and Alyssa's best friend) make digs at Taelor, although not to her face. They do it because they're lashing out, just like Taelor is. It's human nature. I didn't find it particularly bitchy. I found it human. I'd find it more odd if they didn't say anything, and I found it quite compassionate that they didn't do it to her face, to anyone else, and that they only vented about Taelor's actual personality and didn't resort to slut shaming, which could be done so easily given the other Taelor/Jeb/Alyssa triangle. (There is a moment where Alyssa tells Taelor off at the end, and I found it slightly unconvincing how easy it was to make a connection.)

I could go on and on, about how I felt each character was complex, real, how they had faults and made mistakes, but tried to redeem themselves by being smarter, better, and by trying to help the people around them. Instead, I'll leave you with two other thoughts. Alyssa was strong when she needed to be, and learned how to be stronger as this novel went on. I personally thought she was pretty badass, even facing off against one of her childhood fears. (Yes, she screamed, but I think most of us would if our childhood nightmares suddenly towered over us. She still faced it, which was impressive!)

And Jen, while a minor character, is actually one of Alyssa's only friend, a friend that Alyssa considers kind, talented, and creative. And Jen does show herself to be these things in the short time we see her. I wish we'd gotten to know her a little bit better. Mutual respectful friendships between two girls are rare in teen books these days, at least a lot of the fantasy books. ( )
  All_Hail_Grimlock | Oct 25, 2015 |
This was just so delightfully wyrd!goth. I loved Allison a lot. I had little issues like clunky writing every so often and the fact that I REALLY didn't like Jeb at all.

But Morpheus though.

Morpheus was all of my favourite things. ( )
  glitzandshadows | Oct 12, 2015 |
What an imaginative, beautifully told story! It wasn't perfect, but it held me enthralled through a good deal of it. The cover is gorgeous and so perfect for the story. Splintered started out so strongly that I couldn't put it down. It sang to me, it enchanted me...clear up until about the half-way point, then it sort of slowed down. The descriptions of all the different landscapes and creatures in Wonderland were necessary, but kind of confusing and distracting from the plot. I would love to see this as a movie so I didn't have to struggle so hard to imagine them in my head. I'm still not sure I completely understood what went on in Wonderland. The end picked up and was very exciting.

The plot was fascinating and full of a dream-like quality. Alyssa was a wonderful main character. She was strong and loyal, funny and loving, yet she could also make stupid decisions and be kind of annoying. I don't like my main characters to be perfect little angels, I like them to have a bit of snark. Her parents and their situation were amazingly interesting, in fact the first part and all the set-up were my favorite part of the book. I also shared Alyssa's feelings about Morpheus - I hated him - I loved him - I hated him - I loved him. Jeb I just loved. He was so sweet and protective of her. I'm a little nervous to see where the author is going to take the three of them. I also loved the plot twists. Did. Not. See. Them. Coming.

For me, the first and last lines of the book perfectly show the mystical enchantment of Splintered .

First line of the book:

I’ve been collecting bugs since I was ten; it’s the only way I can stop their whispers.

Last line of the book:

I smile, then give him a kiss he’ll never forget, to replace all the ones he'll never remember.

Now, does this belong in the hands of a 6th grader? This is one of those books that I would like to have in a section that was inaccessible to the 6th graders. Unfortunately we don't have a section like that. I know some 6th graders who will read it and love it, but I don't necessarily agree with them reading it. Kind of in line with the The Mortal Instruments series. However, I really liked it.

Areas of concern:
Not much bad language at all. I remember one *a* word.
A lot of violence.
Intense situations where loved ones are in grave danger.
Very intense kissing with 2 different boys/men.
**Appended on April 14, 2015. Yikes, I just read the review for the 3rd book of this trilogy and it said, "more gory than Gorey--and filled with unsettling sadism and borderline erotica". I ordered it for the library before I read that because you can't have the first 2 books in a trilogy and not have the 3rd, but be careful about letting your middle schooler start this series! ***

http://read-me-maybe.blogspot.com ( )
  Bduke | Sep 30, 2015 |
This book knocked my godamn socks off. It has been ages and i mean it in "twas the year of our lord..." ages since i have read a ya novel that i truly liked.

Maybe it was the very well thought trough connection with Alice in Wonderland, maybe it was the romantic aspect that is so rarely seen in these type of novels. Usually the author manages to portray young love as either too innocent and puppy love or goes overboard with the sexuality. Howard delivered emotional nuances that correspond to Al's age perfectly, not too innocent, not over the top.

Whatever the hell it was, it worked. Deffo getting the next one, but i am just hoping, no praying to GOD that i somehow somewhere stumble upon a series that i like and don't have to WAIT toget the next book...

A girl can only hope... ( )
  IvieHill | Aug 6, 2015 |
(2/28/15) This book makes me SO HAPPY! I emphatically stand by my original 5 Stars!

I love that Howard includes enough Carrollisms in her story to make Wonderland recognizable, but even more than that, I LOVE that her version of it is dark and twisty and SO CREATIVE---I could barely contain my glee!

I'm really glad that I decided to reread Splintered before starting the last two books in the series, because it was just as good as I remember it being, if not better :)

(3/23/13) Can I give this more than 5 Stars? I want to give this more than 5 Stars. In fact, I would give this book all the stars in the sky if I could. No joke. This is by far the best book I've read so far this year and it has raised the bar ridiculously high for those that follow. ( )
  dkgarner95 | Jul 29, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

A descendant of the inspiration for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, sixteen-year-old Alyssa Gardner fears she is mentally ill like her mother until she finds that Wonderland is real and, if she passes a series of tests to fix Alice's mistakes, she may save her family from their curse.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
160 wanted
1 pay4 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.03)
1 3
1.5 1
2 10
2.5 2
3 27
3.5 4
4 67
4.5 7
5 65


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 100,875,768 books! | Top bar: Always visible