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Splintered by A. G. Howard

Splintered (edition 2013)

by A. G. Howard

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5289019,108 (4.05)24
Authors:A. G. Howard
Info:Amulet Books (2013), Hardcover, 384 pages

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Splintered by A. G. Howard



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Read more of my reviews at my blog The End of the Chapter

So here's my review of Splintered by A.G. Howard.

My First Impressions:

The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover. It is gorgeous! I wanted to pick this book up before I even knew what it was about. Then, I read the summary and became even more intrigued. I'm a sucker for a good rehash of a beloved classic. So, I snatched it off the shelf at the library quicker than a kid after a candy bar, took it home, and devoured it in one sitting.

What I Liked:

The biggest thing I liked about this book was Howard's attention to detail. She examined each facet of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and modernized them. She flipped everything on its axis while still remaining true to the original story. Alyssa, her mother, grandmother, etc. all have names that are derivatives of "Alice." The "curse" is only inherited by the women in the family making them seem eccentric to the outside world, just as Alice must have seemed to her family and friends when she emerged from Wonderland. All of the places Alice visits in Wonderland are revisited in Splintered with a Gothic, sometimes grotesque, twist. Such as, the White Rabbit turns out to be a rabbit skeleton in a red waistcoat named Rabid White. All of these changes made Wonderland feel more real in its absurdity.

Not only that, though, Howard created a whole new world through Alyssa's experiences within and without Wonderland. Alyssa's character is really well developed. She has a history, wants, needs, and desires. She has to fight with her dark side and make tough choices about what she truly wants over what others want from her and expect of her. She works in a consignment shop, skateboards, wears clip-in funky-colored dreads, and makes beautiful mosaics out of dead bugs. She's what angsty teens everywhere dream of being, and it makes her character easy to relate to for the target audience - young adults.

I also really liked how easily Howard integrated the romantic scenes into the story. Since the story is told from the point of view of Alyssa and we are privy to all of her inner dialogue about Jeb and Morpheus, the scenes involving her feelings for them aren't jarring or uncomfortable like such scenes have a tendency to be. She also uses Alyssa's choice of love interest, and the inner-conflict involved in this choice, as a symbol for which side of her is making her decisions at the time: the light side or the dark side (cliche, I know, but true nonetheless).

What I Didn't Like:

There wasn't a whole lot I didn't like about this book. I really only have two complaints, and one of them is a bit nit-picky. 1) The book was a little long for the story it had to tell, and 2) it got a bit repetitive and seemed forced at times. I think the book felt long because of reason number two. At times, it felt like Howard was sitting down with a copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and saying to herself, "Now, how can I work this scene into my book?" That's not to say she didn't do a good job making all the scenes mesh together, but I felt like Alyssa could've visited about half of the scenes from the classic and still been an interesting story. Also, Howard wrote a further two books about Alyssa and her adventures in Wonderland ( [b:Unhinged|11743973|Unhinged|E.J. Findorff|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1309229408s/11743973.jpg|16693458] & [b:Ensnared|13502580|Ensnared|Dawn H. Hawkes|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1332568179s/13502580.jpg|19050797] ), so I thought she might have wanted to save some the classic material for the sequels.

The Verdict:

★ ★ ★ ★ - Borrow

I really enjoyed this book. Even though I technically found two things I didn't like about it, I enjoyed reading it so much and the story held my attention so well that I feel it deserves four stars. I don't think I would go so far as to purchase this book (unless you're really into Alice in Wonderland, that is), but I highly recommend giving it a read! ( )
  rjc146 | Jan 23, 2015 |
Splintered is a vivid re-imagining of the Lewis Carroll classic Alice in Wonderland. Mixed with modern YA fantasy and a young girl's determination to break free from her family's (seeming) insanity. Alyssa ventures into Wonderland (a much darker Wonderland than in the original tale) in an attempt to save her mother (who has been institutionalized for years) and break a family curse that dooms the women in her family to madness and premature death. A compelling tale, one that (I daresay) I enjoyed more than the original Alice in Wonderland. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Sep 14, 2014 |
Splintered is based upon real life Alice Liddell's story as created by Lewis Carroll. Little Alice pictured here.

The females in her line all are inheriting madness. They here bugs and plants talking. Refuse to eat off of plates (teacups please). Until we come across Alyssa-she does not want to end up in the mental hospital and will venture down the rabbit's hole in order to stop it.

This author did an amazing job on bringing a fairy tale to life. Creepy and so very easy pictured in your mind, Wonderland comes to glorious life in the book.
Splintered vs the Disney version is more like this:

OH and Morpheus...yes I do want you. ( )
  bookqueenshelby | Sep 9, 2014 |
This is not a book I would normally pick. I saw a review written of this book in a magazine and decided to read it myself. I'm glad I did! It only took me 2 days to read this book! I could not put it down! A twisted take on the Alice in Wonderland story that we are so familiar with, Splintered is an absolute breath of fresh air!! I thoroughly enjoyed this book from cover to cover! ( )
  sadiekaycarver | Sep 4, 2014 |
For those who like retold fairy tales, this is a great read. It takes Alice in Wonderland and turns in on its head, along with adding a great dark side to the story. And I love the cover. Awesomeness all over the place. ( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |
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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)

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