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Splintered by A. G. Howard
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Splintered (edition 2013)

by A. G. Howard

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58010217,036 (4.01)26
Member:DarkFaerieTales
Title:Splintered
Authors:A. G. Howard
Info:Amulet Books (2013), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Read
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Splintered by A. G. Howard

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Showing 1-5 of 101 (next | show all)
Preread
Just picked this up at the library and the cover is kind of stunning. I need some red lipstick ASAP. I will pass on the ants on the chest though.

*****
Review after reading:
3 Stars ~ It was entertaining and I enjoyed at least three quarters of it, but it lost me towards the end.


So I'm actually surprised to be rating this book as highly as I am, for two reasons.

1. I'm not a big fan of re-tellings.
2. Wonderland freaks me out.

In order to succeed in telling me a story I already know, you have to change it up and make it your own and give me a reason to be interested. For example, have Alice come back from Wonderland carrying a curse, which causes all of her female descendants to hear the whispers of bugs and flowers, and have them all go rather crazy because of it. Then have Alice's great-great-great granddaughter track down the rabbit hole and face her darkest fears in order to break the curse once and for all. That's a good start.

A stunning cover also helps.


Then for good measure, just to make sure I'm paying attention, throw in a character that looks rather like this:



That ought to do it. Attention granted.

I really did enjoy most of this story. It had me turning pages quickly and I finished the book without drifting away to check Facebook or my Goodreads notifications, which is what usually happens when my book is boring me. I really liked the beginning in particular, with Alyssa's mother having gone to an insane asylum because of her delusions, and Alyssa living in fear that the same thing was going to happen to her. There were creepy voices and faces in mirrors and the suspense of not knowing where or how Wonderland would enter the picture.

Honestly, for at least half the book I was so excited to see where it was going. I especially loved the anticipation leading up to her finding Morpheus, who was my favorite character.

Unfortunately, and this has happened to me a lot lately, the YA-ishness of the story brought it down for me. Alyssa is a high school student (junior, almost a senior?) and Jeb was her best friend/secret-crush-who-already-has-a-girlfriend. Morpheus is the mysterious Wonderland character who has been trying to lure her back all her life. I don't know if there is a YA handbook that says everyone must include a love triangle, but it's been standard operating procedure for the last few years and it's rare to find one that works. I liked that the characters in this book were at least a little older (17 to 20-ish), so I was willing to go along with it, but the story towards the end became a little sappy, a little crazy, and a little… Wonderlandish.

I was jerked out of my suspension of disbelief cocoon when Jeb inexplicably got trapped in that hatbox. I know we are told there's a reason, but we didn't see any of the things leading up to that so it felt very out of left field and very much like a plot device. And then the thing with Red taking over Alyssa's body and the vine ripping and the scene where Morpheus declares his love…. that all rushed in a little too quickly and was resolved a little too easily. Maybe I'm expecting too much from of a YA book, but it brought down my rating.

Jeb's character didn't really do anything for me and I was sort of annoyed he even came along at all. I would have enjoyed the story much more if it had just been Alyssa going to Wonderland and the tension came from the story and not from her conflicted feels.

Overall, it was a nice little afternoon adventure and I had fun reading it.

Am I clambering for the sequel?

Not really.

Will I read it if the reviews are all glowing and amazing?

Eh, maybe.

Especially if Alyssa goes back to Wonderland without Jeb and she and Morpheus become the king and queen and make weird little Netherling babies. Let me know if that's what happens, m'kay? ( )
  KirSio | Aug 31, 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 |
An intriguing result of mixing modern YA themes and Lewis Carroll's Alice books, Adventures Underground and Through the Looking Glass. "Skate Girl" Alyssa is a strong character and at 16 she faces her YA challenges. ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
I’m so glad I got the opportunity to read Splintered. This is such a wildly imaginative story.

A.G. Howard’s writing is captivating, haunting and evocative. You’re sucked in from the very beginning and won’t be able to stop until you’ve finished the whole book.

I think Alyssa was a wonderful main character. Weighed down by her family’s past, she’s constantly worried about going insane like her mother. Bugs talk to her, and moths constantly follow her around. How can she think she’s normal?

She hides behind her art, in the safety of her own room, even inside of her own mind. She even hides herself from Jeb, her best friend.

For the first time in forever, I actually enjoyed the idea of a love triangle.

We have two potential candidates:

Jeb & Morpheus.

Jeb is Alyssa’s knight in shining armor; always defending her, always trying to protect her. Meanwhile, Morpheus is evil, wicked, treacherous, manipulative, and mean.

You would think that this triangle is easily solved, but it’s not. They both care immensely for Alyssa and Alyssa truly has feelings for both.

My personal choice is Morpheus.

Despite him being all these ugly traits, Morpheus stole my heart. I feel like Morpheus loved Alyssa more (in my honest opinion). Jeb always doubted Alyssa and assumed she couldn’t defend herself. Morpheus did not. Morpheus let her be herself, Jeb (albeit loving her), seemed to weigh her down.

Anyways, Rebecca Gibel is a wonderful narrator for this audiobook. She captures the whimsical nature of a Wonderland fairy, and the dark mysteriousness of Morpheus. I honestly cannot imagine Morpheus’s voice any other way. She describes the gruesome parts with a chilling voice, and portrays Alyssa as you would imagine her voice would be.

Overall, this gothic fairy tale is one you have to read. You’ll be wanting to read more of Morpheus um Alyssa’s story once you read the last page. ( )
  mariannelee_0902 | Jun 19, 2015 |
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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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