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

by A. G. Howard

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69310813,735 (4.02)29
Member:DarkFaerieTales
Title:Splintered
Authors:A. G. Howard
Info:Amulet Books (2013), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Read
Rating:*****
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Splintered by A. G. Howard

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English (107)  Swedish (1)  All languages (108)
Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
I've read a few Alice re-writes, and haven't really liked most of them, but this one was done in a really fun, fresh way. It kept the darker side of the story pretty dark, in fact some of it was downright creepy. I thought it was well told and respectful to the original story. It's not often I say something like that. ( )
  novaengliae | Dec 20, 2015 |
The cover of this book grabbed me even before I read the title and the blurb. I have never read the full version of Alice in Wonderland so I wasn't sure whether I would get on with the plot but I found myself sucked into Wonderland within the first couple of chapters.
Can't say I loved the main characters but the descriptions of all the characters were so fabulously detailed I had my imagination stretched to breaking point. It was dark and twisty, just the way I like a book to be.
The storyline had twists and turns that you could only expect from a book surrounding Alice in Wonderland and yet, it took the whole story to another layer.
I hope that this book will only be a one off as it is a gem and should be embraced as such. I am now off to read the full edition of Alice in Wonderland and hope it is as good... ( )
  SineadB | Dec 7, 2015 |
The cover of this book grabbed me even before I read the title and the blurb. I have never read the full version of Alice in Wonderland so I wasn't sure whether I would get on with the plot but I found myself sucked into Wonderland within the first couple of chapters.
Can't say I loved the main characters but the descriptions of all the characters were so fabulously detailed I had my imagination stretched to breaking point. It was dark and twisty, just the way I like a book to be.
The storyline had twists and turns that you could only expect from a book surrounding Alice in Wonderland and yet, it took the whole story to another layer.
I hope that this book will only be a one off as it is a gem and should be embraced as such. I am now off to read the full edition of Alice in Wonderland and hope it is as good... ( )
  SineadB | Dec 7, 2015 |
The cover of this book grabbed me even before I read the title and the blurb. I have never read the full version of Alice in Wonderland so I wasn't sure whether I would get on with the plot but I found myself sucked into Wonderland within the first couple of chapters.
Can't say I loved the main characters but the descriptions of all the characters were so fabulously detailed I had my imagination stretched to breaking point. It was dark and twisty, just the way I like a book to be.
The storyline had twists and turns that you could only expect from a book surrounding Alice in Wonderland and yet, it took the whole story to another layer.
I hope that this book will only be a one off as it is a gem and should be embraced as such. I am now off to read the full edition of Alice in Wonderland and hope it is as good... ( )
  SineadB | Dec 7, 2015 |
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 |
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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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