Thursday, 2 January 2014

Review: Splintered


Publication Date: January 1st 2013        
Publisher: Amulet Books

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.


I was hesitant to pick up Splintered the first time I read it, because I wasn't really into retellings. How wrong was I? I loved it, and now, the second time around I love it even more. Even if a certain moth drives me crazy at times.
I think with retellings, why I was hesitant to read any was because I thought you basically know the outcome, and the whole setup, but the clever thing about Splintered is that it takes everything from Alice in Wonderland- from a child's mind- and re-imagined every bit from an adults mind and twists it. The tale from Alice in Wonderland is a sweet version, those little things that weren't quite right were turned innocent in her head, and it takes that, and uses it to it's advantage to re-imagine what you thought you knew about wonderland. A Wonderland that although is familiar, completely new.

Which is what I loved most about it,  the creepiness and subtle fear, the adventure and madness of the reversed ride with a clever twist. Such a vivid setting and atmosphere that'll make you feel like you're right there with Alyssa.  It's bright and alive but unsettling and scary at the same time
On top of that, the characters just made it all that more enjoyable, Alyssa goes on a proper character changing growth throughout the story, and she gets stronger with each obstacle and challenge, even if t does include a few mixed feelings from the mysterious and dark Morpheus, there are a a lot few secrets awaiting her, and a few surprises about herself. She learns along the way, and comes out of her shell with her newfound-not-hiding- sass. She's strong and fierce but she's not afraid to admit she's scared, and she's not afraid of her feelings for Jeb, and with her growing mixed feelings for Morpheus she's not afraid to dislike herself for it either, which made me respect her, because she's confused, but she knows she's confused. She doesn't want to purposefully lead any of them on. We all know love triangles are messy, and I really hate them if they're not done right., but A.G. Howard crafted the characters well, and manages not to just make you like the love triangle, but she has you rooting for both teams. (Seriously, I've tried taking one, I just can't.)

The first, love interest is the delicious  Jeb, who I loved from the start because I am a sucker for the whole best friend/romance. But, Jeb is a hell of a book boyfriend. He's protective, devoted, he has no doubt about Alyssa whatsoever, and what he does for her, God, that's true devotion and love and ahh, but he has a vulnerable side to, he's gentle  and sexy and he's just yummy, okay?
Then there's the seductive Morpheus, who I wanted to hate so much for what the crafty little moth orchestrated but I can't because he's...Morpheus. You'll be happy in Morpheus ville, it's dark, moody, sarcastic, fun and...intense. I can totally see what Team Morpheus see's, but sorry, I can't pick. I'm with Al on that one.

Perfect for fans of everything Alice in Wonderland, Splintered is not a re-telling, but a continuation of Alice's adventures with twists and secrets, artfully crafted and emotionally driven with kickass characters, you're in for a wild ride.

Rating: 5/5