Series: Splintered #1
Published by Amulet Books on January 1st 2013
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence.
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.
Splintered is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland that I had been meaning to read for a while now. Alyssa learns that her mother isn’t really insane, they are both descended from Alice Liddel, who was the first to Wonderland and brought back with her a curse that afflicts her family. In order to stop this curse, Alyssa must journey into Wonderland herself. Once she gets there, alongside her best friend and love interest Jeb, she finds things are quite a bit more complicated.
Her guide Morpheus is an old friend who appeared to her in her childhood, in her dreams. He trained her in Wonderland’s secrets, but she is now just remembering him and their time together. Morpheus seems jealous of Jeb, but seems to be stepping out of the way. There’s something off about him right away and I suspected him as having ulterior motives.
As Alyssa sets off to break her family’s curse and set Wonderland to rights, she finds herself falling more in love with Jeb and he seems to be reacting the same. She hates herself for involving him in a such a dangerous task and often makes choices to protect him – especially a huge one at the end of this first book.
I love that there is more to the series and I look forward to diving back into Wonderland and seeing how Jeb and Alyssa interact.
A strong beginning to a series I’m looking forward to enjoying.
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