Series: Splintered #1
Published by Amulet Books on January 1st 2013
Buy on Amazon
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.
Growing up, I have always loved Alice in Wonderland. From the kid-friendly Disney version to the horror story style movies to my personal favorite, The Looking Glass Wars, there are so many different variations to get lost in. With one of the latest variations, Splintered, I will admit that I put this one on the back shelf for a reason. I was afraid of it. Well, maybe not in the way that you are thinking. Of course, I was not scared of the book, but rather the unknown. Would Splintered be a literal retelling or seem like a completely different story? I didn't know. With Splintered, I had no clue to what to expect, and it scared me a little.
Throwing caution to the wind, I dived in.
From the early pages, Splintered was nothing, and I mean nothing, like I thought it would be. Having not read the blurb in many months, all I really remembered was something about mental illness and Alice in Wonderland. Great way to start a book, huh?
The basic concept centers around Alyssa and her mother Alison. Both have what could easily be classified as mental illness due to being able to hear the voices of the flowers and bugs. Although, Alyssa's mother has been committed and despite Alyssa's fears that she may be next, Alyssa feels as if there is something more to the tale of Alice in Wonderland and their family's connection than meets the eye. But only one way to find out, find the rabbit hole.
Splintered was 100% awesome. So much so that I am kicking myself for not reading this one sooner. Alyssa and the back story of her family interwoven with the Alice in Wonderland was pulled off flawlessly. By this point, I thought I had discovered all the ways that Alice in Wonderland could be retold, but I was so very wrong. I don't want to go into too many details for fear of spoiling the surprise, but wow, A.G. Howard, what a way to make this tale your own. I am so impressed.
Looking for a dark, twisted version of Alice in Wonderland? Look no further. Splintered is destined for your favorites shelf.
Will I read the next installment?
Yes! A million times, yes. The romance of Splintered was completely left open. Sure, we know who Alyssa has picked for now, but Morpheus is still waiting in the wing. (No pun intended.)