Series: Splintered

Review: Splintered by A.G. Howard

Posted January 11, 2016 by Lizzie in Review / 0 Comments

Review: Splintered by A.G. HowardSplintered by A.G. Howard
Series: Splintered #1
Published by Amulet Books on January 1st 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling, Romance
Pages: 371
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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.

Review: Splintered by A.G Howard

                                      
“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.” (Synopsis taken from Goodreads.com)
 
Hello, Darlings!
I have had this baby on my shelf for AGES. I remember when I first bought it I couldn’t wait until I got around to reading it. Sort of turned into one of those books that you forget you own after a while. Then you find it again and you’re like OH YAH. So a week ago when I felt like reading something light, I finally picked this one up. To be honest, i was a little disappointed. It was not my favorite retelling ever, and it really lacked the kind of romance that my sappy self desires. Don’t get me wrong! I liked it, quite a bit actually. There was equal parts action, romance, and adventure. I loved the way that the original Alice in Wonderland story was woven into this one. It maintained being it’s own story, but also referenced cult aspects of the original story. I read it in one sitting, so it’s definitely a fast read. But I left feeling like it could have been so much more! To better explain what I mean, I decided to gather my thoughts as follows:

What I loved:

1. This was SO whimsical. The back and forth setting, along with how Alyssa ends up getting transported between worlds felt so believable. I found myself wishing that I worked where she did, and could travel as she does.
2. Morpheus. He was the perfect Wonderland Prince. His dialogue with Alyssa always left me feeling like I too had just gone through small talk Olympics.
3. The backstory between Alyssa and her mother. I can’t say too much about this without giving anything away, but I loved how her story intertwined with her daughters.
4. Wonderland itself. Howard did a great job of keeping the whimsy, while also making this Wonderland a lot less child friendly. It really felt like a YA Wonderland and complimented the action throughout the plot.
5. The different references to Alice from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. It was almost mocking, but also SO fitting as backstory. It was done in a way that  you really didn’t need any world building to understand why something was happening.
6. Consistent amount of reallllly good action. Alyssa makes a great “average girl next door” ass kicker.

What I hated  Strongly Disliked:

1. Alyssa and Jeb’s romance. I was just NOT feeling this one.
2. Jeb as the main male love interest in general. He felt like every stereotypical YA/rom-com love interest guy. He was broody, a tortured artist, a bit of a douche, and very lack luster towards Alyssa. I have a friend who read this book and looooved Jeb. So, it’s very well possible that I didn’t like him simply because he is not my type at all.
3. The obvious set up of a love triangle between Alyssa-Jeb-Morpheus. I mean it’s YA, so duh we are going to have a love triangle. But it all just felt like an instalove love triangle. No bueno
4. Lack of consistent motives. It felt like the reason why Alyssa was trapped/fighting in Wonderland was constantly changing as more things were revealed. Again, not normally strange, but the way information was presented left me often confused.
Well my darlings, that’s all I have to say about this one. This book is a series, which I might try to continue reading. I LOVED the idea behind the story, so maybe my issues are resolved as time goes on?

So, what do you think??

Tell me your thoughts!! I have you read this one? Did you like Jeb as the love interest? Let me know down in the comments, or hit me up on Twitter @Lizalee_
        Until next time!
Lizzie
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