Monday, January 7, 2013

Review: Splintered by A.G. Howard

  • Publisher: Amulet Books
  • Publication date: 1/1/2013
  • Pages: 384
  • Source:  eARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

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.

My Thoughts

This cover is gorgeous!! And it's about Alice In Wonderland, one of my favorite stories!! How could I not want this? I loved the unique take on the story and loved the descriptiveness of the writing. Sometimes I got the chills from the creepy images of some of the things in wonderland. I will also never look at dandelions the same way again. You will know what I mean if you have read it. There is of course action, and romance too!!

Alyssa is afraid that she is gong crazy like her mother when she starts hearing plants and insects talk to her. It isn't until a visit to Soul's Asylum that she discovers that perhaps her mother isn't crazy after all. She musters up the courage she needs to try to go find the rabbit hole and break the family curse. She is scared and feels guilty for accidentally bringing her best friend, and the boy she loves, Jeb along with her. I wouldn't say that she is a very strong of particularly smart character, in fact, I think most of the circumstances she gets out of are by luck, or totally calculated by the people in Wonderland. She tends to show her weak side a lot, but still pushes on, and that made me like her. She was also very unselfish when it mattered the most.

Now some people would say there is a love triangle, but I honestly never saw it that way. We have Jeb, Alyssa's best friend who she has liked forever. He is always there for her, but he now has a girlfriend, Taelor. OMG that girl made me want to scream. She is annoying and awful!! Anyways, moving on. Then we have Morpheus, who plays a large roll in the whole scheme of things. I love how his character was integrated into it all, though I didn't like him. I found him to be manipulative and a jerk. He does somewhat redeem himself, but I still don't like him. I never saw him as a love interest for Alyssa because it was clear that she was in love with Jeb. Even when Morpheus tries to use his pursuation on her and even try to turn her and Jeb against each other, it's never anything I was worried about. Yes, she sometimes doubted herself a little, wondering why she felt things toward Morpheus, but it was never that solid love she has for Jeb.

This book was really great. I loved how Alyssa knew what to expect in Wonderland, how she has been inadvertently taught about it her whole life. I admire her courage to want to go do what the other women in her family couldn't. I also loved the twists in the plot that made an already interesting and unique story even more amazing. The Wonderland that we imagine is no where near this deadly and creepy Wonderland that A.G. Howard has created. It's actually more similar to the Alice video came from a long time ago where Alice is in an insane asylum and has only a journal and has to go through a very scary, deadly wonderland. That was one of my favorite games, so I really loved how this reminded me a bit of it. Now I am just going off topic. I thought this was fabulous and I really enjoyed it!



34 comments:

  1. I've been debating whether I wanted to read this book or not because of the mixed reviews it's been getting. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it. I'm happy that you liked Alyssa even though she wasn't the smartest cookie and tended to show her weak side. Also, I'm glad to hear that the love triangle isn't really a love triangle. I was worried about that when I read some early reviews so thank you for clearing that up.
    I'll definitely give this a shot! Amazing review, Amy! :)

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    1. *hides* Don't hate me if you don't like it!! It seems to be very mixed, even among bloggers who tend to like the same type of books.

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  2. Oh another one we disagree on. Mine was a 3 star but could have easily been a 2 as well I LOVED the first 20% then felt so bored until when we start seeing the twists. I consider a triangle anytime there are 2 boys pining for the girl so to me it was a very cliché bad boy vs good boy triangle and I didn't like Jeb at all :( I actually preferred Morpheus, not for a love interest but his actual character, because he was a dick but at least he was honest about it. Oh but the twists were so cool! I loved how she made the original Alice have a lot more to it. If it was 50-100 pages shorter I think I would have liked it more. Glad you did, though. Another one we disagreed on is on my blog, today *hides*

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    1. It was a bit long for what it was, but I did like it. I am pretty obsessed with Alice in Wonderland. I get Morpheus's character, but he was such a manipulative ass that I couldn't like him. Jeb was so protective and sweet, though maybe a bit possessive now that I think back on it lol!!

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  3. I just love you because .... YES --- Morpheus is creepy and I never saw him as a potential love interest, just a manipulator. I did find some of the wonderland parts confusing but all in all, I thought it was a great adaptation.

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    1. Haha!! I am so surprised at all the Morpheus love. I just don't get it!! He is a manipulative jerk. Yes, at the end he somewhat redeems himself, but it's too little too late for me. And he's still an ass.

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  4. I couldn't bring myself to finish this one. It quickly went into my DNF pile when they were on the rough waters after just enters Wonderland and decided it was time to lay down in the boat and take a nap *eyeroll* I'm happy to see that you got a lot more out of it than I did. I will admit that I liked the much darker take on Wonderland like you did. And the video game! I have totally seen that cover and wondered about it but haven't picked it up. I may have to grab it now, it sounds great!

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    1. I think I am the minority on loving this one. I have seen a lot of negative reviews to the point I was nervous to read it. I am glad I enjoyed it though. Dude!! The video game is freaking awesome!!!

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  5. I love the cover and I had no idea it was Alice in Wonderland.

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  6. That cover is so vivid. I'm not sure I'll read this one. I know a lot of people have liked it. I'm just not too sure. Glad you enjoyed!

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  7. I don't think you're in the minority, Amy. I've seen almost all glowing reviews for Splintered. I love the cover, and I do want to read it at some point, but I'm not the biggest fan of re-tellings or of Alice. I love what you said about Jeb and Morpheus. A liar and manipulator is just that, being "hot" doesn't change that.

    Great review, sweetie!

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    1. Exactly!! He's hot, but a total douche. I have seen a few great reviews, but I have seen a lot of not so great ones. That's what is so great about reading though, everyone sees things differently.

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  8. Agreed! I couldn't stand Morpheus and thought that he couldn't redeem himself and he only did a tad bit near the end for me. But I still think he's a douche.

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    1. He is a total douche. Jeb was just so sweet even when he did get a bit possessive. He was still very selfless and you could tell how much he cared for Alyssa.

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  9. I am SO excited to read this book!! It sounds amazing. I really love when best friends have a love connection. So sweet. :) And of course there has to be the best friends evil girlfriend interfering with their love! Ick! But the plot line sounds so fascinating! I am a huge Alice in Wonderland fan so I can't wait to pick Splintered up.

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    1. Taelor was annoying!! I didn't really see her as an obstacle though. I figured Jeb was smart enough to realize she was a superficial jerk.

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  10. YAY! So glad you like it. It's make me even more excited to read it myself. Thanks for sharing your great review!

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    1. The imagery while reading was really awesome!!

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  11. I’ve seen this book around everywhere and have read the great reviews but something about it doesn’t catch my attention. I hate the cover, that could be it. (Sad to say I am a shallow cover-wise). But I do love Alice in Wonderland… *feels conflicted*

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    1. Haha!! I think that you are one of the only people I know who hates this cover lol!! I'm shallow when it comes to covers too, but I think this one is great. I love the creepy feel of it.

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  12. I'm so glad you liked it. I totally love the cover too.

    Valerie

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    1. It was an interesting book. I really loved where the author took to story from the original. It was very cool.

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  13. Yay, I'm glad you enjoyed this one so much! I have to get a copy of it whenever I drop by B&N or go to my library. I love the creepiness that's in this book, especially with the dandelions. I want to know why you won't ever look at them the same! Also, this whole romance thing sounds deliciously complicated, kind of like the love triangle in Shatter Me, which is kind of a love triangle but not really. And the same case in the second book of the Dustlands trilogy by Moira Young! I'm interested to see what I make of it.

    Fantastic review as always, Amy! <3

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    1. I hope you get to read it soon and enjoy it!

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  14. I have heard about every mix of opinions possible about this book. Some have hated it, some are bleh about it, others liked it and some have absolutely LOVED it. I have no idea where I would fall! But even though I have changed my mind a few times I am back at the decision that I MUST have this book! Even if I hate it, I LOVE that cover and NEED it on my shelf! Probably one of my most favorite covers EVER.

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    1. I was nervous about reading it since I had seen so many mixed reviews. I love Alice in Wonderland though and the cover is amazing so I had to read it. :)

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  15. Great review Amy! Happy you liked this one too. Now that you mentioned it, I really didn't see much of a triangle in this story either. This Wonderland definitely creeped me out though too.

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    1. Wonderland was definitely creepy. I loved it!! I thought that it was really cool how the story was told.

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  16. Another great review of Splintered. I really need to sort myself out and see what the hype is about!

    Thank you for the lovely review (:

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  17. The cover is gorgeous but I actually haven't enjoyed too many retellings of Alice. You actually talked me into it with the romance because I love a best friend romance although I think Jeb having a girlfriend will piss me off especially if she is annoying.

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  18. Awesome review hun! I've been interested in this one since I first saw it - that cover is SO gorgeous ♥!! At first, I didn't know it was an Alice retelling but when I found out it only increased my need to read it! I'm thrilled you enjoyed it overall :)

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  19. The concept of Wonderland, even the Disney-version has always creeped me out a bit. Fascinating and imaginative yes, but creepy-dangerous OH YES. I love everything about Splintered. The cover I've been drooling over for months. The synopsis just sounds super intriguing because it makes you question if there's supernatural elements or general insanity. I can tell you enjoyed this one. Great review! There seems to be a lot of great characters which always reels me in.

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