Saturday, July 6, 2013

Book Review: Splintered

Release Date: January 1, 2013
Author: A. G. Howard
Publisher: Amulet Books
Length: 371 pages

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.


Protagonist: Alyssa Gardner feels like she's going crazy, like the family curse her mother warned her about may be real. Now she has to brave the darkly terrifying world of Wonderland to right the wrongs Alice made and break the curse. I loved Alyssa's growth through the story and how she went from someone who hid who she was to someone unafraid and stands up for what she believes in. I love how easy it was to see her grow rather than something that just creeps up on you making you wonder how she went from shy to bold and not being able to see it.

Romance: When I first started this book I had heard things from people gushing over the character of Morpheus and how much they liked him, so when I began reading it I thought the romance would be just between Alyssa and Morpheus. Boy was I wrong, enter Jeb, Alyssa's childhood friend and secret crush and the other side to this love triangle. While I have always stated that I don't like to choose teams in YA love triangles it seems that the books I read recently try and make me eat my words. I did choose a team and I'm still not sure if I'm in the majority or not, though I sure hope I am as the other option is a manipulative jerk... just saying. I love how this love triangle was told, who she may choose isn't obvious and it makes the reading experience all the better.

World-Building: This story branches off from the classic Lewis Carroll tales and takes a darker spin on them. The Wonderland we see isn't the one that we may have heard about as a child or seen in the movies, this one  takes "dark" to a whole new level. That characters that we may have met as children are blood-thirsty, and not entirely what we had originally thought they were. This Wonderland is more something out of a book of dark fae lore than a children's book.

Predictability: I was extremely pleased with how this book surprised me. I was accidentally spoiled about a few, at the time major, details about the end, but it turns out that what I had spoiled wasn't the real twist. The real twists were so unthinkable that when they were revealed I was very shocked and excited at how this book turned out. Sure there were a few moments here and there that I saw coming but it wouldn't have been as great of a book if there weren't some predictable moments.

Ending: When I reached the ending I only wanted more, oddly enough the ending wasn't anywhere near a cliffhanger. The ending almost made it seem like a complete story. If there wasn't a sequel to this book I would have still been very happy, though luckily there is one. The very end is very plateaued with only a question or two left unanswered and even those aren't too painstakingly unbearable to not know. I'm excited that there will be more to this world and I absolutely cannot wait to see where this series goes.


I can give no higher praise to this book. It was an amazing twist on Wonderland, and the Alice's story. Honestly I cannot seem to find a flaw in this story, though there may still be one that went unnoticed. It's a perfect book for fans of anything dark and creepy and also for fans of fairy tale retellings.



  1. This was one of if not my most favorite book from last year! I got an eARC, then a finished signed copy for them author. She is AMAZING, btw. I can't wait for Unhinged. Oh, and I'm pretty sure you and are are leaning towards the same team, yup yup! There is a preview of Unhinged up on Net Galley, it's pretty awesome! I can't wait to read the whole thing!

  2. Splintered is amazing and different. A.G. Howard creates a world that likes and captivates the reader from the first page. I love her style and I want to read the entire series, I can't wait for Unhinged. Thank you for your review :)!