Thursday, June 19, 2014

Book Review: Splintered by A.G. Howard

Splintered (Splintered #1)

A.G. Howard

Publication Date: January 1st 2013

Publisher: Amulet Books

Pages: 371

Genre:  Adventure, Romance, Young Adult

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.
I'm rather up in arms about this book. On one-hand I adored the writing. Howard was able to entrance me with the prose. On the other hand I didn't enjoy the triangle and some of the ways the romantic interests were. On one-hand I was heads over heels for the world created here, and on the other, something would be just off with the plot to keep me from falling in love completely.

I guess I should rewind and start this review from the beginning.

Splintered is a fantastic, unique take on the world of Alice in Wonderland. It follows a girl whose long ago ancestor was the famous Alice Liddell, inspiration for Carroll's book, and every girl in their line had gone crazy. So pretty much, Alyssa, our main character, is terrified of ending up in an asylum like her mother. She already hears bugs and flowers talking, she's sure eventually she'll just break.

As a character, I was two ways about Alyssa (my obvious theme for this book). There were some points where I really liked her and other times where I would be practically pleading out loud with her to stop making certain choices (usually when Jeb was involved). The quirks that Howard established for her in the beginning, however, were brilliant.

The world of Wonderland... I really enjoyed this interpretation. I enjoyed how Howard re-imagined the major players of the original story, giving a grotesque and creepy vibe to everything. There were some things (such as the somewhat forced-feeling reference to them as netherlings) that sat weird and unnatural. But, when it comes down to it I am more than ready to revisit this world.

And... there is a love triangle. I personally could have done without it in all honesty.

I recommend this book to people who want to read a very fantastical (and grotesque in the best way) re-imagining of Wonderland. If you don't dig love triangles, I think the world and plot overshadow the one in here, but I guess tread lightly just in case. I happened to enjoy this book a lot despite it, however. 


Extra Note:I was wondering if any of my readers/other bloggers classify Alice in Wonderland as a fairy tale or not. I, personally, do not, and probably won't ever. It's a classic book for me, but I think the way that it is adapted so often (and in the common domain) makes it easy to lump it in our minds as one.

Of course that's only my opinion on the subject.


Unknown said...

I thought this was a lovely book when I read it and it's only improved by the sequel! Lovely review!

Thea @ Gizzimomo's Book Shelf

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