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.
This is one of the most magical and wondrous and, at times downright creepy books that I have read in a very long time and in short I absolutely loved it. From the second I saw the absolutely gorgeous cover, which is so beautiful and yet kind of haunting at the same time I knew that this book was going to be just great for me, and I was right. I loved Splintered, I was obsessed with the story from start to finish and even after that this book kept coming back to me.
So what makes this book so awesome? I mean clearly the answer is absolutely everything but especially the plot, which takes characters and settings that the readers know from the Lewis Caroll books and the early Disney movie and adds this sinister and magical twist to them, making them come to life and making us feel this sense of discomfort not knowing what will happen next. You know those talking flowers that seem so snobbish in the movie? They love the taste of humans and you know the food at that tea-party? It may have certain... side-effects. It was absolutely amazing and thrilling and wahhhh....
Plus, the characters are just so amazing. Tough skater girl Alyssa has to deal with being bullied because she's descended from Alice Liddell, the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland as well as the pressure of her hearing and seeing things that other people might find a little strange. This girl has a lot on her plate but she deals with it so realistically and not breaking down in weak tears everytime something happens. Jeb, the love interest is a raw man that comes across as so realistic because he isn't some cookie cutter perfect boy, he says what he means and responds to his instincts which sometimes slows the budding romance.
And yes, there is a little bit of a love triangle, but you know which way it's going to go. Morpheus is the bad guy (or is he) but he slowly grew on me, I started to empathise with him and it takes a very talented writer (yes, that's you AG Howard) to create an antagonist so real.
Overall, I cannot sing Splintered's praises enough. From start to finish I was gripped and I cannot wait to read more from this author. Unforgettable, gripping and full of sinister twists, I recommend this to anyone!
Overall Rating: A+
Book released 1st January 2013 by Amulet books
ARC received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (eBook)