Published by Harry N. Abrams on February 18th 2014
Genres: Adaptations, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, General, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2015 Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
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 first 2015 Reading Challenge book is Splintered by A. G. Howard. I had never heard of this series before, but when I saw the cover while browsing for books at the book store, I had to check it out. Something about it caught my attention. Now that I’ve read it, I can honestly say that I’m glad I picked it up. In the novel a young girl named Alyssa gets sucked into facing her family’s terrifying legacy when she tries to help her mentally ill mother.
I liked this unique re-imagining of Alice in Wonderland. The world Howard created felt fresh and new, instead of a re-telling of a place we already know. Alyssa is a heroine worth rooting for in that she is strong, and appears to know who she is. Like many YA novels, there is a love triangle, however it reads more realistic than others in this genre. Alyssa has history with both of her love interests (Jeb & Morpheus) that bring many complications to the story. Instead of the usual love-at-first sight romance that permeates most YA novels, the fact Alyssa has strong ties to her to beaux allows the reader to focus more on the adventure, instead of wondering why she’s instantly smitten with both boys. Howard writes a great story, that captivated me from the very first page. I also love how present her parents are in her life. Her relationship with her father is one of the aspects of the story I really enjoyed, and can’t wait to see how her relationship with her parents evolve over the course of this series.
The love triangle is meant to have the reader rooting for one of the two pairings, and it seems that many of the fans of this series are rooting for Morpheus, Alyssa’s Netherworld beau. However, I have yet to see the appeal. Morpheus is the bad boy: Tall, dark, and mischievous. This is the guy I normally root to get the girl, yet something about him puts me off. In fact, I have to say I’m definitely a member of Team Jeb, though I many be one of the few… Aside from Jeb’s overly protective nature, he seems like the best bet, and I found him to be really sincere. I guess we’ll have to see if I switch sides as I read the next two installments of this series.
Do I Recommend?
Yes! This story is unique, and left me wanting more. So much so, that I ran out and bought the next two novels in the series so I can find out what happens next.