Series: Splintered #1
Published by Amulet Books on January 1st, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, YA
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.
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.
It happens very rarely but I honestly am at a complete lost for words. I know what your thinking:
“Octavia you NEVER shut up! How is it that the one time I really need your opinionated ass you are all like ‘I’m at a lost for words’?! What crap is this?”
I nailed you didn’t I? Well stop your cursing and cries of outrage and let me try and explain what Splintered did to my brain.
I started Splintered with average expectations and a lot of curiosity of how Ms. Howard was going to take the story of Alice in Wonderland (which is already amazing) to a new and different level. I’m not really sure how to say this, but….Ms. Howard..will you be my new bestest friend?
I was blown away on every level imaginable by this ridiculously amazing book and my only question is why do I have to wait till JANUARY to have more Morpheus?!?! Why are you doing this to me! It’s isn’t fair nor humane!! I NEED HIM!!
But my delusional love life aside Splintered truly was amazing. The story starts with us meeting two (of our three) main character, Alyssa and Jeb. Let me just say now I’m not a fan of Jeb. I didn’t like him in the beginning, I hated him in the middle, and I despised him by the end. He isn’t a bad guy, far from it in fact, but he has this whole “I’m doing this for your own good, because obviously you aren’t ready to make grown up decisions” mentality. Don’t believe me? The very first scene is of Alyssa falling off her skateboard and Jeb lecturing her about needing better equipment. And I don’t mean in a “concerned friend” manner, I mean “I’m your second father young lady” kind of manner. Ugh let me move on before I piss myself off again. Anywho Alyssa is plagued by a family “curse” where bugs can talk to her. Like all the time. That definitely takes the spot of “creepy detail number 1”. Then (through a series of spoilers I will not go into) she lands at local mental institution trying to save her mother who is being strangled….BY HER HAIR! Book say what? You read it right Alyssa’s mom (Allison) is locked away in the local “looney bin” because of the long term effect the “curse” has, and at a routine mother daughter visit Allison’s hair tries to strangle her. Can we say “creepy detail #2”?
This, however is only the beginning of our action packed Wonderland adventure. Everything we thought we knew about Wonderland is a child’s dream, while the real Wonderland is a place filled with carnivorous zombie FLOWERS! Evil Queens. And beast that eat you whole so you can suffer the fate of being digested for the rest of eternity. The real Wonderland is a dark and twist world that Alyssa and Jeb must brave in order to break the curse on Alyssa’s family. Enter my new book boyfriend MORPHEUS! This mysterious moth/fairy/other worldly piece of “oh my GOSH”. I can’t discuss Morpheus without spoilers but please know that he is MINE. And I will get violent if someone tries to steal him! Like this, violent:
Now that I have made my point, let me be the first to tell you this book wasn’t perfect. I don’t mind love triangles so that was fine by me. The writing was on a level I didn’t know existed. The plot pace was quick and attention grabbing. But our “heroine” made me want to slap her. In the face. With a brick. She went from this brave and strong person who wanted to save her mom by “going down the rabbit hole” to this weak and spineless chick who depended solely upon Jeb/ Morpheus for EVERYTHING! I wasn’t expecting Wonder Woman or anything but it would have been nice to have some consistency! She started off with balls the size of Texas but half way through they shriveled up to the size of raisins! In fact I almost DNF just because of her wishy washy nature, but that darn writing just wouldn’t let me put the book down. Which worked out because in the end I truly did love this book, flaws and all. It wasn’t perfect, but it made me laugh, squeal, curse, yell, swoon, and forget to feed my kid (only once!). I’m really excited for the sequel and I would sell internal organs for a copy before January, hint hint Howard.