Author: A.G. Howard
Published: January 1st 2013
Series: Splintered #1
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 book started as a 4 star for me but it just spiralled down from there. Don't let my review put you off though, I can see why others have enjoyed this. This was a little too whimsical for me and there was more focus on that rather than the plot.
This was a good idea but the plot was very dragged out throughout the middle section of the book. Every tiny detail from the original Alice in Wonderland was addressed and 'debunked'. It was interesting to see the twists but it was overdone. To me, it felt very unnecessary seeing as how some of these events were pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Everything just seemed so overly convoluted just for that one outcome that Morpheus was aiming for the entire time. I am pretty sure he could have done it in a simpler way. (if you've read this I am sure you know what I am referring to)
Also, this was quite predictable for an adventure book. We know exactly what Alyssa has to do (down to the specific steps) and at first you might be worried that she'll fail but after the first 2-3 times where everything just happens to work in her favour, it gets really really really boring. You know that she is never going to fail and every 'obstacle' will be easily crossed.
This is also one of those rare times where I would've preferred this without the weird romance/love triangle. The guys just wanted to control her and I just didn't really like either of them so it wasn't very exciting for me. I tolerated it mostly and kind of just skimmed through the 'romance' parts. But honestly, Jeb just liked the idea of controlling Alyssa and Morpheus was just a crazy weirdo and I don't even know where his 'love' for Alyssa came from...This love triangle just happened. One moment Jeb is rejecting Alyssa while Morpheus is all over her and the next moment, the roles are reversed. Also, the entire time Alyssa just tells us how upset she is about it but she never actually does anything about it. I don't even???
However, as a character, I liked Morpheus. He did whatever the heck he wanted to and called out on Jeb's and Alyssa's bullshit. This book would have been so much better without Jeb. Alyssa is a totally different person when she was with Morpheus. The main reason why this got 3 stars was the draggy plot and the annoying Jeb. Even though I didn't like Alyssa, she wasn't an issue for me because I see her potential when she is with Morpheus. Jeb was just there to drag her down and carry her backpack for her...BUT Morpheus was constantly pointing out how shitty Jeb is so I guess I am supposed to hate Jeb?
I loved how every detail was taken care of in this book. It is pretty uncommon in the books that I've read. She makes sure to mention that the backpack is dropped and that the characters have picked it up before they left the scene. While I really appreciated it in the beginning, it started to get seriously tedious as I went along. EVERYTHING had to be addressed and i found myself skimming through those parts. The writing style just seemed very contrived after awhile, it didn't flow very naturally.
I nearly DNF'd when I only had 50 pages left but instead I picked up and finished another book before I forced myself to finish up Splintered. I just lost interest in the story and even though the ending was good and kind of surprising, the only emotion I felt was relief. Yay after all that running around doing god-knows-what, the book has finally ended.
You need patience for this book. If you have seen a few of my reviews you will know how impatient I am when it comes to redundant plot points/info dumping. I don't mind a lengthy book with good writing but when the length of the book comes from redundant running-around-for-no-apparent-reason, I just don't enjoy the book as much as I probably should. Also, if you can't stand controlling boyfriends, RUN AS FAR AS YOU CAN from this book. You will set this book on fire.
I may or may not continue on with this series. There are probably better series out there for me to read though. Let me know if you've read the rest of the series and if I should continue on
Recommended for Alice in Wonderland fans.
Writing style: 3.5/5