Splintered

Zoe N. | April 11, 2014 | Review

Splintered

Splintered

by A. G. Howard

Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: January 1st, 2013
by Amulet Books

three-half-stars

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Summary:

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.

Review:

“Welcome to the real Wonderland.”

Splintered is a creative and fresh retelling that doesn’t fail to entertain. Howard takes many elements from the original Alice in Wonderland story that we all know and love and sheds a new light on some of the characters from the story.

Alyssa Gardner’s family is plagued by a curse set on them by her ancestor Alice Liddell – the woman who inspired CS Lewis’ Alice in Wonderland. When Alyssa’s mother’s mental health continues to worsen, Alyssa is determined to help her mother in any way she can – even if  that means going to Wonderland itself.

As a retelling specifically, hands down, this is one of the most creative and original retellings I’ve had the pleasure of reading. The way Howard is able to twist and turn so many aspects of the original Alice and Wonderland story and make them her own – and still stay true to the original – is remarkable, and I highly applaud her efforts on that front.

Alyssa is a strong and loyal protagonist. Her problems were ones I came to care deeply about, and I couldn’t help but root for her as she tried to reverse her family’s curse.

My main problem with this story is the love triangle. The love triangle didn’t completely seem necessary, and I didn’t feel any sparks or chemistry between Alyssa or either love interest.

All in all, this was definitely a fabulous Alice in Wonderland retelling. Anyone who wants to return to the odd and imaginative world of Wonderland will find themselves devouring this retelling.

three-half-stars

40 comments

  1. Doesn’t sound too bad at all! I have this one coming in the mail and after hearing so many reviews for it, I think it’s time that I read it. I love Alice in Wonderland and the sound of this one! Lovely review Zoe! 🙂

    1. It’s not bad at all! And if you love Alice in Wonderland, this will probably be a hit for you! 😀 Let me know what you think of it when you finish, okay?

  2. I just reviewed this one recently too 😀 I really like Howard’s writing and the scenery in this book. It’s simply fabulous!! And I totally agree with you on the plot twists, they are super creative and interesting to read. I need book 2 now!!!

    1. I just saw your review – it’s awesome! <3 The writing and scenery were definitely the highlights, weren't they? 😀 And I loved the original AinW plot twists as well - super creative!

  3. It’s so cool that an author can come up with an original story and characters in a retelling. Not many people can actually do that so so many kudos to Howard for it. I’ve heard great things about this book, and your review just makes me want to pick it up sooner. I’m actually not a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland, but this is an interesting and unique enough book that I definitely want to read. But omg, love triangle?! WHYYYYYY!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing your honest thoughts Zoe. Amazing review as always xx

  4. “…this is one of the most creative and original retellings I’ve had the pleasure of reading.” YES. I loved how unique it was compared to the original, which is something you almost never see in a retelling. Especially since this one was much more macabre.

    The love triangle is probably unnecessary but it didn’t bother me as much because I am such a sucker for these things! I like Morpheus better because he seems a lot more complex. And heck yes, he was most definitely creepy with Alyssa, ha. Great review 🙂

  5. Too bad I’m not an Alice In Wonderland fan because this sounds like a great re-telling. Ugh, I’m so sick of love triangles!! From the sounds of it though I would also be Team Jeb. I always route for the friends turn romance relationships =) Glad you enjoyed this one, hopefully the second book will be better paced. Super review!

  6. Ugh, the dreaded, much-scorned love triangle. I hate it when a book has to make us choose between sides. A love triangle will only really work on me when both guys are fleshed out evenly, to the point that I don’t take sides and I am simply Team Heroine (this worked for me in Unearthly. I loved both boys, preferred Christian a little, but I was ultimately happy with whoever she ended up with). At least this was a decent read overall, and it’s fun getting to know new characters along with the old! 😀

    Great review, hon.

    1. Yeah…I don’t mind love triangles once in a while, but when they’re in every single book it’s just too much for me! Definitely decent overall, and, yes, I agree, it’s always fun reconnecting with old characters and meeting new!

      Thanks Faye! <3

  7. I had a tough time with this novel, to be honest. As much as I can pat the author on the back for writing such a highly imaginative world, I still can’t forget the fact that it was borrowed. Very ambitious, I say.

    I’m someone who hasn’t read Alice in Wonderland, nor someone who’d seen the films as well, so I was confused most of the time.

    Love triangles should die a thousand deaths. That is all.

    1. Definitely ambitious! I agree!

      I saw the Disney film when I was younger, but I’ve never read the book; so I guess I knew the gist of the story, but I didn’t pick up on those small, tiny details.

      Yes!!

  8. Awesome review Zoe, I enjoyed this one too, but absolutely loved Unhinged. The second book was more my style and I think you’ll enjoy it alot more. I had a few issues with the series too, mainly the storyline saying that Lewis Carroll supposedly got it wrong. I loved this one, but I think being so blaze about the original might put off a few readers.

    Will you be continuing on with the series?

    1. I’m definitely going to have to get Unhinged then! 😀 Yeah…that would probably annoy me too, but, honestly, I didn’t notice it that much.

      I’ll definitely continue it!

  9. WHAT. TEAM JEB. THAT’S IT. I’M LEAVING.

    Okaaaay. I can’t leave. BUT. *weeps copiously* I did adore this book too muchly. Although, I gave it 5-stars and then gave it the most criticism I’ve ever given a 5-star book, which was weird. But I loved it too much. Morpheus. Morpheus. Also: while I love Morpheus I actually think Alyssa WOULD be better single. Half the time, unfortunately, I sit there reading a book and thinking, “Nah, girl, you’d be better off by yourself.” I’m such a cranky ol’ bookworm these days. x)

    1. You’re Team Morpheus? 😉

      Yeah, I just didn’t click with either love interest. Jeb was too protective of Alyssa most of the time, and Morpehus honestly creeped me out (sorry Cait…!) Yeah, I definitely see where you’re coming from! All the unnecessary romances in YA these days… *shudders*

    1. Yeah! Glad you like it so much Dre! 😀 If you’re already into Wonderland, this is probably like the whipped cream on top of the ice cream, eh? 😉
      Team Jeb! Woop! *high-fives*

    2. I’m not following you around Dre, I was already here, but…

      You’re supposed to be liking books I like, that means your team Morpheus.
      Don’t let it happen again 😀

      Sorry Zoe, I’m replying to your comments 😀

    1. Yeah! *high-fives* Glad you agree Aimee! 😀
      While I didn’t quite ship either team, if I had to choose, like you said, team Jeb for the win!
      Yes! The twists were AMAZING! Although I must say…the Rabid White absolutely gave me nightmares!
      Thank you Aimee!

  10. “Maybe I’m Team-Alyssa-Is-Single, eh?”

    I lol’d. I haven’t read this yet . . . and I haven’t read it b/c, to be completely honest, I’m not a huge Alice fan. I think that’s the first time I’ve said that out loud (or publicly, whatever). I read it when I was like 12 (maybe younger), and it was just too weird. Which for me was saying a lot, b/c hello<—–raised on the original, German versions of fairytales. I've wanted to read it again as an adult, and see if that made a difference, but so far I haven't carved out the time to do it. Hopefully I will one day, and if I like it, I'll certainly give Splintered a shot, but until then . . . probably not.

    Great review, Zoe! Thanks for giving me a safe environment to confess my dislike 😉

    1. He! Glad you had a good laugh Jessica!

      *whispers* I’m not a huge Alice fan either! The whole story just creeps me out! 😉 So I don’t blame you one bit!

      No problem Jessica! 😉

  11. Awesome review. I’m sorry you didn’t fully love it, but glad you enjoyed it 🙂 Though you did like it more than me, I think.. because when I think back, I’m surprised I liked it at all :p Sniffs. (Since I kind of hated the sequel. Ugh.) I just cannot stand love triangles. Worst for me, though, was that I weren’t able to connect with the characters. Sigh. But anyway. Amazing review. <3 Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. Thank you Carina! 😀 I’m sorry that you didn’t like it as much as I did! I can deal with love triangles that are well-developed (the one in THG was fine), but if they’re just there for the heck of it, than that’s when it becomes really annoying. And, honestly, I kind of felt that way with Splintered! It’s obvious she’s going to choose Jeb, so what’s the point of Morpheus anyway? (Haha…just watch that comment backfire on me in the next 2 books!)

      Thank you for the lovely comment Carina and for sharing your thoughts!

  12. I was never even able to get all the way through Alice in Wonderland-just didn’t like it at all. I don’t know that I would be interested in reading Splintered just because of that.. but thanks for a great review Zoe 🙂

    1. *whispers* I’m not a huge Alice fan either! The whole story just creeps me out! 😉 So I don’t blame you one bit! If you’re not an Alice fan, this is probably something to skip.

      Thank you for the lovely comment Lorna! <3

  13. I want to read this book so bad! I’ve heard a lot about it and the cover is absolutely gorgeous which makes me want to read it even more.

    Especially since there’s all this talk about Morpheus and Jeb, I now have to meet them. Great review!

    1. Yes! Such a pretty cover, right? <3
      Hope you end up liking it as much as I did when / if you read it! <3
      Thank you!

    1. Yeah! If you’re an Alice in Wonderland fan, you’ll probably LOVE this one Lily! Let me know when / if you read it! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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