Splintered by A. G. Howard
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.
“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.