Sunday, 16 December 2012

Splintered by A.G Howard

Splintered'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.'

I really, really enjoyed the beginning of this book. Alyssa's quirky nature drew me in straight away, and I was intrigued by her mother's situation and the supposed curse that had been placed upon their family since Alice had fallen down the rabbit hole.

However, from about 30% - 70% of the novel, I got bored. I was really excited about the concept, but once Alyssa actually went down the rabbit hole, I lost interest rapidly, which I think may have been due to the extremely confusing romance.

Alyssa's relationship with Jeb, who is one of the main love interests in the novel, seemed to go from nothing to everything in a matter of pages, which really annoyed me, because I'm sick of unrealistic romances in YA. Then, just as quickly as the romance developed, it cooled off, and it seemed like every other chapter the two lovebirds were arguing and then making up again. It really distracted me from the main plot, which is why the middle dragged for me.

I found the other love interest, Morpheus, much more interesting and developed than Jeb. At times, he seemed cruel, but at others, his more sensitive and hurt side was revealed, which actually left me feeling quite sorry for him.

The descriptions of what lay underneath the rabbit hole were very well developed, and the dark undertones of both the place and of the normally harmless characters in the original story very vivid. I even found myself a little unsettled at times at how twisted things seemed.

The ending really picked up, and the explanation for everything was really well done. Overall, I gave Splintered 3.5/5 stars, and would recommend that you pick it up if you enjoyed Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Thank you to NetGalley & Amulet Books for providing me with the opportunity of reading this book!

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