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.
Read all the books in the New York Times bestselling Splintered series: Splintered (Book 1), Unhinged(Book 2), Ensnared (Book 3), and Untamed (The Companion Novel).
Splinteredby A.G. Howard
A.G. Howard describes her book as Tim Burton’s take on Alice in Wonderland. I think it is the most appropriate description anyone can give Splintered. Alyssa Gardner is a descendent of Alice Liddell, who many of us know as the Alice that fell down the rabbit hole. Alyssa also hears voices. Flowers, bugs, all sorts of things constantly invade her thoughts. And it doesn’t help that her mom is in a psychiatric hospital for pretty much the same thing.
This book is definitely a little more of a walk on the darker side. For those thinking it is going to be cute like Alice in Wonderland, be warned. The characters are edgier, older, and deal with concepts more suited to the teenage and young adult crowd then to the lower middle school crowd. Romance and betrayal are woven throughout the story and Alyssa herself is more forward and sexual then the traditional Alice character.
Characters are quite well-developed in this book. There is an intricate weaving of the Wonderland mystic throughout Alyssa’s memories and the descriptions and interplay are stellar. The Wonderland characters are imaginative and whimsical, tinged with just a bit of the creepy and edgy. It makes for a fantastic read. The language throughout the book is easy to read and smooth--no awkward sentences or wording that just didn’t make sense. (Except maybe for the pixie speak, which takes a little bit to acclimate to.)
For those who love the movement of the retelling of classic fairy tales, this edgier version of Alice in Wonderland will make you fall in love with the story all over again.
Profanity/Language: 2 anatomical terms.
Violence/Gore: Character is strangled by vines; animal character threatens to kill human character; character threatens to chop off another’s head; report of past physical abuse of child; report of animal character murdering another character; character falls from skateboard cutting open knee with blood; wind wraps hair braid around neck and attempts to strangle human character; human character plucks out the seed eyes of non-human character; fingers of human are cut off and turn into caterpillars; human sticks pins through bugs to mount (several); human stabs moths to create necklace; animal character eats another animal character (twice); animal and human character fight; human character almost drown by unseen water creature; animal character appears in cracked mirrors and dark room (scary/creepy); stairway is made from intertwined bones; animal character slices human characters leg; character attempts to hit another character; human character and human-ish character fight (punching, hitting, wrestling); character shoves another character (several times); character elbows another in the ribs; character has human head floating in a box; character verbally threatens physical harm to another character; character smacks goldfish on the head to kill them; characters chase around a duck ripping off its legs and hitting it in order to eat it for dinner; character slams another character against a tabletop; card soldiers throw spears at character; character hits another character between the shoulders; character chases mouse to eat him; character tackles another, character bites another character; character places knife against character’s neck; character falls resulting in cuts and scrapes; character is described as having fresh, oozing self-inflicted cuts to face; character repeatedly tries to stab/carve out the lungs of another; character hits head against cage bars resulting in blood; card knights battle a ferocious beast (no blood or gore); character threatens to kill another; character struggles with internal character trying to take her over (blood and graphic depiction of injury).
Mature Subject Matter:
Mental disorders, marriage infidelity, illegal drugs (dealing), forgery.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Animal character smoke hookah pipe; animal characters drink wine at party; dealing illegal drugs.
Reviewed By Beckie