Splintered by A.G. Howard

Splintered by A.G. Howard

Release Date: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Amulet Books
Series: Splintered, Book 1
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

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 wouldn't be lying if I said that this book would have to be one of my favorites from this year. I loved it! I found the premise of this book so unique, and so I knew, being a total Alice in Wonderland fan, I would HAVE to read this book. When this became available on NetGalley way back in 2012, I jumped at the chance to read it. I got approved, read it, and all I can say is that I'm glad I did.
As far as Alice retellings go I thought this one was the most original. I mean– Alice's ancestor? That's amazing. I loved the spin on the classic, with the darker atmosphere and the creepier twists. Fantastic characters, fabulous story, and it's definitely one book that I could not stop reading.

Alyssa? Great character. I loved her determination and will to drive through all forces to make things right. I also liked the whole misfit-outcast-not-one-of-the-girls category that she falls into. Usually, when that happen in YA with the main lead girls, it's not very well done, but I felt that this worked exceptionally well in this case. I love her snark, her sarcasm– her character was so well developed, and it was so easy to empathize with her.
NOW...the guys! I swear the amount of debate that goes on between both teams is hilariously entertaining. Team Jeb, Team Morpheus, Team Jeb... the table tennis match between the two of them is neverending. Anyway, I'm a Team Jeb girl, holding on strong. Morpheus though... I didn't really see his charm. Both of them are bad-boys, Jeb being the sweeter one and I found myself drawn to him more. I will admit, the ending made me rethink about Morpheus, but nah! I'll keep holding on (unless Unhinged manages to change my iron-set mind).

The twist in this book is HUGE. Totally didn't see that one coming. I also loved the interpretation of the story, like how they find the entrance to Wonderland, and the interesting changes that have been made to the original. It really added a lot more flavour! The tests, the characters– absolutely magical. I'm so glad this one became a series, as when I was reading this book, it was supposed to be a standalone (I believe), but I'm SO glad that Alyssa and Jeb's (and okay Morpheus' too) story continues.

I hope you could tell that I ADORED this book because you need to get your hands on it now if you haven't already. Read this one! It will definitely not disappoint. One of my favorites this year and a fabulous start to a series. I got the chance to meet A.G. Howard at ALA 2013 in Chicago and she is amazing. I think I'm pretty much going to love whatever she writes, so– more please!

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