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.
Plot: This story is about a girl named Alyssa who is a descendant of Alice (from Alice in Wonderland). This tells the story about how Alice left Wonderland and was cursed. All the women in her family start to go mad after a certain age. However, we start to realize that maybe she’s not going mad, and that Wonderland is still with them. Alyssa is forced to return to Wonderland along with her best friend Jeb and her childhood friend Morpheus. The plot is somewhat similar to Alice in Wonderland, but not quite the same at all. It’s weird and interesting and you can’t really tell where the plot is going the entire time.
Characters: Alyssa- I thought Alyssa was an alright female lead. She was pretty strong, but the angsty teen was definitely played up. She just screamed “emo rebel girl.” I understand where a lot of the turmoil comes from, with her mom being in an insane asylum and whatnot. But it just seems a little much at times. I also felt like it was very out of character for her to be pining away for guys. The writer made her out to be a strong independent female character, but kept having her fall back to the guys in her life.
Cover: The cover is one of the things that first drew me in. I actually had no idea that this book was about Alice in Wonderland because the cover doesn’t really scream it. Bugs, leaves, and the title Splintered doesn’t really seem like the traditional Alice in Wonderland I know and love. But I thought it looked like a good young adult cover nonetheless. I like it on it’s own, but not so much for the book.
Closing Thoughts: Apparently, I’m getting pickier when it comes to books. Either that or I’m just on a bad streak. This book wasn’t terrible, and it definitely picked up in the middle. But I was just so annoyed with the characters that it was hard to care what happened. I think characters aside, this book was really interesting. There was a lot of weird Wonderland stuff going on and it was overall a fun read. But it was missing something. Then, to make things worse, I read Marissa Meyer’s new book Heartless right afterwards. That right there is a good spin on Alice in Wonderland (which I will be reviewing on here later). So all in all, I’d say skip this one. There are even more books in this series, and I’m not planning on continuing.
Where to find A. G. Howard: