Book Synopsis: [goodreads]
Published 1st January 2013 by Amulet Books
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.
Book Review: 4.5 stars
So I actually don’t know why it took me so long to finish this book. I mean eight days is a long time to read only 371 pages, especially when this book is so damn good! Maybe it was because I didn’t want it to end and so would only read a small amount of pages per day to prolong the feeling of awesomeness..or maybe I was busy. Regardless this book is a must read!
A current favourite of mine is modern retellings of classics, so obviously this was a hells yes read now kind of book. For a debut novel I was rather surprised at how well Howard could write, because normally debuts are good but never great. Her world building was incredible to read and really captured the obscurities and curiosities that make up Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland. And if that wasn’t enough the plot was incredibly unique, suggesting an alternative but still plausible sequence of events that may have occurred after Alice left Wonderland. Which lets face it, haven’t you wondered what next when it comes to classics?
If you’ve read the Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor you will probably be able to see some minor similarities. But it was the tiny elements and the unique characteristics of characters and this new Wonderland that Howard has created that really sucks you in. I mean who would have thought of ribbons telling you things so that you don’t forget? Genius.
I adored all of the characters in this story. If I ever fell down the rabbit hole I’d really hope that Jeb would come with me. Alyssa as a main character was sort of awesome. She was everything I admire in a heroine – sassy and strong whilst still holding onto a touch of innocence that creates an opportunity for a hotness mchot boy to swoop in so that everyone can swoon. Since we are on the topic of characters I must mention a little thing that has resulted in this book missing out on a 5 star rating…oh Morpheus. To be honest I found his whole character to be incredibly odd. The fact that he is hundreds of years older than Alyssa didn’t really bother me as much (cause I’m obsessed with Vampires…and we all know they don’t age…well they wouldn’t if they were real) but it was how he carried himself. Since he knew Al when she was little the romance was built on the premise of past-love. An unyielding connection that stemmed from sharing something that was only theirs. And yet I found him sort of creepy – like a purvey old man who wanted a young girls cookies. I think the ending redeemed my overall opinion of him, but still I think that relationship is a bit weird. Then again I am in love with Jeb so…
“I’m not wasting another second drawing you,” he whispered against my lips, “when I can touch you instead.”
Jeb & Alyssa | Splintered
The wait is going to kill me until the next one. Even though there wasn’t a dun, dun, dahhhh cliffhanger as there normally is in first books of series there is still a lot of situations that need to get sorted. And the only way to do that will be to go back through the looking glass. Man! I am so excited for what Howard has in store.