Sep 29, 2012

DeeJay Reviews: Splintered by A.G. Howard


Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Series: Splintered #1
Source: ARC from NetGalley

DeeJay's rating: 4/5 Stars

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 was pretty excited when I received this eARC from NetGalley, and I’m happy to say I enjoyed it. It was full of vibrant imagery, witty dialogue, and lovable characters. I liked Alyssa right away and thought her personality was totally “bad ass meets sweetheart”. Great combo. I liked Jeb, her crush, though I didn’t find him swoon-worthy or anything. He was I LOVED “M” (A.G. Howard calls him “M” outside of the book, so I will too), and thought his role in the story was magnificent, even though he was an underhanded, plotting prick.

Howard did a fabulous job with Wonderland. I could see everything she described without much effort on my part and there was A LOT to see. There were times when I found myself confused about what was really going on and if there was a real point to all the chaos, but it could have had just as much to do with how I read the book (i.e. stopping in the middle of chapters and crap like that). My only issue was how up and down I felt while reading this book. There would be a really great scene followed by a kind of downer scene. Sometimes I felt like a yo-yo, but the fun twist near the end makes up for it nicely.

Overall, this was a pretty cool Alice In Wonderland spin-off. I loved how the author didn’t try to recreate the story, but she expanded on it, made it bigger than what it was before. Recreations can be tricky, but if it’s ever done, this is the way to do it. Bravo.


  1. Great review!I agree with everything you said. I loved "M" too. He was amazing. *sigh* And I should really get on with my review of this book. :]


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