Sunday, March 10, 2013 11:22

Review 137. A.G Howard – Splintered.

SplinteredTitle: Splintered.
Author: A.G Howard.
Pages: 371.
Published: January 1st 2013.
Publisher: Amulet Books.
Sort: Part one of ‘Splintered.’
Source: I won a signed copy from the author.
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.
Rating:

I was excited about this book from the moment I saw the cover. Isn't it gorgeous? I'm very happy the story delivered, because WOW. What a incredible world-building.


Alyssa’s mother has been locked away in a special institute. They are descendants from thé Alice in Wonderland and every woman suffers from the same mental problem. They hear insects and flowers talk. When Alyssa is starting to hear the voices too, she is worried that she might end up like her mother. Her father is so desperate that he wants to use electronic pulses. When her mother tells her about a family curse that can be broken, Alyssa decides to find the rabbit hole. 

That is how she ends up in Wonderland with her best friend and crush Jeb. Morpheus – an old forgotten friend – explains that she must undo all the mistakes Alice made. This is the start of a huge adventure with unexpected twists, crazy characters and dangerous situations. Be aware to dive into the madness.

The story.
I loved the whole concept of the family curse, but the twists made it even better. There were so many things I never expected. When you think you finally know what is going on, you are wrong. This story constantly went in different directions. The unpredictability made it exciting. It’s a shame I can’t tell you more about it, but that would spoil the fun of finding out yourself. 

Next point is the darkness in Wonderland. The world-building is amazing and I loved the creepy atmosphere throughout the book. It reminded me of the game Alice in Madness. The descriptions helped me to make a picture in my head and I felt like I walked besides Alyssa in this messed up world.

The characters.
This is the point where I had some troubles. Alyssa is a good, solid character. I liked her strange hobby; making art with dead insects. She was strong and brave. I admired her for going into Wonderland to save her mother. She was also a bit naive and Jeb could walk right over her. That brings me to his character, whom I absolutely hate.

I couldn’t see the connection between him and Alyssa. There are so many things wrong with him. He is acting like he is a good friend, but he makes sure that Alyssa can’t join him to London, because his girlfriend comes with him. London is supposed to be a project for school, so who is he to tell her father to keep her at home? He doesn’t believe in her; he is constantly nagging that she isn’t capable of this or that she is too weak to do that. Just have a little faith her in! Alyssa is defending him all the time, while he actually acts like a douche bag. And I just can’t overlook the fact that he has a ponytail. 

So, on to Morpheus, who was a wonderful character. He never pretends to be someone else: he knows that is manipulative. He knows that he is lying and cheating. He knows that his master plan is working and that he puts Alyssa on the wrong foot. The fact that he is aware of that makes him awesome. He is a genius and the brain behind all the great twists. He also has a gentle side and I could see why Alyssa was attracted to him in those moments. These two different, clashing personalities make him interesting and complex.

We also get to meet a lot of other characters, I don’t even know where to begin. Let me just say that Howard uses a huge amount of creatures and characters in this book. They all have their purpose and own voice. It was great to meet them and I admire the way she created them.

Give me part two, Unhinged! Despite the fact that I disliked Jeb, I fell in love with the dark Wonderland and it’s creepy inhabitants. I hope to see more of Morpheus, because his complexity makes him fascinated. This book would make one hell of a movie!

“No one knows what he or she is capable of until things are at their darkest.”
 

75 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great review. Will definitely be checking this out at some point in the future.

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  2. I loved this book! I thought the interpretation of Wonderland was really creative. I can't wait for the sequel!

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  3. I'm glad you liked it so much! I didn't, but it makes me happy that other people were able to enjoy it.

    I didn't like Jeb either. I totally agree that he was AWFUL. He was controlling and just a complete asshat in general. I also hated Morpheus, but I see that you liked him so I won't rant about him. I just wasn't pleased with Alyssa being attracted to him because he's a manipulative bastard.

    I hope you like the sequel just as much :D

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    1. I can definitely understand why people didn't like Morpheus, but I like the fact that he knows that he is a bastard :p

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  4. I've been waiting to get my hands on this one. I love fairytale re-tellings and just envy anyone who's already read it. Your review has got me itching to get this one soon.

    Thanks for stopping by. Following via GFC =)

    Madiha @ The Smell of Parchment

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  5. Ahh, great review sweetie :D Glad you enjoyed this book. <3 But oh. So sad you didn't like Jeb :( but yeah. I do understand why you didn't like him, though. A bit strange that I didn't see him that way (A) but yeah, it's been a while since I read it ;p I didn't like Morpheus at all. I kind of hated him. And I DESPISE love triangles, so yeah, I guess that is why I hated him ;) But he was interesting :) Cannot wait for book two as well. <3 Thank you for sharing sweetie :)

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    1. So funny how everybody feels different about Jeb and Morpheus. I've seen so many opinions. I don't like love-triangles either, so I wasn't a fan of this one..

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  6. I haven't read this one yet but, I keep seeing so many good reviews of it that I now know that I need to. I love twists especially ones that I can't see coming. Awesome review!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

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    1. Well, this is the right book for you then!

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  7. Finally someone who doesn't like Jeb! I hated his guts and kept hoping he would die at some point. Just like you, I couldn't understand exactly what Alyssa liked in him. Anyway, when I recently re-read Splintered, I kinda liked Morpheus (more than Jeb, that's for sure), so I share your opinion. Gotta love an evil mastermind.

    Great review. And YAY for a sequel!!

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    1. I'm happy to see that I'm not the only one!

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  8. I've seen this book over the past few months but I just ignored it every single time - I didn't think that it would hold such a seemingly amazing story!

    I love a good book with amazing world-building and twists, and I think I'll enjoy reading this. Too bad that Jeb (who I assume is one of the MC?) is an awful character, but Morpheus sounds intriguing!

    Great review!

    Lyra @ Defiantly Deviant

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    1. Unfortunately, Jeb is one of the MC indeed. Together with Morpheus and Alyssa :)

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  9. Hihihi I am totally not rooting for her and Jeb either :D And yes, I totally agree, Morpheus is the hottie in this story!

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  10. I agree that the dark creepy world was the real reason to love this one! I felt the same about Jeb, and Morpheus was just so sinister! Definitely looking forward to book 2!

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  11. I loved this book and just found out about the sequel last night (I know how did I miss the memo?!). I didn't dislike Jeb the same way you did, but I did adore Morpheus I liked all of his ulterior motives and scheming. Hopefully the next book will be just as good!

    Emily @ Falling For YA

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  12. I wanted to read this when it first came out and I never got around to it. I'm glad you liked it though, it must be pretty good then! :) I love when there are good characters in books, it makes reading it worthwhile, so that's definitely a plus for me.

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    1. I agree, good characters are important for the story.

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  13. I loved this book so, so much. Sequel? SEQUEL? *Goes to check Goodreads* Hmm, interesting. Not sure how I feel about this. I thought the plot in Splintered was well explored and that any sequel would be overkill. The first was amazing, so leave it like so. Trying to stretch it out will only bring the series down, IMO. I think Unhinged will be fantastic if it focuses on Morpheus, because who doesn't love a good bad guy? Yay, Oxymoron! Jeb was a little too controlling for my tastes too, it wasn't his place at all to tell her dad she couldn't go. " Morpheus, who was a wonderful character. He never pretends to be someone else" YES. Exactly! This is what I loved about him as well, though I could never put it in such fine words. He kind of reminds me of Jack in a Pirates of the Caribbean way, at least personality, in my strange mind. Sorry for the long comment. Great review!

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    1. I'm not sure what she is going to use in the next book, but I hope that we get to know more about Morpheus indeed! Or perhaps it's about Alice? Who knows :D I can definitely see why he reminded you of Jack.

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  14. LOVE your review!! I have mine going up next week and I actually said a lot of the same things! Great minds, right?! JUST found out there is a sequel to this! Dying to go back to Wonderland because I found this interpretation of it so amazing!

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    1. Thanks Belle! I can't wait to see your review :D

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  15. Our tastes are so similar! I totally agree with you I HATED Jeb and I prefer Morpheus..but I really enjoyed the book! I am posting my review tomorrow!

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    1. I commented on your review and I can see that we had the same thoughts!

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  16. Oh, I need to meet Morpheus! I have strange attraction to guys with cunning mind and gentle side hidden inside, so I think I'm going to enjoy meeting him! <3 I'm sorry that Jeb is such an infuriating character though. Hopefully it won't be a standard case of love triangle. >.<

    Fabulous review, Mel! I'll make sure to add this book to my to-read list! :)

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  17. I just finished this book today and I couldn't agree with you more! I HATED Jeb! He made me not enjoy the story as much as I wanted to. I loved the scenes where he wasn't in them. But on the other hand the writing in the book blew me away. The twists, OMG the twists! This is a great review and I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks Morpheus is amazing and that Jeb isn't. Great review girl!

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    1. Precisely! I sometimes wished he would just die, haha.

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  18. Just re-reading your review reminds me of why I liked this one so much! I can't wait for the sequel and a chance to jump back into this dark and twisted version of Wonderland!

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    1. That's what makes me so excited about the sequel to :D

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  19. Lots of people have been really happy about this book, too! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :) But, oof, bad love interest? Jeb doesn't sound all that great to me either. I think I might give this one a try, since the world-building sounds great and realistic, so yeah.

    Thanks for the lovely review, Mel!

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    1. Without Jeb, this book would have been 5 flowers, but her way of portraying Wonderland was enough to make me really enjoy this story!

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  20. Great review! I have this book on the tbrlist and it sounds wonderful. Jeb does sounds a bit off! And has a ponytail? Seriously? Dat is zo 2012. Lol. :)

    Nina@J'adore Happy Endings

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    1. Hahaha! It was just too strange. I kept seeing the guy from the Andrelon commercial "stop using your girlfriends shampoo"

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  21. Aaahhhh there's a second book?! I thought the first book ended the story pretty well, but hey, no complaints if it means there might be more Morpheus. (There'd better be more Morpheus!)
    I'm glad to hear I wasn't the only one who disliked Jeb. He was probably my biggest problem with this book as well.

    Great review as always Mel! :)

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    1. I was excited when I saw it on the authors blog. I liked the way this book ended, but you don't hear me complain :D I also hope that we get to know more about Morpheus.

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  22. The creep factor and world building make this one sound spectacular.

    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  23. Holy cow, Jeb (seriously what kind of name is that?) sounds like such a jerk. I haven't read Splintered yet, but I do plan in it. I will definitely be prepared for the douche-baggery of Jeb, though.

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    1. It is funny, but there is a whole Team Jeb/Team Morpheus thing going on. I can't wait to see what you think!

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  24. I'm looking forward to reading Splintered, though I really just hope I like it as much, despite the love interest-ey stuff, as most other reviewers seem to. Alyssa sounds like such an awesome character, though the dead insect art seems a little perplexing, and I had never actually heard that Wonderland was breaking down, or dark, so that sounds extra interesting. Great review, Mel- I really learn a lot more about the book that I didn't know from it.

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    1. I'm happy I could give you more information :)

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  25. Yes, I am the worst reader for not having read Alice in Wonderland (I have seen different plays in theatre, movies and cartoons, though), but I did like Alice in Zombieland, which, turns out wasn't that much of a retelling, lol. I love dark and twisted to change up my NA contemporary addiction. Oh, and unpredictable? YES, YES, YES!! I don't know about bugs, though. I loathe them and they creep me out. Even butterflies O_O LOL. Thanks for sharing, Mel! This is one of those reviews that makes me reconsider butting a book back to my TBR pile.

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    1. I'm not such a fan of bugs in real life, but I found them a very cool aspect in this book. I hope you give it a shot in the end :)

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  26. I'm only halfway through this one and I'm liking some things, although like you, I can't get over my dislike for Jeb.For the life of me I don't understand what she sees in him. He is lying, manipulative, controling and obnoxious.
    Great review, Mel!

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    1. Exactly! I even posted a "I wish he would just die" status on Goodreads when I was halfway :p

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  27. Heh! I think I'm one of the few people who didn't have too much trouble with Jeb. I agree that he was a controlling (and sometimes a bit of a drama queen), though it didn't annoy me quite as much as these things normally do. :) I loved the world-building more than anything, though, and can't wait for the next book. Great review, Mel!

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    1. I've seen a lot of 'Team Jebs' so you aren't the only one :p

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  28. I love that people are SO opinionated about the two guys. I didn't love Jeb 100% but Morpheus was a little creepy and a little manipulative too. Still, I thought this was such a creative retelling!

    Jen @ YA Romantics

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  29. Yeah, I didn't see much connection between those two either, though I really loved the whole story. So magical and strange and it really swept me into the crazy world!

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  30. The world does sounds amazing! I saw this book a couple of times and you really convinced me that its more than what the synopsis describes. Thanks for sharing :)

    Florentine @ Readiculously Peachy

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  31. I think I'd like this one, particularly Morpheus. I love knowingly manipulative characters.

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    1. Ohhh, you will fall in love with Morpheus then ;)

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  32. Ugh I hated Jeb!! I almost DNFed this one because of the romance in this novel I feel it would have been such a better book without it. Morpheus wasn't as bad bc even he's a jerk, he's obvious about it. Other than them I did like how original the plot was and how it related to the classic story, too! Great review, Mel!

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    1. If Jeb died somewhere in the beginning of this book, the rating would be higher.

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  33. Okay, so I'm SUPER intrigued by what you have to say about this, but I'm not going to read the review until I read the book. I'm trying to stay more "spoiler" free as of late. So, I'm saving this page and will return after I read it! ;)

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    1. I can understand that, but I promise you that there are zero spoilers. The only thing you do need to know is: you are going to love the dark and mad Wonderland! :D

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  34. I've been eyeing this book for quite some time. Some people mentioned it, and some people recommended it to me. But you review really got me interested and excited about it. Gonna read this as soon as I finish reading The Indigo Spell!

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    1. I'm happy to hear that and I will keep an eye on your blog for the review :D

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  35. I've heard lots of things about Jeb as a dislikeable character, but Morpheous sounds like he makes up for things immensely.

    So I cannot wait to get my hands on this, particularly with the world building.

    Lovely review! :)

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  36. I am glad you liked this one because I have heard some mixed things about it. I did pick up a copy (love the cover!) So I'm much more excited to read this now!

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  37. Arg, I was really annoyed with Jeb's character, too!! He did not seem like a good love interest for Alyssa at all and he really didn't treat her right. And ughh his ponytail!! Haha, I definitely could have done without that, as well. But besides Jeb, I thought the darkened version of Wonderland was really amazing too! I was so impressed with how the author translated everything. This was a really excellent review, Mel!

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    1. I'm happy I wasn't the only one. And his ponytail *laughs* It bothered me, haha.

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  38. So I stared reading your review and "making art with dead insects" What?! WHAT?!
    Okay, moving on. :) I love to read about creepy and dark worlds/characters, and am a fan of Alice in Wonderland, so I think I'll give Splintered a try. Thanks for the super review! :)

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  39. I need to read this book SOON!!! you really make me want to read it!!
    Thank you so much for the review!

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  40. Oh no. From your description alone I am afraid I will want to strangle Jeb. I really hope I can still enjoy the story around him as you have - I definitely want to read this in the near future. At least Morpheus sounds great :)

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  41. This was one of the books that I read raving reviews all over the place about before I went off to hiatus.. A pony-tailed douche bag... too bad...XD I think if I read this one, I'll be picturing Morpheus like this Morpheus

    This review was very entertaining to read, Mel!! <3 I do think the Alice in Wonderland concept and twist sounds awesome and truly intriguing though. I think I'll still give it a read even though I'm certain that Jeb is seriously going to get on my nerves as well. Brilliant review, Mel!

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