08 April 2013

Splintered by A.G. Howard

Release Date: 1 January 2013
Publisher: ABRAMS
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Get a copy! Amazon

Goodreads description:
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.

My Thoughts...
While it took me awhile to get around to reading Splintered, it consumed all my reading time once I got going. This creative retelling of the story of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is captivating.

What I Liked:
The crazy, magical world that Ms. Howard has created really stole the show for me. I found myself drawn into her descriptions of Wonderland and it's eccentricities from the very beginning.  The descriptions were vivid enough to give me a clear sense of my surroundings without becoming too overbearing. I also felt like the world had the perfect mix of magic and horror.

Did you know that romance and love doesn't have to happen in a week?  Clearly, Ms. Howard does and she's taken it to heart with the romantic element in Splintered. Alyssa and Jeb have been dealing with their hidden, unrequited feelings for a long time while enjoying a healthy, neighborly friendship.  When their relationship becomes more, it is a seamless transition full of the perfectly developed feelings of friendship, love, and loyalty.

What Was Disappointing:
Well...nothing, really.  I got nervous when a love triangle started to take shape,  but it never really got to the level of true annoyance for me.  More of a flirtation...a "what if"...

Overall...
This was a truly fantastic read!  Ms. Howard pulled me into the world that she created.  It takes real talent here lately to keep me coming back every time I sit down to read. I found myself trying to show up early to work so I would have a few minutes to sit and read more.  When a teenager came into the public library looking for this book, it took everything in me not to gush about it while we went looking for it.

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