Saturday, February 16, 2013

Splintered: Review

Title: Splintered
Author: A.G. Howard
Book Source: NetGalley
Publishing House: Amulet Books

Buy Now: Amazon - Barnes & Noble

Goodreads Synopsis:

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 had so many doubts about this book and was on the fence because a lot of people either really hated it or really loved it, I wasn't sure where I was going to land. I honestly requested this book because I fell in love with the cover mostly, it's stunning. I don't think I even read the synopsis so at first I had no idea it was a new retelling of Alice in Wonderland. I chose to wait since I didn't know much about Alice except the cartoon series I used to watch as a kid. I watched both the Disney & Tim Burton's versions as well as read a bit in the book before starting this read to be more prepared strangely enough.

Splintered had such an amazing start, the author really knows how to grip you and lure you in. The insects did gross me out a bit, but I still read on because the world she created around Alyssa and involving her was so creative and well-written. I found myself finishing almost half of the story in no time because of A.G. Howard's amazing style.

The problem is, I think the story went downhill, ironically once Alyssa went down the rabbit hole. It was too much to remember and as I mentioned I haven't really read the entire book so it reached a point where it was so overwhelming with details, especially since not all of it was exactly like the book, the characters were distorted versions, so it reached a level of complete confusion for me.

The plot after she went down the rabbit hole went up and down, what kept me hooked though was Morpheus, since you know for a fact that he isn't what he seems, and that there's something he's not being honest about, like they're chess pieces and he's got some secret moves he's keeping until the end to get her to the ending he wants. Alyssa however was so trusting of him it was very annoying, even when she knew she shouldn't, even when told he isn't as honest as he pretends to be, and sometimes she gets proof of that, however she remains gullible and easily manipulated. At first, she appeared like an independent, confident, strong protagonist, but whenever she was with Morpheus it was like everything I liked about her flew out the window.

I do have to admit that part of the appeal in the story is trying to figure out what Morpheus was up to, what was his actual plan and how did he intend to get Alyssa there. He was like a puppet master moving the strings and characters around from behind the scenes to do his bidding. The other part of the story I really liked was the romance between Jeb and Alyssa. The thing with her and Morpheus was just so bad and ridiculous, I honestly had no idea why it was there. But yes I enjoyed the love triangle, before it became a love...square?


The most thing I didn't like most was when Alyssa meets the two Sisters Twid, the first one mentions that when a nether creature's name is told out loud, that nether creature dies. Alyssa doesn't believe her claiming that she's been saying Morpheus' name out loud all the time and he hasn't been affected, so Sister One informs her that it's because it's not his real name. Then she goes on with riddles and hints as to what his real name can be. I honestly expected Alyssa to figure it out or repeat it, or even call him by it when she figures out how twisted and manipulative Morpheus was and how far he'd gone, only she never did any of those things, and the name thing was never brought up again after that scene. I mean, why bother mentioning it at all or putting it in there with all those riddles if it doesn't play an active role in the book?

The other thing I didn't like was her relationship with Morpheus. He completely betrays her in every possible way, nearly kills the boy she's in love, lies to her and tells her half truths in order to trap her into staying, in the end was close to even selling her out, yet she forgives him and can't help but feel sorry for him and remain a bit in love with him. What on Earth is that about? It was so unbelievable! In the end of the story it doesn't even give you closure on who she ends up with it's just that at some point in life she might actually choose Morpheus over Jeb. I seriously hated that part!

*Spoilers/Rant over*

Seriously though, this book had so many ups and downs I can't for sure say I really loved it or hated it. I'm giving it 3/5 mainly because the writing is really good and gripping, and well, the choice of cover as well as the amount of imagination put into it really deserve this... even though, there are parts that still make me want to punch a wall or something.

Rating: 3/5


  1. Well, people had confused feelings about this book so I don't know. But I love the cover and the synopsis and if I have time, I am definitely going to read it
    Your reader,

    1. Definitely check it out and let me know what you think! :)

  2. I'm SO looking forward to this book, since I love the fairytale and I adore retellings :) I'm happy that I won a copy a while ago and I can't wait to get started. I haven't read your rant, because I don't want to get spoiled, but I'm sorry to hear you didn't fell in love with it.


    1. It's okay, it wasn't that bad, I enjoyed reading it except for some point. I'm glad you didn't read the rant, I don't want to ruin it for you, it's just my opinion :)
      Hope you enjoy it! I'd want to hear what you think!