This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of Underland, 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.
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Had Potential, But That Was It...
Pre-teen girls and anyone who enjoys cliche, corny romances.
None. I don't like abridged productions.
It’s no secret that retold, repurposed fairy tales are all the rage in young adult novels these days. However, Splintered captures very little of the magic or charm that so many other fantasy books in the genera posses. Going in, I had high hopes for this book. The premise sounded fresh and interesting and almost all of the reviews were positive. Sadly though, the end product turned out to be a slow and difficult read. I found very little to like in any of the main characters and was frustrated with them throughout most of the book. Many of them have a punk/emo flair to their personalities, which feels unnatural, as well as immature, and makes it seem like the author is trying too hard to relate to younger readers. The female lead, Alyssa, is unfortunately meek and needed, though the novel tries to portray her as otherwise, and constantly relies on her two love interests for protection and direction. These two love interests are, I can only assume, supposed to be supportive, caring and protective. Instead they come off as creepy, over protective, and controlling. This is as frustrating and annoying as you can imagine, so I won’t go into detail about it.
Another problem I have with the novel is the words and descriptions that the author used. (I know this sounds really picky, but just bear with me.) Howard went to great lengths to describe things like clothing, kissing, table dancing, and the characters irresistible beauty, but her descriptions of scenes that involved heavy action or key events often felt lacking. In short, the dull parts of the book seemed drawn out, while the climactic and important portions felt rushed. In addition to this, it was difficult to become invested in many of the creative twists and turns that the book presented, because the words and descriptions that the author used didn’t’ feel creative or interesting. This may seem harsh, but an author’s medium is words and the value of their work depends greatly on how he/she uses them. The author presented readers with interesting places and creatures, but didn’t describe them well enough to make them fantastic.
Despite all of this, I didn’t think the book was all bad. I think that the most frustrating part of this book was that I knew it had the potential to be great. But, that greatness was lost in a weak writing style, annoying main characters, a ridiculous love triangle, and bad pacing. Howard’s ideas seem genuinely interesting, but her execution of them leaves much to be desired. I feel like if the author had waited to publish this book, and worked through some of the story’s tangles, it could have been and wonderful. Instead, I found it to be immature and exasperating. Unless you’re in middle school or like cheesy, cliché romances, I would skip this book.
Fall into this morbidly stunning wonderland
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