Monday, February 2, 2015

Splintered Series by A.G. Howard

splintered series

Splintered Series by A.G. Howard
Series: Splintered
Released: Splintered, January 1st 2013; Unhinged, January 7th 2014; Ensnared, January 6th 2015
Publisher: Amulet Books (an imprint of Harry N. Abrams)
Source: bought/hardcover
Goodreads | Amazon
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. (from Splintered's Goodreads page)
Can we all just take a long moment to stare adoringly at the covers?

Because I'll be honest, the reason I initially bought Splintered was due to the sheer beauty of the cover, only because the story of Alice In Wonderland kind of freaks me out so I wasn't all that enthused about a re-imagining of the tale. And, God, am I glad I did follow that aesthetic driven side of myself!

THIS SERIES IS RIDICULOUSLY, MADLY, INSANELY GOOD! Don't trust me. Trust the covers, because they match the story written inside them.

The Splintered series is one of a kind. I try to contemplate the amount of imagination that A.G. Howard has to have to write it, and my mind just... ugh.

butterflies in my mind

I've never read any of Lewis Carroll's work, so I can hardly comment on differences and similarities. But I can say that A.G. Howard brought her own history and lore to the timeless tale and new life to old characters.

Watching Alyssa's journey is so satisfying! She's the type of character who KNOWS she is flawed, but has NO CLUE how extraordinary she is, and both of those adjectives are 100% true. She's terrified to tell the boy next door that she's in love with him; her mother is in a mental institution after giving Alyssa irrevocable scars in more ways than one; she doesn't know what the hell to do with all the crazy that's being thrust upon her. And yet she just keeps going, stumbling along and trying not to destroy everything that is so precariously balanced and teetering.

That is my favorite type of heroine.

Her best friend and next door neighbor, Jeb, is the knight-in-flawed armor in Alyssa's story. My little fangirl heart STILL can't handle all of what Jeb is and what he becomes through out the series. He isn't part of Wonderland the way Alyssa and Morpheus are, but he carries the artistic theme that weaves through the series and enhances the COLOR of Alyssa and Wonderland. And yet his genuine, true nature reflect how starkly opposite he is from Wonderland.

But where Jeb is genuine, Morpheus is all tricks and wonder. I have to say that I had a hard time warming up to Morpheus, with all his flash and glamour, but once I got deeper into the story and found his flesh and bones I couldn't help but love him.

Which really sucks because part of this series is about a love triangle. And of course I was Team Jeb, but then I understood Team Morpheus, and I couldn't handle the heartbreak that either guy would have to feel! BUT DON'T BE AFRAID! The love that Alyssa has for both Jeb and Morpheus is intrinsic to how incredible Splintered is. There are only 2 love triangles that I truly love and think are written well, and this is one of them.

Y'all, I am beyond glad that I picked up this book. If you are a fan of YA fantasy and/or classics/fairytale retellings, YOU SHOULD TOO!

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