Splintered by A.G. Howard

A small journey to Wonderland…

Genre: Retelling, YA fantasy, romance, fairy tale

The synopsis

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.

The review

Besides Pride and Prejudice, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland ranks among my favourite books (just because of the Cheshire Cat). So, when I came across this book I just knew I had to read it.

Even if my reading experience was a mix of feelings, I have to start with the writing. Honestly, I didn’t think an author could be skilled enough to recreate the wonderful atmosphere of Lewis Carroll’s work but A.G. Howard managed to do it. I had the same feeling of nonsense and craziness as when I read Carroll’s tale but in a more horrific way. I also think Alice’s story was cleverly used and integrated into the plot.

Concerning this one, I’ll say that it was okay. It was a bit too much of a coming-of-age story with everything happening one step at a time, a very linear plot without any unanticipated disruption. However, the good thing is that at the end of the book you don’t have any questions left since every information given from chapter 1 to the end makes sense.

The characters were interesting as was their retelling. Alyssa was okay, quite capable of doing things by herself and understanding what was going on even if she felt sometimes a bit immature (but it remained credible since she’s 18). I absolutely hated Jeb and would have preferred that he did not exist at all. Being caring is cute but being possessive isn’t. And if it wasn’t enough, he was selfish, stupid, and not very interesting. On the contrary, I liked the character of Morpheus or the Caterpillar in the original book. His character was quite complex and morally grey, making him the most intriguing of the cast.

In brief: the idea behind this retelling is interesting even if the plot felt too simple. I’m hoping to have more complex situations in the sequel and most of all that Jeb will be absent from it!

My rating: 3.5/5

3 thoughts on “Splintered by A.G. Howard”

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