Monday, March 2, 2015

Splintered - A.G. Howard


A decedent of Wonderland goes tumbling down the rabbit hole and brings a boy toy along with her. Curiouser and curiouser…

 

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 read this book as a read along with a few other awesome ladies. Through Facebook posts, they know what I thought about this book. And honestly, I wasn’t too sure if I was going to write this review. But, I decided, what the hell? Let’s get some words down and out there for the world. Because I have a feeling I’m not the only who feels the same way I do about this book. So, without further ado, on to the review.
This book starts off with the following: “I’ve been collecting bugs since I was ten; it’s the only way I can stop their whispers. Sticking a pin through the gut of an insect shuts it up pretty quickly.”
And I was sold. This line alone set me some high expectations. I mean, super clever! I enjoyed the idea of a crazy lead character and them being completely aware of it. Alyssa tries everything to keep secret her crazy mother and what appears to be the ever increasing psychosis. But then, Jeb is introduced…and it kind of goes into the shitter at that point.
Let me explain.
This book gave me mixed emotions. I enjoyed the idea of the book. The twists and turns were well written, Wonderland being a land of strange and exciting place. Tons of possibilities. But Jeb. Controlling and pain in the butt Jeb. I don’t blame Jeb though, it’s just how he’s written. The way he’s written seems to have DOUCHE BAG all over him. He treats Alyssa like she’s made of glass. And, Alyssa lets him do that. I feel like there is a lot focus on his garnet labret piercing.  I don’t always need to be reminded that it was there. I don’t need to know how it scratches her skin. I’m good. And, not his fault either. That’s our narrator, Alyssa. She relied far too much on Jeb. Any time that Alyssa slipped into the madness of Wonderland, it was always Jeb that snapped her out of it, brought her back down to reality. But really…I didn’t like Jeb because of the constant mention of his STUPID piercing. He is more than a god damn piercing. Hello!
The other niggle for me about this tale was that once entering Wonderland, she suddenly has these memories about Wonderland. Oh wait! HOLD THE PHONE! She’s been there before. It’s just her memories are reprised. Really? I feel like the author was trying to be a ninja and through this in there without us knowing any better. I felt like there was a ton of repetition with descriptions of certain items. Too many slap in the face analogies.
But! Despite all of this, the ending was the best part of the book. Well not the very very end…but the near the end of the book. It held the best twist there is. And no…not going to tell ya. Just know that it probably the best written part in the entire book. It is the real time we see any time of real emotion other than fear, wonder, unrequited love or lust. Don’t get me wrong, those things are fun to read about but I need a mix of emotions. Alyssa’s emotions were all petty ones up until the end where she grows some balls and confronts her fears and all her insecurities.
I would go into Morpheus, but really…I don’t have much to say. He’s manipulative. He’s scheming. He’s supposed to be ungodly hot. Oh yeah. And he’s crazier than a bag of cat. He is the best written character out of all the characters, and he did have genuine moments of brilliance, but most of the time, he felt forced. And it was a little creepy that he’s all hitting on Alyssa, a SIXTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL, and he’s supposed to be like ageless or whatever. I just don’t know what to say.
So I wanted to like this book. I did. I loved the very first paragraph. And I love reinterpretations of classic fairy tales and stories. But for me, this one was just too far off the mark for me. I couldn’t get behind the main character and I couldn’t honestly make out who the villain was. Was it Morpheus? Who? And her mom’s being institutionalized seemed like a complete and awful waste of time.
But, I’m glad I read this book. Despite its flaws and some misgivings, I like being able to discuss books with a group of people. It makes the story more fun, even though I didn’t truly love this book like I wanted to
Until next time!
Remember to be yourself. Unless you can be a pirate…then always be a pirate!

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