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."- Goodreads
Have you ever experienced a heart-stopping moment where you just stopped and stared at the Goodreads description to a book; where you felt as if that book was your dream book; where you felt as if the author had written that book just for you? Because that's how I felt when I read the description to Splintered back in October. I marked January 1 on my calender and started counting down the days. However, January 1st came and went and I didn't read it- I was apprehensive. In all my eagerness to read Splintered I was worried it wouldn't live up to my fantasies. I needn't have worried.
Splintered is about Alyssa, a 16 year old who's mother is locked up in a mental institution after inheriting the family curse from her ancestor Alice Liddel. Alyssa doesn't doubt the credibility of the curse because once she hit puberty she began hearing bugs and flowers talk. She ends up facing an ultimatum that leads to her traveling to Wonderland.
The story started out on a creepy note and I was actually a bit weirded out. But the creepiness is explained and the story gets better from there. There's a lot of exposition going on at the beginning but, thankfully, not everything is given away. The plot then picks up the pace once Alyssa and her friend Jeb travel to Wonderland. Splintered held several shocking twists that I never could've seen coming.
Probably my favorite thing about this book was the characters. Not the characters themselves, although they were pretty awesome but the character interactions. Alyssa is smart and witty but she met her match with Morpheus, her guide in Wonderland, and it was hilarious reading about them. Morpheus acted tough as if nothing bothered him but once in a while his true self would leak through and those times touched me. Jeb was sweet and it was obvious he cared for Alyssa. Yet he had a girlfriend! That frustrated me to no end especially considering how protective he was of Alyssa. My favorite character (besides the scary yet sensitive Morpheus) was Alyssa's dad. He was such a good father and took extremely good care of Alyssa. I couldn't help but like him.
Overall, this book met my expectations. Unfortunately it's a stand alone novel which saddens me because I want to read more about Alyssa, Jeb, and Morpheus. However, I'm hoping A. G. Howard has a new novel in the works because I will definitely be reading it. If you like fairytale retellings or fantasies than this is the book for you.
4/5 Mugs of Hot Chocolate