Author: A.G. Howard
Publication: January 1st, 2013
Publisher: Amulet Books
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This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, 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.
The books starts with Alyssa ignoring the talking bugs. You heard me: bugs. They talk to her and she thinks she's going crazy like her mother who's in an insane asylum. She realizes her mother is acting insane in order to protect her and stumbles into wonderland to save her. Jeb - her next door neighbor and crush - ends up going with her. They meet characters in the original Wonderland story but with a dark twist. It's literally madness and mayhem all over the world. She teams up with Morpheus who was her childhood friend to save her mother.
Let's start with Alyssa
What I love about Alyssa is how strong she is. Her childhood is a bit of a blur but she holds on to her sanity and follows her heart. She's scared in Wonderland (who wouldn't be? I mean, it's seriously a dark place) but Jeb keeps her in a reality check. At first, she's confused about everything and unsure of herself. After a while she grows into what she was born to do - save Wonderland - and you see the transformation in her. It's always fun to see characters change through out the book! When she meets Morpheus the love interest flips and she's confused about who her heart belongs to.
Jeb - Alyssa's neighbor and love interest
Jeb is very strong and reliable. Through out the book you can see how much he cares for Alyssa; it's adorable! He's the rock Alyssa leans on when she's in trouble emotionally and physically. Some people who are on team Morpheus say that Jeb is too overprotective and controlling. I don't believe this… Alyssa is strong enough to be on her own, Jeb is there to help her. He can get bossy sometimes but it's not insanely pushy and it's for Alyssa's own good. Jeb has a kind heart and he's perfect for her!
He had a hard childhood; his father was very abusive to him. It's heartbreaking what he had to go through, but Alyssa was there to keep him company. They have a lot of history together and it's nice to see a relationship like that. (TEAM JEB <3)
Morpheus - Member of Wonderland and Alyssa's other love interest
Morpheus is a fun character to read about. He always has ulterior motives and you never know what going on in his head. You can't trust him; he's a willy one. Alyssa also grew up with Morpheus but didn't realize it until she saw him. She was visiting him in her dreams and they talked about Wonderland. I'm sitting here trying to think what to say about him but it's hard since he's so complex. Like Jeb he cares for Alyssa greatly, it's harder to see it because he's so aloof. I believe Alyssa is only attracted to him because he's a part of the madness and mayhem and she's getting addicted to that (and doesn't like that part about herself). It's hard… he does care for her but he's also selfish and vain. I can't get a good grip on him.
My GOD the world building was amazing! Wonderland is, again, very dark and twisted. Characters are kind of freaky looking and I know if I stumbled in Wonderland I'd RUN AWAY because it's like nightmares! The characters were written with passion; my feelings towards them were deep. All the emotions going through Alyssa's head and her actions where well thought out. I never felt like she was stupid for making a decision. The book cover represents the plot very well. Splintered is definitely one of my favorite books this year! PICK IT UP!