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Thursday, December 27, 2012

REVIEW: Splintered, by A.G. Howard

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.

What if Alice's story was true? IS true? What if...what we know is altogether a too....pretty version of her story?

Splintered uses the Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass stories and gives you a completely new and much, much darker story. It's not a continuation or retelling. It is most certainly all it's own.

Psychological problems run in Alyssa's family, all the way back to Alice (yes, that Alice). While trying to grow up as normally as possible when she bear the scars of the episode that put her mother in a psychiatric hospital, Alyssa has her own...issues. She hears voices, from bugs and flowers, all the time. And it only gets worse. Before long, she finds herself being pulled into Wonderland, only it's like no Wonderland she's ever heard of.

Howard's writing and character development is amazing. The are evil and demented, and oddly endearing in both their familiarity and their lack of it. (I'm thinking the White Rabbit in particular...creepy.) I've never been so infatuated with a dark story built around the pleasant one I love.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook galley from Abrams through the netGalley publisher/reader connection program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own

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