This week’s book review is 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. (Synopsis taken from Goodreads)
I’ve never been the biggest fan of Alice in Wonderland. I found it very weird. However, I was drawn in by the cover of this book, and after a recommendation by a friend, I decided to give it a try. I went in with low expectations that got blown to pieces.
This isn’t your normal fairy tale retelling. First off, Alyssa isn’t Alice herself, she’s the great great great great (and so on) granddaughter of the Alice from the stories. And it turns out that Wonderland isn’t quite the place the book describes.
Take the White Rabbit, for example. His real name is Rabid White, and he resembles more of a tiny old man with horns than he does an actual rabbit. The whole of Wonderland is a twisted and dark place, and I loved that. This book is fluidly written, has great world building, and the characters are real and believable. It has twists that keep me on my toes, an great romance to it that doesn’t take over the book, and a solid plot.
Everything about this book is gold. I couldn’t put it down. Five stars. ✩✩✩✩✩