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.
First of all, the cover of this book is beautiful. It's definitely now up there with my favourite covers of all time. It's just so beautiful and unique, and it's so vivid. I also got a lovely surprise when I opened up the book. The text and the decorations inside the book are all purple. It gives the book that extra unique feel to it and I just loved it.
Then I started reading and I fell in love with the story. The characters, the storyline and the portrayal of Wonderland were all fantastic. I loved everything about this book.
Alyssa was a fantastic main character. She's had to deal with constant teasing about being a descendant of the real Alice from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, her mother's mental state and the fact that she can hear plants and insects talking to her. She's such a unique character. She's quirky, intriguing and special (in a good way). She's probably the most unique character I've ever read about. There was just something about her that made me instantly like her.
And Jeb was another one that I instantly liked. With his long black hair, his bandanna and him just being such a sweetheart. He managed to capture my heart during the book. He was willing to do anything for Alyssa, no matter the cost and that's when I really started to love him. I was on the fence with him for most of the book (but that might have been because of everything that Morpheus was saying) but I finally realise how much of an amazing guy he his and how he and Alyssa are perfect for each other.
Morpheus is another story. I started of really liking him. He was this mysterious, dangerous guy that Alyssa had a past with. I was intrigued to find out more about him. Morpheus and Alyssa had this connection that I found myself wanting them to act on a few times. And then I saw the real Morpheus, and then I started to hate him. After everything he did to Alyssa and Jeb, I don't know if I'll ever be able to forgive him. I hope I will because he still really intrigues me. I guess I'll just have to wait and see!
The Wonderland in this book is nothing like the one in the Lewis Carroll novel. Sure, there are the characters that we've all heard of, but they're aren't... It's kind of hard to explain. The way it's explained in the book is that Alice was too young to understand what Wonderland was really like and her mind concealed the real Wonderland from her and planted these false images that were easier for a child to understand. Everything was so creepy and Gothic. It really suited Wonderland though. This portrayal of Wonderland will always stick with me. I'll probably always imagine this version whenever I think of it now. It's just such a fantastic version.
The storyline was full of twists and turns, Alyssa discovering things about her past, betrayal, lust and so much mystery. I found myself being pulled into the story and not being able to put it down. I just loved everything about this book.
If you haven't picked up Splintered yet: why not? I seriously recommend getting hold of a copy somehow. It's such a fantastic portrayal of Alice in Wonderland and there's so much going on that it'll keep you on your toes to the very end.