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Review: Splintered by A.G. Howard

Splintered (Splintered #1) by A.G. Howard
Young Adult, Fantasy, Classic Retelling, Reimagining
Ebook/Print/Audio (403 pages, AMULET BOOKS)
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.Author Site: website

A wild and wondrous reimagining. (5 stars)

There are a handful of classics that I have a deep soft spot for and anything Alice always catches my eye. I've wanted to read Splintered since before it came out but somehow managed to not get to it until I finally bought an audio copy. I'm actually really glad I did as the narration was very good and I felt more free to just let my mind take over the painting pictures part of reading. If ever there was a classic retelling or reimagining that was more suited to letting the mind wander I don't know what it could be.

Howard's reimagining is darkly twisted but not in the usual horror or gothic stylings many writers and artists choose. It's more earthy and surreal and works to delicious effect. I can see why so many people loved it. I loved it. Occasionally it felt a little bit forced, in particular the romantic elements, but knowing there are further installments I feel confident that I'll enjoy seeing where this rabbit hole goes. It's wicked and weird, sexy and sweet.

If you've held back from getting to this series like I have I'd certainly recommend giving it that shot. Especially if you're a fan of all things Alice.

Notes: I purchased this book myself.

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