Splintered by A.G Howard | Book Review


Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal (retelling)

“He’s a contradiction: taut magic coiled to strike, gentleness at war with severity, a tongue as sharp as a whip’s edge, yet skin so soft he could be swathed in clouds.”
― A.G. Howard, Splintered

Series: Splintered Trilogy
The Moth in the Mirror (#1.5 Splintered Trilogy)
Unhinged (# 2 Splintered Trilogy)
Ensnared (#3 Splintered Trilogy)

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.

Goodreads |Amazon


*Warning this review may be jumbled and not make sense. It may repeat and fangirl a little too much, but how can I not*

Not only did this book shock and surprise me, but I absolutely fell in love with the whimsical writing and dark and beautifully haunting story. Now it is not the same kind of love that I have for the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, but since this book is more inspired by Carroll’s original story (and takes a whole new twist on a classic story we all thought we knew) more so than a retelling it gave me exactly what I needed and wanted from a book using the story and events from one of my all time favorite works!

For the most part I am just at a complete loss for words when it comes to this book and feel like I can’t write a review to do it justice. Now I will state I did have a few slight problems with this book, but I was able to overlook them because of the direction Howard took this well known classic story and made it gritty, dark, haunting, slightly twisted and completely turned the original story upside down. I found Howard’s writing and story telling to have some fantastic parallels to Carroll’s writing and although there were components taken/ mentioned from the original work she did it in such a way that it created a book that felt totally unique and original all on its own. I loved that you still got the whimsical and nonsensical feel in the writing and story, which was something that I greatly appreciated and enjoyed immensely. The language, sentence structures, the poems, pretty much nailed it. The prose was everything you would want an expect from a mad and crazy world such as Wonderland. I did find the beginning to be a tad slow and it took me a couple chapters to get into it (I think I was being so judgmental and just not going to let myself like it because I am such a huge fan and slightly obsessed with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) but I became completely hooked and devoured the book unable to put it down (and had to pick up the sequel right away).

I found myself falling in love with all the characters/creatures that Howard developed, imagined and created. I really enjoyed Alyssa! She definitely marches to the beat of her own drum and isn’t afraid to be different. She was also a strong female character and wanted to make her own decisions, which I appreciate.  I love the complexity presented with her character and felt like there was great character development when it came to her internal struggles and finding out who she really is by the end of the book. Then there was the trend found so commonly in the YA genre that I have huge internal struggles and issues with, the dreaded love triangle. I did find that it did not play too big of a role in this story and could handle it. It seemed to add to the overall conflict of the story and for this book it worked. I was very fond of both male characters Jeb and Morpheus! They both have that same twisted pasts and views on life that mirror Alyssa and really work with the story. They both had great personalities and made it very hard for me to pick a team!

Overall this is an absolutely fantastic story that is dark, whimsical and maddening. It incorporates the jargon and nonsensical atmosphere found in Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It is imaginative and has descriptions so beautifully written that brings the pages and world to life! It definitely portrays the darker side of Wonderland and remind me at times of the 2010 Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland. I think anyone who loves and has an sort of obsession with Wonderland will highly enjoy this unique take. I also think it is a good way for someone who has never read the classic to get into and fall complete mad over the story and place of Wonderland!



June Wrap-Up

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Hi Mad Bookers! As you can see I have recently been updating and giving my blog a makeover (I have been trying to gear it more towards the Alice in Wonderland theme!) A lot has been happening this past month down the Book Hole! This post is kind of long (so grab some tea and cake and stick with me). It has a lot of information and will also include some events that will be coming up in the next month!

I read a total of 8 books and managed to actually follow my TBR List better than I have in the past!


Books I Read:

Guardian by Alex London

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (audiobook)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre (e-arc)

I Am the Weapon by Allen Zadoff (e-book)

The Fear Trials by Lindsay Cummings (e-book prequel)

The End of You and Me by Wendi M. Lee (e-book)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K.Rowling

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Things That Happened on Falling Down The Book Hole This Month:

♠  Interview with Michelle Krys, author of Hexed

June TBR List (and progress made)

Trees of Reverie Read-A-Thon 

The Book Blogger Test


Ann Aguirre’s 2B Trilogy Series Cover Reveal

June Book Haul

Bookish Bucket List Update

Mini Vacay Book Haul (& Announcement)

For Even More Posts and Bookish Things From June                                                 (Links to the threads of post)

Making Up For Monday 

Top Ten Tuesday

Third Sentence Thursday

Friday Reads

Swoon Worthy Saturday

Upcoming Excitements! 

♠ Buddy Read with Bookjunkiekrystal of Mrs. Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series

Buddy Read (with a twist) with Kitty Cat Reads of The Raven Boys 

July TBR

Multiple Copies

My favorite book is Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll ! I own an older copy of this (not exactly what year it is because it is not currently in my possession) and last year my best friend purchased the leather-bound classic (Barnes and noble) for me. There are so many beautiful covers and versions of this book and I find myself constantly adding different ones to my cart on Amazon.  In a way I feel like I would be wasting money because I already own it.I just wanted to know what other peoples thoughts on owning/ collecting multiple copies of a book are?

Taking A Step Into Another World

Sometimes when one place doesn’t seem like enough and all you want to do is get away, jump into a different life and different world, nothing fills this void better than a great book! Books allow me to leave my reality, for however long it is, and in that moment life seems better. I can hide away from all my troubles and not worry about what tomorrow holds.

One of my favorite books of all time is Alice in Wonderland. Cracking the book open and instantly I am taken into another world. One with adventure and mystery, where anything can happen. A world in which a cake can make you grow and a drink can make you shrink, animals talk and a cat that disappears exists. When my life seems like too much to handle, taking a trip down the rabbit hole takes me to a place where anything can happen.