Splintered

Title: Splintered
Author: A. G. Howard
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Pages: 384
Genre: Urban fantasy
Source: Mom
Rating: 5/5

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.

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There is honestly only one word I need to describe this book: exquisite. A. G. Howard’s debut novel is pure perfection, an absolutely brilliant story concocted from fairytales, chaos, and love, set against the lush backdrop of Wonderland. Alyssa’s unique story of self-discovery and first love wraps its vines around you so tightly that not even the vorpal sword could free you (not that you’d want it to: it’s that good). After discovering this book in June 2012 and waiting the eight long months for its release, I can happily say it was worth the wait, and I’ve been left with with a hunger for more books from A. G. Howard stronger than any a tumtum berry could induce. Feel the magic: read Splintered.

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