Review: Going down the rabbit hole, or my slightly crazy Splintered adventure

You know, I could do a review in one word kind of thing, and it would go like this: WEIRD. That’s it. Just, WEIRD, that’s the word that immediately popped into my mind while thinking about this book. But as you know, I’m kind of talkative when it comes to books, so obviously I have more to say than just one word. I buddy-read this once again with the incredible Kat, and I’m glad to have her by my side for this experience, because damn, that book really WAS a unique experience.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND RETELLING…WELCOME TO CREEPY LAND

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““Do you really think these are Alice’s tears?” I ask. “That I’m supposed to make them go away somehow?”
“I’m the wrong guy to ask. I just saw a skeleton with antlers and a forest of aphid-noshing flower zombies.”

On the list of hyped-books everyone talks about and I haven’t read yet, Splintered is there. Gorgeous cover, Alice in Wonderland retelling, fantasy, magic, and all kinds of things I’m looking forward to getting into more, this year. I was thrilled to get into that story, into Alyssa’s family, discover that she’s a girl with her roots deep into Wonderland, her ears lying around to hear what bugs are saying… wait, what? Did I lose you already?
Splintered is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland. Here, we’re with Alyssa, she’s one of the descendants of Alice, and her mother is in an asylum because she hears things. Like, bugs talking and white rabbit kind of things. But Alyssa hears those little voices, as well. And wonderland is real. And it’s time to go down the rabbit hole to prove her mother’s not crazy, and to save her. But Wonderland isn’t anything like what Lewis Carroll wrote in his tale. It’s way more twisted, kind of creepy at times, filled with monsters and bugs you can’t even imagine. This is probably what I loved the most about the book, but also what made me the most conflicted. Seriously, this book is brilliant, because it takes some inspiration from Alice’s tale that you can clearly figure out, yet turns and twists it into something incredible you couldn’t even imagine. Something incredibly creepy half the time, but incredible anyways. Entering the rabbit hole with Alyssa is a thrilling experience, and I loved it, but there was always on the side this touch of horror, of, I don’t know what the hell is happening and where I am and oh my god I am creeped out by this whole thing. I was a tiny bit uncomfortable at times.

CHARACTERS TO CUDDLE, OR TO FROWN AT

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“You can put me down now,” I grump.

“I don’t know. It’s a lot easier to save your ass when I have it riding on my shoulder.”

Let’s talk a bit about the characters. They were just the right kind of awesome, I have to say, and I loved it. If the beginning was a bit slow, especially because I wanted to go down that rabbit hole so badly, I liked getting to know the characters, their relationships, and a bit of Alyssa’s family background with her crazy mother. And a little bit of her craziness, just as well. Alyssa was a great main character, even if, at times, she was annoying, I really enjoyed this whole ride with her. She had just the right sassy things to say at the exact right time, and even if she was confused about her identity, she’s fierce, strong and yet so fragile and you can really see the need she has to save her mother. That was endearing, really. On her side, you get my favorite trope of ever with Jeb, and, I kind of fell in love here. Jeb is Alyssa’s childhood friend and let’s be honest, we ALL want that something more to happen, and we all root for it. At least, I did during the whole story, and I loved each and every single conversation they ever have, their dynamic is GREAT…but why don’t we add something a little spicy to that, and, erm, a little less human? Meet Morpheus, the creepiest and weirdest bookish character I have ever met, yet with a sense of repartee that was awesome, one character you’ll want to hit and cuddle, and can’t help but frown at because CAN WE TRUST HIM? I don’t know. And books where you DON’T know things make me crazy. In a good way? IS THAT WEIRD?

OVERALL

Splintered is a crazy Alice-inspired universe, and I can only take my hat off –okay, imaginary hat-, for this crazy imaginative, brilliant, yet slightly creepy world. I think that’s mostly why I had a bit of a hard time with it, that touch of horror threw me off a bit at times. Yet, going down the rabbit hole for one crazy adventure was almost exhilarating, and I’m definitely looking forward to read more, and hopefully, get used to all this craziness.

Final rating: 3 drops!

Did you read Splintered? Were you fascinated, or slightly creeped-out, or both? Do you want to read it?

Do you know other retellings of Alice in Wonderland? Share your thoughts in comments!


 

A. G. Howard, Splintered,  Published by Amulet Books, January 1st 2013.

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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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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

47 thoughts on “Review: Going down the rabbit hole, or my slightly crazy Splintered adventure

  1. I loved this trilogy and I’m totally team Morpheus! I wish I could read it all over again for the first time. As far as the creepiness goes, it was somewhat creepy, but I tend to like that kind of thing. I think I gave all the Splintered books 5 stars. Hope you like Unhinged!! Great review!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Weird is the most fitting word for this book. The whole bug thing is exactly that. I’m juggling a few books, so I’ve yet to see Wonderland, but I’m seriously loving the dynamic between her and Jeb. Please tell me we meet the Mad Hatter or the Queen of Hearts. They are my absolute musts if visiting Wonderland. Ooh, so there’s this Morpheus character that’s a love interest? I like the best friend love triangle, too. I can’t wait to get to that part. Nice review!

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      1. I’ll admit I’m reading them with little success. I picked up a book on Tuesday that wasn’t on my list and read it in a few hours. I guess it depends on the day. I like them together. But I’m assuming they don’t end up together. 😂As soon as I finish the book, I’ll post my review. I’m so behind on my reviews.

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  3. I’m really glad you liked this book, and I definitely need to re-read this series soon because I haven’t in ages and I loved the books so much the first time I picked them up!
    I think weird is pretty much Wonderland in general, both Howard’s version and Lewis Carroll’s version though Howard’s Wonderland was definitely the darker of the two!
    I think if you liked Splintered you’ll enjoy Unhinged and Ensnared as well (I think Ensnared was my favourite of the trilogy). The characters just get better and better; I loved Alyssa’s interactions with both Jeb and Morpheus throughout the trilogy.
    Great review! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right! I think you should find the second book’s a little less weird 🙂 it’s set mainly in the human world so there’s not much Wonderland in it but it’s still a great read you should really love it, and the third was my favourite of the lot! ❤️

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      2. Nah, book one is Wonderland and book two is the human world; book three is somewhere different again (I’m not going to say where for spoilers but I think you’ll love it!) I still really enjoyed Unhinged but yeah, like you I wanted her to get back to Wonderand! 😀

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  4. BOOK ADDED TO TBR! This book seems SO GOOD! I’m all for wicked, wild adventures and I LOVE retellings! I haven’t read any Alice in Wonderland retellings so this seems like a brilliant place to start 😉 So glad you enjoyed it and great review!

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  5. LOVE your review! I am also still so glad that we read it together, because weird is the perfect word to describe it and I think I would have freaked out several times had it not been for you being there on the other side of the screen.
    I am still not sure when I will be able to read the others. So many books, so little time – that could seriously be my life motto hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Okay, there aren’t THAT many physical books. I have 6 at home. But I also have like 6 ebooks. I just ordered an Owl Crate box today and I won a giveaway and I think the book is arriving this month as well. Soooo … I guess 8 physical books if you count the last two that aren’t yet in my home.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ohh well that’s okay I guess, ahah, I expected more :P. You ordered an Owl Crate Box? Oh I would LOVE to know what you think about it, and if it’s worth the price? Every month I wonder if I should try this out or not, but…I’m not sure it’s worth it. I’d love to know if you’re happy with it, once you get it 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I definitely plan on doing something like an unboxing post for it once I get it.
        I wanted to order one for a while now and they had this offer to get 10% off for new members, so I seized the chance. Also, they gave me my personal referral link, which I will include in my post, and if I can get 3 people to order Owl Crate via that link, I’ll get a box for free :O I am not sure I can actually manage that hahaha but I shall try (if it turns out to be recommendable, but I think it will be).

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh if you love Alice, you should give this one a try. The author definitely twists Wonderland into a WHOLE other world, it’s kind of crazy, yet it’s brilliant, I really liked it. I guess I’m a bit of a not-too-used to horror kind of person, but there were lots of bugs and stuff that I found kind of creepy, haha 🙂 I hope you’ll enjoy it, and THANK YOU ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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