Series: Splintered #1
Published by Amulet Books on January 1st 2013
Number of Pages: 371
Genres: Adventure, Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Purchase: At Amazon
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.
The synopsis sounded so good! And parts of the book lived up to it. Unfortunately it just didn’t grab me as a whole the way I was expecting it to.
There is the dreaded love triangle in the book. Made worse by the fact that one of the boys Alyssa is crushing on is dating another girl. I loved the fact that while she didn’t like the girlfriend, she also wasn’t going to try to steal the boy out from under the other girl, or try to date him at the same time or anything. And then once in Wonderland those principles bent. I also didn’t really like the way Jeb would decide that Alyssa wasn’t going to do something without discussing it with her first. He’d just cross his arms and say “no.” Or pick her up and carry her off while refusing to allow her to do something.
The other love interest was too much of a bad guy for me to really want to root for. He had reasons for it, and I understood them once they were revealed. But I just couldn’t like him after some of the things he did and said to Alyssa. Even while other things were incredibly sweet at times.
I’m also not sure what time period the book was set in. For a lot of things, it sounded more modern. Alyssa rides a skateboard and is trying to learn stunts on it. But her mother is in a mental hospital that has practices that sound like they’re from a much earlier time. Straight jackets and electroshock treatments to try to make their patients sane again?
I did like how some of the Wonderland aspects were twisted and born new for the book. Everything was close enough to the Wonderland we know, but slightly skewed. People-eating flowers for instance. And a Mad Hatter who actually became his clients so that the hats he made were a perfect fit for them.
But over all, I wasn’t impressed enough with this book to read the rest of the series.