I hope everybody had a wonderful Thanksgiving or weekend if you are not in the States. I spent time with way too much family and had a wonderful time. I was in Tennessee from Tuesday until tonight and as much as I love my family, it was time to come home. I participated in a buddy read over the break though and absolutely adored it. It kept me sane which is ironic considering the book...
Look at this cover. This one was definitely not a bait and switch because the story is just as wonderful as the art. It shows how twisted and messed up this book is and it really gives it a Wonderland feel.
Splintered by A.G. Howard is the story of Alice in Wonderland but not as we know it. Alyssa is terrified that she is becoming her mother the day she starts hearing bugs talk to her. The last thing she wants is to be in an asylum for the rest of her life but as things are going right now, that is exactly the road she is heading down. After all, every other Alice in her family since the original Alice has traveled the same path and ended with the same result. A padded room and a straitjacket.
So Alyssa hides her delusions behind her artwork and is just hoping to make it through high school without losing her mind. That is hard enough just being a normal teenager with a unrequited crush on her attractive neighbor and lifelong friend, Jeb. Adding the possibility of insanity on top of that is enough to drive someone...well...
But what if her mother isn't insane? What if she isn't either and everything that she sees and experiences is real and it is her turn to right what is wrong? Alyssa falls down the rabbit hole to make sense of things and encounters a very different world than what we have all grown up with.
I couldn't have done it if I were her. I couldn't watch my mother go slowly insane and realize that was my future. Knowing that whoever I fell in love with would end up with that same wearied look that her father had and familial love would eventually be rendered via a supervised and planned visit at an asylum. That being said, Alyssa is awesome.
Jeb is one of those characters that you either love or you hate. Most people I know kind of hated him and I totally understand. Jeb is the ultimate good in Alyssa's world. He is loyal and steadfast as and friend and a born protector. Sometimes the heroine has to fall in love with the white knight and that is ok.
I found his loyalty and determination endearing but it wasn't like he was without faults. He lies to Alyssa, in his mind for her best interests, and keeps her at arms length in many ways. He is a jerk at times and a cliche at others but I liked him and sort of wished more guys were like him.
I have to admit that I came into this book with massive expectations for Morpheus. I was thinking a sick, twisted and wrong sort of guy who was oozing raw power and control. He was the nighttime and the depravity to Jeb's goodness and the seduction and manipulation to Jeb's reason.
He is the perfect antagonist because his logic is incredibly sound and he works it perfectly. You want to trust him and his methods are smooth and he seduces Alyssa effortlessly, using her past and her future to sway her to his side. Morpheus is the underworld bad boy that is wonderfully juxtaposed to Jeb's white knight. And Alyssa has to choose.
He is not the type you bring home to mama. Morpheus is the boy you keep to yourself and don't tell anybody about because you don't want them to steal him. He is the one that brings out your dark side and shows you how good it can feel to be bad.
I don't remember the first time I read Alice in Wonderland but it has been a long time. I loved the recent movie with Johnny Depp and that sort of kept me familiar enough with the story line to understand what was going on. You can't really reach into this book and understand it without a basic knowledge of the original plot.
It was beautifully written and I honestly struggled to put it down. The plot was absolutely mesmerizing. The descriptions were rich with color and detail but never overloaded the story. I felt like I could see the characters in these environments and they fit.
So what happens after Wonderland?
I'm excited for the novella and the next book. My book group, Book Talk, will be starting The Moth in the Mirror on Tuesday and moving onto Unhinged soon after. I'm super psyched about the series.
Has anybody else read this? What did you think?