Alyssa have been hearing flowers and insects talk for the past few years. She hides it as she doesn't want to become her mother: locked up in a mental institution. Madness runs through her family, and seeing as she's a descendant of Alice Liddell, the Alice that inspired Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, it looks like Alyssa is slowly going down that road.
But what if Wonderland is real? What if Alyssa isn't going mad? What if...?
To break the curse of her family's insanity, Alyssa must find the rabbit hole and right all the wrongs that happened due to the originally Alice. But Wonderland isn't like the Wonderland we all know and everyone isn't who they seem to be. Not even Alyssa herself.
I really liked this book. I have a thing for retellings/re-imaginings and I like them when the story goes dark and twisted. And Splintered is very much a dark and twisted retelling. There was a gothic, punky edge to it and I loved that side of it.
One of the things I liked about this book is that all the characters in here are broken and don't fit your stereotypical YA charcter. Even the main characters of Alyssa and her real-world crush, Jeb. Both of these characters have dark backstories - Alyssa with her mother and Jeb with his father. Even a small character like Taelor isn't perfect with the tiny hints of her backstory. You can't really pigeon-holed these characters into YA stereotypes and that was refreshing.
And as for Morpheus - a character who we don't really met till chapter 9 and who really picks up the story (the first few chapters have a good pace but when he came it, it went up a gear) - he isn't the typical ... well, I'm not sure what to call him, exactly. He's a third point in the "possible" love triangle, but he didn't fit that label. He was one of those characters that I never trusted, but I adored reading him. Throughout the whole book, I could never figure him out. And every time I thought I did, he would surprise me by doing or saying something that would always put me on the back foot. But he's a character I am the most intrigued over and am so glad we are going to get a sequel to as I want to know more about him and understand him.
Another thing I really enjoyed about this book is that this book, not matter how warped and mad it got, still had a plot and had reasons. In one of the later chapters when the "endgame" (if you want to call it that) was revealed and explain, it made perfect sense. There was no "Wait! What?" over it. The clues were in the story and it made sense, no matter how weird the story got several chapters back. How A G Howard kept up, I have no idea.
And now, faults. I will always find faults in book so SORRY BOOKS OF THE WORLD. The only real fault I have is how convenient certain things were explained. Like how Aylssa accepted that she has been friends with Morpheus for years through her dreams so quickly or the fact both she and Jeb knew what a confirmateur was (it's a device used by hat makers to help customize hats to fit specific head shapes). Sometimes, it worked but other times, it never sat well with me.
But saying that, I really liked this messed-up book. I would love to see someone try and turn this into a movie or a TV show. I could very easily imagined it (if it' a movie, I demand Tim Burton to be the director!). And now I have to sit and wait for the sequel, Unhinged, to come out early next year. And it better have loads of Morpheus scenes in it. Just saying. But, until then, I'm not sure I will look at plants and bugs in the same way again... Again, Emma, I blame you.