Splintered by A.G. Howard
Now this is a Big Face cover I can get behind, because it also looks unsettling in a way that is really appropriate to the book. She looks a little unhinged, and the vine grabbing her hair is a great sinister touch.
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.
*Sigh*, first in a series, probably a trilogy.
As long as you like creepy fairy-tale themed stories where you’re not sure which characters are trustworthy (and who doesn’t?).
Creepy, creepy characters, including some that are beautiful but scary.
Alyssa has two guys in her life (I know, triangle), and there is chemistry galore with both of them. Howard clearly knows how to ramp up the tension between two characters.
Howard is also very good at balancing on that line between wacky and terrifying, which is part of the charm of the original Alice story.
Despite its probable trilogic nature and love triangle, this book delivers on a unique reinterpretation of and addition to the original story. I was thoroughly entertained and *sighs again* probably wouldn’t object to reading the next in the series.
ARC from work.