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Splintered [Kindle Edition]

A. G. Howard
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (339 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $8.95 What's this?
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Book Description

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.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-This darker, modern update of Alice in Wonderland is more likely to please fans of Tim Burton's film adaptation than those of Lewis Carroll's novel. Alyssa, 16, is a descendant of Alice Liddell, the girl who was Carroll's inspiration for Alice. Her mother lives in a mental institution, and she herself struggles with hearing voices from insects and flowers. Do the women in her family suffer from a curse that can somehow be traced back to the original Alice? The opening chapters drag a bit, but the action picks up when Alyssa finds herself in Wonderland, fighting for her survival-and for her mother's sanity. Howard maintains a lush atmosphere throughout, reintroducing Carroll's characters as truly nightmarish monsters. Though Alyssa's ongoing quests can sometimes seem aimless and the requisite love triangle forced, teens looking for a creepy, descriptive read with a generous dollop of romance will gravitate toward this title.-Hayden Bass, Seattle Public Library, WAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

YA authors have used fairy tales and fantasy as a backdrop for contemporary stories for decades, and first-time author Howard is no exception. Relying on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland as the infrastructure, as well as Tim Burton’s fantastical movie landscapes for inspiration, Howard crafts a teenage skater girl, Alyssa Gardner, who feels compelled to throw herself down the rabbit hole in an attempt to cure her mother’s madness and quiet the ever-increasing chatter in her own head. But Alyssa does not make this journey alone. Childhood friend Jeb enters Wonderland with her, a constant grounding to the real world as they encounter Morpheus (who sports a hookah), Rabid White, Chessie, the Red and Ivory Queens, and other iterations of Carroll’s familiar characters. It’s a deft, complex metamorphosis of this children’s fantasy made more enticing by competing romantic interests, a psychedelic setting, and more mad violence than its original. With one test after another that she must pass, Alyssa soon learns that the only person she can rely on is herself. Grades 8-12. --Frances Bradburn

Product Details

  • File Size: 1829 KB
  • Print Length: 403 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1419704281
  • Publisher: Amulet Books (January 16, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008JHQ56Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,986 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
~Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC!~

I liked basically every Disney movie as a kid. Every one, that is, except for Alice in Wonderland. When the new fad became Alice retellings, I rolled my eyes and said, "There's no way this goes well." I still requested Splintered anyways.

Then I finally started reading.

Alyssa isn't supposed to be Alice. Alice went and came back from Wonderland ages ago, and now her family has to deal with the notoriety of that fact--and the fact that all the women in her family since Alice had ended up locked away in asylums, if they didn't kill themselves first. Alyssa's mother has been committed for a great deal of Alyssa's life, and Alyssa herself has just started hearing the voices of plants and bugs. She's pretty sure she's going to follow her mom shortly. She tries to make the voices stop by turning bugs into artwork and skateboarding with her iPod turned up. The other voice, the familiar and male one, that's in her head all the time like a second consciousness isn't helping matters, though.

And that is just the beginning.

Now, you may be able to understand how much I was drooling by this point already. This isn't the Alice story of your childhood, people. Even when Alyssa gets to Wonderland, Howard turns all your preconceptions on your head. For just a teaser, you know the White Rabbit? Well, Alice messed up his name. He's actually called White Rabid, and he's partially a skeleton. You cannot tell me that isn't an awesome way to go. You can't.

I wish I could explain more of the twists, but then there would be spoilers and oh dear. But just know they're SO AWESOME.

Besides all the things Howard has done to the world, I was also impressed by how layered the plot was.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Instantly became an all time favorite!! February 13, 2013
Sometimes, when I have really fallen in love with a book, I do this thing when I try to tell people about it - where I just have no words. I can't even put into words just how incredible the book was. And I end up just sort of flailing my arms around and shoving the book into their hands to experience themselves. In this case though, I'm going to fight through that urge - and instead try to put into words just what a beautiful and incredible book Splintered truly was.

Alyssa lives her life in the shadow of the women who came before her. It all started with Alice, whose crazed delusions inspired the classic Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Every woman in her family since Alice has fallen prey to this same "mental illness". They paint white rabbits on walls, refuse to eat anything not in a tea cup, and mumble things like, "Off with their heads!" And when Alyssa begins hearing the voices of the plants and insects around her - she knows she's next..

Except - what if she's not crazy? What if her family truly is cursed?

Striking. Haunting. Lyrical. Unique. Fascinating. Raw.

Splintered is a very rare breed of book. In fact, the first of this caliber I've read in years. It tempted me to completely revamp my whole rating system, because even 5 stars didn't feel like it truly expressed my appreciation for this book. I found myself desperate to get a few more pages in while I waited for the water to boil for dinner, or during the 10 minutes I could spare before I had to leave for work. Any spare moment I could pick this one up, it was plastered to my hands. Even now that I've finished it, I find myself missing it!

From the first page, it was clear that Alyssa was going to be unlike any 'heroine' I'd read in YA literature.
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44 of 54 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tim Burton Lost at Hot Topic January 8, 2013
On paper, a book might seem like many things. Some might seem like rage-inducing snooze fests directed at sexist people with a death wish. Incredibly epic, of course, is the preferred synopsis of choice. When I picked up SPLINTERED, glossed over the synopsis a few times, and took it in with a final hard look, I saw one word flash across my eyes - AWESOME. And that was what I took when I opened my Kindle and started this one. Sometimes, though, a synopsis misleads you. For me, SPLINTERED seemed epic in a Tim Burton-esque way. In reality, it was a one way trip to Hot Topic where they were having a blowout sale on Alice in Wonderland merchandise with Johnny Depp's face plastered everywhere.

SPLINTERED is the story of Alyssa, the daughter of a woman afflicted with severe psychiatric issues, and the granddaughter and great-granddaughter of others similarly affected. Alyssa herself can hear bugs and flowers speaking to her. With her love interest Jeb, a brooding artist currently dating the high strung and stereotypical enemy Taelor, Alyssa goes on a hunt to destroy the curse, leading her down the rabbit hole right into Wonderland.

The first 20% of this book is a tedious exposition on Alyssa's current life. Her mother is at Soul's Asylum, where she eats only out of tea cups among other strange things. Alyssa skateboards and listens to music while mooning over artist Jeb, a boy who draws her in his sketchbook and dreams of going to London - on the dime of his girlfriend Taelor's father, sadly - to start his career. There is a strong focus on the fact he has a garnet-studded labret piercing.

This was my first warning that I might not like this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Narration, Boring Wonderland :(
My Initial Reaction...
I LOVED the narration. I REALLY LIKED the parts in our world. I was SO BORED in Wonderland. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun
3.0 out of 5 stars So much promise....
The cover captured my attention first. It's awesome. Then, when I read that it was a twist on the Alice in Wonderland story, I decided to give it a try. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars curiouser and curiouser
OH MY GOSH! This book is a superb rendition of Alice in Wonderland! I loved how the author took Alice in Wonderland and updated it plus added some twist. Read more
Published 9 days ago by crystal yelton
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
I don't even know where to start with this review - there were just so many amazing things! Let me start by saying A.G. Howard is a genius. A.Freaking.Genius. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Tracy Russell
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story but questionable love interest
I LOVE this book. But I have a little problem with Jeb. I couldn't put my finger on it for a long time. Then I realized, he's SO violent. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Spooky
4.0 out of 5 stars Review for Splintered by A.G. Howard
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Splintered by A.G. Howard
Book One of the Splintered series
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date:... Read more
Published 15 days ago by Alyssa
4.0 out of 5 stars A darker Wonderland for modern times
The first book in a series introduces us to Alyssa, a high school student who has an embarrassing history of being descended from the original Alice, which has led to merciless... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Michelle Boytim
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
the book was a bit slow at the start but in the end it started to get really good. there's a lot of emotion and fantasy in this book so depending on what genre of books you're... Read more
Published 17 days ago by kitkat2221
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
What took me so long to read this book!?! Splintered was excellent and an imaginative read. Full of all those fabulous things that make a great story. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Monique @ Mo_Books
3.0 out of 5 stars Not your average fairy tale..
3.5 stars

I have mixed emotions about this book. On one hand I loved it. I loved the plot and the gothic feel of the novel. Read more
Published 20 days ago by B. Wood
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More About the Author

A.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. She always wondered what would've happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and she hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child.

When she's not writing, A.G.'s pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.

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