Review: Splintered (Splintered #1) by A.G. Howard

SplinteredGenre: YA Fantasy
Published: January 1, 2013 by Amulet Books
Series: #1 (Splintered)
Length: 384 pages
Source: bought (at Barnes & Noble)

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.”


Splintered is a retelling of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland where the main character, Alyssa Gardner, could talk to plants and insects like her mother who is at a mental institute. It is up to her to fix her grandmother’s mess in Wonderland which will break the family’s curse. What I love about this book is that it has a lot of Alice in Wonderland scenes and characters. There were the cards, Queen Red, and Mr. Rabbid (Rabbit), the Mad Hatter, and more. I also like the author’s writing style. You could picture the Wonderland in your head like a movie. There were also a couple of twists in the book which I enjoyed.

Although the characters were great, they’re not one of my favorites. Alyssa is a senior in high school who loves to skate board. She lives with her father and they occasionally visit her mom in the mental hospital. We learn that her mother refuses to eat with plates, spoon and fork; everything has to be like a tea party which resembles the one in Alice in Wonderland. Alyssa has this childhood friend moth named Morpheus who will lead her to the Wonderland. Morpheus is one of those characters who you’ll have a love/hate relationship with. I find him a complicated character and I still don’t know if I like him as a character or not. There is also a love triangle between Alyssa, Morpheus, and Jeb (Alyssa’s human best friend). I find the romance okay; it didn’t take over the plot which is good or else I would’ve been annoyed.

The disappointing part in this book was that there were some scenes that was very, very confusing. The whole 40 pages before the book ended were really confusing that made me a bit bored with the book. There were weird twists in the book that didn’t made sense to me. Some of the twists that the author included were awesome, and some that made me feel lost. I did enjoy the beginning and middle part of the book. There was a gothic feel that gave me goosebumps. The ending wasn’t a cliff hanger, and ended more like this book could be a standalone. Overall I recommend Splintered especially if you want to read an Alice in Wonderland retelling that has a lot of Alice in Wonderland in it.

3.5 of 5

6 Responses to “Review: Splintered (Splintered #1) by A.G. Howard”

  1. 1 readerswonderland June 10, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    I can understand what you mean-I was confused at parts too and had to reread over a lot of parts to really wrap my mind around everything. Alyssa wasn’t my favorite heroine either, but I still really liked this book-I loved the originality. Great review!

    Alise @ Readers In Wonderland

    • 2 Leigh (LittleBookStar) June 11, 2013 at 8:15 AM

      I was confused on how Alyssa was born if her grandmother was stuck in Wonderland… then it was finally answered towards the end. I was really confused about the curse thing, why Al would felt something for Morpheus, why Red’s spirit randomly went inside Al, and why Al is the chosen one to be the queen. D: I’m so lost lol!

  2. 3 Kezia D June 10, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    I’m sucker for retellings and I’ve been wanting to read this book since it was released. Actually I would prefer no love triangle — it’s getting old, but at least it doesn’t take over the main plot.

  3. 5 Eileen @ ***Singing and Reading in the Rain*** June 11, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    I really liked this book, I’m so happy that you enjoyed it, too! I get what you mean about the romance and Alyssa. I love how original the story was, and that the romance was just a subplot as opposed to a stronger plot that was like a sideplot. (I just made that word up but whatever.) I didn’t feel confused during it, but maybe that’s just me remembering things wrong lol.

    Great review, though!

  1. 1 Splintered (Book Review) | Green Embers Recommends Trackback on September 18, 2013 at 9:03 AM

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