Splintered by A.G. Howard | Book Review

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s splinteredpangs 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.


I started out really enjoying this book…and then it turned into shit. Let me explain.

This book screams sexism. Alyssa is constantly being told what to do by the two male main characters, Jeb and Morpheus. Jeb is her best friend/crush from reality and Morpheus is some creepy guy that she meets in Wonderland. Jeb is officially number 1 on my list of Characters I Fucking Hate. Alyssa is always turning to him to save her or if it’s ok for her to do something. It’s bull shit. No one should tell you what to do and how to do it. That is your responsibility for yourself. It aggravated the shit out of me. Morpheus, granted he isn’t much better, at least brought something to the plot. There was a reason he was a main character, even if most of the time he was being a playing ass. I hated the romance in this completely. I would have enjoyed it immensely if a love aspect was completely gone.

I was confused most of the book. Maybe it’s because I couldn’t grasp the concept or I wasn’t paying good enough attention. But things kept jumping around and around to the point where I just didn’t care anymore. I felt like things were happening just to make something happen, or just to make a super minor character a more prominent one. The pacing was also off. It took forever to get to Wonderland, then they were taking their sweet time doing all of these stupid things Moprheus kept telling them to do, and before I knew it, we were towards the end of the book with no productive shit done. 

While I hated the characters (so much), the plot was ok. I was in the mood for a dark and twisted retelling and I got it. But like I said, it was so all over the place that I couldn’t catch up to what was going on most of the time. The book had me gripped at the beginning, but about 40% in I was a goner.  I liked that Howard mentioned the real Wondeland story by Lewis Carroll in the novel. Alice is mentioned a lot in the novel, considering she’s a relative of Alyssa’s and Alice is the reason why her family is cursed. There was a few comparisons to the story, but Splintered is definitely a much darker version of Wonderland. The plot twist at the end is what has me reconsidering not finishing the series. Though I didn’t see it coming, it wasn’t one that completely blew me away. It is, however, interesting enough for me to what to know more about what the families.

“No one knows what he or she is capable of until things are at their darkest.”

I really didn’t enjoy it which surprises me because I’ve heard nothing but good things about this series. Even friends who normally hate the same books as I do really enjoyed it. Maybe I’m missing something or I didn’t click with the story at the time I was reading it. I may continue the series if I can get a good deal on an e-book or find it in my library. Definitely not one I’m going to go out of my way to continue.

2 stars

Have you read Splintered or is it on your TBR? Do you agree/disagree with any points that I made about this novel? Please let me know in the comments below. I’d love to discuss! 


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

Published: January 1, 2013

Source: e-copy purchased myself

Publisher: Amulet Books

Pages: 371

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling

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9 thoughts on “Splintered by A.G. Howard | Book Review

  1. Ooooo ouch, sorry you had such a rough time! This has been on my kindle for a while now & it sounded interesting but honestly, I’m not sure I’ll ever read it. Especially after hearing about the characters interact with each other. I am NOT ok with that sort of crap. I might still give it a shot eventually cause, I mean, I do HAVE it….but prolly not gonna worry about it too much.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sad you ended up not enjoying it. I really enjoyed this novel and although I hated Jeb (I think we all do with a burning passion) I don’t think there’s sexism (Jeb and Morpheus do try and control Alyssa) because Alyssa does go her own path and she does fight without needing either boys by her side.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eventually, yes. But majority of the book, they are both very controlling over her and constantly telling her what to do. She goes her own path because she has to…she didn’t really have a choice.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I gave this one a Rave way back when I read it, but I honestly skimmed most of it and didn’t understand the other half. Looking back, I’m not really sure why I raved about it when I didn’t enjoy it all that much. I think it was because I liked the beginning and thought the world building was cool, but I don’t feel the same about it now as I did then and don’t plan to finish the series. Love the honesty, girl! 🙂 I have yet to see a bad review for this book. Totally agree with all your points.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hate the whole controlling thing so much. So not here for that. I’ve heard so many people say they hate this Jeb guy and I understand why now, haha. A part of me still wants to read this though just to see how I’m gonna feel about it. I don’t know if I’ll end up liking it but then if I don’t at least I get to write a rant review which is always fun 😅😅 Great review, Britt!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hahaha I always say don’t knock it, till you try it! This one might piss you off a bit though, but like you said, it’ll make for a great review! hahaha

      Like

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