This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of Underland, 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.
©2013 Anita Howard (P)2013 AudioGO
Pre-teen girls and anyone who enjoys cliche, corny romances.
None. I don't like abridged productions.
It’s no secret that retold, repurposed fairy tales are all the rage in young adult novels these days. However, Splintered captures very little of the magic or charm that so many other fantasy books in the genera posses. Going in, I had high hopes for this book. The premise sounded fresh and interesting and almost all of the reviews were positive. Sadly though, the end product turned out to be a slow and difficult read. I found very little to like in any of the main characters and was frustrated with them throughout most of the book. Many of them have a punk/emo flair to their personalities, which feels unnatural, as well as immature, and makes it seem like the author is trying too hard to relate to younger readers. The female lead, Alyssa, is unfortunately meek and needed, though the novel tries to portray her as otherwise, and constantly relies on her two love interests for protection and direction. These two love interests are, I can only assume, supposed to be supportive, caring and protective. Instead they come off as creepy, over protective, and controlling. This is as frustrating and annoying as you can imagine, so I won’t go into detail about it.
Another problem I have with the novel is the words and descriptions that the author used. (I know this sounds really picky, but just bear with me.) Howard went to great lengths to describe things like clothing, kissing, table dancing, and the characters irresistible beauty, but her descriptions of scenes that involved heavy action or key events often felt lacking. In short, the dull parts of the book seemed drawn out, while the climactic and important portions felt rushed. In addition to this, it was difficult to become invested in many of the creative twists and turns that the book presented, because the words and descriptions that the author used didn’t’ feel creative or interesting. This may seem harsh, but an author’s medium is words and the value of their work depends greatly on how he/she uses them. The author presented readers with interesting places and creatures, but didn’t describe them well enough to make them fantastic.
Despite all of this, I didn’t think the book was all bad. I think that the most frustrating part of this book was that I knew it had the potential to be great. But, that greatness was lost in a weak writing style, annoying main characters, a ridiculous love triangle, and bad pacing. Howard’s ideas seem genuinely interesting, but her execution of them leaves much to be desired. I feel like if the author had waited to publish this book, and worked through some of the story’s tangles, it could have been and wonderful. Instead, I found it to be immature and exasperating. Unless you’re in middle school or like cheesy, cliché romances, I would skip this book.
This has got to be the best spin on Alice in Wonderland, EVER! I absolutely loved it! Rebecca Gibel did a wonderful job with narration. (Narration needs to be good to keep my attention.) A.G. Howard did an awesome job with this book/audiobook. I couldn't put it down. Two thumbs up! I love her take on the characters and "Wonderland" itself. There is suspense, action and romance wrapped up in a fantastical fantasy world. I definitely recommend this book.
It was a wholly unexpected interpretation of Alice in Wonderland. I really dug it.
She does great voices. I felt like I was listening to multiple actors.
Usually I can't tolerate present tense books in audio but this one was well done and less clunky than present tense usually is.
Yes! It was a familiar, yet new tale. Lots of suspense and great descriptions!
Alyssa was awesome! Rebecca showcased her strengths and emotions perfectly.
No. It was just awesome!
That's really, really hard to pinpoint. There were so many things about this book I absolutely loved. The totally new, warped view of Wonderland was fabulous, and the struggle to gain absolute trust from Alyssa between Jeb and Morpheus.
The frozen teaparty, of course! Fantastic!
She perfected the different character voices, especially Jeb and Morpheus.
I can't say without giving away too much. The last 1 or 2 hours of the book really throws you for a loop. So many emotions!!
Not so much a retelling as a explanation of what really happened. The story of Wonderland as told by Carroll was much gentler than the reality, as Alyssa, Alice's descendent realizes.
Alice's return from Wonderland brought back a curse on her female descendents, making them hear voices from flowers and insects ultimately driving them mad. Alyssa, who's mother resides in a mental facility, was also afflicted. After overhearing her mom's conversation with a grasshopper and being controlled by some unforseen force, she sets out to find the answers before she herself goes mad.
This is a must read for Alice in Wonderland fans. For those of you who despise love triangles be forwarned there is a bit of love triangle action. However it does resolve itself before the end of the novel so no big "who will she choose" cliffhangers here.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.