Author: A. G. Howard
Pages: 400 (not enough)
Rating: 10 out of 10
** Spoiler Alert: This is the second in this series. The review for Splintered is HERE **
Summary (without Goodreads, I'd be Unhinged): Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she's always dreamed of.
That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.
As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind.
If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she'll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.
My Thoughts: I was so excited for this novel to come out. When it finally did, I was out of cash and couldn't get it right away. I cannot explain to you how sad I was to be forced to read everyone else's reviews for this novel while I waiting to get it. It was the most heart breaking thing I've ever been through. Just kidding...this novel was the most heart breaking thing I've ever been through.
I love this series. I don't know why. Alyssa is nothing like me. Usually, I fall in love with characters that I can see myself in but this time I love that she's so different. She's unique. I've definitely never read a novel where the main character dresses like she does. I'll admit that my brain can hardly imagine what she really looks like. I guarantee that the author's vision of her is very different than my own. I know I tone her down a lot more than I ever have with a character. I can't help it. Yet, I love her so much still. I feel so bad for her. Her life kind of sucks most of the time. She really can't escape when her stupid ancestors caused.
Now, as for this love shenanigans...this series just drives me crazy. I love both love interests but I also hate both love interests. Morpheus is the most annoying and amazing character I've ever had the horrible luck to read about. He makes me so mad. I hate him so much. I really do. Sadly, I am also madly in love with him. Can't he just be nice and stop lying and stop plotting and scheming and ruining Alyssa's life. Yet, he also saves her life and pulls out her true self. I'm so conflicted. It's so painful. Like I said, it's the most heart breaking thing ever. Then there is Jeb, he's nice enough. He's smart. He's a good match for Alyssa, except for the fact that she spends a great deal of this novel lying to him because he doesn't remember Wonderland. That is painful too. She can't fully be herself around him. He's a bit more distant in this novel too which makes her upset. Both love interests make me crazy. I'm so conflicted. I ship her with both of them and I want them both to be endgame.
I feel bad for Alyssa's father. I hope that whole issue gets resolved in the next novel.
This author is amazing. They paint a wonderful picture of the world and of their characters. I see it all so clearly in my head. It's amazing and I love it. The author has this amazing ability to make me feel the character's pain. I've never seen anything like this. I've never felt anything like this. I could read this author for forever. I hope she keeps writing. She could easier be my favourite author. I've never been so conflicted with characters or plot points. It's...I can't even describe my feelings to you. I sound like an idiot I'm sure.
The end of this novel is a total killer. I warned you. You read it right there. I damn near threw my book. Kristen constantly puts novels in "time out" when she can't handle the plot. I've never had to do this with any novel. This is the closest I've ever come. I swore quite a lot upon reading the ending. It hurt so bad. It's just not far. I can't even tell you. No seriously...
I just love the idea of this series so much. It takes something that so many people know about and builds it up. I've read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I can't imagine the research that Howard put into this series. I can't imagine how many times she read the Wonderland books. I wish I could have her imagination. I have a pretty good imagination but I'm so jealous. This world is an incredible one. It's real to me like almost no other novel is. I can't tell you enough how good this series is. It surprised me. I picked Splintered up because it was on sale! It may have been the best buy of my entire life.
Go right now and buy this series. Buy both books. I promise you won't regret it. If you do, tell me why so I can argue with you. These novels are amazing.
If I could do one thing, I would thank that author for giving me a world to run away to. She offers a place to escape too. It's dark but also beautiful. Thanks, A. G. Howard and keep writing. I wish I could tell them myself. I aspire to write like they do.
Final Thoughts: I WANT THE NEXT NOVEL SO MUCH, YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND. I NEED IT! You should read this series. It's so much better than I thought it would be and this author is amazing. I hope this novel catches on big. I wish the author/publisher would send me the next one. HEAR THAT HOWARD AND AMULET AND ABRAMS? I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER IF YOU DO!
Stop reading here to avoid a spoiler
The novel makes it so they both can be endgame which I think is equal parts brilliant and a cop out on the side of the author. Yet, if it doesn't happen I will hate my life. I want it to happen. I want it so bad. I can't wait for the next novel.