Friday, April 19, 2013

Book Review: Splintered by A.G. Howard (no spoilers)

Book: Splintered
Author: A.G. Howard
Publication: January 1st, 2013
Source: Local Library
Rating: 2/5 stars
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.

My Thoughts:
I had high hopes for Splintered by A.G. Howard. The cover is magnificent  but unfortunately the content inside doesn't match. This book has received a lot of hype and I hoped that the book would live up to the hype, but unfortunately for me, Splintered fell short in more ways than one. The idea was Splintered is brilliant, but it is the execution that I didn't enjoy.

My number one issue with Splintered was the writing style. Usually I adjust quickly to different author's writing style, but throughout Splintered the writing style continued to bug me. Howard has very description writing which had the ability to paint a vivid picture of the scenery in the characters in my head. The problem I had with her writing style is that it dramatically slowed down the story. Something really exciting would happen and then Howard would take a paragraph or two to describe the exciting thing in detail. This novel was like a heart monitor machine where the book reaches a good point, but then it quickly drops down and stays down for many pages. I found myself literally bored while reading this book. I felt like exciting things were happening, but the writing style made the events less traumatic  Its is good to describe things, but in my opinion this writing style got in the way of the story more than it helped it.

Another issue I had with Splintered was the randomness. Anybody who knows the story of Alice in Wonderland knows it is a very random story. I'm okay with the randomness, but I felt in Splintered the author almost made everything too random. It was hard for me to keep track of what was going on because the author was quick to jump from plot line to plot line.

I never really formed any emotional response to the characters. I wanted Alyssa to succeed  but I didn't overly care how she got to the point of success. The insta love with Jeb bothered me and throughout the book Jeb's character bothered me. Then there was Morpheus who was just a brain washing fool. I didn't find a favorite character in this novel that I wanted to cheer for or a character that made me want to keep reading which is the reason Splintered took me some time to read.

I also really hoped that I would see the white rabbit, the queen of hearts, the caterpillar, the mad hatter, and the Cheshire Cat. Although some of the characters were in the novel they weren't even remotely close to the characters I fell in love with. Although since it is a fairy tale retelling I do want the author to add something new to the story I would still like to be able to relate to the characters. The characters in this novel were much darker and very hard to get to know because the writing style got in the way.

Overall I had high expectations for Splintered that were not able to be met. It takes a lot for me to dislike a book and I'm sorry to add Splintered to the list. The cover is beautiful, but the content inside is not. Although I know other people have enjoyed Splintered I don't happen to be one of them. I won't be recommending Splintered to anybody and I probably won't read another book by this author.

Positive reviews: Belle of the Literati and Creativity's Corner
Negative Review: Books of Amber

Thanks for reading



  1. How sad, I give this 5 stars. I thought this was amazing simply for its originality-taking a story most people know and love and creating such a warped, entertaining, unique version. Although all the characters (like the hatter, the Cat) were represented differently, I actually liked that because the whole point was that the original Alice was young and saw things in a different way. When in "reality" the characters are how they are in SPLINTERED. I do agree about Jeb though, I really didn't like him at first.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    1. I just read your review. I'm sorry to be person who posts a negative review about this book. I thought the idea was brilliant. I just didn't enjoy the execution.

  2. Aw, it is sad that you didn't like it. I'm still curious about this, I was excited for this, but I'll wait till I finally read it to see what I think. Sometimes you don't like what others do, happens to everyone. We're all different, it just didn't work for you with this book, I'm sure there are others who agree with you. I'm not a fan of Alice in Wonderland, I don't think I've actually read this or seen the original movies completely, so I'd probably be a little more open to this new idea.

    1. Exactly I still think people could like this book. My biggest complaint was the writing style which others may really like.


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