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Splintered
Cover of Splintered
Splintered
Splintered Series, Book 1
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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...
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...
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  • 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.

    Praise for Splintered:

    STARRED REVIEW

    "Fans of dark fantasy, as well as of Carroll's Alice in all her revisionings (especially Tim Burton's), will find a lot to love in this compelling and imaginative novel."

    Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

    "Alyssa is one of the most unique protagonists I've come across in a while. Splintered is dark, twisted, entirely riveting, and a truly romantic tale."

    USA Today

    "Brilliant, because it is ambitious, inventive, and often surprising — a contemporary reworking of Lewis Carroll's “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland,'' with a deep bow toward Tim Burton's 2010 film version."

    The Boston Globe

    "It's a deft, complex metamorphosis of this children's fantasy made more enticing by competing romantic interests, a psychedelic setting, and more mad violence than its original."

    Booklist

    " Protagonist Alyssa...is an original. Howard's visual imagination is superior. The story's creepiness is intriguing as horror, and its hypnotic tone and setting, at the intersection of madness and creativity, should sweep readers down the rabbit hole."

    Publishers Weekly

    "While readers will delight in such recognizable scenes as Alyssa drinking from a bottle to shrink, the richly detailed scenes that stray from the original will entice the imagination. These adventures are indeed wonderful."

    BookPage

    "Attention to costume and setting render this a visually rich read..."

    Kirkus Reviews

    "Wonderland is filled with much that is not as wonderful as might be expected, and yet, it is in Wonderland that Alyssa accepts her true nature. The cover with its swirling tendrils and insects surrounding Alyssa will surely attract teen readers who will not disappointed with this magical, edgy tale."

    Reading Today Online

    "Creepy, descriptive read with a generous dollop of romance."

    School Library Journal

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • A. G. Howard wrote Splintered while working at a school library. She always wondered what would've happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and she hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child. She lives in Amarillo, Texas.

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books votersgonnavote - Splintered was absolutely amazing and the second book, Unhinged, was just as spectacular, if not more. The descriptions were so vivid and the characters haunting. The relationships are so well woven that I didn't mind for the first time in a while that there was a love triangle. I've reread the first two book at least five times each in the last two years. A. G. Howard has landed her book at the top of my 'Books That Have Changed My Life' shelf... There's only two other books... I can't wait for the third book, Ensnared, and I pray that A. G. keeps writing more and more and more for years to come!
  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 18, 2013
    Howard's first book is as much a quilt as manuscript, stitching together bits of the zeitgeist with thread of the author's own spinning. Lewis Carroll's Alice serves as a backdrop, while characters like Brandon Lee's Crow and Neil Gaiman's Morpheus are models of dark desire. Protagonist Alyssa, however, is an original. The descendent of Carroll's Alice, 16-year-old Alyssa can hear bugs talking and fears she has inherited the madness that plagues her mother's side of the family. The only way to silence the insects' voices is by killing them, using the corpses as material for her ornate artwork. Howard's visual imagination is superior; a cavalcade of weirdness dances across the pages as Alyssa and her secret crush, Jeb, traverse a nightmare Wonderland, trying to save her institutionalized mother and resist the seductive influence of Morpheus. The story's creepiness is intriguing as horror, and its hypnotic tone and setting, at the intersection of madness and creativity, should sweep readers down the rabbit hole. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jenny Bent, the Bent Agency.

  • Kirkus

    December 1, 2012
    An Alice returns through the rabbit hole in this cinematic if oversaturated goth-punk retelling of Alice in Wonderland. When she reached adolescence, Alyssa Gardner began to hear voices, like her mother and the other "Alices" before her. Instead of talking back, she kills the whispering bugs and flowers and uses them in her morbid art, maintaining her spot as school oddball and tortured artiste. Madness, gift or curse, Alyssa ignores the legacy of Alice Liddell until she must enter Wonderland to save her mother. With hot crush Jebediah Holt--artistic, scarred and with an endlessly fascinating labret--in tow, Alyssa races to correct the original Alice's mistakes, drying up the sea of tears, punishing the walrus and restarting the tea party. Alyssa's rather muddled mission becomes even more convoluted thanks to tasks assigned by Morpheus--a dark butterfly-boy who has haunted her since childhood. Alyssa thrives in the chaos, though characters' murky motivations cast her as pawn rather than queen in Morpheus' ever-shifting chess game. Howard playfully employs Carroll's original matter, but the absurd Victorian framework suffers under the weight of a standard teen love triangle as well as added issues of parental abuse and mental illness. Attention to costume and setting render this a visually rich read. More Tim Burton than Lewis Carroll, a sensuous version of Alice's adventures for the Hot Topic crowd. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2013

    Gr 8 Up-This darker, modern update of Alice in Wonderland is more likely to please fans of Tim Burton's film adaptation than those of Lewis Carroll's novel. Alyssa, 16, is a descendant of Alice Liddell, the girl who was Carroll's inspiration for Alice. Her mother lives in a mental institution, and she herself struggles with hearing voices from insects and flowers. Do the women in her family suffer from a curse that can somehow be traced back to the original Alice? The opening chapters drag a bit, but the action picks up when Alyssa finds herself in Wonderland, fighting for her survival-and for her mother's sanity. Howard maintains a lush atmosphere throughout, reintroducing Carroll's characters as truly nightmarish monsters. Though Alyssa's ongoing quests can sometimes seem aimless and the requisite love triangle forced, teens looking for a creepy, descriptive read with a generous dollop of romance will gravitate toward this title.-Hayden Bass, Seattle Public Library, WA

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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