Monday, February 25, 2013

Book Review: Splintered by A.G. Howard

Ever since Alice came back through the rabbit hole, madness has run in Alyssa Gardner's family.  The great-great-great-granddaughter of Alice Liddell, who told her stories to Lewis Carroll, Alyssa and her dad spend Friday afternoons at the asylum visiting her mom, Alison.  Who talks to grasshoppers, spiders, and carnations, refuses to eat or drink anything that's not served in a teacup, and believes that the madness is the result of a curse brought back from Wonderland with the original Alice.

The thing is, Alyssa's not so sure she is sane herself.  The only way she can silence the bugs who whisper things to her is to kill them and put them in her elaborate mosiacs.  Flowers too - Alyssa slams them in books to stop their voices, dries them and adds them to her art.  And the moth - the huge, gorgeous moth who haunts her dreams and her art - is always watching from the mirror.  The only way she can deal with the weirdness is to put in her earbuds and skateboard, work on her mosaics, or hang out with boy-next-door, fellow boarder, and totally crushworthy Jeb.

Alyssa doesn't believe in the Wonderland curse - or in Wonderland, for that matter.  Until the Friday afternoon she and her mom both hear the fly whispering He's here.  Alison panics, frantically telling Alyssa to stay away from the looking glass, the rabbit hole, and him, warning her daughter not to try to break the curse, before the nurses sedate her.  Who the mysterious him is, Alyssa has no idea.

When Alyssa's dad tells her the only thing left for Alison is shock treatment, Alyssa knows she has to stop it. Her dad won't listen, so the only way to help her mom is to get to London, find the rabbit hole, and fix whatever Alice did to curse her family.  After all, if both she and Alison heard the fly, maybe they're not crazy - maybe Wonderland really is real.  All she has to do is follow the whisper of wings and the shadows in the mirror, the ones that look like the moth and a man - but what she doesn't count on is Jeb following her into the looking glass.

If you loved Tim Burton's madcap remake of Alice, can't stop re-watching episodes of Once Upon A Time, or have actually read the Jabberwocky poem in its entirety, you won't want to miss Splintered!  An arty, punk rock skater girl, Alyssa is one awesome Alice.  Especially when Wonderland turns out to be way creepier than anything Lewis Carroll wrote.  Everyone's in Wonderland - the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter and the March Hare, the Red and Ivory Queen, the card army, the Walrus and the Carpenter, and the Caterpillar, but in weird, warped ways that will give you the creepy crawlies in all the best ways.  Eerie and vivid, this rock and roll read is a dreamscape of oddities you won't want to wake up from!

(who is almost finished with Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, the sequel to Cinder - love it!!)

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