I realize I haven't been doing any real reviews recently so I've decided I really should do a formal review. And what better book for it than Splintered, as I have a lot to say about this book. I can't guarantee no spoilers. Hope you enjoy the review!
Author: A.G. Howard
Genre: YA Fantasy/Retellings
Pg. #: 372
Rating: **** (four stars)
This book. THIS BOOK. I want to give it 5 stars, at least 4.5 because I really enjoyed this book. But it had some flaws that I just can't overlook.
First, I wish I could've taken my time with reading the book because I started it way too late and the due date was approaching. I finished the book in two days, which says something because I was able to do so without getting very bored. I was discouraged before starting Splintered because I had seen some negative reviews but I am so glad I read it!
The plot and pacing was good. There were some really cool twists I wasn't expecting, but there were also a few times where we had no information about Alice or Wonderland, and then, bam! Information overload. I also found there were little lapses of boring whenever the romance took centre-stage. More on that later... Anyway, the opening of the book was very enticing and the following chapters until she enters Wonderland were very entertaining. It was interesting, unique, and the characters were great. Once Alyssa enters Wonderland, things get a little more dull. I found every scene with Morpheus boring and unnecessary, and more on why later as well.
I found the book to be brilliantly written, with vivid descriptions and imagery. I loved the weird twists on the Wonderland creatures-- Especially the ferret/snake thing that gave her a wish. That was cool. However, I still wanted more. Some characters, like the ones at the Mad Hatter's tea party seemed kind of flat and I wanted more weirdness from them. Hopefully this will be granted in the second book, Unhinged. I loved the premise of this novel and the plot and creative ideas were awesome.
Now I'm done with my constant praising of this book because there were issues. I'm talking about the characters. The love interests, Jeb and Morpheus, in particular. Jeb seems like a good guy... At first. In truth I wanted to scream at him because he was so frustrating! He kept trying to control and bubble-wrap Alyssa, and she's way better and stronger than that! He treated her like a five-year-old, and that made me angry. Not to mention the whole thing with his girlfriend. Taelor and Jeb's relationship is typical and mainstream: Rich and pretty mean girl is the girlfriend of the laidback, caring best friend of the main character who secretly like each other *yawn*. It makes Jeb even more of a lame jerk for dating her to "hide and control his feelings for Alyssa". And Morpheus. Honestly? The freak is a sick and twisted moth. He's creepy, manipulative, untrustworthy, and selfish... even I could see that. Who would even consider addressing feelings for him (Alyssa, apparently).
I found myself enjoying the end of the book (after Alyssa leaves Jeb to the end of the second chapter) when Jeb wasn't in it. It was exciting, weird, and highly entertaining. So at least the beginning and end portions were great. However, the last chapter left me in a bad state as well. SPOILER ALERT. I feel like Morpheus had died (as mean as that sounds), not actually lived. His death showed his sacrifice for Alyssa, and it just seemed like the book ended way too perfectly. Oh yay everything is fixed! They all lived happily ever after! SPOILER ALERT OVER.
I have to say, this book was truly amazing if not for all my problems with the romance and characters. I would recommend this book to any fantasy or retelling lovers, however, would forewarn them greatly in advance about my issues with the novel. Thanks for reading!