Splinteredby A.G. Howard Published: January 1st, 2013
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’sAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together.
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've been collecting bugs since I was ten;
it's the only way I can stop their whispers. Sticking a pin through the gut of
an insect shuts it up pretty quick.”
First off, I feel like I need to say, LOOK AT THAT FREAKIN
COVER!! It is gorgeous in every single way. It’s even better inside!
The writing is very beautiful and the creepy Wonderland Howard creates is
eerie and intriguing. The gothic spin she puts on this world is perfect.
Alyssa was great! She wasn’t perfect but was never annoying
and she developed very well throughout the book. The good memories of Morpheus
blinded her from seeing the truth in his intentions but with Jeb alongside of her,
she found her strength.
nostalgia is deceptive, and I shove it aside. Because everything has been a lie.”
And when (SPOLIER) She
stuck up for Jeb at the end I was like, “you
go girl!” (END SPOILER)
Oh, Jeb! Besides his name not being my favorite, there is
nothing to not love about this man. He is so kind, so caring, and so protective
of Al and its sooo sweet! He is also so funny, I loved all the creative names
he would call Morpheus, it was hilarious!
“I go where Al goes, dances-with-bugs. And just
so you know, if anything happens to her, I'll pin you by your wings to a
corkboard and use you for dart practice.”
I loved Jeb even more (SPOILER!) when he
used his love for Al to sacrifice himself to be in the box I cried! (END SPOILER)
Usually artist dudes are quite feminine and when they try to
be romantic I cringe. This was so not the case with Jeb:
me I’m losing control of. Hundreds of sketches, and I still can’t get enough of
not wasting another second drawing you’, he whispers against my lips, ‘when I can
touch you instead.’ He presses his mouth to mine”
I did enjoy Morpheus, because he’s the villain, but he’s one
you know doesn’t want to be the villain, he’s not just pure evil, there’s
something there to love. I can tell he truly does love Alyssa but he can’t have
“He's a contradiction: taut magic coiled to
strike, gentleness at war with severity, a tongue as sharp as a whip's edge,
yet skin so soft he could be swathed in clouds.”
I know I am going to enjoy reading Unhinged to see if Howard
can get me to switch sides because I don’t see it happening! 5 Stars!
Goodreads:By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She
can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create
a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with
a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore
the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have
skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides
to bear more children.
When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all
she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and
Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to
a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost
makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine
quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what
it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote,
is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted
one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin
brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her
time runs out? Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts
to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues
to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?
Meh. I tried hard to like this book,
No matter how bored I was, no matter
how many times I rolled my eyes, I pushed through.
I had a very hard time connecting to
ANY of the characters and being invested in the story.
I felt like the MC was dull and dumb
and could NOT decide what she wanted.
The “romance” if you could call it
that was lacking any type of feeling and the person she ended up with seemed to
be by default. I saw/felt NOTHING between them.
The futuristic world was so
intriguing, and it’s what kept me from chucking the book at a pigeon. I kept
reading and reading hoping I’d find out more about the world but I didn’t.
Usually a lack of world building isn’t too big a deal to me as long as I am
invested in something else (characters, romance, plot, etc.), But I
Nothing interesting happened in this story whatsoever. 99% of it took place in one place, which isn't always a problem, but the NOTHING HAPPENING surely was. Many times throughout the novel I was just wishing an alien would break through a window and killed everybody...at least that would have surprised me!
I will say that the writing was the
novels saving grace. Saving grace, of course meaning not a one star rating and
one happy, living pigeon! It was very eloquent and beautifully dark, paralleled
to the disparity of Rhine’s situation and the whole premise ofWither.
I would like to pick up the rest of
the books in the series and give it another shot, but I will be either going to
my library, or Googling it!2.5
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Here's what you do: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Shatter Me: By Tahereh Mafi Published: November 15th, 2011 I'm re-reading this book becauseIgnite Mecomes out in February and I CAN'T WAIT! :) Teasers from pages: 136 & 253
"You think I don't have a heart? You think I don't feel? You think that because I can inflict pain, that I should?"
Okay well I have a little something to say about these books.
I guess I'm not that strong a reader because I struggled a bit with this book. Laini Taylor writes beautifully (I know, everyone has said this, but it's so true!) but I found myself skimming at times and not completely understanding what was happening. At one point, I was wondering how this series can have such great reviews, because I was ready to give it a 3 star. At a certain point though, WOW. I mean, I've NEVER had a book redeem itself to a 5 star but it did. I may mark it down to a 4.5 for the bits I struggled with but I had a hard time putting it down after about 150 pages in, maybe 200 and I am so glad I stuck with it. I loved the story and the characters... . . . . **quick note though for all the people who are annoyed with Karou falling for Akiva so quickly...uhm...they used to be lovers! I know this happened in the 1st book but everytime I read bad reviews for this, people cant help but bring that up! True love always prevails, even if your memory is stuck in a wishbone!!!!
So yeah, that was just a quick little rant! I LOVE Zuzana and Mik and for all the authors who aren't going to read this review (but whatever): WE LOVE STRONG SECONDARY CHARACTERS! It drives me nuts when our MC has a best friend and we get nothing out of them, but with this book, we get so much Zuzana and Mik and it's great, I adore them! I will be reading Night of Cakes and Puppets ASAP! The plot kept me interested the whole time and there were some twists that I was NOT expecting! This book also got its five star review bc it made me cry. Multiple times! Laini makes this war so brutal but she makes her characters so passionate and wonderful and I am in love with all of them, I want nothing bad to ever happen to them ever!
So to summarize, if you feel like you're struggling with this book more than you did with the first one, please don't give up! It's totally worth it! I feel better about this world Taylor has created so I will DEFINITELY be rereading this series before the final book comes out!