5 MILLION STARS!!! more or less.
I don't know why it is that the books I love ~the very most~ are always the hardest for me to review. SPLINTERED is one of those books. Pardon me because all I REALLY want to do is gush, squeeeeeeee and fangirl about this book.... however, I'll resist the urge to do so right now.
One of my all time favorite stories is Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and I LOVE a great retelling almost as much. Honestly, I may have to admit that I think I might actually love SPLINTERED ~more~ than the original. *gasp* I know, right?
Seriously. Everything about this book is fantastic. EVERYTHING.
If I start with the cover, we'll be here all night. My hardback copy came with the GORGEOUS cover/dust jacket. It's like 'ZOMG uber fantastic!!!'. (personally, I'd love it in billboard sized to cover an entire wall - though my husband might not like that idea as much as I do LOL)
Once you're reading the book, you'll come back to stare at the cover and you'll realize, it's perfect. so absolutely, purely, perfect.
Every minute attention was paid to the detail within the covers as well. From the inside page designs of the book, to the ink color (which is a real dark, aubergine purple), and even the fancy scroll work and illustrations at the heading of every chapter was lovely. Everything about the construction of the book was deliberate to the story and turned out first class. everything.
This story runs a pretty good parallel to the original Lewis Carroll version - but it's so far from being a cookie-cutter wanna-be version. SPLINTERED brings with it all sorts of new twists and characters that are much darker, grittier and, more than occasionally, mutated. So much so that it actually concerns me for the well-being of the author if *this* is how her brain works!
And speaking of the characters. Holy cow I LOVED them all! there were the ghosts of the original story who were brilliantly brought back to life in this story, in addition to the new main characters. Alyssa Gardner (the great-great-great grand daughter of Alice Liddell), her kinda boyfriend-type-person, Jeb and another mysterious guy she remembers from her locked away past, Morpheus - he's all grown up now and more mentally destructive than ever.
They each had depth and reasoning, you could relate to them - some characters were despicable while most others were charming and/or full of warped imagination.
I loved the love triangle that wasn't really a triangle at all and the fact that even though this is technically a young adult book, it wasn't focused on romance -even tho there is some slight romanciness between the characters.
The Underland world the author created here was beyond amazing. Again, more twisted, and off-kiltered .... off with their heads madness and then some. Altered and adapted to become a more modern nightmare.
As crazy and unbelievable as the original AiW is, SPLINTERED manages to be even crazier and more unbelievably fantastic. a beautifully written, plausible expectation to what happened to Alice Liddell AFTER Lewis Carroll put down the pen on her story all those years ago
I am truly amazed and impressed to the high heavens with A.G. Howard's debut book. So much attention to every little detail. Thoroughly developed, edited and exquisitely presented. Such a treat!
I loved it. all of it. the cover, the book, the story, the ending. all of it, every single bit of it. seriously folks, EVERYTHING!!
I tee-totally, absolutely and positively, whole-heartedly recommend this book to anyone who loves or appreciates the original Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and anyone else who enjoys fantastical, adventurous, young adult stories that feature a strong heroine, swoon-worthy guys and a story that pushes the reader to the brink of madness -but in a good way.
rating: 5 stars and a HEART!