Monday, May 25, 2015
7:30 AM | Posted by Emily Alfano |
Author: A.G. Howard
Release Date: January 7th, 2014
Pages: 387 pagesRating: 5 Cows
Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she's always dreamed of.
That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.
As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind.
If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she'll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.
I’ve been on a series-reading kick lately, and when I finished with The Selection series a few weeks ago, I finally picked up Splintered by A.G. Howard. I’ve had it sitting on my bookshelf for a few months now, but never got around to reading it yet. Not only did I LOVE it, but the night I finished reading it, I drove all the way to my closest Barnes and Nobles (which is actually not that close at all, it’s in a different city than where I live) and picked up the second book, Unhinged, right away.
Ashley has already reviewed Splintered, so if you’re new to this series and want to read her thoughts on the first book, you can find it here: here. The second book, Unhinged, starts off with Alyssa’s life back in the human realm. Not only does she now live with her mom once more, who has been released from the asylum, but she is openly dating Jeb, her best friend and now boyfriend. After facing the bandersnatch and the Red Queen, Alyssa just wants to return to her normal life of high school and working at the clothing boutique. Unfortunately that’s not in the cards for her though (Wonderland pun intended :) ) and Wonderland starts to sneak back up on her again. The bugs whisper warnings to Alyssa and some friends from her past make an appearance: think toy clowns with evil spirits. As if this series wasn’t creepy enough!
In all honesty though, that’s one of my favorite aspects of this series. Alice in Wonderland has always been my favorite fairy tale, and I absolutely love any type of dark fairy tales. I think fans of Holly Black will really love this series! One of my favorite characters is Morpheus, even if he grates on Alyssa’s nerves from time to time. I can’t recall the exact quote, but I read a book once about love and how in true love, a person should get on your nerves and push your ideas from time to time. Not only do I love this, but I thought it describes Morpheus and Alyssa’s relationship/friendship to a T! I think she has a hard time reconciling his dark side though, because it means giving in to her netherling instincts and admitting she has her own dark side.
Morpheus isn’t the only bad boy in this series though, and for anyone who’s read my reviews in the past, you know I have a thing for the bad boys (sorry ma!:) ). Although Jeb is like the poster child for ideal boyfriends (dedicated and willing to do anything for his girlfriend) he isn’t the most clean cut of kids. Growing up with an abusive father and rough home life, Jeb has a pretty dark past. AND I DO LOVE A BOY WITH PIERCINGS! I am getting ahead of myself here, but have you seen that cover for the third book, Ensnared, in this series? Jeb looks awesome! I love how they had a new character on each book cover. Splintered was Alyssa, Unhinged was Morpheus, and Ensnared is Jeb. Anyhow, I’m rambling here.
Back to Unhinged! One of my last favorite parts of this book was the budding relationship between Morpheus and Alyssa. In the first book she was hesitant to even be left alone with Morpheus. She didn’t think she could trust him after everything that had happened, and even in the beginning of this book she still has her doubts. After Morpheus willing gave himself up to the bandersnatch to save Alyssa though, she realizes he isn’t what she thought. The evolution of their relationship in this book was fun to read, and I thought it really added to the plot. Unforunately for Jeb though, this causes some problems in their relationship and Alyssa’s feelings are pretty confused. HELLO LOVE TRIANGLE. I’m not as opposed to love triangles in YA as I used to be, but I thought Howard did a really great job with it in this series.
Overall, I can’t believe how great this series is. It’s been a while since I’ve read a really good (dark) fairy tale, and I never thought I’d love an author as much as Holly Black, but Howard has made it on my list of favorites! If you get a chance, I suggest starting this series! You won’t regret it!
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