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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.
Praise for "Splintered: "
"Fans of dark fantasy, as well as of Carroll's Alice in all her revisionings (especially Tim Burton's), will find a lot to love in this compelling and imaginative novel."
--"Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books"
"""Alyssa is one of the most unique protagonists I've come across in a while. Splintered is dark, twisted, entirely riveting, and a truly romantic tale."
"Brilliant, because it is ambitious, inventive, and often surprising -- a contemporary reworking of Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, '' with a deep bow toward Tim Burton's 2010 film version."
--"The Boston Globe"
"It's a deft, complex metamorphosis of this children's fantasy made more enticing by competing romantic interests, a psychedelic setting, and more mad violence than its original."
" Protagonist Alyssa...is an original. Howard's visual imagination is superior. The story's creepiness is intriguing as horror, and its hypnotic tone and setting, at the intersection of madness and creativity, should sweep readers down the rabbit hole."
"While readers will delight in such recognizable scenes as Alyssa drinking from a bottle to shrink, the richly detailed scenes that stray from the original will entice the imagination. These adventures are indeed wonderful."
"Attention to costume and setting render this a visually rich read..."
"Wonderland is filled with much that is not as wonderful as might be expected, and yet, it is in Wonderland that Alyssa accepts her true nature. The cover with its swirling tendrils and insects surrounding Alyssa will surely attract teen readers who will not disappointed with this magical, edgy tale."
--"Reading Today Online"
"Creepy, descriptive read with a generous dollop of romance."
--"School Library Journal"
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-02-18
- Reviewer: Staff
Howard's first book is as much a quilt as manuscript, stitching together bits of the zeitgeist with thread of the author's own spinning. Lewis Carroll's Alice serves as a backdrop, while characters like Brandon Lee's Crow and Neil Gaiman's Morpheus are models of dark desire. Protagonist Alyssa, however, is an original. The descendent of Carroll's Alice, 16-year-old Alyssa can hear bugs talking and fears she has inherited the madness that plagues her mother's side of the family. The only way to silence the insects' voices is by killing them, using the corpses as material for her ornate artwork. Howard's visual imagination is superior; a cavalcade of weirdness dances across the pages as Alyssa and her secret crush, Jeb, traverse a nightmare Wonderland, trying to save her institutionalized mother and resist the seductive influence of Morpheus. The story's creepiness is intriguing as horror, and its hypnotic tone and setting, at the intersection of madness and creativity, should sweep readers down the rabbit hole. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jenny Bent, the Bent Agency. (Jan.)
Curiouser and curiouser
Alyssa Gardner can hear the voices of insects and plants. You’d hear and see strange things, too, if your great-great-great-grandmother were none other than Alice from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and your family had been cursed ever since Alice’s return.
To save her mother and herself from the curse, Alyssa discovers a way into Wonderland and accidentally pulls her sexy next-door neighbor, Jeb, down the hole with her. Together they encounter outlandish creatures—from zombie flowers to an octo-walrus—and realize dark discrepancies from Carroll’s playful tome. But before they can look for a way home, Alyssa must fix Alice’s mistakes and break the curse—not an easy task when seductive Morpheus, a caterpillar/moth creature that used to haunt her in the human world, keeps changing the stakes.
While readers will delight in such recognizable scenes as Alyssa drinking from a bottle to shrink, the richly detailed scenes that stray from the original will entice the imagination. In the process of finding her sanity and saving herself and Jeb, Alyssa may discover love as well. These adventures are indeed wonderful.