The Whole Shebang – A Review of SPLINTERED by A.G. Howard

A.G. Howard
384 pages
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: January 1st, 2013
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: LOVED

This 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’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

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.

   I’ve always been a fan of Alice in Wonderland. When I heard SPLINTERED was Wonderland, only darker and a lot more delicious, I was dying to get my hands on it.

   Lucky for me, SPLINTERED is just as good as I expected. No, not just as good. It exceeded my expectations and topped my list of requirements. It was incredibly good. Dark and delicious. Totally awesome.

   Yes. That good.

   A.G. Howard knows how to keep the words flowing, the world growing, and the characters living. I’m not normally a fan of pony-tailed guys, but Jebediah Holt is an exception. I mean, come on, isn’t his name hot enough? And then there’s Alyssa Gardener – daughter of a madwoman who sips pot roast from a tea cup. She’s a skateboarder, a bug artist, and an all around unique protagonist you won’t find anywhere else.

   And then there’s Morpheus – the bad guy with a soft side and an amazing accent and fashion sense. He also happens to be a moth. I especially loved him in the end.

   SPLINTERED is a whirlwind of fun. Dangerously thrilling tea parties, flesh-eating flowers, walrus eating clams (no, it isn’t the other way around) – SPLINTERED has the whole shebang. Including a story that will make you feel all the feels and end with your heart racing. In a good way.

   Rest assured, there isn’t a cliff hanger ending, though I would love to see more of Alyssa, Jeb, and Morpheus. In fact, the ending is perfect. From start to finish, SPLINTERED is a must-read. Trust me when I say it’s as gorgeous inside as it is on the outside. A.G. Howard is an author to watch.

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Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.

December 25, 2012



  1. Reply

    Izzy G.

    December 24, 2012

    I LOVE this cover, so I'm glad to hear the book is just as great on the inside!

  2. Reply

    ᘛ ᗰᗩᎶᎥᘓ ᘚ

    December 24, 2012

    Sounds great! And the cover looks amazing! Great review!

  3. Reply

    Mary @ BookSwarm

    December 24, 2012

    Oh, nice! I can't wait to read this one! And thank you for saying there's no cliffhanger. I've had enough of those for a bit.

  4. Reply


    December 24, 2012

    I wasn't sure if I wanted to read Splintered. The cover really draws me in, but I am not a huge Alice in Wonderland fan. But you review really has me intrigued. I like that there isn't a cliffhanger. I'm gett ing a little wearing of them.

    Happy Holidays :)

  5. Reply

    Danielle D

    December 24, 2012

    I have heard so many great things about this book, so glad there is one more good review to add. Thanks for the review :)

  6. Reply


    December 24, 2012

    YAY!!!! You have no idea how good it is to hear you loved it. This is one of my most anticipated for 2013. Hope I love it too!!

  7. Reply


    December 24, 2012

    YEAAAAH. You have no idea how excited I am for this book. Fairytales and retellings are my favorite thing in the world and I've been impatiently waiting for this book from the moment I saw the gorgeous cover. It sounds like everything I wished for and more :D Unique protagonists are always welcome! Great review.


  8. Reply

    Gina @ My Precious

    December 25, 2012

    Oh, wow! You make me want to go out and get this one now! Great review. Thanks for the warning about the cliffhanger -sheez I hate those. So, does it follow close to the origial Alice in Wonderland or is quite a bit off or something completely different.?

  9. Reply

    Dazzling Mage

    December 25, 2012

    I'm really curious about this one, especially since its Alice in Wonderland in modern times!

    For some reason, not a huge fan of the cover though. Great review!

  10. Reply


    December 28, 2012

    Now I'm going to have to read this when it comes out. It just sounds too good to pass up and everyone has been raving about it so far.

    Thanks for the great review!

  11. Reply

    Ashley @ Book Labyrinth

    December 28, 2012

    Man, I keep hearing about how awesome this one is… I think I better pick it up!

  12. Reply

    Bea Tejano

    January 14, 2013

    I am so excited for this! I just won a copy from a recent giveaway and I can't wait to get started reading:D Thanks for the review!

  13. Reply

    Jennifer Messerschmidt

    February 24, 2013

    I love Alice in Wonderland but haven't had much luck with retellings. The setting sounds amazing! I also love a nice stand alone with no cliffhanger. I also heard it has a best friends romance which I'm all about so I think I'll give this retelling a try sometime. Morpheus sounds like a great character. I heard he is a fun bad boy.