Sunday, February 3, 2013

ARC ReView of SPLINTERED by A. G. Howard

YA / Fantasy - 371 pages
Amulet Books (first published in 2013)

"I fell in love with this story of Alyssa Gardner, great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Alice Liddell, Carroll's inspiration for Alice.  Alyssa is tortured by the voices of bugs and plants, her family's generations - old curse." I instantly wanted to read this book as soon as I read this quote.  Plus, the cover sold me almost just as much.  The choice for the story line is incredible.  It's creative, it's unique and it's something we can pick up and dive into knowing it will have a small sense of familiarity but that it will take us much farther.


Let me just say, first, that it has been a while since the first line of a book has completely grabbed me.  'Splintered' starts out with '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 quickly.'  It completely unveils the tone the book carries through its entirety.  It's creepy.  It makes you wonder.  It takes you places you wouldn't quite think of.  And most of all, it makes you feel for the main character.

It was refreshing to see the intricate network's of Alison's family and the trauma she had to face within her family's history. 'As a teenager, Alison's mom, Alicia, painted the Wonderland characters on every wall of her home, insisting that they were real and talked to her in dreams.  Years later, Alicia took a flying leap out of her second-story hospital room window to test her "wings," just a few hours after  giving birth to my mom.  She landed in a rosebush and broke her neck.' It was at this very moment that I was literally gripped to this book.  I was ready to discover the past of this family since the dawn of Alice in Wonderland.

This moment, also, makes available something real within our culture, our world.  Schizophrenia and being mentally distraught by the things that haunt us, that curse our families.  It's not just a fiction young adult novel, it also deals with some relevant issues that we can maybe consider to wonder about.  There is a quote that instantly falls in line with what I'm trying to say here. Those of us who have been conflicted have also been tempted to say 'I should be terrified.  I should be committed.'  In this book, though, the escape from reality offers a sort of consolation. 'But something about the netherling is sensual and exhilarating, more evocative than anything in the world has ever been.' And perhaps, it is this reason we would like to escape into Splintered.

So what is the scope of this book for Alison?  Where is A.G. Howard taking us?  Well it goes as follows:

"Lovely Alyssa."  The guy's lips purr that cockney accent I heard at the store. "You can cure your family. Use the key to bring your treasures into my world.  Fix Alice's mistakes, and break the curse.  Don't stop until you find me."

What mistakes did Alice make to bring such demise on her family line?  Well, it's this quest for the answers that will keep you gripped.  KrazyBookLady says something that I happen to agree with. "A. G. Howard stays true to the original, but this is a much darker Wonderland than Lewis Carroll ever dreamed of."  Well put!  This is exactly why I loved the book.






Bookserk by Author

Milan Kundera (4) Jane Austen (3) Stephenie Meyer (3) Suzanne Collins (3) Bernhard Schlink (2) F. Scott Fitzgerald (2) H.G. Wells (2) Herman Hesse (2) JRR Tolkien (2) Jules Verne (2) Khaled Hosseini (2) Paulo Coelho (2) Sam Kean (2) Stieg Larsson (2) Sylvia Day (2) A.G. Howard (1) Adam Johnson (1) Alafair Burke (1) Albert Einstein (1) Alexander Soderberg (1) Alicia Hendley (1) Amanda Hocking (1) Andre Dubus III (1) Ann Patchett (1) Aravind Adiga (1) Azar Nafisi (1) Barbara Kingsolver (1) Becky Aikman (1) Camilla Lackberg (1) Carl Sagan (1) Cat Hellisen (1) Charles Webb (1) Charlotte Bronte (1) Chinua Achebe (1) Chris Prentiss (1) Chrisanna Northrup (1) Christopher S. Stewart (1) Clare Clark (1) Clive Barker (1) Coltaire Rapaille (1) Dai Sijie (1) Daniel J. Levitin (1) Daniel Kahneman (1) Daniel Pink (1) David Foster Wallace (1) David Levithan (1) David Sedaris (1) Debra Driza (1) Domenica Ruta (1) Don Miguel Ruiz (1) Douglas Adams (1) Elie Weisel (1) Emily Bronte (1) Emlyn Chand (1) Enid Shomer (1) Epictetus (1) George Orwell (1) George R.R. Martin (1) Greg Graffin (1) Gretchen Rubin (1) Harper Lee (1) Haruki Murakami (1) Herman Koch (1) JR Moehringer (1) Jane Eyre (1) Jennifer Egan (1) Jodi Meadows (1) John Eldredge (1) John Englander (1) John Kenney (1) John Steinbeck (1) John T Cacioppo (1) Joyce Carol Oates (1) Judy Blume (1) Julia Glass (1) Karen Thompson Walker (1) Karol Jackowski (1) Kate Chopin (1) Kate Walbert (1) Katherine Boo (1) Lauren DeStefano (1) Lisa See (1) Lois Lowry (1) Lou Marinoff PhD (1) Madhulika Sikka (1) Maggie Stiefvater (1) Margot Livesey (1) Marissa Meyer (1) Martha Stout (1) Mary Roach (1) Mary Shelley (1) Meg Howrey (1) Megan Abbott (1) Natalie Babbitt (1) Nujood Ali (1) Oliver Harris (1) Paulo Giordano (1) Poet Charles Swain (1) Poet Margaret E. Sangster (1) Priscille Sibley (1) Ray Bradbury (1) Rebecca Dean (1) Richard Francis (1) Robert Louis Stevenson (1) Robert M. Pirsig (1) Rudyard Kipling (1) Sarah Gruen (1) Sharon Lebell (1) Shirley MacLaine (1) Stasi Eldredge (1) Stephen Chbosky (1) Sue Kidd Monk (1) Susan Cain (1) Susanna Calahan (1) Tara Conklin (1) Tea Obreht (1) Terri Giuliano Long (1) Thrity Umrigar (1) Victoria Hislop (1) Virginia Morell (1) Voltaire (1) Zora Neale Hurston (1)

Bookserk Globally

Bookserk by Publishing House

Harper Perennial Publishing (8) Random House Publishing (7) Crown Publishing (6) Little Brown and Company Publishing (6) Harper Publishing (4) Knopf Publishing (4) Scholastic Press Publishing (4) Vintage Publishing (4) W.W. Norton Company Publishing (4) Anchor Publishing (3) Atria Books Publishing (3) Free Press Publishing (3) HarperCollins Publishing (3) Penguin Books Publishing (3) Riverhead Books Publishing (3) Ballantine Books Publishing (2) Bantam Books Publishing (2) BarnesNoble Classics Publishing (2) Broadway Publishing (2) Harmony Publishing (2) Harper Paperback Publishing (2) Hyperion Publishing (2) Katherine Tegen Books Publishing (2) Simon and Schuster Publishing (2) William Morrow Publishing (2) Algonquin Books Publishing (1) Amber Allen Publishing (1) Amulet Books Publishing (1) Berkley Trade Publishing (1) Blue Crown Press Publishing (1) Createspace Publishing (1) Crown Business Publishing (1) Del Rey Publishing (1) Dover Publishing (1) Ember Publishing (1) Faber and Faber Publishing (1) Farrar Straus Giroux Publications (1) Feiwel Friends Publishing (1) Five Rivers Chapmanry Publishing (1) Gallery Books Publishing (1) Grand Central Publishing (1) HarperOne (1) Hill and Wang Publishing (1) Hogarth Publishing (1) It Books Publication (1) MJF Books Publishing (1) MTV books and Pocket Books Publishing (1) McGraw Hill Higher Education Publishing (1) Nelson Publishing (1) Pamela Dorman Books Publishing (1) Pantheon Publishing (1) Plaza Y Janes Publishing (1) Plume Publishing (1) Pocket Publishing (1) Puffin Publishing (1) Quill Publishing (1) Reagan Arthur Books Publishing (1) Science Bookshelf Publishing (1) Signet Classics Publishing (1) St. Martin's Press Publishing (1) Touchstone Publishing (1) Virago Publishing (1) Washington Square Press Publishing (1)