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Posts tagged “Splintered

Unhinged by A.G. Howard: Frodo’s Review

Unhinged

Summary From GoodreadsUnhinged by A.G. Howard

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.

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Unhinged…was not what I expected. Splintered, book one in the series, showcased this dark and edgy depiction of Wonderland that I fell in love with. The humor, characters, and style that were used fascinated me and had me hungry for more, instantly I pre-ordered Unhinged.

The characters are there. Morpheus is shown in all of his glory and mysteriousness. Jeb is still loyal, in love, and the kind of knight in shining armor that I expected him to be. Alyssa is conflicted, but slowly finding herself; magical, but wild and unsure.

Danger is lurking with the Red Queen once again causing all sorts of chaos, as well as the turmoil of the heart as Alyssa has to decide who she wants to be with and the life that they can offer her. Drama, magic, and incredible displays of artwork fill this story and make it wonderful with the same dark overtones that I enjoyed so much in the first book.

What’s the major difference? While many of the magical creatures of Wonderland make an appearance, my favorite being that of the White Rabbit (or Rabid White as he is known in this series), the shock to me was how much of this story took place in the “real world” rather than the magical Wonderland I had fallen so in love with. After giving it a fair bit of thought I can understand some of the reasoning for why Howard wanted to do this as there were many issues that needed to be taken care of there, but it caught me off guard.

What Howard did manage to do by keeping the majority of the focus on our world is make it seem magical in and of itself. She makes it so we question our surroundings, second guess preconceived notions of the way things “work” here, and I certainly don’t look at bugs or flowers the same anymore. She made reality wondrous and that is no easy feat.

So did I enjoy Unhinged? Yes. Was it the story I thought I was going to be getting? Nope. Does it really matter? Not really, I enjoyed the tale and I am just as excited, if not more so, to read book three in the series (even though I have to wait a year to do it) which I will likely pre-order as soon as possible. If you liked Splintered, especially the cast of characters, then you will enjoy Unhinged as well. Oh, and if you haven’t read Splintered yet, please do so, it is absolutely amazing and one of my favorite books that I read last year. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge #12/365

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End of Year Book Survey for 2013

End of Year Book Survey 2013

Totally Random Tuesday

This year was the first time I heard about the 2013 End of Year Book Survey which is hosted by the lovely Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner and I loved the idea! Apparently this is the fourth year this has been running, but better late than never! Without further ado, let’s get into the survey!

thirteen reasons why 1. Best book you read in 2013? – Every time I think of what book I loved most it always comes back to Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. It had all of the feels and a big part of me connected with that story, even if it hurt at times. I loved it and will likely make this one of my few re-reads of next year.

 2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn’t?Invisibility by David Levithan and Andrea Cremer. I enjoyed everything I read by Levithan prior to this book, and there was SO much hype surrounding it so I thought it was an easy win. Boy was I wrong. It was disjointed, the female MC was just…ugh, and Cremer was not at her best here from what I have heard.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book from 2013? Doll Bones by Holly Black. I thought this would be a good MG read when I bought it, but I didn’t think I would end up loving it! Great book, wonderful characters, so sweet.

Splintered by A. G. Howard 4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013? – Besides Thirteen Reasons Why, probably Splintered by A.G. Howard or Antigoddess by Kendare Blake. So many great books! ^.^

 5. Best series you discovered in 2013? – Easily the Razorland trilogy by Ann Aguirre. I’ve read (and loved) Enclave and Outpost already and Horde will be one of the first books I dive into for my challenge in 2014. It’s the best dystopian series out there.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013? – If I HAD to pick one it would be Ann Aguirre, but here is my Top Ten Tuesday post from last week about new-to-me authors which is a much better representation!

 7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you? – I had read a tiny bit of steampunk before but Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger is in my top ten books for the year and made me go out and get a bunch more. Freaking awesome in every way!

 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book of 2013? – Has to be Antigoddess by Kendare Blake. The book had action galore, the story never had a dull moment, and it is about Greek mythology which I LOVE. So ya, definitely unputdownable.

 9. Book you read in 2013 that you are most likely to re-read next year? – Thirteen Reasons Why is the number one, but besides that it’d be Paper Towns by John Green. I’d love to say An Abundance of Katherines because it was the book by Green that spoke to me the most, but I technically read that in December of 2012, so Paper Towns will do quite nicely.

Lets Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson 10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. The cover is simple but adorable, and it makes me laugh every time I look at it.

 11. Most memorable character in 2013? – Ritchie Sudden from Wise Young Fool by Sean Beaudoin. He was the most original of any character I experienced this year and the journey he takes to discover who he is was a blast to be on.

 12. Most beautifully written book in 2013? – I’m trying not to repeat myself too much so I’ll go with Looking for Alaska by John Green which was wonderfully written. Loved it.

 13. Books that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? – Thirteen Reasons Why is the far and away #1, but the other ones that comes to mind are both by Zoe E. Whitten, Penny for Your Debts & Peter the Wolf which both hit me hard.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited until 2013 to finally read? – An argument can be made for a ton of the books I read this year, though next year the list will likely be a mile long. I’ll go with Cursed by Jeremy C. Shipp which came out in 2009! Crazy.

 15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2013? – From Looking for Alaska: “We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations.”

 16. Shortest & longest book you read in 2013? – I didn’t include anything of novella length so that makes my shortest book The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger (145 pages) and the longest book Divergent by Veronica Roth (487 pages). I’m happy to say I enjoyed both quite a bit! ^.^

Antigoddess Cover 17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it? – I don’t remember going crazy over any one scene despite reading about so many great ones, but there was definitely one involving the feather on the cover of Antigoddess that had me going right to Twitter. Kendare Blake, why do you make me love you so?

 18. Favorite relationship from a book you read in 2013? – The dynamic between Artemis Fowl and Holly Short in the Artemis Fowl series is beautiful and I ship them so hard (as weird as that may be).

 19. Favorite book you read in 2013 from an author you’ve read previously? – Outside of the books previously mentioned, it would likely be the most bizarre book I read this year, Fade to Blue by Sean Beaudoin. A great read but truly insane.

 20. Best book you read in 2013 that you read based solely on a recommendation from someone else?Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver. I believe it was Kat from Katytastic on YouTube (who is awesome by the way) that recommended this one to me as well as Doll Bones, and both are my favorite MG reads for the year so thank you Kat!

 21. Genre you read the most from in 2013? – I’d say it is a tie between fantasy and contemporary, to close to call.

 22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013? – So many to choose from! It’s got to be Aja Killian from the Pendragon series by D.J. MacHale who is just so adorably awkward. ❤

Insomnia by J.R. Johansson 23. Best 2013 debut you read? – Besides Splintered? Then it has to be Insomnia by J.R. Johansson, a pretty creepy book that I enjoyed quite a bit.

 24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013? – Splintered and Antigoddess for the umpteenth time, but also Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. Holy freaking crap. Just read it if you haven’t, so pretty!

 25. Book that was the most fun to read in 2013? – Etiquette & Espionage again, but also Going Nowhere Faster by Sean Beaudoin was a really fun read. His sense of humor and mine just click.

 26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2013? – Thirteen Reasons Why is really the only book I read this year that had me super close to tears. I felt all of the emotions while reading that book.

 27. Book you read in 2013 that you think got overlooked this year or when it came out?The Archived by Victoria Schwab. While Vicious has been received and enjoyed by many, The Archived seemed to be a book that people only found out after Vicious’s success, and I encourage any who are on the fence to give it a try.

I hope you enjoyed this survey and feel free to join in on the fun by clicking here and linking up your own responses! I definitely plan to do this again next year, it should be pretty interesting to see how the books I read then will match up to the ones from 2013. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Waiting on Wednesday #11

Waiting On Wednesday hosted by Breaking The Spine

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by the fantastic people over at Breaking The Spine that highlights upcoming releases that we are excited about.

For this week my pre-publication selection that I can’t wait for is:

Unhinged (Splintered #2) by A.G. Howard

Set For Release On: January 7th, 2014

Summary From GoodreadsUnhinged by A.G. Howard

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.

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Just about every book blogger I know is either incredibly excited for this to come out and likely has it on pre-order or their holiday gift list, or has read the ARC of it and is raving about its awesomeness. I am in the first group and can’t wait for it to arrive on release day, which is only about a month away! If I could I’d make time go faster just so I could get this book. Splintered is in my top 5 books that I read in 2013, and I expect Unhinged to quickly become, and stay, in my top 5 for 2014.

Does Unhinged appeal to you? Are you as excited as I (and seemingly the rest of the bookish blogosphere) am for it? What book are you “Waiting On”? Let me know in the comments and/or leave a link to your own WoW post and I will make sure to stop by! Thanks for checking out my Waiting On Wednesday! ^.^


Day 45: Splintered by A.G. Howard

Day 45

Summary From Goodreads

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.

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I haven’t read a fairy tale retelling in quite some time, but if this is what they were all like I’d never stop. Splintered was a fantastic twist on the original Alice in Wonderland story, arguably better and more compelling than the original. It was much darker and more realistic, shredding away any sense of cutesy fairy tale creatures and replacing them with the true characters that our childlike selves refuse to let us see.

Alyssa is a bit of a mixed bag for me as the main character. While I do like her sense of humor and twisted sense of art, she is very, very clingy and boy-crazy. Whether it is Jeb or Morpheus, when one of them is around she is all over them fawning and wishing to be theirs, jealous at the slightest sign of either of them liking anyone else. While that part can get annoying, she does stand up for herself and though the guys in her life always seem to protect her, she truly doesn’t ask for it and does genuinely seem to want to handle her own problems which is admirable even if she does fail at it most epicly. Jeb is the standup guy that every girl seems to dream of, the whole knight in shining armor to a tee. Morpheus on the other hand is the polar opposite, if you aren’t into the super-good-guy routine, then maybe his slightly emo/tortured soul/kick-butt badass one works for you. They make for a fun dynamic.

Then there is the love triangle (I’m ignoring a girl from the beginning because she was never a threat really) which in this case works pretty well. Alyssa seems to actually have difficulty deciding who she wants to be with at times and there is legitimate uncertainty as to who she will choose for quite a while which is vital if you are going to try and pull one of these off. There is an excessive amount of lovey-dovey moments especially directed from Alyssa, as I mentioned earlier, and that did get a bit old. Overall it worked, I just didn’t want it to be quite as much of the focus, the next part is the reason why.

My reaction to the plot and world building

The plot & world that Howard built are just freaking amazing. The action is steady throughout but doesn’t overpower the more serious/informative parts of the storyline which isn’t always an easy feat. Alyssa manages to do something pretty incredible at every turn, usually by complete accident. The creepiness of the wonderland characters and the way they interact with each other and Alyssa keeps things interesting and the impending doom (in a variety of ways) keeps the reader on their toes. At every turn a new way of tearing down the facade of the Alice in Wonderland innocent world is shown and I thought it was brilliantly done.

The book was great. What made it even more amazing was that this was a freaking debut, how the heck is Howard filled with that much awesome already?! Regardless, I can’t wait for their next book to come out so I can devour it immediately. Thanks as always for reading, if you haven’t read Splintered go get it now and come back tomorrow for Day 46!

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #45/365

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