Splintered by A.G. Howard | #COYER Audio Review

July 16, 2014 Reviews 16

Splintered by A.G. Howard | #COYER Audio ReviewSplintered by A.G. Howard
Narrator: Rebecca Gibel
Series: Splintered #1
Published by Amulet Books, AudioGO on January 1, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 403
Length: 12 hours 38 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
two-stars

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of Underland, 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.

My Initial Reaction…

I LOVED the narration. I REALLY LIKED the parts in our world. I was SO BORED in Wonderland. 🙁 After all the hype surrounding Splintered I had high hopes and even got started off on a great note. But Wonderland just didn’t do it for me.

The Narration…

Rebecca Gibel’s narration was fantastic. I thought she brought the characters to life extremely well and she nailed some pretty difficult accents to boot. I wonder if I would have made it through Splintered without her reading it to me, honestly. Probably not.

The Characters…

Alyssa – the main character from whose point of view Splintered is told- drove me nuts. At first I really liked her. I mean she was a little creepy with the way she killed bugs for her art projects, but when I understood that it was because it was the only way to keep herself from going crazy because the bugs talked to her, it was ok. I mean, it’s a Wonderland retelling. I expected nuts. I also felt sorry for her because of the situation with her mom – who’s been in a mental institution for years – but I also didn’t love the way she acted towards her mom.

What I didn’t expect was indecisive, wishy-washy, and sometimes plain old mean. IDK how everyone who loved this book felt about Alyssa (I’m purposefully not looking at reviews until this is written), but her indecisiveness really drove me batty. She has this really good guy friend that she likes as more than a friend, but she goes back and forth from wanting him to wanting Morpheus (who I can’t for the life of me understand why she’d like him). And there came a point, for me, where her indecision was just cruel.

The guys in this cruel triangle – Jeb & Morpheous – were polar opposites to me. Jeb OBVIOUSLY cares about Alyssa and she keeps lashing out at him (sorry to beat a dead horse, but it annoyed me). The things he’s willing to do and go through for her should really spell it out for her. Morpheous, on the other hand, was a total dick IMHO. IDK how I was supposed to feel about him because I only really got glimpses. He’s a very main character – but for the Wonderland part where I was so bored my attention drifted a lot. So who knows, maybe I would have seen moments about him that I liked more, to be fair. But from what I saw, not a fan.

The Story…

So here’s the deal with Splintered I really enjoyed it whenever the characters were in our world. I know this for a certainty because there was a moment after my ennui had really set in that I found myself super engaged with the book again. Guess what? They weren’t in Wonderland.

I think the problem was that I have never read Alice in Wonderland, nor do I have any desire to. I’ve seen the movies like one time each. And I enjoyed them. I watched the miniseries as a kid and loved it. But in no way can I call myself a true Wonderland fan. I don’t know all the elements and it’s not a place I’ve ever fantasized going to. This is a book for the people who are die-hard fans and would jump on an opportunity to visit Wonderland – at least IMHO. Because there’s no doubt in my mind that the places that bored me to tears were moments that played off the original story and would probably get true fans super excited. And I even suspect it was done well.

The story revolves around the mental illness that runs in Alyssa’s family – or supposed mental illness. Her great grandmother was THE Alice of Alice in Wonderland and ever since her, the women of the family have been a bit off their rocker. Alyssa unlocks the secret as to why and sets off on an epic adventure to save the women of her family. It has the makings of greatness and I can understand what people saw in it, that’s for sure.

Concluding Sentiments…

So if you’re a Wonderland fan, I’d say give Splintered a shot, you’ll probably like it a lot more than I did. If you’re not, I’d stay clear or you may emerge from it bored and a wee-bit crazier than you went in 🙂

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two-stars

About A.G. Howard

A.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. Her pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.

SPLINTERED & UNHINGED, books 1 & 2 of her urbanized /gothic Alice in Wonderland series, are now available from Amulet Books. Book 3, ENSNARED, launches 2015.

Berls

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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

16 Responses to “Splintered by A.G. Howard | #COYER Audio Review”

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I really think it was meant for Wonderland fans, but I could be totally wrong. If you do end up reading it, I hope you enjoy it more than I did. I will say, I loved that narrator, so it wasn’t a waste at all!
      Berls recently posted…Life of a Blogger | TattoosMy Profile

  1. Jessica @ Rabid Reads
    Twitter:

    Once again, Berls . . . you get me. “I think the problem was that I have never read Alice in Wonderland, nor do I have any desire to.” I actually remember trying to read it as a child, and being bored out of my mind, and I never much liked the movies either–too weird. I wasn’t remotely surprised when I learned in high school that Lewis Carroll had a fondness for hallucinogens. And as cool of an idea as I think supernaturalness masquerading as mental illness is, this book is going to remain near the bottom of my TBR list (with all the other books I’ll probably never read). Sorry this didn’t work any better for you then I think it would for me, but great review 😉
    Jessica recently posted…Question: What Do You Tell People You Read?My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      It’s crazy – I wanted to read this series for so long because I kept reading review after review praising it – and I’m sitting here wondering why I didn’t tell myself “you aren’t a wonderland fan!” I’m sorry to say this, but yeah, I’d keep it at the bottom of that TBR. But I’m glad I discovered a good narrator!
      Berls recently posted…Life of a Blogger | TattoosMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks Kimba! There’s so many people who seem to love it, that’s why I think it just appeals to a very specific (wonderland loving) audience. The narration was fantastic though 🙂
      Berls recently posted…Life of a Blogger | TattoosMy Profile

  2. Jessica @ a GREAT read

    Bummer indeed. I kept hearing so many great things about this book/series. I won copies earlier this year but haven’t read them. While not a die hard AiW fan, I did like the storybook itself, the movies–although that Johnny Depp one was just too weird, even for me! So I will still give it a go myself, hopefully soonish. It’s a shame when there’s a much loved book by many bloggers and then you read it and you’re like eh, that’s how I ended up feeling about a few recent reads myself.

    Nice review though! Hope your next read is better! 🙂
    Jessica recently posted…Waiting on WednesdayMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks Jessica! I hope you end up enjoying it more than I did – and if you don’t love it at least you have the satisfaction of knowing you won it 🙂 Sounds like we have similar feelings about AiW but I’m crossing my fingers for you to like it!
      Berls recently posted…Life of a Blogger | TattoosMy Profile

  3. Stormi
    Twitter:

    I think we both felt the same way about this book. Though by the end even when we were back in our world, I kept thinking..is this thing about over. I felt so sorry for Jeb and if I was him I would have just left Alyssa and told Morpheous he could have her!
    Stormi recently posted…Book Review: Ink Exchange by Melissa MarrMy Profile

  4. Lupdilup

    Bummer!! So sorry this one didn’t work you. I on the other hand, really enjoyed it. I don’t think it has something to do with you never having read Alice. I think when a book grabs you and keeps you, it just does, but sometimes they just don’t work for us 🙁 This book has a lot good reviews, but it also has its share of bad ones, so I totally see why it didn’t work for you. You right! Rebecca Gibel was fantastic! Too bad her performance didn’t make the story more engaging for you 🙁
    Lupdilup recently posted…Tangled Audiobook by Emma Chase (review)My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I know, I’m so bummed too. At first I really thought I liked it – but once she was in Wonderland I just lost interest. That’s why I think it has something to do with my not being a Wonderland fan, but you could be right, it could have nothing to do with that. Oh well, at least I discovered another narrator I love!
      Berls recently posted…Splintered by A.G. Howard | #COYER Audio ReviewMy Profile

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