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.
Description taken from Goodreads.
It would be an understatement to say that A.G. Howard has a presence in my part of the book blogosphere. She’s part of countless giveaways, twitter conversations and author circles. Not to mention that most of my tweeps adore her. So during the UNHINGED release madness (:3 that was totally intended) I decided to read these books.
I hated the Alice in Wonderland movie. It’s annoying and tasteless. Don’t even get me started on Alice.
The books were better, entertaining and interesting at the very least.
Then you get to these books.
I’m not going to lie and say that SPLINTERED was perfect. I did enjoy it immensely, but it wasn’t without it’s issues. I had a constant love/hate relationship with Jeb and the plot was slow and at times boring.
Before I go on, I should probably explain the thing with Jeb so I don’t have a hoard of angry fangirls coming after me
though you can’t really reason with fangirls…
Okay. Jeb. He’s cool, funny, smart and a great artist. He cares about Alyssa a lot. That’s all fine. In fact, I think I would’ve appreciated him a lot more if he’d just stayed a best friend character. But he’s incredibly annoying in the fact that he thinks it’s his job to tell Alyssa where to go when. Controlling people are irritating, and why Jeb thinks he has any say over what Alyssa can do just because he’s her best friend is beyond me. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Then there’s the whole matter of Tae. I hate Tae. She’s the mixture of so many traits I don’t like about people. To keep it short, she and Alyssa don’t get along. Tae’s also Jeb’s girlfriend. Tae has a history of being a jerk to Alyssa, and still Jeb doesn’t do anything to try to break them apart or hear both sides of the story when they fight.
I did like SPLINTERED. If I were to rate it now, it would’ve gotten a solid 4 stars, but the slow pace in the beginning and Jeb himself lowered this book from a 4.5 to a 4 for me.
Now on to UNHINGED itself. I was expecting something as good or worse than SPLINTERED, but UNHINGED blew me away. It’s so much better than SPLINTERED.
I think it has to do partially with the fact that Alyssa actually knows about Wonderland now and she’s not just stuck in a perpetual state of drawing out scenes, but for the most part, I think UNHINGED was just better as a whole. The one thing that frustrated me was how Jeb didn’t get his memories back until near the end of the book. If UNHINGED had been like SPLINTERED, this would’ve brought down the whole story for me.
But it’s not like SPLINTERED.
The tension between Morpheus (a character I enjoy much more than Jeb), Alyssa and Wonderland was all done very well. The mystery themes behind the story and the plot elements here were well done and kept me occupied. I loved the overall tone to the story and I thought the characters all grew very well. As before, Howard does an amazing job of pronouncing even her supporting characters and showing the twisted natures to Wonderland itself and the characters that come from it. I appreciated the insight into Alyssa’s family life since her mother came back and her mom’s history with Morpheus.
As far as love-triangles go, this isn’t too good or too bad. I appreciate it, I like it, but I do hope to see more development in the third and final book.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story. It was a ton of fun and madness. Characters are all well done, the cover is beautiful and I truly cannot wait for the third book. 4.3 stars.
pg count for the ebook: 400