Alyssa's grandmother, Alice, went insane after she "came back through the rabbit hole." These dream sequences were laughed off by all, but unfortunately landed her in the mental institution. Before she passed, Alice said that it was a family curse and all the women would succumb to this mental state. So it was really no surprise when Alyssa's mother, Allison, ended up mentally unstable. However, once Alyssa turns ten and she begins hearing bugs, she is terrified that this may be her curse as well.
Upon visiting her mother in the hospital years later, Alyssa is terrified when a dark force appears to be desperately trying to silence her mother, and she knows it has something to do with the curse surrounding her family. Her father is not buying into the curse angle, so he thinks it may be time to up Allison's medical attention and schedules her for electro-shock therapy. Despreate to try to get some answers and save her mother's mental state, Alyssa begins to dig deeper and try to solve this "wonderland" case.
As Alyssa sees into her past, she recognizes a dark figure that keeps pulling her back. In her memories, this feels familiar. It seems she has already been here; already been apart of the dream. Once she finds the portal to Wonderland, she knows this is her destiny. As she steps through, she knows she must save her mother and help to restore the wrongdoings in Wonderland. But, when Jeb, long time crush and best friend, leaps through the portal to help protect Alyssa, they both find themselves in a misguided world, with a possibility of never getting home.
Splintered by A.G Howard was really interesting. It did a great job of weaving in the Alice and Wonderland tale, and creating a whole gothic world surrounding it. It took me a while to read this one, not because it was bad, but because it was more complex than I expected. Being that the only free reading I do is at the gym, this one took some thinking. At times I felt it slipped a little too much into a typical romance; Jeb's love for her shines through and he is always acting as protector. There are points of the story that revolve too heavily on their suppressed romance for each other, and I think these were the points that were kind of off putting. I love a romance as much as anyone, but some parts seemed like it pulled back into the teenage "soft core porn" just for the sake of doing it. Plus, when the knight in shining armor seems too good to be true, it turns unrealistic.
However, Howard pulled me back in with the dark fantasy that is Wonderland. There are sexy, dark characters involved in this world, and Alyssa has to discover that she is part of this. There are parts of her that belong, and that is scary to her and to the existence of the this realm. The journey was not at all expected, but the end turned out somewhat how I imagined. The great part of this book was truly the whole back story of Wonderland. It adds in a new creepy factor to the whole Lewis Carrol story, and I think if you go in thinking and hoping for that, then you won't be disappointed. Look past the coincidences and easy escapes, and just take in the landscape and the darkness following.