Booktalk: Splintered by A.G. Howard

Splintered cover

I’ve been a fan of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for years.  I’ve read the original edition, I own The Annotated Alice, and I’ve enjoyed several modern-day spinoffs including the alarmingly stupendous American McGee’s Alice videogame.  And while I was reading Splintered, it quickly became one of my favorite variations on this story.  If you’re a fan of this book, you can visit A.G. Howard’s website to learn more about it, as well as the sequel Unhinged that just came out in January!


The women in Alyssa’s family had two things in common.  The first thing was that their names were all alike.  There was Alyssa, her mother Alison, her grandmother Alicia … all going back to her great-great-great grandmother Alice.  Who, when she was a little girl, told Lewis Carroll a story that he turned into a book called Alice in Wonderland.  The other thing all of these women had in common was that all of them had a history of mental illness.  In fact, Alyssa’s mother is locked up in an asylum where Alyssa and her father visit her every week.

Well, it’s one thing to have crazy people in your family.  But it’s another thing to think that you’re going crazy, too.  Ever since she was in fifth grade, Alyssa has been hearing voices.  She’s also been having nightmares about fighting for her life and losing her head in Wonderland.  But she’s afraid to tell anyone about the voices or the nightmares.  Because then they might lock her up in an asylum, just like her mother.

And then, during one of their weekly visits, Alyssa’s mother tells her that the women in their family are cursed.  She also tells Alyssa that the only way to break the curse is to go to England, find the rabbit hole that Alice used so many years ago, and return to Wonderland.

Alyssa is going to discover that not only is Wonderland real, but that it’s a dark and dangerous place.  She’s also going to learn that the women in her family weren’t so crazy after all.

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