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splintered Splintered by A.G Howard | Rating: ★★★★★

“Tearing down the rest of the world won’t make you happy. Look inside yourself. Because finding who you were meant to be? What you were put into this world to do? That’s what fills the emptiness. It’s the only things that can.”

It’s important to note that growing up, I was obsessed with any and all things Wonderland. Half of the years I’ve celebrated Halloween, I dressed up as a character from the stories or movies. Hell, my best friend and I even refer to ourselves as various characters from Wonderland.

But, as the years go on — I become less and less interested in adaptions or new takes on the world many of us have grown up with. Needless to say, I was a little bit skeptical of this story in the beginning stages of hearing about it/purchasing it.

Fortunately for myself, I gave it a chance. It certainly didn’t let me down.

My favorite part about the story is how likeable the characters are, even if they aren’t meant to be. They are developed much better than I’d originally thought them to be, and the twists on familiar characters is something to definitely look out for. A.G Howard pens characterizations really, really beautifully and the dark edge she puts in some of them is very fascinating.

When we get a glimpse at main characters, we can’t help but feel an interest spark inside us when it comes to getting to know each of them and their relationship with one another, as well as pasts they’d rather forget (certain supposedly loony mothers, look out!).

This isn’t like most adaptions of the world we’re familiar with. It’s darker, grittier — all the more, much more interesting than many modern attempts at reintroducing Wonderland to a new generation; you’re in for a ride of twists and turns as we discover that Wonderland isn’t quite how we’d once thought. Though it still remains magical, out are the colourful and playful backgrounds. In its place? Well, you’ll just have to read the novel to find out.

And PS, main character Alyssa’s family history, a certain past friendship she’d mostly forgotten (as well as her romantic interest in another character) and abilities is definitely one for the ages. How badass can one female lead get?

(The answer is very. I seriously love Alyssa -- would it be weird to propose to her?)

It has all the familiar combinations of romance, mystery and thrills that you come to expect in young adult novels, but the way Howard incorporates these elements into her stories is well thought out and it’s likely you will spend an entire night of reading to finish the book as quickly as possible. There’s something so very special about this novel, soon to be a series, and you’ll find yourself craving more and more.

Yes, it is that good.

(To me. That counts for something, right?)

But seriously. Go. Buy. This. Novel. NOW!

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