Thursday, March 6, 2014

Book Review: Unhinged by A.G. Howard { Splintered # 2}

Title: Unhinged
Series: Splintered Book 2
Author: A.G. Howard
Publisher: Amulet Books
Date of Publication: January 7, 2014
Source: Bought, hardcover, 400 pages

From Goodreads:
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.

My Thoughts:

Oh how I completely fell in love with this book, just like I did book one, Splintered!  In fact, I think I might have a girl crush on A.G. Howard for creating such a wickedly delightful read. (I wanted to say "bromance" but we aren't dudes soooo....)   I really think that Howard has become one of my favorite new authors that will probably stick with me for a long time!  
Besides the story being just freaking awesome the book covers are absolutely gorgeous!  They are so colorful and full of all the wonderful and treacherous things we expect from Wonderland.  And of course, who is on the cover?? Oh yeah baby...MORPHEUS!!!!

So I guess you can tell that Morpheus is one of my favorite characters in this series.  Yes, I like the other people too but just not as much.  And as I read the story, whenever Morpheus talks Johnny Depp always pops into my mind.  Especially when Morpheus says "luv".  Oh how I love when he says "luv"!  
Okay, I know I am fangirling on him so bad but I just can't help it.   Morpheus rocks!  
But I should try to do more of a professional review here(although when the sexy cowboy hat wearing, moth loving Morpheus is around....) so here I go.  

The plot of Unhinged picks up around where Splintered leaves off, give or take some time.  Alyssa is trying to deal with her Wonderland side, while still having her memories whereas Jeb's are missing.  
I really liked how Howard took the division between Alyssa and brought it out in the story, showing us how we feel on the inside can ultimately change things on the outside as well.  Alyssa is really fighting through her emotions and I loved that she came to some serious conclusions about Morpheus, that I personally already knew.  Or at least suspected.  
Alyssa is a pretty intense character.  I loved that she is this punk -goth teenager, loves skateboarding, and isn't your typical damsel in distress.  She is still beautiful, still strong, and still fragile.   Howard really takes society's ideas on what a female character should be and turns it on its head.  She gives us this tough as nails chic who isn't afraid to get dirty, break nails, and kick ass.  I love it!
Then there is Jeb.  Yes, I love Jeb too.  In many ways, I see similarities between him and Morpheus.  Jeb is like the human Morpheus?  Just in some ways.  Obviously, he adores Alyssa and that unfailing loyalty to her is something that really stands out for me.  No matter what, Jeb is always going to be watching out for her, making sure she survives.  That is honorable.   Again, I love how Howard molded Jeb's character.  She stuck with the tough skater boy exterior, but showed us that there is so much more to a person than just the image.  Jeb is an important character in the story, even where Wonderland is concerned and I think if he could accept it more I believe he would understand its allure.  Perhaps, understand Alyssa even more.  

I adore all the Wonderland characters and creatures that we get to see in this book.  I love how A.G. Howard took Lewis Carroll's classic, and built upon it, by using the different creatures we meet and giving them more of a macabre sense to them.  From the demented toys to the evil tulgey wood, Unhinged shows us Wonderland in all of its grotesque beauty, appealing to our darker sides.    Oh, and let me just say I hated the clown!! Clowns are evil makeup laden people that you never know what they are really thinking.  So not a clown fan! {No offense to people that dress up like clowns-just not a clown person here}

There is a substantial love triangle involved, as I am sure you can already guess.  But our  wonderful author takes it to another level which makes it even harder to wait for the next installment.  Can't I just have the future right now??!!?

Unhinged just left me completely breathless as I delved deeper into the chaos that surrounds Wonderland.  The story was written phenomenally well presenting us with a well rounded look that even among the chaos and wildness, there is a certain code that needs to be followed to keep Wonderland where it belongs.  There is so much that happens in this book; it seemed like a never ending roller coaster ride for your emotions. The ending will blow your mind and have you laughing then tearing up all at the same time!    I was thoroughly satisfied with Unhinged and I cannot wait until Book 3 comes out.  
I think I might go mad waiting....

Connect with A.G. Howard:
Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Pick up your copy at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository |

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