Thursday, 26 February 2015

Review: Splintered by A.G Howard


Author: A.G Howard
Pages: 371 pages
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: January 1st, 2013
Received from: my school library
Status: Splintered #1

Summary (from Goodreads):

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence.

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own...

Splintered was a fascinating and unique take to the Alice in Wonderland story! It's nice to see glimpses of our beloved classic tale blended with Howard's distinctly creative mind!

The story centres around Alyssa Gardener, a descendent of the real Alice in Wonderland herself. But her family holds a dark secret: all the women are insane. When Alyssa gets the chance to save her mother (who's succumbed to the family illness), and herself, she takes a leap into the rabbit hole, dragging alongside her childhood friend Jeb. There, witness a world much different from Alice's tales, and meet Morpheus, a mysterious old friend who has his own ghosts to deal with.

I decided to pick this book up because I've heard so many good reviews, and I'm a big fan of Alice in Wonderland itself. Splintered was a great book, and I loved how I was able to visualize almost everything going on (although, I used a lot of Tim Burton's film as a subconscious reference). Everything was darker, mature, and scarier than the original tale, and I like how Howard used the whimsical feel of the story to make it her own.

Personally, the story, not the love story, was amazing. Alyssa's devoution as a daughter and to her friend's makes her a wonderful, yet sometimes stubborn, character. At the beginning she's really hesitant about her decisions, even though we're all aware of her sharp tongue and ability to hurt people. While she relies on her two love interests the majority of the book, she's not completely independent by the end of the book, but she's stronger than she was in the beginning, which makes me happy.

Now, that love story. Oh, there were many hearts harmed during the duration of this book.

While it was clear from the get-go where the author was leaning towards with the relationships, I didn't really like the love story. Alyssa and Jeb were, in my opinion, constantly fighting the ENTIRE book, and it wasn't till the end when I finally said, "awe." And her relationship with Morpheus was strained, sketchy, and controlling. I understand that Morpheus had a thing for her, and was trying to cling onto his "little luv", we ALL knew that there was some underlying motive going on.

And while we're on the crazy love triangle, I do like Morpheus more because he's one of those characters we all hate but can't help but like. He just surprises everyone all the time. But before the war between her two leading men begin, they're still toxic characters for her in my opinion. They were BOTH equal parts annoying and controlling for me for the entire book- till the end. I think I liked the end the most.

For me, I think Alyssa could do without the two guys. While they did help her, and Morpheus did help her with her own metamorphosis, she could still be fine. I felt like she was just constantly going back and for between them that she just sort of forgot half the time why she was there.

Overall, the story was good. There was a lot left unsaid by the end, and leaves A LOT open for Unhinged.

Most people want to know what's going to happen now that her mom is back and Jeb stuck, but I want to know what happened to the Red Queen? The plot did (sort of) revolve around her, and she's the one character I don't know whether to pity or hate?

Anyways, I totally recommend this book. I am anticipating the sequel, and am upset we don't have it in my school's library. If you liked The Lunar Chronicles and  Dorothy Must Die, then I totally recommend this book to you!


I Need YOUR Opinion!

Hello my sleepless readers, I hope you're all having a wonderful Thursday!

Many of you might not know, but I have been blogging under Sleepless Reads for a year now (this blog turned 1 years old on February 2nd without me noticing!), and well, not much has changed with my blog's looks.

For me, I have trouble updating this blog because it sends an error message every time I try to change the colour, size, side bars etc. At first I thought that my computer's are old (which they are), but then I remember I posted my problem on twitter and another blogger had the same problem and their computer was newer than my own. Is it because I still have Windows, or that I own a PC? When I changed the background of my blog from pink to the white colour I have now, I did it on my dad's iPad. So does that mean blogger doesn't fully support my computer?

Anyways, I'm straying from my point. I haven't changed much on my blog (aside from my technical difficulties) because I don't know what to do with it!

I need your opinion as to what I should do to change my blog! Should I change the header and the button? The colour scheme? Should I change the side bars? Anything?!

So leave a comment below, and help me make my blog even more gorgeous than it is! :)

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Review: The Lovely and the Lost by Page Morgan


Author: Page Morgan
Pages: 368
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Release Date: May 13th, 2014
Received from: Chapters
Status: The Dispossessed #2

Summary (from Goodreads):

The sequel to The Beautiful and the Cursed, The Lovely and the Lost finds the Waverly sisters in mortal danger and able to trust no one.
 Ingrid and Gabby survived the Underneath. They saved their brother, Grayson, from a future of dark servitude and exposed a plot to undermine the Alliance. But danger still lurks in the street of Paris, and the Dispossessed, perched on the city's bridges and rooftops, might not be able to save their human wards this time.

The Lovely and the Lost was a lovely read! I haven't read the first book since it came out, but I quickly found myself lost after only a few sentences in!

The stakes are much higher in this book, as Dusters seem to be popping up everywhere as Axia's harvest is nearly complete. As Gabby faces identity issues after being left deformed, Grayson struggling for control and forgiveness within himself, Ingrid struggles for her own self worth as well. She's special, and everyone knows it, and wants her- alive or dead. The siblings have a lot of trouble in front of them, but the question is, will they be able to work together to put an end to their misery?

A lot of things happen in this book right from the beginning: there's a new Duster, Luc's new guarding 'partner' has arrived, The Waverly patriarch himself has also joined the ensemble, and of course, there's hint of splintering between all the fractions of human, Dusters, and demons.

What I liked about the story was that we got to learn more about the world that Morgan has created. In English class, we learned that every story has two (or more) plots: in this one it's the romance and the political instability between the two groups (alongside defeating a very evil fallen angel, but in my defence she was only mentioned in this book). 

We learned more about the tensions between the gargoyles in this book, and how fragile real camaraderie  is amongst them. We also learned about the splintering that's happening between the Alliance members (which is something we all, sorta, knew was happening in book one), and of course we learned about those crazy Daicryptas (I apologize for misspelling that by the way). 

The entire book, in my opinion was about loyalty and how it can break under pressure and grief. In this book, ALL THE RELATIONSHIPS were tested as the events of book one left long lasting results; and the events of this book seemed to make it worse.

But what was nice was learning about the characters on a much more personal level. We all knew that once upon a time before TBTC that the Waverly's were happy siblings, and it was nice to see Grayson being protective of Gabby, and trying to establish some form of relationship with his twin again. We saw a lot of development between Vander and Nolan (although it is questionable where their loyalties are at this point), and Ingrid and Luc. Eep!

Ingrid was her usual, dependable self for some parts of the book, but she has learned so much from her experience in book 1. By the end of this one, she was much stronger, and although she was a little lost by the end (it broke my heart), I have so much hope for her. 

And Luc. Oh my darling Luc. We learned about how he became a dispossessed in this book and it hurt. IT HURT SO MUCH. You don't understand how much I sympathize for his character. He's so in love and very human, it hurts me that he's still paying for his sins. 

But while my love for Luc has grown, Marco has crept into my heart as well. Because I'm from Canada, the Marco's ebook story isn't available for me, but after this book, you suddenly fall in love with him (and it's a good thing). 

Overall, I thought the book was amazing! There is A LOT to wrap up in the finale, The Wonderous and the Wicked, as the events from this book, well, hit the fan. I totally recommend this series, and for those who were doubters after book 1, to just pick this one up because this series is worth continuing! 

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