20-something student and avid reader, reading and reviewing anything and everything under the sun (although YA definitely dominates)
Unhinged (Splintered #2) by A.G Howard
Release Date: 1st January 2014
Publisher: Amulet Books
Summary 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. "
Do I really need to even write this review. Just, go read the book. Or if you haven't read its predecessor Splintered yet, go read that first, then read this novel. Because, like, you really need to. It's just that good.
I think what's great about this follow up to Howard's amazing debut is that it's not entirely what you'd expect it to be. Whilst Splintered was predominantly set in the twisted world of Wonderland, we spend the majority of this one in the human world. But don't worry about missing the creepiness of Wonderland, because that manages to follow Alyssa into the real world too; from her mosaics to Sister Two herself, this time, the battle is fought on Alyssa's turf. Even Morpheus is there, doing questionable things, but ultimately doing it all for Alyssa. What's great about Morpheus in this novel is that we get to see a different side to him, something softer. He's still manipulative as all hell, but another side of him is starting to peek through. With this extra attention on Morpheus, Alyssa's other love interest, Jeb, does get pushed to the back a little. But he's there just enough that a love triangle is firmly established, and really, Alyssa could choose either one of them.
Now let's move onto Alyssa's mother Alison, because man o' man, everything revolving her little story arc was just plain amazing. When Alyssa discovered one of her mosaic's depicted three Red Queens dueling for the crown, I was sure the twist would be that Alison was going to try to steal the crown for herself. But then NOPE, actually it was something completely different, something I totally wasn't expecting, because it had to do with Alyssa's DAD. Because, of course, he's somehow involved in this all too. Which is actually handy, considering that massive cliffhanger ending. Lord, it's going to be tough waiting for the final instalment in this trilogy.
Overall, just go and read this series. Just do it.