Splintered is one of those books that has a great concept --the family of Alice Lidell (from Alice in Wonderland) is cursee with a special kinda crazy as a punishment for Alice's mistakes in Wonderland. Alyssa is only the latest in a line of women who hear the conversations of flowers and insects. Alyssa tries to hide the voices, killing the bugs and creating artwork while her mother wastes away in an insane asylum. Then she stumbles on a website about the rabbit hole and someone from Wonderland offers her a way to cure her families curse.
Sounds interesting right? I know! Except the book completely lost it's own plot and instead turned into a poorly done paranormal romance without any real focus.
Instead of focusing on Wonderland, which you know is kind of interesting, Alyssa is absorbed by Jeb--the best friend she's secretly in love with. All of their interactions and conversations just feel artificial. He constantly calls her "skater girl" as a pet name. Just a hint, taking your pet names from an Avril Lavine song is not cute.
Everything feels forced. Jeb has a girlfriend who is less a character and more of an obstacle to the central relationship. She's a prop not a person. The moment Alyssa and Jeb pass into wonderland she's only brought up to create conflict (and this happens continually). There is drama, otherworldly creatures, pursuing armies, but the characters continually stop to argue about their relationship status.
The arguments don't even make sense. Near the beginning before she goes into wonderland she tells Jeb finds out she's trying to get a fake passport from a guy who works at the skating rink (seriously those things have microchips now folks, it's not that easy) and he confronts her. She tells him to stay out of it. This is his eloquent and intelligent response.
"Out of what?" The pain in his voice rips me apart. "Stay out of your plan to hook up with some random loser, or stay out of your life."You may be wondering where he got the idea that Alyssa was going to hook up with a random loser. So am I. In the context of the story his accusions came out of nowhere. Alyssa is a virgin and there's no evidence pointing towards that that changing anytime soon. It's just an unnatural way to create another obstacle. Once they're in Wonderland he also accuses that a "perv lured you here via a magical website" showing his winning intellect once again.
It was over-descriptive to the point of being purple prose, elaborating describing clothing hair and make-up, describing taste and scent in a way that didn't really make sense. The description was bothersome and at times downright confusing.
"The minute I'm free, I catch his thumb and nuzzle it. He tastes like grass and icing and all the flavors of Jeb, magnified."First off the nuzzling is weird. Second she's tasting him. Third, grass and icing? Really? Later he tastes like chocolate and salt. At least the salt makes sense, but chocolate? I know they say to use the five senses when writing description but it needs to make sense.
Overall this book just did not work. I can't include every groan-worthy quote. The flaws, clumsy writing and shoddy storytelling overwhelm a good idea. Without the romance and some self control with descriptors this could actually be a good book. Unfortunately it's not.