Unhinged by A.G. Howard (Book Review)


Publisher: Abrams
Page Count
: 417

Unhinged is the second book in the Splintered series. If you’ve missed my review of the first book, click here to read it. Furthermore, I would recommend you skip this review if you haven’t read the Splintered yet and don’t want to be spoiled for the series!

Looking back at my experience while reading Splintered, I only remember that I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the bizarre vibe of it all. I was really glad to have read it with Marie, because it made me freak out at least a little less in some parts of the book. However, there was quite a lot that I didn’t like and now, while reading Unhinged, all those things annoyed me tenfold.

Everyone can have their own style and I don’t care about it at all, but if it’s the main character of a book and she’s really into gothic/morbid stuff, I am having real difficulties connecting to that. She kept liking the twisted and weird version of Wonderland, heck, Alyssa even started embracing it at times, but I couldn’t. It’s full of warped mutant zombie-like creatures, creepy toys and humanoid insects. I am not even kidding when I am saying that this book attracts actual real life insects! More than once I was attacked by small flies as well as giant beetles while reading and that made my skin crawl. Also, they like to eat things alive … I so cannot relish in that. How am I supposed to like that version of Wonderland then? The only creatures I halfway liked were Morpheus and Chessie … because he seems adorable somehow.

This brings me to the actual story and characters. I thought that it was a good switch from last time to have most of the story play out in the human realm as opposed to Wonderland. I am guessing that the final book will have some of that again, but it would have been odd to have Alyssa so cut off again, especially since so many people have a more important role now, such as Al’s parents. I did not see that coming. However, I completely forgot that Jeb wouldn’t be able to remember the last book and somehow that frustrated me so immensely. He was possessive as always, while Alyssa was annoying in her indecisiveness and selfishness as always. Now, as I said, I still very much like Morpheus. He’s like the comic relief and mystery man at the same time. I am not saying you should trust him or that I want him to end up with Alyssa, because no? But his character is still the most intriguing to me.

Finally, I am giving this book 3 stars because I don’t think it’s written badly at all. It has twists and turns and some sort of character development, but I simply didn’t enjoy the experience of reading it. Somehow it felt more like a chore to get over with and that’s not the purpose of books in any way. So, I can’t do better than a medium rating for this one. I still have Ensnared at home, but I doubt that I will pick it up anytime soon, but rather when I am out of books again.

Fazit: 3/5 stars! It’s just not a kind of style for the worldbuilding I like, but I guess I can get why others would like it.


Have you read the Splintered series? Did you enjoy Unhinged?

Splintered by A.G. Howard (Book Review)


Publisher: Amulet Books
Page Count
: 370

I’ve read Splintered together with Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books and man, am I glad I had her to talk with. Give her a little bit of time and then definitely check out her review, as it will be full of her wonderful thoughts about the book.

I don’t know if you knew it, but I am a massive Alice in Wonderland fan. I am not sure I would say that it has always been that way though. When I was little I used to watch the Disney version of the movie all the time, but some things just freaked me out – like the flowers or the walrus eating the adorable little clams. Thinking about it, Alice is quite the disturbing tale and therefore I shouldn’t have been surprised with the amount of creepiness in this re-imagining, yet somehow I still was. I know that everyone told me so beforehand, but I still really wasn’t ready.

Alyssa’s hobby of making art out of dead bugs and generally the amount of zombie-ish/decayed-looking things and beings scared me off a little. It just really wasn’t my kind of style and I doubt it ever will be. I prefer happy things and alive ones, however, that was the only major thing that really bothered me, so it was nothing I could not handle on the long-run (even though it still freaked me out a lot. I swear, this book did not help with my fears! But I am going to pretend I was fine with all that anyway).

But on to the story! I thought Splintered was a really unique re-telling and that seems to be fairly rare these days. Alyssa was a (head-)strong protagonist that didn’t need any saving. I think a lot of the time she would have preferred it if either one of her very different and just as intriguing suitors simply hadn’t shown up. But both of the guys have odd names and a lot of affection for Alyssa, so they needed to be part of the story. Jeb and Morpheus are definitely necessary, but I think there is more to their story still. I liked them both in their own rights, but right now Morpheus has more mystery to him and therefore more of my attention at hand.

That last paragraph made it sound like it was basically just a love story, which it definitely wasn’t. It had a lot of twists and turns, some more and others less predictable – just as it should be.

The book ended on a fairly closed note (even though I am still not okay with something happening because I think it doesn’t make sense) with a possibility for sequel (which exist as we know), but I quite liked the ending of Splintered as it was. The whole thing could have stopped just like that as well and it would have been okay, so I just hope the other books hold up. Now, I will continue with the rest of the series, not just because I already have the books at home, but also because it has a weirdly addicting quality to it. I can sort of see why Al would have to return to Wonderland, but my mind doesn’t really picture more than that at all.

Fazit: 3.5/5 stars! A very unique spin on the Alice in Wonderland theme!


Have you read the series? What did you think of it?