Friday, January 3, 2014

Book Review: Unhinged (Splintered #2) by: A.G. Howard

Release Date: January 7, 2013
from Amulet
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Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

"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:

This book. Oh my gosh this book! It was so so so good and such a worthy follow up to the awesome that was Splintered. I love love love this Alice in Wonderland retelling. From the world to the action to the characters, everything about it is just fantastic. There are so many twists and turns and I never see anything coming. I loved every single second of this book. I started reading it before bed one night and ended up staying up all night to finish it because I was addicted.

Alyssa is such a wonderful heroine. I love her! I love her because she is strong but still afraid but courageous in spite of that fear. She tries to ignore her responsibilities and be normal, but you can’t even fault her for doing so. It’s scary and life would be easier if she didn’t have to deal with any of the nonsense. But when push comes to shove, she does what needs to be done. This book sees Alyssa discover herself. She transforms a great deal over the course of this book. She has to come to terms with her netherling side, while still keeping touch with her human one. It’s not an easy thing to balance, but Alyssa does her best.

Then there is Jeb and I have such a soft spot for Jeb. He really is incredibly sweet and kind and clearly loves Alyssa with all his heart. I love their sweet moments together and I love their relationship. It was so hard to see Jeb not knowing Alyssa’s true side or remembering any of the crazy things they did. 

Then there is Morpheus and I will admit it, I have a blind spot a mile wide when it comes to Morpheus. I pretty much overlook anything he does mostly because underneath it all there are good intentions there. He is, hands down, my favorite character in the books, if not one of my favorite characters ever. I want him and Alyssa to get a happily ever after in the worst way possible. I love their relationship because they stand on equal footing. He is always pushing Alyssa to be stronger because he knows she is. He knows she is capable of greatness and he wants to see her shine. “Game, set, match. Ever, and always, my equal.” Morpheus is darkly charming and manipulative at times and he is not your normal hero, but I love him all the same. “There is nothing black and white about Morpheus. He’s a chaotic portrait made of every shade of gray.” 

This is how you know it is a wonderful love triangle, because I have nothing but good things to say about both love interests. Don’t get me wrong, I’m backing Morpheus 100% but I have no desire to see Jeb hurt. I read the books rooting for Morpheus and wanting him to win. However, at the same time when something happens to threaten Jeb and Alyssa’s relationship, it still makes my heart hurt. I love them both and I can see how Alyssa could be torn and that is what makes the love triangle work.

Like Splintered, the plot in Unhinged takes twists and turns the entire time. I love characters and then I hate them and then characters I hated I end up loving. I never know where I stand with these books and that makes them fantastic. I never know who is pulling the strings and who is just a puppet. I love a book that keeps me on my toes. Unhinged takes the madness that is Wonderland and brings it into our world. And while I did miss taking a trip through Wonderland, it was also awesome to see Wonderland seep into our world. It also added the drama of hiding the madness from the rest of the world. Not such an easy thing to do.

The ending to Unhinged left me dying for more and waiting for Ensnared is going to drive me mad. I absolutely loved the journey that was Unhinged. I got another wild ride, a ton more Morpheus, more Wonderland madness, and no middle book syndrome to be found. I could not have asked for more from this sequel.

12 comments:

  1. Oh crap! Your review scrambled my weekend TBR!!! Oh well, I loved the first one and this will be worth the "scramble". Plus I'm in need of a good YA anyways. Thanks for helping me out!

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    1. *eeep* I cannot wait to see what you think of Unhinged! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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  2. Haven't read this series but it seems I should. Great review.

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  3. Wifey, I know how much you adore this series, and I am so happy that this second installment lived up to the first for you! I can't wait to start this so we can gush over Morpheus (I'm liking the sound of Jeb, too!) This cover is gorgeous, and so is this review!! Excellent job, love!! *squish*

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  4. Eeep! I tried to skim over this review since I haven't read Splintered, but you worded it so well! I didn't even need to read book one to understand your review! I'm so happy you love this series, the characters, and the romance! I can't wait to start my copy!!!!!

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  5. Okay, so all along I've been thinking the guy on the cover looked like the Mad Hatter and now it makes sense! I'm glad you enjoyed this. I'm not a big fan of AiW, but may eventually give it a try.

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  6. I love it when you gush in a review, Teresa! And Unhinged certainly has you gushing! :) I was excited to read this review. Splintered is still on my TBR from last year but I will be reading these books this year for sure!! I must meet this Morpheus. :)

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    1. hehe I did get a bit gushy over this one.. couldn't help it! I cannot wait for you to read these! They are so good!

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  7. I'm so late to the party! I've been meaning to read 'Splintered' for the longest time. And now of course the sequel is about to be out. I have a lot of catching up to do, because this book sounds so good! Definitely needs to be added to my TBR list.

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  8. SOOO HAPPY YOU ENJOYED THIS ONE SO MUCH! Gosh, I cannot wait to read it! And there is a "wonderful love triangle" I have got to read this! I really did enjoy the first book, so I know I have to read this one :D

    Morpheus all the way ;}

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  9. I just finished the Splintered audio last week and really liked it! I tried not to read this review but I ended up skimming. As of right now, I'm a Jeb fan but...
    I wanted to read this last week but I have tour books first...

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