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.
That was . . .
This plot was so intricately woven and so completely enrapturing to read–it gave a whole new life to the Wonderland I thought I knew and turned into something more. One of THE most imaginative stories I’ve read, there’s nothing that I’ve come across that compares.
Alyssa has . . . issues in her life, to put it lightly. The whole curse of madness that’s been passed down through the women in her family thanks to the original Alice would stress anyone out. And what does she have to do? Only dive into the rabbit hole and into the morphed, creepy version of Wonderland where nothing is as it seems and no one’s motives are pure. Yet she plows ahead and is strong, getting done what needs doing.
And Jeb–ah, who can resist the best friend who is always there for you? No surprise that Al is already in love with him as the story opens. And by the end of the book, I’m as much in love with him as she is! The lengths he will go in order to protect Al is so swoon-worthy.
But then there’s Morpheus, and though he’s dark and his means aren’t necessarily justified, he still cares. I was infuriated with him and compelled by him and he had me confused in my own feelings surrounding him–he intrigues me more than most characters I’ve ever journeyed with.
After reading this, I wanted nothing more than to throw myself down the rabbit hole to adventure through Wonderland right alongside these new friends of mine. So I did the next best thing–ripped open the pages of Unhinged and continued to follow along. I undeniably LOVE this book.
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 heart is as shriveled and unsightly as a prune, because that ending slurped the soul right out of me.
MY SPIRIT IS MORTALLY WOUNDED.
I thought I learned everything about Al’s past in Splintered, oh no! Silly Danica, of course there is more! I might just go mad with all of this knowledge . . . I wonder how much more my little mind can take before it unhinges itself, too.
One thing this book made me do: love Morpheus even more.
Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Jeb, I do. Upon finishing Splintered I rooted for Jeb and Al all the way. But reading Unhinged has me hooked on Morpheus and I LOVE HIM. And I’m afraid of what will happen to him in Ensnared, because I’m always terrified I’ll lose the one I love, and in this Wonderland it’s Morpheus.
I feel like a bug in one of Al’s traps, that this series is the trap that captured me and has me suffocating, unable to escape the excruciating and inevitable end. I can only hope I come out as beautiful as the mosaics she creates with the insects she kills.
I think these stories are turning me mad.
I did feel like the plot could have picked up the pace in the beginning–it felt a little slow and I expected the time to fly. Nonetheless, a SUPERB continuation of Al’s story, and I still bestow a well deserved