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July 18, 2014

A Shot of YA: Unhinged by A.G. Howard

Series: Splintered 2
Format: eGalley
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Amulet
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: YA Fantasy
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.


UNHINGED. I still don't know exactly how I feel about Splintered 2. I know it's as fantastical as the first one and I still like Alyssa as a heroine. I love the ongoing battle between her and Queen Red, her mom is still kinda quirky and her relationship with Jeb just got a bit complicated. A lot of you have either read the book and/or countless reviews so I won't focus on being objective, instead I'll tell you more about my experience with UNHINGED and other subjective points. 

It's expected that a character as notorious as Queen Red will be hard to vanquish, what I didn't expect is for her to bring the war to Alyssa and I love that little surprise. However I'm a little disappointed that I figured out Queen Red's disguise right away, I wish Howard made it harder for us to figure that part out to make it more mysterious and the big reveal jaw dropping. I enjoyed Alyssa's conundrum, as the reigning Queen Red, she has to choose between ruling her part of Wonderland or staying in our realm living as a normal teenager. That problem is semi-resolved at this point although with Howard, who knows what she'll pull from her mad hat next. 

Next is Morpheus and this love triangle he's insisting on Alyssa. Alyssa already made a choice and she picked Jeb, I don't understand why this issue is still being pressed at this point. It almost feels like a forced drama just to create some romantic conflict between the characters. Also, Morpheus is one cunning and manipulative moth! I didn't like him in Splintered and I still don't like him in UNHINGED. As for Jeb, I feel bad for the dude with his memory is always getting messed up somehow. I won't be surprised if Howard gives him a mental condition down the road to justify Alyssa and Morpheus being together.  

The big surprise for me is what Alyssa's mom, Alison, revealed about her Dad. I sort of love/hate Alison for what she did but I guess it's one of those situations where one's choice is picking the lesser of two evils. Alyssa's dad has been through so much at this point so in a way it's a blessing that Alison did what she did.

Loved this installment and the intrigue it left us with. Of course UNHINGED and Splintered is one of those series that leaves its readers wanting more. Obviously I'm looking forward to Ensnared, it's going to be mayhem and this is one family affair I won't want to miss.



37 comments:

  1. I have an audiobook of Splintered but have not listened to it yet so I skimmed your review but I'm glad you loved book 2 too. I hear good things about this series so I really should get a move on and start it since I love all things Alice in Wonderland. And the covers are just beautiful!

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    1. Yes, whoever is doing her cover arts is a genius!

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  2. I haven't read this series', and am not sure I will. Buuuut, it's kind of worth owning for those covers. Glad you enjoyed, Braine!

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    1. So true! The covers are something else, I wonder what they look like in actual hardbacks

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  3. I like the cover, it's pretty-creepy. Very strange

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  4. I love re-tellings of Alice in Wonderland and am always looking for new ones. I've seen this around but didn't know it was YA, should have known with those beautiful covers! I think I snagged this as a freebie a while back but I have to go back and get the first two so I can read them in order. You've sold me on this one Braine! :)

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  5. I have this one on audio, but since I haven't had the chance to read the first one, it keeps getting put off. Looks like I will have to get busy on that. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I hope you give it a try soon, the first one is the best so far

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  6. Happy to see you loved this! I adore this series and can't wait for Ensnared to release!

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    1. Me too! Ugh! I wonder what's going to happen with this love triangle, that's the part I'm dreading.

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  7. I have first book on my TBR, but haven't read it yet. I think I should...
    I like the cover too.

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    1. Yup, the cover arts are the best selling point for this series. It's hard to resist it

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  8. I haven't read the first but I have heard great things about it.

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  9. So glad you loved it Braine, my daughter (oldest) loves this series.

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    1. I think I will get along well with your daughter ;)

      Is she team Jeb or Morpheus?

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  10. Oooh I'm going to be listening to book #1 on audio soon :D

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  11. These have been on my wishlist, but your mention of the love triangle issues has me hesitating to pick them up soon. Nice review, Braine!

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    1. You know, that was resolved in the first book, I don't know what possessed her to bring it back...

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  12. I also really enjoyed this one, maybe not as much as Splintered, but I still found it very entertaining, I loved the twists and turns. And BTW, I'm a Morpheus fan..LOL I'm also looking forward to the next book! The narrator for this series is fantastic.
    Great review! As always!

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    1. Morpheus per se is great, I just wish he finds his own girl so we won't have to deal with this irritating love triangle that shouldn't be there in the first place.

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  13. I still haven't had the chance to read this book yet but I have them lined up on my shelf ready and waiting. Can't wait to get to know Morpheus and Jeb :)

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  14. Yeah, I had a new found respect for her parents after this book. I have to admit, I liked Morph in this book. I kind of hate him too. I am so confused!!! lol. Happy you mostly liked this one though.

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    1. He is one heck of a manipulator that's for sure

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  15. Oh I have book one on my tbr pile. Those are some crazy amazing covers. I've really been enjoying the fairy tale ish kind of adaptations happening lately. So fun to see the twists the authors do.

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  16. I didn't like this one as much as the first; I wanted more Wonderland and less of the human world, but I still enjoyed it overall. The love triangle is stupid, but it's YA, so what can you do?

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    1. Gah! That's one of the things that I liked in the first book is that she didn't dwell on the stupid love triangle and now she insists on it. I'm like WTF is up with that?!

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  17. I love the covers for this series! I saw Splintered at B & N last week and thought about picking it up but went with the 1st Parasol Protectorate book instead. I haven't read any Alice in Wonderland retellings yet, but this is going to the first one I try.

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    1. Ooh PP, I need to read that for pleasure one of these days

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  18. This was one of those that had me shouting at the car stereo (I listened on audiobook). And there were so many "Oohhhs" and "WHOAs". I adored it. I'm the opposite on the triangle and Morpheus, I was hoping the issue would be pressed. And I liked him even better in this book. I'm so looking forward to the third book.

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  19. Hey girl.... Love the new look! Very bright!

    I haven't begun this series, but I have been meaning to. It is a little disappointing when you figure things out too easy, I prefer the suspense too. Great review!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

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  20. I'm happy you loved this installment, Braine. This is a series I've been so eager to read but have worried I might not get it because I've not read Wonderland. I just love the sound of the characters and action though.

    By the way, I take a few days off and you go and change everything?!? ;) Very snazzy, lady...very snazzy! I like!

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