Thursday, May 29, 2014

Unhinged (Splintered #2) by A G Howard {REVIEW}

Book Title: Unhinged (Splintered #2)
Author: A G Howard
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Retelling
Publication Date: January 7th 2014
                              by Amulet


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 Rating: 5 out of 5 freaking stars

My Review and Rant:

My thoughts are jumbled, I finished reading yet a few days ago, and still reveling in all the feels. So as a 'Disclaimer', let me warn you that this review may contain a lot of gibberish talks, often unintelligible gestures and word usage, and use if excess feels. So either fasten your seatbelt since it's going to be a bumpy ride, or just go away so that you won't have to blame me later. 

All set? Let the madness begin.


She is not really a kickass heroine, no. Even though she is good in here, still it's no match for other heroines I've read about. But that's perfect since I'm not asking for one either! Alyssa is PERFECT in her own way, she is not full of anything, rather best of both the worlds, and I LOVE her for it! She is still trying to come in terms with her identity, and is often torn between the two (And Morpheus isn't helping much:p). She is still vulnerable and makes mistakes, and yet her netherling instincts and traits never leave her. One year after the Wonderland incident, when the glorious and magnificent *snorts* Morpheus interrupts her semi-normal life with the Queenly responsibility to save their home, Wonderland from the Red Queen's soul, she feels at a loss. And horrifyingly enough, this war is not going to remain within the bounds of wonderland, but affect her human world too. She must choose, and act really fast, since Red is going to bring out the game she has got.

One of the best things about Alyssa for me is that she acts normal (‘normal’ as in normal, defined in the human realm) even though she's been through so much. Yes, she still has to keep her netherling side in check, wear makeup, and often lie to Jeb so that he doesn't come to remember his lost Wonderland memories. But never for once she acts like the 'Savior', or someone who is special compared to the trifling human beings. She still fears things, insecure about Jeb, a bit envious of the life he has, and is still, not to mention, confused (or refrains from defining) what she has for Morpheus. But there are slight changes as well. She is somehow more confident, stronger and well aware of her power and capabilities, even though she can't practice them fully. In the first book, she was more like a student who had just started learning, or was trying to remember what she learnt. In this book she often uses her powers within a blink of eyes, out of instinct and flexibly. I can't wait to see how much she develops in the third book:)


As always, I believe Jeb is fantastic, here too. Not solely based upon his physical appearance though. *coughs* Hehe. But you have to give the guy some credit. Yes, he acts as a tool sometimes, more in the beginning parts, and though I have my faith in him I was afraid that I may have to experience heartbreak. I think I would have been more hurt than Alyssa if that did happen. But you have to look from his pov. Specially if you read the Tumtum juice part, you'll see that it's his obsession, his urge to prove him that makes him act like a tool sometimes in the process. But underlying all those things, there is still the guy who loves his Skater-girl like crazy. He is still that loving, sweet, overprotective guy that had watched Al's back in Wonderland and before. And here too, once he is reminded, he returns to be that same guy, even when Alyssa supposedly seems to betray him. Ouch. Not that she intends to, but that hurt him nonetheless. So no matter what, I have my undivided blind devotion for him, even if he turns into a tadpole someday (FYI I personally do not have the slightest fascination for tadpoles and I’m not even intending to kiss one, Prince or no Prince).


Now this guy (in terms of human realm he can be called a guy right?) is totally himself. I am even afraid to admire or praise him in the fear that he might actually hear and starts basking in his awesomeness o.O But seriously, in Splintered, I didn't even like him like that. But he had to be so endearingly enigmatic and powerful and flirty and vulnerable and..okay let's stop, that I had to end up loving him. It's not like I hated him before, just that I like him more now. Of course, he is an ass most of the times and his activities or arguments are purely pissing, but that's a talent right there when you can pull all those off successfully and still make people love you (Don't gloat, M.) Like all the other times, most of his actions seem to have a hidden diabolical motif that isn't revealed until it's done halfway, and he still manages to have his way after that.

In his own way, Morpheus is my knight, too. He just has more muddled motivations than Jeb- not always unselfish and honorable, but vigilant. I have to give him that.
But in Unhinged, something in him seems to have changed too, of course, regarding Alyssa that is, but I can’t put my finger on it exactly. Indeed, this Moth-guy has layers, a lot of layers and I'm afraid it's not even possible to see him as he truly is. But yes, specifically there’s this one point when I really like him is where he is on the car with Alyssa driving. And like her, I couldn’t help my mouth curving into a Chessie grin while reading that part.
"This ride is spectacular! Right, Morpheus? Just like flying, right?" He tenses next to me, trying to hide his panic. I glance at him and he’s practically green; even the jewels beneath his skin flash a putrid, sickly tone. “What’s the matter? Stomach a little kicky? Didn’t you always say it’s the kicks that let you know you’re alive?"

Magic, Mysteries, Muddle and More.

The entire book is full of surprises, and most of them are rather mouth-gapingly shocking, like the eel-shock kind of thing. Just when you think you're starting to understand the storyline and it can't get any better, boom! Shocker bomb. Like the Ivy thing, even though I found the names suspiciously similar, I couldn't let my mind fritter anywhere near what is shown in the book. Then Alison's incident with the mirror, and Thomas' relaying his story to Al. Like Al, I could guess about the latter but they were still all jumbled up. There is the Tumtum juice incident. Then Ivory's vision. OH.MY.GOD. If Al is logical (even though 'logical' is a twisted concept for a netherling) enough, she'll choose like Ivory has suggested. If you can have both why would you leave one :p (Not thinking about deep stuff like trust and betrayal for once)? Then the fight. Okay, to me it didn't feel much like a fight to me for the first half. Felt more like a Quidditch match, or a buckbeak lesson, for some weird reason I don't know. Until the last part though, that's when almost everything changes and even before you can react to one twist, another happens and it's like Al's world starts crumbling. The epilogue-ish last chapter (which almost caused me an emotional breakdown) is possibly one of the best, and yet, most tensing last chapters in the history if reading. *To Anita* Here, take the Best Shocker Author Award *Hands over a teacup with mushroom inside that has a moth sitting on top*. 

Oh, anticipation, anticipation. How I wish 2015 would come soon.

Unhinged is possibly, hell no, it definitely is awesomer than Splintered. Unhinged has genuinely made me emotionally and psychologically unhinged, and I don't know how to fix this mess up.
I am mad, and I embrace it. Madness is part of my heritage.


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