Friday, January 3, 2014

Review: Unhinged by AG Howard

Unhinged by AG Howard
Series: Splintered, Book #2
Published: January 7th, 2014
Publisher: Amulet
384 pages (eARC)
Genre: Young adult fantasy
Acquired this book: From the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Book Depository || Chapters/Indigo}

{Read my review of Splintered}

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.

I just finished reading Unhinged a few minutes ago and I sat down immediately to get my thoughts out but I can’t seem to grasp anything coherent. Splintered is one of my all-time favourite books, so I went into Unhinged with high hopes…and high expectations. I’ve seen the sophomore slump more times than I can count, and I hoped and prayed Anita’s brilliance would carry on to this second book. It did.

Picking up a year after where Splintered left off, things are very different in Alyssa’s world. Her mom is home, her artwork is changing in unexpected ways, Jeb’s busy with his budding career, and Morpheus haunts her dreams.

I loved both guys in Splintered but ultimately I considered myself Team Jeb. He seemed better for Alyssa for so many reasons, and he sacrificed so much for her. However, that didn’t stop me from thinking Morpheus was incredibly sexy and charming. I expected to remain Team Jeb in Unhinged, but I quickly began to fall harder and harder for Morpheus. We learned new things about him, and even though a part of me knew I shouldn’t love him, his seductive pull sucked me in and I was a goner.

Now I’m torn…Team Jeb? Team Morpheus? I was talking to Anita on Twitter and she was joking about ‘Team Jebpheus’ and that’s pretty much how I feel. I don’t think I’ve ever been this torn before when it comes to a literary love triangle. Both guys are great in their own ways, both could be right for Alyssa, and yet both could also be wrong for her. Anita is a master of drawing you in and jumbling up your emotions, making you root for one guy one minute but the other guy the next minute. It made the book even more entertaining. 

Of course, the book isn’t just about Alyssa and the two hotties vying for her attention. *loses train of thought thinking about said hotties* The story is brimming with breath-taking action, twists and turns, events and characters that are often horrifying and gruesome, and flights of fancy that will leave you spellbound. Anita is one heck of a storyteller; I have a pretty vivid imagination, but I’d love to be inside her head for even a day just to see how she comes up with all the fantastic little bits and pieces that make her stories so utterly captivating.

This isn’t the Alice in Wonderland you grew up with. Anita has taken Wonderland as we knew it, flipped it on its head, and given it wings (moth wings, heh heh). There are some truly spine-tingling moments in Unhinged. Just thinking about them sends delicious shivers all through me, and makes me want to go back and reread it already. The ending was absolutely brilliant and left me feeling like I would come unhinged knowing I have to wait over a year for the third book.

Dark, seductive, action packed, thrilling, and completely enchanting, Unhinged is the perfect sequel to Splintered. I can’t begin to imagine how things are going to turn out, but I can’t wait to be reunited with Alyssa, Morpheus, Jeb, and the rest of the Wonderland gang to see what happens next.

Have you read Splintered or Unhinged? What did you think? Are you Team Jeb? Team Morpheus? Team Jebpheus? Do you enjoy fairytale retellings?


  1. I tried Splintered and while I thought the writing was good, it had an issue that really bothered me. But I am hugely into fairy tale retellings, and from what you are saying the series is continuing to be well written, so maybe I'll have to give it another go. (Hey, it worked for Unearthy.) You have my sympathy about waiting, though. Waiting sucks!

  2. I loooooved Splintered, like a lot and I was so bummed that I was declined Unhinged on both EW & NG. Needless to say, the minute I have some extra money, I'll be buying this book.

    Actually Molli,Anita and I were talking about being totally torn with the boys.It wasn't until Anita tweeted some inspiration pics that things got easier for me (in a totally superficial way)

  3. So glad you enjoyed it!!! I absolutely loved Splintered. It was one of my favorites of last year. So excited to read this sequel. Can't wait!

  4. I am reading Unhinged right now! I am so glad you loved it so much!
    ­New follower :)
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings


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