Untamed
Young Adult / December 27, 2016

Splintered: Extras. Author: A.G. Howard Summary: Alyssa Gardner went down the rabbit hole and took control of her destiny. She survived the battle for Wonderland and the battle for her heart. In this collection of three novellas, join Alyssa and her family as they look back at their memories of Wonderland. Content Review: Sexual content: Man stares indecently at girl, tries to force himself on her. Girl remembers boy forcing a kiss on her. Girl looks forward to her wedding night. Her betrothed comes into her changing room while she’s only wearing underthings. Wife mentions playing strip-chess with her husband. One birth. Some kissing. Fairies mentioned in past Splintered reviews. Two newly-weds consummate their marriage, no description, just a single sentence. Some kissing, and some verbal innuendo. Language: 4 bloody, 4 hell, 1 d***, 1 scatological term. Violence: One practice sword fight. Girl remembers boy forced a kiss on her, she bit off the tip of his tongue and broke his thumb. Character lifts girl by neck. Spiders choke a man, he stumbles backward and out a window. Boy is transformed into a monkey by poison. Character catches a tiny fairy, questions her using the nearness of iron, which is…

Ensnared
Young Adult / December 26, 2016

Splintered #3. Author: A.G. Howard. Summary: After surviving a disastrous battle at prom, Alyssa has embraced her madness and gained perspective. She’s determined to rescue her two worlds and the people and netherlings she loves. Even if it means challenging Queen Red to a final battle of wills and wiles . . . and even if the only way to Wonderland, now that the rabbit hole is closed, is through the looking-glass world–a parallel dimension filled with mutated and violent netherling outcasts. My Thoughts: I have major problems with the ending here. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. A.G. Howard has taken would could be a wonderful premise, woven it completely around the tension of a love triangle, and finally… completely failed to resolve this plot in any meaningful way. Content Review: Sexual content: Afore mentioned fairies. Girl in what is – basically – a bikini, has clothes painted on her by a boy. Two characters lie on ground together kissing. Two characters’ clothes dissolve, having been originally made of paint, and they are left in nothing more than underclothing. They end up kissing each other in this state. One completely confusing incident where a boy sends…

Unhinged
Young Adult / December 25, 2016

Splintered #2. Author: A.G. Howard. Summary: Alyssa Gardner triumphed over her trials in fairyland and made her way back to the human world. Now she’s ready to stay there, with the boy who’s earned her trust and the mother she barely knows yet. But when Morpheus shows up, everything goes wrong. Alyssa’s forced to keep him off, try to open herself to Jeb, explain herself to her mother, all while maintaining appearances at school despite dangerous signs appearing everywhere. And that’s not even counting her struggle to keep her dark-netherling half down. Can Alyssa do it? Will she be forced to abandon the human world once again for the world in which she is a dangerous queen… and worse yet, will she leave her human half behind? Content Review: Sexual content: Girlfriend thinks briefly about the fact that she’s a virgin, while she knows her boyfriend lost his virginity at 16. Boy brings girl to a secluded, romantically decorated spot and she wonders if he wants to “bring their relationship to the next step”. One character often uses innuendo, mostly teasing. Girl gets excited because she thinks her friend spent the night with her boyfriend (didn’t). Two occasions were girl/boy…

Splintered
Young Adult / July 28, 2016

Splintered #1. Author: A.G. Howard. Summary: 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 best friend and secret crush, or the striking but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own. (Published summary.) My Thoughts: This retelling of the Beauty and the Beast is set in the present and narrated from the point of view of the Beast, but beyond that is quite faithful to the…