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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

YA Book Review: Unhinged by A.G. Howard

This is the second installment of the Splintered Series by AG Howard.  Next week, we will be reviewing Ensnared.

 ***WARNING: This review does have some spoilers to the first book in the series, Splintered.  If you want to see Jesse’s review of this book, click here.  The review to Ensnared is here.***

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ -     (4 out of 5)

All I have to do is set the power free. Escape the chains of humanity, let madness be my guide. If I forget everything but Wonderland, I can become beautiful pandemonium.” 

Woo! I made it to the second book.
I honestly couldn't wait to read the second instalment after I finished Splintered. And after two or three books I just couldn't put it off any more. Partly to see what how Alyssa was dealing after all the news she received at the end of Splintered. But mostly because I needed more Jebidiah in my life. I don't think I have ever felt such a strong connection (albeit an imaginative connection) with a character from a book before. But no matter the type of connection, a connection is still a connection. (Wow, that's a lot of connections)

The Plot:
The story picks up with Alyssa in the human realm. After the events in Wonderland over the summer, she decides to live her life with her new boyfriend/best friend Jeb, graduate high school, and attend her school's prom. But unfortunately Morpheus won't allow that. 

Wonderland is in shambles and Queen Red is on the loose wreaking havoc. She wants her throne and kingdom back, but she needs Alyssa's body for that. Now Alyssa must struggle with the decision between the two parts of herself. Her human half that wants nothing more than to spend the rest of her quiet life with Jeb, and her netherling half that is yearning to get back to Wonderland and the throne. 

Morpheus doesn't just bring news of chaos in Wonderland, he also brings along secrets that get revealed. The past of her mother, Alison and the origins of her father, as well as more information about Wonderland and her destiny she never thought would’ve even been possible. You have to read to find out what happens! You won't be disappointed.

The Writing:
I find Howard's writing to be straight-foward and engrossing. Admittedly, it did take a while to get used to. The way the characters spoke, their customs, the elaborately descriptive way Howard paints the world of Wonderland and the human realm might be more labour intensive reading-wise than your usual YA book, but trust me. It goes together like PB & J. And I never joke about food.
The Characters: 
Lets see what I thought of the characters this time around starting off with our resident heroine and protagonist, Alyssa. Much was revealed in the last novel that sends her world upside down. Does she choose to stay human?  Or does she tap into her netherling side?  As the novel progresses we see her struggle with herself. She remains strong, courageous, and conflicted. With all that's thrown at her it amazed me she was able to stay sane. (For most of the book that is...hehe)

Jeb, the hunky white knight. After having all his memories erased from the first novel, we get a fresh slate with this character. We get to focus more on how caring, and loving he is towards Alyssa. He is 100% devoted to only her and to see how that changes from one little mistake breaks my heart. (You'll have to read the book to find out) We also get to see a scary side of Jeb, one that is said to represent his father's personality. But no matter what Jeb will always have a place in my heart.

Morpheus, the cunning and conniving netherling. I don't know if I could possibly hate him any more than after the first novel, but low and behold he manages to do it. For a guy who says he has immense feelings for Alyssa, he just keeps messing it up. And anyone who tries to get between Alyssa and Jeb is on my bad side. But aside from my personal problems with him, we do learn quite a lot about his character. He has pure devotion for his realm and would do anything to protect it from being destroyed by Red. Even if it means meddling in Alyssa's to get her to come fix the problem only she can fix. When he seems to mess up, he also finds a way to redeem himself. (Another thing that bugs me about him) No matter how much I hate him, I have to give him props for sticking up for his world and his dear friends.

The last character I want to briefly talk about is Alison (Alyssa's Mom). We get to learn so much more about her past in this book that I believe it was worth mentioning. Even though we find out some incriminating things about her in this novel, it's the love she harbors for Alyssa's dad that I admire the most. I guess love is a powerful thing. Proving that love transcends even past admitting yourself into an asylum to protect the ones that are dear to you.  I truly did admire Alison in this novel.

The Cover:
Although Morpheus is my least favorite character in this series, it doesn't take away from the beautiful cover of Unhinged. With the purple and blue color scheme, as well as the details of Morpheus' face, the cover captures the essence of the story perfectly.

I could probably go on and on, but I think you guys get the point. Unhinged lives up as the second instalment in the Splintered Trilogy. It serves as a great bridge that will bring us to the end of the trilogy and it makes me even more excited to see how it all ends. In an ideal world I would love for Alyssa to save Wonderland and then live happily ever after with Jeb in the human world, but I know that's just wishful thinking and A.G. Howard most likely has secrets and twists up her sleeves that are going to leave me pulling out my hair.

But that's what makes a great story.

So if you haven't started this trilogy yet, then I'm sorry if you failed to read my spoiler disclaimer and ruined the first book for yourself. But if you have read the first book then you need to hurry and read Unhinged today!! Stop stalling and get to reading!

See ya next time,
- Jesse Nicholas 

Read other YA Book Reviews here.

Jesse Nicholas, todays guest blogger, lives in Manitoba, Canada. He is an aspiring writer and one day wishes to have a novel published. Along with writing, Jesse enjoys music, travel, trashy TV, and is an avid reader of anything in the Young Adult genre. He currently posts reviews on the YA novels he reads on his blog, and spends hours upon hours coming up with ideas for a future novel.  You can read other book reviews on his blog at jessenicholasya.blogspot.ca

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