Review: The Glass Butterfly by A.G. Howard (Blog Tour)

I received this book for free from Rockstar Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Glass Butterfly by A.G. Howard (Blog Tour)The Glass Butterfly by A.G. Howard
Series: Haunted Hearts Legacy #3
Published by Golden Orb Press on August 15, 2018
Pages: 278
Format: eBook
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy on Amazon

For close to a decade, twenty-five-year-old Felicity Lonsdale has masqueraded as a dowager almost twice her age—selling caterpillars to butterfly consortiums—enabling her to hide an ill-fated past while raising her late brother’s daughters. Together, the three live on an isolated Irish estate bequeathed by a dying earl. When the earl’s estranged son arrives to claim his inheritance by threatening to expose Felicity’s true identity, she longs to pack up her nieces and run. But a ghostly secret within the castle’s turret holds her captive.

Nick Thornton—a Roma viscount’s heir—is also captive. After a tryst with an investor’s wife nearly destroyed his family’s holiday resort, Nick forsook everything to elope with her. However, a tragic mistake at his hand led to her and his baby’s deaths. Refusing to turn to the family he shamed, Nick travels to seek the countess who once co-wrote a romance with his sister. There’s rumor of a special butterfly in her keep—a transparent-winged species with ties to the afterlife. Nick hopes to contact his dead wife and child, for only their forgiveness can free him.

Upon his arrival to Felicity’s estate, Nick offers to help her defeat the earl’s son, on the condition she allow Nick to investigate her glass butterflies. Felicity agrees, though fears the closer he gets to the ghosts of his past, the closer he’ll come to uncovering her own. As Nick spends time with Felicity and her nieces, he realizes the mystery enshrouding this fragile countess and her castle is more intriguing than the ghosts he originally came to find. And perhaps putting his dead to rest and helping her do the same will be his true path to redemption.

Hey everyone! I’m beyond excited to be on the blog tour for The Glass Butterfly by A.G. Howard!! I absolutely LOVED this book!! I hope you enjoy my review!


Of the three books published thus far in this series, The Glass Butterfly is definitely my favorite! I feel like I say that with each book in this series, but that’s because this series gets better with each book! The more I delve into this world, the more I love it and these characters, and the more I want MORE.

With The Glass Butterfly, I just absolutely loved everything about it – the atmosphere, the writing, the characters, etc. The thing with the Haunted Hearts Legacy is that, the characters feel VERY real and you come to care for them. I loved Juliet, Lord Thornton, Hawk, Willow and Julian. But there was just something about Nick and Felicity that tugged at my heart. Maybe it was Felicity’s tragic past coupled with Nick’s bad boy behavior (that gets me EVERY time. See also: Morpheus). Maybe it was their chemistry. Maybe it was the plot itself. Or maybe it was all the above. All I know is, it really resonated with me.

I loved Felicity’s sass and strength. She has physical and emotional wounds from her past. In the beginning, they weighed her down and held her back. But she had INCREDIBLE character growth and, eventually, those wounds became like a battle cry, surging her forward and enabling her to realize her own worth, and her desire to live and love.

Nick had an equally tragic past, one which consumed him in so many ways. Like with Felicity, he started out weighed down by his past and his guilt. He burdened himself with things that were not his fault, and he sought redemption. But in the end, he realized that he could still be an upstanding man, despite his past. Honestly, I’ve been anticipating Nick’s story for a LONG time. And it truly didn’t disappoint. I loved learning about his past and seeing what made him behave the way he did in The Hummingbird Heart (and for the record, he DID redeem himself in my eyes. Just saying).

The banter and sexual tension between Felicity and Nick was INTENSE. And they had some HILARIOUS quips. Some of my favorite are below (though, be warned, they are not word-for-word as they were written in the book, and are edited for ease of understanding):

“Well, we’re out of sausage. But it appears you’ve brought your own. And excess, in fact.”

“Ah. You obviously haven’t sampled the right sausage.”

“So, it’s to be a mixed company gathering… I suppose sausage is out of the question.”
“Feel free to indulge on your own… You strike me as a man well versed in servicing himself.”

I cackled SO hard at all the sausage jokes, it was ridiculous! But this book also made me sob. A lot. So this book definitely elicited a LOT of emotions.

Aislinn was wise beyond her years, and and Lia was joyful and sassy – just like her aunt. I also loved Clooney. He was a loving father figure who gave sage advice. He was much needed and appreciated. And, of course, I DESPISED Landrigan. He was disgusting and the very definition of a villain.

The ending was absolutely incredible and had me laughing, crying, smiling and sobbing. It was the perfect ending to a perfect book, and I can’t wait to get my hands on book four!

Overall, this book was epic beyond words. A.G Howard is an amazing writer. Her writing, coupled with her incredible world-building skills, sucks you in and refuses to let you go. Her characters feel like real people and you can’t help but become entangled in their well-being – whether for better or worse. I DEFINITELY recommend this book if you’re a fan of A.G. Howard. Also, if you love ghost stories and epic love stories, this book is definitely for you!


About A.G. Howard:
A.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. She always wondered what would’ve happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and she hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child.

When she’s not writing, A.G.’s pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.

Website | Blog | Twitter

Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest | Goodreads


Giveaway Details: All International. There are four prize packs up for grabs. The image below shows what each one contains.

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blog Tour Schedule:

Week One:
8/6/2018 – A Dream Within A Dream – Review
8/7/2018 – Smada’s Book Smack – Review
8/8/2018 – YA SH3LF – Review
8/9/2018 – Book-Keeping – Review
8/10/2018 – Omg Books and More Books – Review

Week Two:
8/13/2018 – Literary Dust – Review
8/14/2018 – History from a Woman’s Perspective – Review
8/15/2018 – Lisa Loves Literature – Review
8/16/2018 – Pandora’s Books – Review
8/17/2018 – BookHounds YA – Review


Review: The Hummingbird Heart by A.G. Howard

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Hummingbird Heart by A.G. HowardThe Hummingbird Heart by A.G. Howard
Series: Haunted Hearts Legacy #2
Published by Golden Orb Press on August 15, 2017
Pages: 339
Source: the author
Buy on Amazon

Set 19 years after The Architect of Song.

Shortly after escaping a circus tragedy, young Italian orphan, Willow Antoniette, seeks refuge at The Manor of Diversions—a holiday resort in England born of a ghost story. For eleven years, she’s raised alongside the children of the resort’s owners: Julian, his twin brother, Nick, and their younger sister Emilia. Now that Willow is of marriable age, she's determined to escape finishing school along with everyone's efforts to make her a proper lady. The only man she wants to spend her life with is Julian, after all. Yet how can she tell him, when he thinks of her as nothing but a friend?

As a machinist and engineer, Julian Thornton prefers a governable life. He can't allow his ever-deepening attraction for Willow to distract from his amusement park plans to lure a younger, wealthier clientele to their family's resort. In hopes to escape Willow and find investors, Julian sets off on a transatlantic ocean liner headed for the St. Louis World’s Fair, unaware Willow has secretly stowed away on the same ship.

A tiny, mute orphan named Newton and a pair of haunted Italian shoes bring Willow and Julian face to face on deck. Forced to work together to solve the mystery of Newton and his vindictive, ghostly companion, Julian and Willow can no longer fight their untapped passions. However, time to admit their true feelings is running out, for the ghost and her murderer have enlisted them as unsuspecting pawns in a karmic game of cat-and-mouse that could cost all of them their lives.

As always, Anita is a master storyteller. From the plot to the characters, everything about this book was incredible! I was consumed within the pages and didn’t want it to end. But when it did, it was in an incredibly satisfying way. While this story wrapped up nicely with no frustrating cliffhangers, it still has me eager to get my hands on book three – which isn’t out until August 2018! Insert crying emoji! So far, all we know about book three is that it will be Nick’s story… GIMME GIMME GIMME!

*Clears throat*

Anyway, back to THIS book and the review for it, hehe.

I honestly think I enjoyed this book MORE than The Architect of Song. I can’t believe I’m saying that because I LOVED The Architect of Song, but The Hummingbird Heart was just… incredible. I think it was the characters, honestly. I loved Juliet, Lord Thornton and Hawk. But Willow and Julian were !!!!!!!

I loved Willow. She was wild and free-spirited, yet had a tragic past. Someone as carefree as her shouldn’t have to hold such a burden in their heart. She had some AMAZING character growth, especially in the second half of the book. The revelations concerning her past were both mind-blowing and a bit obvious. Like, I SHOULD have seen it coming, but I didn’t until very close to the reveal. But I actually LOVED the way her story went, as weird and crazy as it was! It really just made complete sense and it was like all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place with this reveal.

Julian was soooo swoony. He was a bit controlling in the beginning and he did a few things that I REALLY couldn’t stand, but by the end, he had grown a LOT. He loosened up and embraced a lot of things that Beginning of Book Julian would NEVER have embraced.

I completely shipped Willow and Julian! Right from the beginning, they had this epic rapport – like a bickering old married couple! Their relationship was a slow, sweet burn and SO satisfying in the end.

I absolutely adored Newton. There was just something so fun and lovable and vulnerable about him. In the beginning, his relationship with Julian was HILARIOUS! It reminded me of the “little old lady bickering” between Morpheus and Jeb in the Splintered trilogy. I loved his devotion to his sister (*cough*) and his unwavering loyalty to those he considered friends. For a little boy, he had a big heart.

I really couldn’t stand Nick. Normally I like the cocky bad boy, but he was just an ass with no redeeming qualities. HOWEVER… And I don’t understand why… But… I CANNOT WAIT for his story in book three! Maybe because I think there’s more to him than we saw in this book, and maybe because I DO hope he redeems himself.

A character I really DID like was Judge Arlington. He was like the kind grandfather of the group. I also really liked Sala and… I know I shouldn’t… And I can’t explain why without spoilers so… !!! Also, Vadette – another I can’t explain without spoilers, so…

The last 20% of the book was INCREDIBLE. Like, the whole book was incredible. But the last 20% was intense and emotional and full of revelations and GAH!!!!!

As usual (and as mentioned above), Anita crafted an imaginative world with strong, likable characters. Her writing was vivid and sucked me into the story. I will never not love the things she writes. Her books are just incredible. They take you on an unforgettable adventure. If you love ghost stories and epic love stories, this book is definitely for you!


Review: The Architect of Song by A.G. Howard

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Architect of Song by A.G. HowardThe Architect of Song by A.G. Howard
Series: Haunted Hearts Legacy #1
Published by Golden Orb Press on August 15, 2016
Pages: 425
Format: Paperback
Source: the author
Buy on Amazon

A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower - intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death.

For most of her life, nineteen-year-old Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a twenty-seven-year-old mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton.

To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.

International and NYT bestselling author, A.G. Howard, brings her darkly magical and visual/visceral storytelling to Victorian England. The Architect of Song is the first installment in her lush and romantic Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book gothic saga following the generations of one family as - haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts - they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness.

New Adult: Recommended for ages 16+.

As a HUGE fan of A.G. Howard’s Splintered (YA) series, I had high expectations for this book. And I LOVED it! I loved the writing, the characters, the intrigue – basically, everything!

Anita’s writing has always been gorgeous – vivid and descriptive. Her way with words is such that I can picture everything as though I’m there, living out the story right alongside the characters. I didn’t think it was possible for her writing to get better, but it has! There was a maturity to the writing and the plot, even beyond the fact that this was a New Adult book.

The characters were incredible beyond words. Juliet is strong and determined. She doesn’t let her deafness hold her back, nor does she let it be used as an excuse when she does falter. She pushes herself to be the best she can be and she fights for those she loves. Hawk was hilarious and cheeky. He definitely reminded me of Morpheus from the Splintered series and he definitely ranks up there in Book Boyfriend material because of it.

On the other hand, Lord Thornton was… hard to read at times. Sometimes I liked him, other times I was very suspicious of his motives. I didn’t fully trust him for a long time, if ever. I wish I could say more about both Lord Thornton and Hawk because I truly loved them both and was satisfied with how their stories ended. But there was a big twist/revelation at the end that blew my mind and if I say much more, I’ll hit spoiler territory!

Juliet’s uncle was so kind and fatherly. He reminded me of someone but I couldn’t figure out who. I’m still trying to figure it out! Though I kept picturing him as Lord Craven from The Secret Garden.

Like I mentioned before, the twists and revelations near the end were mind-blowing! I figured it out roughly two pages before the big reveal, but I was still blown away by everything involved with the revelation, including the potential consequences. I can’t be any more specific without spoilers, but trust me… MIND. BLOWING.

The ending was INCREDIBLY SATISFYING. It actually left me confused at first, because I knew this was a series but the ending was done so neatly, with all the loose ends tied up, I couldn’t imagine a second book being necessary – and then I read the synopsis for book two and it all made sense! Now I’m completely intrigued and excited to read the second book!

My only complaint is that the back and fourth of Juliet’s feelings for Lord Thornton (“Should I trust him? Actually, I do.. Wait, no, he just did something suspicious, so I don’t…But, wait, now he did something nice, I totally trust him again… Or not”) was a bit drawn out and became a little frustrating after awhile. And the book could have been a tad shorter and still incredible and satisfying.

Overall, this book was beyond incredible. A.G Howard is a gorgeous writer. Her writing and world-building sucks you in and refuses to let you go. Her characters feel like real people and you can’t help but become entangled in their well-being – whether for better or worse. I DEFINITELY recommend this book if you’re a fan of A.G. Howard or if you’re looking for an epic, intriguing New Adult book to read!


Review: Ensnared by A.G. Howard

Review: Ensnared by A.G. HowardEnsnared by A.G. Howard
Series: Splintered #3
Published by Amulet Books on January 6, 2015
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover
Buy on Amazon

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 sadistic netherling outcasts.

In the final installment of the Splintered trilogy, Alyssa and her dad journey into the heart of magic and mayhem in search of her mom and to set right all that’s gone wrong. Together with Jeb and Morpheus, they must salvage Wonderland from the decay and destruction that has ensnared it. But even if everyone succeeds and comes out alive, can they all truly have their happily ever after?

Fair Warning: If you haven’t read the Splintered trilogy, this review does contain mild (or major, depending on how you feel about it) spoilers. Don’t read on if you don’t want to be spoiled. You have been warned!

I had an epic love/hate relationship with this book – and it hurts me to even say that, considering how much I LOVED Splintered and Unhinged! But, unfortunately, Ensnared didn’t hold my attention the way the first two books in this trilogy did, though that epic epilogue definitely made up for a lot of the other things that bothered me!

First of all, I was 68 pages into Ensnared before I realized that I’d read Unhinged so long ago, I’d forgotten EVERYTHING that happened, so I skimmed through Splintered (I remembered almost all of it, but the refresher helped) and then I had to COMPLETELY re-read Unhinged (again, except for two things I remembered vividly and several things that came back to me as I read, I had forgotten EVERYTHING). The re-read was nice because it reminded me how much I loved Splintered (which, I discovered, is my favorite book in the trilogy).

From Splintered to Ensnared, there’s no doubt that Alyssa has grown and changed. She’s embraced her Netherling side and she’s accepted that Wonderland will always be a part of her. But there was something off about her in this book. She was still fierce and determined, but not as fierce as she was in the other two books. She doubts herself a lot and her conflicted feelings over her human side versus her Netherling side and her feeling for Jeb versus Morpheus really started to consume her. And, sadly, the constant back-and-forth became incredibly tedious. In Unhinged, I LIKED these conflicting feelings. A lot of Alyssa’s character growth came out of her reasoning through these conflicted feelings. But in Ensnared, they consumed her. Ultimately, Alyssa came to terms with these conflicted feelings and there was resolution. But by then, the back-and-fourth had almost completely annoyed me beyond caring.

I will never not be Team Morpheus. He was brilliant in this book! He’s grown so much since Splintered, it’s ridiculous. He’ll always be a cunning, master manipulater and a sweet-talker, but he’s learning to balance that with honestly. In Unhinged, sometimes it was hard to determine when his words and actions were sincere and when he was manipulating a person or situation to his advantage. But in Ensnared, I could always tell the difference. I have to admit, though, seeing him weakened and semi-powerless in the beginning was REALLY weird and difficult, since we very rarely see him in such a vulnerable state.

My dislike for Jeb was STRONG in this book. He had moments in Splintered and Unhinged where he redeemed himself but he had VERY few moments like that in Ensnared and most of them were near the end. I couldn’t stand his attitude or the way he treated Alyssa or any of it. I know he’s been through hell, but he was so cold, distant and disrespectful. I grudgingly admit that he had some intriguing character developments throughout the book, though.

I’m really conflicted regarding the love triangle resolution. It sort of felt like a cop-out, but I also don’t think it could have ended any other way, considering the circumstances. The set-up for this ending was hinted at pretty early on (possibly even during Unhinged), so it didn’t really come as a surprise. It sort of felt like there was a lack of closure for the one ship, but maybe we’ll get that closure in Untamed.

Alyssa’s dad was pretty a pretty tough guy. There were so many revelations and character developments with him, it was pretty amazing to see. He really kept a level head through a lot of crazy things. On the flip-side, I think those scenes and revelations dealing with him and his background took up too big a chunk of this book. Yes, they were important and relevant, but they could have been shortened/condensed. Since this was the final book in the trilogy, I really wanted more of Alyssa, Morpheus and Jeb (reluctantly) and more of Wonderland and the future, etc.

I really hate to say this, but this is my least favorite book in the trilogy. The characters were all SO out of character. The tone of the book was VERY different from the first two. And it was a pretty slow read, both in plot and in pacing. Things really didn’t pick up until somewhere within the last 100 pages or so. And my absolute favorite part was the epilogue. Honestly, before that, I was going to give this book three stars, but the epilogue bumped it up to 3.5.

Overall, despite not enjoying Ensnared as much as I’d hoped to, it was still a fun read and I love that I now have closure with these characters. This is still also one of my absolute favorite trilogies, Anita is still one of my absolute favorite authors and these are still some of my absolute favorite characters (Well, except Jeb). Morpheus was my first ever book boyfriend, so he and this trilogy will forever hold a special place in my heart.

I definitely recommend Ensnared for fans of the trilogy. I seem to be in the minority when it comes to my feelings on this book. So chances are, if you loved the first two, you’ll love this one! And, if nothing else, it’s nice to see how the story ends for all the characters. Finally, if you’re interested in reading Untamed, reading all three books in the trilogy is a must, from what I can tell, unless you want Untamed to spoil the ending of Ensnared!


Review: Unhinged by A.G. Howard

I received this book for free from a blogger in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Unhinged by A.G. HowardUnhinged by A.G. Howard
Series: Splintered #2
Published by Amulet Books on January 7, 2014
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: a blogger
Buy on Amazon

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.

Words can’t begin to describe how amazing this book was. I don’t even know how I’m going to get through this review without fangirling and flailing. It was… epic. But that doesn’t even do it justice. First of all, I said it in my review of Splintered but I’ll say it again here: A.G. Howard is an amazing writer. Her writing is beautiful, vivid and descriptive. I can picture everything as though I’m there, living out the story with Alyssa, Morpheus and Jeb.

Going from Splintered to Unhinged, Alyssa really grew as a character. She’s so reluctant to embrace her Netherling heritage, yet she embraces her magic more so than she ever has before. She’s split between her loyalty to Wonderland and her loyalty to those in her human life. And ultimately, this is her undoing. Honestly, I made this observation near the very beginning of the book. I never realized how right I would be until almost the very end! In addition to being torn between her human side and Netherling side, Alyssa was torn between Jeb and Morpheus. She placed most of her love and loyalty with Jeb, of course, but she started to soften towards Morpheus.

Morpheus was so frustrating in this book! I am still 100% Team Morpheus – I’ll NEVER waiver on that – but he did some really conniving things this time around. He’s cunning; a master manipulative and a sweet-talker. He always has ulterior motives to everything he does. But I’ve never believed he would ever intentionally hurt Alyssa, nor would he let anything happen to her. Deep down, I know he loves her and wants to protect her, even if he has a funny way of showing it. And I mean, come on! His physical description (Brandon Lee as The Crow meets David Bowie as Jareth)… SWOON! And that accent of his? *Flails!!!* If this needs any further explanation, then just go watch The Crow and Labyrinth. Enough said.

Jeb… Oy! Where to begin? Like I said, I’m 100% Team Morpheus. But there were several moments in Unhinged where I felt terrible for Jeb! And then there were other moments where I just wanted to smack him over the head. He’s a hot-head and he gets way too jealous way too easily. He acts like he doesn’t trust Alyssa. I mean, I get it if he doesn’t trust Morpheus! But if he loves Alyssa as much as he says he does, shouldn’t he trust her more?!? Deep down, I know Jeb has good intentions and a good heart. He just needs to grow up and mature a little bit.

I do, however, love the banter between Jeb and Morpheus! I said it in my review of Splintered, but I’ll say it again: their banter reminds me of Xander and Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Anyone agree?? It’s hysterical!

Alyssa’s dad was sooooo frustrating in Uhinged! I just wanted him to trust Alyssa! I get that he went through a lot with Alyssa’s mom, but he let that color his judgement and he refused to trust his daughter, refused to let her explain. He just jumped to conclusions and got angry. He and Jeb are a lot alike in that sense. And then there’s Alison (Alyssa’s mom). I had a lot of trouble trusting Alison. I kept waiting for her to betray everyone to get what she wanted. I didn’t trust her at all. Honestly, I’m still not sure I completely trust her.

The revelations about Alison and Alyssa’s dad were MIND-BLOWING! It was like a puzzle, and all the pieces fell into place. It made me feel so bad for everyone involved, but so many things finally made sense. Even certain things with Morpheus and the way he treated Alyssa finally made sense!

The ending was… I can’t even. I seriously can’t even. I’m dying. I’m flailing. THAT EVIL CLIFFHANGER WAS EVIL! My mind is exploding and my brain is DOA. Seriously, Major Book Hangover! I NEED Ensnared (Book #3) ASAP! I can’t wait a year to find out what happens next! I can’t!

Overall (if you couldn’t already tell from my review), Unhinged was amazing. That ending broke me. And I can’t wait for Ensnared!!!


Review: Splintered by A.G. Howard

Review: Splintered by A.G. HowardSplintered by A.G. Howard
Series: Splintered #1
Published by Amulet Books on January 1, 2013
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Buy on Amazon

(From Amazon) This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. 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 gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

This book was so amazing in so many ways, I don’t even know where to begin. The writing was beautiful, vivid and descriptive, the characters came alive, and the plot intrigued me from the very beginning. I’ve always loved Alice and Wonderland, and this was a captivating tale, set in the world of Wonderland, with a dark twist on the beloved children’s story. The references to The Crow and Labyrinth won my heart.

My favorite part of the story was Morpheus. I can’t help it – I’m totally fangirling over him! Basically, he’s Brandon Lee as The Crow + Jareth from Labyrinth + a Dark Angel + Captain Jack Sparrow + The Phantom of The Opera. So… any more questions? I pretty much swooned over him the entire book, so I’m not going to say anything else, or my review will be 100% Morpheus-focused.

While I’m sort of on the subject, I really loved the character names in this book. Persephone, Morpheus, Aphrodite, Adonis. I’m a big fan of Greek Mythology – well, mythology in general, to be honest – so I loved this. Howard did a great job twisting the names of the Wonderland characters, as well, to make them fit this darker, scarier version of a place only a child could have dreamed up. Rabid White? Herman Hattington? Chessie? All great twists on classic characters, and the logic behind the Lewis Carroll version vs what Alyssa sees (as explained on page 104) is great.

“What happens in Wonderland stays in Wonderland” = New Favorite saying. (Pg 140)
“Thirty sprites touched your naked body?” = Dying of laughter. (Pg 187)
“I am a man in every way that counts!” = Dying of laughter again. (Pg 250)

Other favorite quotes:
“…Tranquility amid the madness…” (Pg 211)
“I’m beginning to enjoy the Madness.” (Pg 212)

As for Jeb… I know a lot of people loved him, and don’t get me wrong, I do, too. But there were a few instances when he kind of annoyed me, like when he took Taelor’s word over Alyssa’s and when he demanded she not trust Morpheus, but he trusted Gossamer. These things just rubbed me the wrong way, and kind of reminded me of Jay from The Body Finder series, and I wasn’t his biggest fan. But Jeb had some redeeming qualities. First of all, he’s worthy of some swooning, too! And he really put his life on the line for Alyssa several times throughout the book. I nearly cried a few times.

This is a random thought, but did anyone else think the bickering between Jeb and Morpheus was reminiscent of Xander and Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Was it just me?

There were some great twists and revelations in the last 100 pages or so, some things I had started to figure out, and some that came as a complete shock. There was a lot of screaming and crying, to be honest… And the last paragraph was just.. sweet and romantic and tear-inducing.

Overall, if you couldn’t tell already, I adored this book so, so much. I have no clue how I’m going to make it January for the next book!