Unhinged (Splintered, #2)

First Lines: My art teacher says that a real artist bleeds for her craft, but he never told us that blood can become your medium, can take on a life of its own and shape your art in vile and gruesome ways.

Oh, Wonderland, you always have that weird, twisted pull back to you.  A pull that I never understand, even when I’m there.  Probably because I can’t understand anything in Wonderland.

*Potential Series Spoilers Ahead*

It’s been almost a year since Alyssa last went down the rabbit hole, and life is pretty normal.  All she wants to do is graduate high school so she can go to art school in London.  Normal dreams.  But that gets complicated as soon as Morpheus shows up in her school, giving her another quest in Wonderland.  Now, Alyssa has to balance what Morpheus wants against what she wants.  And she knows she has to tell Jeb the truth about what happened last summer, the summer he doesn’t remember, but how?  With Wonderland threatening to spill into Alyssa’s world, she’ll do anything to keep her friends and family safe.

So I’ll begin by saying that I have no idea how to process this series.  I rarely ever actually know what’s going on in the story, especially where Wonderland creatures are involved…which is most of the story.

I liked that there are some really cool relationships going on in this story, and I don’t mean romantic ones.  You always know what Alyssa thinks of the people around her.  She doesn’t hide that.  But she’s also aware that what she thinks of them may not be 100% accurate and that people change.  It’s really cool to watch that happen because it shows the shifts in the relationships she has with her friends and family.

I liked how clever this story was.  There were obviously many ties to Lewis Carroll’s story, but it twisted them and played with them.  It turned them from obvious allusions to something a little different.  There was also a lot of word play, which I am a fan of.  It was just a really smart way to build the subtleties of the story.

What I didn’t like so much was that the story was more predictable at times than I thought it would be.  Bigger twists were easier to spot than smaller twists sometimes.  I think I had 2-3 spots of foreshadowing where I knew it was going to come into play later and even guessed pretty close to how it came back.  There were still some twists that got me, but the bigger ones were just too easy to spot.

Finally, there was a lot of the story that I didn’t exactly understand.  I tried.  I really did.  But Wonderland is just so crazy that I can’t even make mental pictures of what I’m supposed to be seeing.  That really complicated the story because it didn’t play in my head the way most stories do.  I think I eventually got the idea of what the scenes were about, but the finer details were lost on me.

Overall, it’s still a fun read, just with its own brand of crazy.

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