Southbury Teen Review Blog

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Splintered February 14, 2013

A.G. Howard

All the women in Alyssa Gardner’s family are cursed, ever since her ancestor Alice Liddell inspired Lewis Carol’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland they start hearing voices when they reach puberty.  Her mother Alison lives in a mental facility because she hears flowers and insects talking and since Alyssa started hearing the same kinds of voices a few years ago she has worried that she will become like her mother.  As her mother’s condition starts to worsen, Alyssa begins to learn more about her family’s curse and they truth behind Alice Liddell and Wonderland.  When Alyssa finds herself and her best friend Jeb in Wonderland she realizes Wonderland is much darker than the Wonderland in the book and in order to save her mother and herself from the curse she must pass impossible tests.

Alyssa was an interesting main character, I liked her skateboard style and flair and her personality.  She was typical teen in that she rebelled against her parents in subtle ways, like with the hair extensions, but she was still naive in her willingness to trust others.  I wasn’t sure if I would like Jeb at the beginning but as we got to know him more I really started to like him.  His protectiveness of Alyssa was a little annoying when he tried to be a surrogate parent but he was concerned for Alyssa which was nice and who doesn’t love a handsome knight in shining armor!

I wish I had read the original Alice in Wonderland to have something to relate the numerous references with but I still enjoyed the book.  The Wonderland in this book is much darker than the Alice I remember when I was little.  The characters all have a morbid twist to them and Alyssa’s quest is much more dangerous that Alice.  There were so many twists that I was constantly kept guessing what was going to happen next.  The ending was just the right combination of suspense, sadness, despair, hope and even happiness.  Overall, this was a really enjoyable read.


Scarlet February 13, 2013

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2)
Marissa Meyer

Scarlet picks up right where Cinder ended, Cinder is currently in prison but Dr. Erland has just left her with new prosthetics and a lot of new information.  Cinder has just been told that not only is she Lunar, but she is the missing Princess Selene of Lunar.  Dr. Erland has given her two tasks; escape from the prison and then join him in Africa.  In true Cinder fashion, she escapes from prison but she picks up another prisoner on her way, “Captain” Carswell Thorne. Together they manage to reach Thorne’s stolen spaceship and leave New Beijing.  We also get introduced to a couple other new characters, Scarlet Benoit, who is looking for her grandmother, and Wolf, the mysterious street fighter that is helping Scarlet get her grandmother back.  This book alternates between Cinder and Thorne’s escape, Scarlet and Wolf’s quest and Kai’s dealings with the ever persistent Queen Levana.

Cinder is just as great as before but she really has trouble accepting her true identity.  Once she escapes prison, she heads to France to find Michelle Benoit who may have the answers to Cinder’s past.  Cinder is also equipped with a brand new cyborg hand which has cool new features like tranquilizer darts and she is not afraid to use them!  I really liked the comedic Thorne, when he first meets Cinder he explains how he started a soap protest in prison because the soap was too drying for his skin!  He brings a great sense of humor to the plot.  Scarlet and Wolf were also great characters, Scarlet is very strong and a fighter.  She will not let anything stop her from finding her grandmother.  Wolf is very animalistic and mysterious but he also has a gentle side that he shows especially when he is with Scarlet.  There were times when I wanted to hate him but I couldn’t.

Just like in Cinder, this book follows a quick pace with lots of action.  There are the elements of the traditional fairytale but Meyer still manages to add her own twist to them to make the story great.  The only thing I did not like was the ending! Warning, there is a major cliffhanger that will leave you wanting the next book now!