Splintered A.G. Howard Rating: 5+ **Bookworm BURTON CHOICE** “I've been collecting bugs since I was ten; it's the only way I can stop their whispers. Sticking a pin through the gut of an insect shuts it up pretty quick.” Be prepared for a hat-raising trip down the rabbit hole inSplintered- be sure to hold onto your teacups! Alyssa Gardner has always had an eerie fascination with insects, using them to create artworks whose images reflect the remnants of dreams she can only just recall. But her main reason for her use of medium lies in the fact Alyssa can hear the chattering of bugs and flowers, and despite the entertaining aspect of listening to their conversations, Alyssa wishes she could rid her head of them - secretly fearing that she'll end up in a loony asylum like her mother, who drinks ice-cream from teacups and insists that they're descendants of Alice Liddell. Alyssa uncovers the source of her mother's madness and comes to the shocking realisation that the world her mother glimpses is all far too real and closer than either of them suspects. When faced with ultimatum, Alyssa ventures into Wonderland with her handsome best friend Jeb to break the family curse and hopefully rid their lives of the unsettling place forever. But Wonderland is no longer full of Disney-goodness and never-ending tea parties. Grotesque, peculiar and as mad as a hatter, Wonderland and its occupants are a fruit salad of personalities, each with their own agenda - and none more so than the seductive and debonair Morpheus, who Alyssa cannot help but feel a connection with, despite the danger he represents. Becoming acquainted with the White Rabid, Hattington, the Ivory Queen and Chessie, Alyssa feels herself slowly losing her grip on her world and falling deeper and deeper into the clutches of Wonderland with every passing second...though she still has the tickling sense that there is something bigger at work than simply curse-breaking and that those that she meets are all apart of an elaborate masquerade - who can she trust? With enough eccentric, tantalising and twisted imagery to have to dancing on tabletops,Splinteredis sure to have you wishing for your mallet and a top hat - the lure of Wonderland far too strong, and bittersweet, to resist.