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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Unhinged A.G. Howard *ARC Review*

WONDERLAND WAS JUST THE BEGINNING

I'M SO EXCITED!! I'm thrilled I won this beauty...and that I get to share my review of Unhinged with you before the release date!

Even better, I'm sharing the love by giving away my ARC to one lucky winner! (Giveaway will be at the bottom of the post.) 

~
Once again, A.G. Howard delivers a fantastically creepy spin on Lewis Carroll's Alice and Wonderland & The Looking Glass.

Brilliant and riveting, the tale continues the story of Alyssa, Jeb, and Morpheus...along with a host of friends (and foes) from Wonderland.

Three need-to-know details before I get into specifics:

A) If you enjoyed Splintered, you will love Unhinged. I didn't want to stop reading until the end...and then I was very, very sad because 1) it was over T_T and 2) I realized the next book coming out IS Unhinged, not the last book of the trilogy (I had a moment ^_^’)...and the ending was such a cliff-hanger!! *SMF* I really want the last installment! And so will you, because it was THAT stellar.

B) If you're looking for the most satisfying Unhinged experience, re-read Splintered before you start reading Book 2. I suggest doing so even if you don't much care about the experience (though I can't fathom why you wouldn't...) because Unhinged refers to very specific events in Splintered throughout. 

Part of the fun of reading is guessing what is coming next--or better, predicting what is coming and still being surprised--because of an author's deliciously clever hints. It's fun to note all of the connections Howard has made, and to piece them together as you're reading.

C) Don't start Unhinged under the impression that Alyssa will be going into Wonderland immediately. I know, I know...it's hard not to. But don't, because it won't happen. And if I say anything more, I may spoil it for you, so I'll be quiet.

*I won an ARC of Unhinged from Bibliopunkk. This is my honest and fair review.* 

So Unhinged is stellar :). Its versatility, wild creativity, whimsical fashion, and somewhat macabre artistic expressions easily distinguish Unhinged from other humdrum 'down the rabbit hole' spinoffs. I enjoyed every bit of it, even the bits that I normally wouldn’t have found enjoyable. 

What I enjoyed the most:

A.G. Howard’s PROSE! Howard’s writerly skills dazzle me. I’m a complete nerd when it comes to writing—especially with its finer points, like diction—and that side of me frolicked between the pages of Unhinged with abandon. Writing with such beauty it exhilarates an audience is a feat many writers have yet to accomplish. Some of my personal favorites are Franny Billingsly and Jessica Khoury…and after devouring Splintered and Unhinged, A.G. Howard has made my list.

Alyssa’s character arc! It’s stunning. While attempting to live a ‘normal’ life with Jeb, she searches out Morpheus’ heart, her family history, and herself. Her constant vigil for her betrayer adds at least 20ft of depth to her character and humanity. Like Alina in Siege and Storm, Alyssa matures rapidly; she has a lot to figure out in a short span of time. I’m most impressed, however, by her determination  after  accepting the challenge near the end of the story.

Howard’s surprises (erm, plot twists)! They delighted me. Even though she wove elements from Splintered throughout the text and loaded Unhinged with tons of clues, the plot still wasn’t predictable.

How Morpheus, my personal favorite of the men squabbling over Alyssa, is showcased (beautiful cover!). I love the mystery of him. Does he mean well? Is he really trying to help Alyssa, or help himself? On the outside, he seems contradictory, but when you delve into the center of his madness, you see the paradox…and the deeper you go, the more clarity you gain about his heart.

As he did in Splintered, Morpheus keeps us and our fashionable protagonist guessing about his ‘true nature’ throughout Unhinged. But this time, it feels different. Maybe it’s just me, but I felt I began to genuinely understand him, which is one of the reasons I’m anticipating the last book in the trilogy: I may finally reach the center of his paradoxical heart.  

What I enjoyed the least:

Obviously, I enjoyed all of Unhinged, so I don’t have much to say here.

But.

I have a confession: love triangles are one of my biggest pet peeves! I despise them, think they are the stupidest plot device (or lack of plot device) *ever*. I mean, why can’t she/he just choose one?! Is the character incapable of loyalty??

That said, I found the love triangle thing to be a bit frustrating…and yet, I admit that Howard's approach to and delivery of the triangle between Jeb, Alyssa, and Morpheus is uncannily well done. It's believable, understandable, and really does leave the reader wondering which relationship will bloom in the end. And…it actually  is  an effective device to understanding the plot and characters.

Final verdict: 4.8!

If Unhinged isn’t on your TBR list, add it! You won’t be disappointed.

*Unhinged will be released January 7th, 2014!*

About the Author
Author photo by pamlaryphotography.com 
A.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. Her 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.

Her debut YA fantasy, SPLINTERED, a dark Alice in Wonderland spinoff, is now available from Amulet Books. The sequel, UNHINGED, is due to launch January 2014.

| Website | Blog |

And now, for the giveaway :)
Know you are loved. Giving up this copy was not easy lol ^_^

Because it seems suiting, I'm going to borrow Bibliopunkk's method for this giveaway. It's easy to enter; all you need to do is guess a number 1-10,000. 

First guess is free. Every subsequent guess can be earned by sharing this giveaway on any social media site--twitter, facebook, goodreads...even shelfari. Just show me the link and you've got a guess!

It's first come, first serve, though--the first person to guess the correct number will win the ARC--so act quickly! (And don't forget to add your email to your guess so I can contact you if you win!)

Ends 12/12/13
 U.S. only (sorry, I can't ship outside US T_T) 

One winner will have an Unhinged ARC 3-5 days afterward!

So...what number am I thinking of? 




  



42 comments:

  1. 14 is my guess because it is my favorite number. ts.teabox@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. 4,200 is my second guess.http://www.blogger.com/blog-this-done.g?blogID=1724983676382927825&isPublished=true

    ts.teabox@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I also shared on FB and tweeted, but didn't get any links to copy at the top of the page. :( Could you please explain where I can find those links? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So I replied to this yesterday...and it clearly didn't post!

      Ok, so it's actually pretty easy--I honestly didn't know how to do this a few months (well I guess a year ago now, whoa) ago, so I googled it and followed some rafflecopter instructions and voila! L33t internet skills.

      Here's what you need to do to get your FB link: Go back onto fb and find your post/status update/share. On the upper left hand corner of the post--right under your name--there will be a timestamp. It'll say either the date, yesterday, or 29 seconds ago, etc. Click on it and it'll take you to a page where that post is the only thing available, and copy the link. (Or...you could probably just right click and select the option 'copy link'. Whichever you desire :-)

      For Twitter it's exactly the same, except the timestamp will be on the upper LEFT hand side.

      Let me know how it goes!

      Delete
    2. Um...I meant to say upper RIGHT for Twitter ^_^' sorry for the confusion...

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    4. Thank-you for taking the time to explain, Lynanne!! :D

      Delete
    5. Clicking the timestamp on Twitter does absolutely nothing. O.o
      It is taking forever to go back in FB on my Kindle, so I am going to share it a second time.

      Delete
    6. Clicking on the timestamp on FB takes me to the separate page, but still no link. :( Oh well, the book comes out in a month anyway. I tried.

      Delete
    7. You're welcome! But I see you're still confused lol. The separate page IS the link...you just copy and paste the url. As for twitter, I may have explained that one poorly. Basically it shows up in the feed, and you click the timestamp in the *upper* right corner. If you click the *lower* left corner, I don't think anything happens.

      But. Seeing as you have put in a tremendous amount of effort to make this happen despite technological difficulties :D, your entries are all accepted ^_^.

      For future giveaways (if I ever run a contest like this again, or if you go to Bibliopunkk's blog and enter one of those) and future entries (you can enter multiple times--unlimited times on twitter, fb, pinterest, etc.) that's how to get the links. I actually just looked at fb and twitter again and clicked on the links and obtained the urls to make sure I wasn't losing my mind/telling you crazy nonsense. It's legit.

      Sorry about your troubles!! Hope you win!

      Delete
    8. Just realized that you never posted your other two guesses. So. You have two guesses to make. If you can get the links, great! If not, that's ok :).

      [But to be fair to other guessers, after those 2 I will need 1 link per guess :).]

      Delete
  4. You can see I Google+'ed it right under the review, so my next guess is 1,992. ts.teabox@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I posted it to Goodreads.https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/17265997-linda-la-la

    Guessing, um, 42...
    ts.teabox@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. My guess is 2110! (first number than popped to my head lol)
    Email: sykhaleq98@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. 728?
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    email:Rigoudon3@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! I'm actually really happy to share such a fabulous book :). Thanks for visiting and guessing!

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. And my email is britanytodd02@gmail.com

      Delete
  9. Here is another guess and link my email is brittanytodd02@gmail.com and my guess is 10

    https://twitter.com/kalebsmome/status/408988149063622656

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here is the revised post for this since the first wasn't links to your page I'm learning ��
      https://twitter.com/kalebsmome/status/408990864669966337

      Delete
    2. Ugggg did it wrong again here is the correct link!
      https://twitter.com/kalebsmome/status/408992071685779456

      Delete
    3. Ganbatte! (Do your best/good luck)

      Delete
  10. I want this book desperately so another link with a guess is here email is brittanytodd02@gmail.com and my guess is 3
    https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1598724

    ReplyDelete
  11. And here we go again... My next guess is 501. Email is brittanytodd02@gmail.com

    http://brittanytodd5836.booklikes.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Replies
    1. *^_^* Thank you! The background is actually a picture I took of my parents' house/neighborhood/street in Essex Jct, Vermont. And the green text, well...there was no way I was going to have a blog without green letters lol

      Delete
    2. Yes, it is--well, most of the time. I kind of hate snow...and we sometimes got snow in *June*. Those were sad times. But autumn is beautiful in Vermont.

      Delete
  13. 532 (because it spells Jeb!)
    Escapingthroughbooks at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Fantastic reasoning. Confession--Derek II's (my iphone) passcode spells Ale, Reno's favorite drink (FFVII), and is an anagram of Lea, Axel's 'Somebody' (Kingdom Hearts). Wow. I just realized how nerdy that sounds...*shrugs* oh well! *Goes back to playing video games and critique work*

      Delete
  14. Here is another guess 9,999 and my email is brittersweet83@aol.com in case you haven't seen it enough to memorize it lol.

    https://www.facebook.com/brittany.todd.5836/posts/10202048089937277

    ReplyDelete
  15. 1,000 inuyanamoonprincess@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. https://twitter.com/BattyAnime/status/410533892852948992
    18
    inuyanamoonprincess@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. https://www.facebook.com/kristiana.stitt/posts/639724376070399

    7
    inuyanamoonprincess@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. My guess is 888

    Email-
    kgreenlaw15@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. For whatever reason, my blog doesn't like to publish the comments I attempt to post on my phone...

    I have emailed the winner of the guessing game for UNHINGED by A.G. Howard, and will be mailing it to the winner shortly. I meant to post that info earlier, but as I stated, it didn't work (twice).

    *THANK YOU* everyone who participated!! It was fun. Congratulations to the winner ^_^.

    **You are all stellar.**

    (And keep entering giveaways, because the chances are incredibly good that you'll win someday. I've won two already--one from a blog touring 'company', and one from Bibliopunkk.)

    Cheers,
    Lynanne

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank-you!! I am looking forward to reading Unhinged!!!! I loved both Splintered and Moth in the Mirror and am excited to see what happens with Alyssa and JEB!! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am working on replying in a timely manner...which clearly did not happen here lol. I didn't see the comment :(

      Anyway, you're welcome! I just recently read Moth in the Mirror...it was great.

      ^_^

      Delete

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