Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday – 9/25/18


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted over at The Purple Booker. Here are the rules if you’d like to play along!

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

I have no response. I’m horrified by how easily my darker side bubbled over – by how much I wanted to overpower Jeb. To control him.

Unhinged by A.G. Howard

Yes, I’ve returned back to the Splintered series again. I can’t help it. I love it so much! For anyone who hasn’t read it, the series is basically a retelling of Alice in Wonderland as one of Alice’s descendants has to deal with Wonderland trying to infiltrate the human realm. It’s a fun, twisted, darker version of Wonderland that I absolutely love.

Got any teasers to share? Leave them in comments!

Books I've Read

Book Review: RoseBlood

Title: RoseBlood

Author: A.G. Howard

Series: none

Edition: Hardcover

Blurb: In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

Review: First off, this review is going to have a LOT of spoilers. You’ve been warned.

To start, a bit of a story. I first fell in love with the Phantom when I was eleven years old. I found the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical and spent hours upon hours listening to it. I had a crush on Michael Crawford. I wanted to BE Sarah Brightman.

I may have been a little obsessed.

As the years went on, I delved deeper into my Phantom obsession. I read the original novel by Gaston Laroux. I watched many movies and saw many Phantoms – Lon Chaney, Claude Raines, Charles Dance, Gerard Butler. I read fanfiction, both professionally written (Susan Kay’s book is genius) and amateur (FanFiction.net is a crazy, crazy place).

So I know this story quite well. I am almost protective of it, and very particular. I don’t like stories where the Phantom is scarred by outside means (acid, fire, etc.), for example – it has to be from birth, with his mother being terrified of him. He has to have some time in gypsy camps and spend a great deal of time in Persia. And, of course, he has to be a master architect, who has some involvement in the building of the Paris opera house.

Oh, and his name has to be Erik. Nothing else will do.

RoseBlood has most of these things, which is good. The fact that it doesn’t take place in the actual Opera Garnier was a disappointment – instead it takes place in another opera house that has been converted into a music school. The school is called RoseBlood, which to be completely honest, I didn’t like at all. It was too hokey for the name of a school. There were roses and there was blood, so they didn’t need to use it for the name of the school.

Also, just FYI, Thorn is not the Phantom. Thorn is Erik’s adopted son.

And it’s a modern story, not taking place in the actual original timeline. Is it the same Phantom? Why yes, yes it is. How does that work? Well . . .

The Phantom is a vampire.

Ugh . . .

This isn’t a new idea, especially since the Phantom likes to stay hidden (so clearly not in the sunlight). I just really don’t like this idea. I want the Phantom, who does do horrible things, to at least be somewhat sympathetic. In this story, he isn’t really. It’s not just that he was born disfigured and was hated – he is an actual monster. It cheapens the character, I think. Makes him less complex.

But the main problem I have with this is that none of the characters are particularly complex. Rune, our main character, is a bit blah, although she is also a vampire (these are psychic vampires, not the blood sucking kind). She doesn’t realize that she’s a vampire until she learns about it when she’s at RoseBlood. Her and Thorn are supposed to be the couple we cheer for, but they just don’t really do much for me. The other characters, mostly students and teachers at the school, are all very one dimensional and don’t leave a lasting impression.

I hate even saying all of this, because I absolutely love A.G. Howard. I’ve talked to her on Twitter a couple of times and she is a lovely person. Her Splintered series was amazing, the characters complex and unique, the world building beautiful and intricate. RoseBlood just doesn’t have this. I’m not sure what went wrong, and maybe I’m just too picky, but it really didn’t do it for me.

I’m not saying to not read it. It isn’t a terrible read, but I just didn’t care for it. GoodReads rating: 3 stars

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday for January 13th

Teaser Tuesday NewTeaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by MizB at “Should Be Reading.” Here are the rules if you’d like to play along.

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Since I’m still riding on the Wonderland high, but I loaned my copy of Ensnared out to a friend, I will bring you a quote from book two of the series, Unhinged.

Seeing me surrounded by paper towels on the floor, Morpheus lifts his eyebrows. “Building a nest?” he asks. “There’s no need to start acting like a bird simply because you have a propensity for flying.”

Unhinged by A.G. Howard

Please leave your teasers in comments!

Books I've Read

Book Review: Ensnared

ensnaredTitle: Ensnared

Author: A.G. Howard

Series: Splintered #3

Blurb: 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 violent netherling outcasts. In the final installment of the wildly popular 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 if they succeed and come out alive, can everyone truly have their happily ever after?

Gah, this book!! This series!!

Words can barely express how excited I was for this book to come out. I loved Splintered and Unhinged so much, as you could probably tell in this review. Waiting for the third and final book was torture, but it was worth every minute of anticipation. Third books in trilogies are hard. There are so many things to tie up, so much expectation. A.G. Howard delivers, and then some.

I have always loved how dark and dangerous Howard’s Wonderland is. There is so much creativity flowing through these books, adding so much to the original story. It’s pretty incredible. I loved how she brought Alyssa’s parents into the mix this time, which took some of the focus off the love triangle, even though the love triangle was still very important. The stakes are higher, since she has to not only save her parents, save the two boys that she loves, but also save Wonderland itself.

Even Lewis Carroll’s own story is involved, which I thought was pretty awesome.

If you love Alice in Wonderland, you really need to read this series. It is by far one of my favorite things that I’ve read over the past year.

GoodReads Rating: 5 STARS!!!!

Editing to say that this counts towards my “Complete the Series” challenge!

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday for July 29th

Teaser Tuesday New

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by MizB at “Should Be Reading.” Here are the rules if you want to play along:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser will not be my current read, but instead the one I just finished.

The word rath is misspelled and mispronounced in the Carroll poem. In reality, they’re wraiths – gloomy, phantasmal creatures. Mome means far from home, so they’re lost, seeking their way back. Outgrabe is the sound they make, a mind-curdling shriek.

– Unhinged by A.G. Howard

I will stop talking about these books eventually, just not yet.

Please leave your teasers in comments!


Books I've Read

Double Review: Splintered and Unhinged by A.G. Howard

I read both of these books so quickly, there was no way to limit myself to just one book per review. Couldn’t do it. Let me just say that I tore through both of these books and now, January can’t come soon enough. Here is my review of Splintered and Unhinged by A.G. Howard.


First off, look at that cover art. JUST LOOK AT IT! IT IS GORGEOUS!!!

Secondly, you should know that there were several things that made me want to love this series right from the beginning – my love for fairytale retellings, and my love for all things Alice in Wonderland. This story takes Wonderland and turns it on its ear a bit. It’s not a whimsical, fun, colorful place. This Wonderland is dark, twisted and treacherous. And awesome.

The story follows Alyssa Gardner, who is the many-times-great-granddaughter of Alice Liddell, the original girl that Lewis Carroll wrote his books about. Alyssa has been teased all her life about this, but the kids at school don’t know the half of it. Alyssa can hear bugs and flowers talking to her. Her mother has been institutionalized because she has gone crazy, living in an imaginary world that everyone thinks is inside her head, a hereditary mental illness that has affected the Liddell family through generations. Alyssa is afraid of going crazy herself, but of course, we find out that none of them have ever be crazy. It’s all true. Wonderland is real. And it’s in trouble.

Enter Morpheus – the caterpillar-turned moth-turned human who visited Alyssa in her dreams as a child and who is now trying to get Alyssa back to Wonderland to help save it. Alyssa has to try and undo some of the things that the original Alice left behind, but everything from the original story is slightly different. We meet all the usual characters – the “White Rabbit” (who is not actually a rabbit), the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, and others. The story of the Walrus and the Carpenter takes on a new light as well and, let me tell you, it is nightmare-worthy. In a good way.

And of course, there is also the Red Queen, who is causing nothing but trouble.

Speaking of trouble, Alyssa accidentally brings along someone else when she heads down the rabbit hole – Jeb, the boy who lives next door, who has both been her best friend and secret crush. Naturally, there is a bit of a love triangle between Alyssa, Jeb and Morpheus, but this is a YA book, and we all know how much YA loves a good love triangle.

The thing that makes these books wonderful is the same thing that makes the original novel so much fun – anything can happen. You can’t predict anything when it comes to Wonderland because there are no rules, or at least, none that we can follow. The story twists and turns so many times that it is a constant surprise, which is what made it so hard to put down. Unhinged ended on such a cliffhanger that I need the next book right now. Right now. No really. Right. Now.

Unfortunately, book three, Ensnared, doesn’t come out until January. Boo.

Seriously though, if you like Alice and you love new spins on classic tales, pick up these books. You won’t be sorry.