Splintered  - A.G. Howard

Hearing the thoughts of plants and insects can be a bit unsettling for Alyssa Gardner, especially if it means she may eventually follow in the crazed footsteps of her matrilineal relations.  In a desperate attempt to rid her family of their curse, Alyssa decides to take things into her own hands and travel down the rabbit hole, her dear friend Jeb by her side.  A wildly psychedelic trip to Wonderland, with the darkly enchanting netherling Morpheus as their guide, pits Alyssa against a series of challenges designed to right the wrongs committed by her great-great-great grandmother Alice Liddell when she'd visited Wonderland so long ago.  But Alyssa also finds her loyalties torn between the stoic and dreamy Jeb and the deliciously magic and mysterious Morpheus.

I thought the story started off a bit slow.  It had trouble holding my interest until around the 4th chapter when things started to pick up.  But once the real ties to Wonderland started to materialize, even before Alyssa ventured down, is when it got good.  The characters were all written quite well, the descriptions of Wonderland and its various creatures and netherlings fantastic, throwing you right into the middle of the brilliant yet frightening world opening up around you.  At times, when the romantic aspect between the characters would start to take center stage, I felt my interest waning a bit.  But that's probably just me since I don't like romances.  Other readers may thoroughly enjoy Alyssa's tangled feelings for Morpheus versus her guilty feelings for Jeb.  Fortunately for me, there was so much more going on here that the romance didn't bother me all that much.  Overall, I thought it was an interesting read and I plan to read the other books in the series sometime soon.