Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Book Review: Shattered by Melody Carlson

Shattered: A Daughter's Regret (Secrets)Shattered by Melody Carlson
Publisher: NavPress
Publish Date: April 15, 2011
Paperback, 199 pages 
Fiction, Young Adult, Life Issues

 ISBN: 978-1600069499
Book #2 in Secrets

My Review:
Why I read this: I have been hooked on Melody Carlson since I read her first book last year and have read every book I could review by her since.  

My thoughts:  I'm going to do this review in two parts, something I'm considering doing in the future for my YA reviews, first part from the parent perspective, the second as a review of the book.  Let me know what you think.

As a parent:  Shattered covers a number of issues that teens face today and one of the biggest is taking control of your own actions.  Not blaming others and not taking on blame for things that are out-of-your-control.  I think we all hope our kids don't have to learn in such an extreme way that Cleo learns in.  I think this also takes on too much parental control and how a little freedom can help kids, but it never really puts down the parents in any way.  Ms. Carlson is a parent herself so I think this book is well-thought out.  Concepts in this book are tough, but handled in a way that I think this book is optimal for teenagers 13 and older.  A great book to talk about with your teen or for a teen book group - there is lots that can be discussed.  And after saying all the value this book has, let me tell you it is an enjoyable book as well.  As this is a Christian book, there is no bad language, but there is drug use, but this is handled in a way that does not glamorize it in any way. 

My Review:  Shattered is a very powerful book.  Cleo goes against her mother's wishes one night and it leads to the ultimate life-changing occurence for both Cleo and her family.  The book open introducing us to Cleo, her over-protective mother and her best friend Lola.  It's Lola's last night in town and she has won tickets to a Christian band concert in the city.  Cleo's mom won't let her use the car to get to the concert and doesn't want her going into the city with just her friend, but she has plans that night.  Cleo then hatches a plan to get her best friend and herself to the concert without her mom knowing.

This little lie leads to major consequences in Cleo's life and the rest of the book takes the reader through how Cleo handles this situation and how her family and some new friends help her as she faces the guilt, the consequences and more bad decisions she makes.  I think the plot was handled well and kept me interested.  I would liked the book to be a little longer, but felt everything was covered well.  The reader gets to know Cleo most, but I enjoyed getting to know Cleo's aunt Kellie and her help in her life as well as Cleo's long-time crush, now boyfriend, Daniel.

A sensitive subject is handled very well by Ms. Carlson.  I haven't read the first book in the Secrets series, but I don't think they are linked like typical series.  I think the Secrets series is just a series dealing with teens keeping secrets that weigh them down and how to go about confessing these secrets and getting back to relationships with friends, family and of course God.

A  few powerful quotes that really stood out to me:

Even after the house finally got quiet, I still couldn't sleep. By midnight I was playing Ghost Girl again, wandering throughout the house, wishing and wishing I could undo everything . . . or somehow fix this mess.  But that's impossible.
 The second:
All except for one part of the sermon that somehow sticks.

"God has the heart of a mother. Like a mother, God's love is unconditional. Like a mother, God's forgiveness is complete."

And one final one (this is Aunt Kellie talking to Cleo):
"We can blame ourselves for things that were beyond our control for a lifetime, Cleo.  We can torture ourselves for years and years. But someday, we have to accept that we don't control anyone but ourselves.  And then we have to account for all the time we lost fretting over those things we couldn't control."

I enjoyed Shattered and think young adults and adults will as well.  Ms. Carlson has hit another home run with this one and I will be going back to check out the first Secrets novel, Forgotten.  And stay tuned for the third in the series, Trapped in the future.

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

About the Book:
Everybody does it—sneaks out of the house now and then. It's harmless enough, right? Not this time. Cleo Neilson faces the chilling consequences of her actions. Now she has a secret and can’t tell anyone, and it’s breaking her heart. As Cleo fights through her grief and guilt, she learns about faith in God and forgiveness through him. As teenage girls read Cleo's journey, they too will learn the value of having faith and receiving forgiveness as well as just how dangerous it really is to keep a secret.

About the Author: 
Melody Carlson is the best-selling author of more than 150 books, including the TrueColors series (TH1NK/NavPress). Her first book in the Secrets series is titled Forgotten. She has won various awards for her writing, including The Gold Medallion and The Rita. Melody currently lives in the beautiful Oregon Cascade Mountains with her husband.


FTC Information: I received this book through Glass Road PR for the blog tour and an honest review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.


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