If you have read Melody Carlson's True Colors series and her Degrees of Guilt series , you will know and be well aware that she reaches into the areas of life that many authors fear to enter and what I love about Melody Carlson is that even though she reaches into these dark pockets of content that many see as taboo , she writes from a Christian perspective and targets the edgy content so well.
In her new series "Secrets" we read Book #2 Shattered - A Daughter's regret . Cleo is almost 18years old and about to leave home , though if her mother has anything to do with it - it seems that she may be stuck at home under her mother's supervision for the rest of her life. When Cleo is given the chance to spend the night at a concert in the city with her friend Lola whose about to move away, Cleo thinks that maybe this time will be the opportunity for her mum to let go and allow Cleo to spread her wings. That opportunity doesn't arise , so Cleo and Lola sneak out to the concert in the city and plan to catch the bus home. Next morning though, Cleo recieves a knock at the door and two burly policeman are standing there - Cleo's mum has been murdered. As the story goes along we discover that Cleo's mum Karen had headed to the ciry looking for the girls and was caught up in the wrong place, wrong time scenario. As the novel goes along further, we read as Cleo is struggling with the pain and guilt that she feels and begins to be hooked on painkillers , soon that addiction moves towards drugs . Can Cleo get the help she needs or will the pain and guilt consume her before it's too late and she too will end up in a plot next to her mother six feet under ?
Shattered is a great read for all teens and especially those who are wanting more along the lines of True Colors and Degrees of Guilt rather than On the Runway and the Carter House Girls.
I received the book Shattered by Melody Carlson from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. This is my first book from them. There are spoilers in this review.
Unfortunately I wasn't pleased with the book. I was able to finish it quickly and it just didn't catch my attention. I am not sure if I would recommend this book to anyone. I think it would depend on who the person was. This book is geared towards teens. It would make a teen think about their consequences for the actions they might take. It will help with teaching morals and respect from teens to their parents. I still give this book only a three star based one how I responded to the book.
The story is about a girl named Cleo. She has an overprotective mother who will not even let her drive her best friend to a concert. She decides to sneak around her mom's back and take the metro to get to the concert. The day after the concert, two policemen show up at her door and announce that her mother has been murdered. Cleo finds out the truth of where her mother is murdered and now must live with the guilt of her lies. She turns to pills to numb her pain and goes through withdrawals. The book seems realistic but it all happens too quickly. If the storyline had been drawn out a little more, I would have liked it better. The quickness of the story seems to slap my face. Twice I put the book down because it had my head spinning with the fast change of pace.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Cleo Neilson is a typical 17-year old trying to spread her wings and operate in independence. She has always done exactly what her over-protective mother has wanted her to do. But this time she makes a decision that will prove to have consequences that threaten to tear her world apart.
The last night her best friend will be in town before she moves and the girls have free tickets to a christian concert. The problem - Lola can't drive her mom's car and Cleo's mom won't let her drive into the city alone. Disappointed because she feels her mother is once again being too overprotective she decides to do what she thinks all teenagers do at least once - sneak out.
This one decision turns Cleo's world upside down - her life is shattered by one fatal choice. The guilt and shame and self-hatred from this eats away at Cleo. To try to numb this she turns to pills. However, as her life spirals out of control and she tries everything to numb the pain and memories her Aunt Kelli speaks life altering truth into her life and shares a secret that haunted her all through her childhood.
The question to be answered is will Cleo accept the forgiveness she needs from Christ and allow that grace and love to heal her and change her forever.
This book had me crying from chapter 4 on! Melody Carlson's ability to develop characters that are life-like is shocking. The entire book is heart-wrenching as you exam in your own life the aftermath of decisions that have rocked your own world, and the devastating guilt that follows.
I think this is by far one of my favorite books for teens - well I have to include Pitch Black also. This book is part of the Secrets Series and I can't wait to purchase more. The quality and style of Carlson's writing brings the gritty, dark truth of what teens are facing and thinking to the forefront. She deals with these things in such a way that teens who read these books will be pointed to Christ and His redeeming love and forgiveness.
Special thanks to Glass Road Public Relations and NavPress for this review copy.
Cleo has to live with what she has done and right now, that is not very easy. If it hadn't of been for Cleo, her mother wouldn't be dead.
It all started the last night Lola, Cleo's best friend, was in town. Lola had won tickets to a Christian concert in the city and the girls planned to go. But Cleo's mom said "no." Cleo's dad was out of town on a business trip and her mom was going to a bachelorette party of a college friend. There was no way Cleo's mom would let her drive her dad's car to the part of the city where the concert is.
But Cleo has it all figured out. She is almost eighteen, after all. They take the metro bus to the concert and back. There are some scary times with creepy people on the bus, but they make it back OK.
Cleo is amazed to sleep in late, wondering why her mother hasn't awakened her. But her mother is nowhere in the house.
And then the doorbell. It is the police. Cleo's mom was found murdered near to where the concert was held. She finds out from Lola later that Cleo's mom had called Lola's mom and found out the girls had gone to the concert after all. She left the party to find the girls. But in that dangerous part of town, someone found her, killed her, and stole her money.
Now Cleo has to live with knowing it is her fault her mother is dead.
Cleo makes it through the funeral with the help of pain pills she managed to sneak from her mom's medicine cabinet.
But how is she going to continue living with the hypocrisy, the deceit? Should she call the guy a friend said could help her with more "medication"? How can she ever live with her guilt?
Carlson again shows her passion for writing about teen issues in this latest installment of her Secrets series. She does not shy away in this novel from the consequences of deceit. Cleo goes to church but the gospel has not become a reality in her life. Carlson has done a great job showing Cleo's need for God's forgiveness as well as needing to forgive herself.
There is a discussion guide at the end of the book and this would be a good choice for a teen reading group.
I received a copy of this book from Glass Road Public Relations on behalf of the publisher for the purpose of this review.
About the Book: Author Melody Carlson has a gift for storytelling and knows teenagers well. Cleo's story was captivating, and, though the consequences she faced were extreme, they weren't unrealistic. As Carlson intended, "Shattered" is a this-could-happen story, warning teenage girls of how quickly they can lose control once they begin to make wrong choices. All Cleo does, at first, is sneak out of the house to go to a concertâ€”a Christian concert, no less. But the unintended consequences completely shatter her world.
A Caution to Parents: (Note: The following is not a criticism of the book. For the right audience, I highly recommend it!) If your daughter has already chosen to follow Christ and lives in obedience to Him and to you, this book may encourage her and affirm her decision. It may even help her to help friends who are struggling to do right things. However, if your daughter is making rebellious choices or seems to be sitting on the fence, this book may be more of a how-to manual than a cautionary tale. I've seen teenagers use books like this that wayâ€”writing off the consequences as fiction, while learning how to misbehave and get away from itâ€”for a timeâ€”from the main character.
Again, I'm not criticizing the book. I'm just suggesting, as always, that parents carefully consider where their daughters are spiritually and how they may respond to the story before giving it to them. Books can be helpful, but parents shouldn't rely on them (except for the Bible) to guide their children morally. Prayer, honest communication, and mentorship from trusted leaders and friends should come firstâ€”always.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."