Title: Shattered Soul
Author: Jennifer Snyder
Published: May 2011
Format: Ebook provided for review
Tour: Yes, CBL Book Tours
If seventeen-year-old Seth Bradson were to describe his life in two words, those would be the two he’d choose. Seth prefers to cope with his crappy existence by spending his days in a drug-induced haze. But when Ali Carson steps into his life, Seth finds something he’s subconsciously been seeking—a new drug, one that consumes his mind unlike any other.
In a moment of unforgivable weakness, Seth allows Ali to try crystal meth, his most addictive temptation. This single event begins the unraveling of both their lives and forces Seth to learn the definition of regret the hard way.
This book far exceeded any expectations I had for it. And its not like I had low expectations, either. Jennifer Snyder is a new-to-me author, and I just wasn’t sure how it would go. The blurb sounded great, the subject sounded like it was heavy, I was excited.
This story is told from Seth’s POV, which I thought was completely awesome. For some reason I really dig the teenage boy point of view on things in books. But the thing about Seth is that his words feel genuine, I just want to hang out with him and get to know him more. I can’t even count how many kids I’ve known like Seth in my life, he feels familiar. He’s just so likeable and real, it made me wish this book was a lot longer just cause I liked being around him. I could see how Ali became attracted to him.
And then there is Ali, the new girl in school. She’s light and airy and gives off an innocent feel. She is so accepting of Seth and his not-so-perfect life. The way she just lets him into her life makes me love her. It’s like she came along just when she needed him.
“My heart pounded inside my chest as I gripped the door handle. I stepped out into the blazing hot sun to walk behind my brother and his friend into what felt like the mouth of hell.”
Seth’s brother, Calvin, isn’t a great guy. He isn’t even a good guy. In fact, there isn’t one point in this story where I even felt like I could waiver on that opinion. He bullies Seth, and he is a major asshole. Right off the bat, when I first saw him in the story I thought, “I wouldn’t mind if something happens to this guy…” Family is supposed to stick together, and Calvin acts like Seth is the enemy. Not cool.
I really struggled for a few days on how to write this review without giving spoilers. The story is beyond fantastic. The emotions behind the characters are right there at the surface and ready for you to touch. Sometimes the storyline is light and easy going, like riding in a car with the windows down on a sunny day. Sometimes its dark and… well, dark. This author takes you to a variety of places in a relatively short matter of time, and she does so effortlessly. The story was touching, and I just have to say again how much I fell in love with Seth. The supporting characters were all fabulous, even the very minor ones. They all lent their voice perfectly, and fleshed out this world for me. I felt like I was there; I was smoking that first cigarette of the morning, I was slamming my door to get away from it all, I was finding refuge in someone else’s gaze, and my life was falling apart just when I thought I had it all.
If you don’t read this story, you are making a mistake. It might be hard, there are some very delicate subjects here; drug use, abuse, death, teen angst. But sometimes we have to let our safety net go and just feel the story happen. This is definitely a 5 star read for me.
Jennifer Snyder lives in North Carolina were she spends most of her time writing young adult fiction, reading, and struggling to stay on top of housework. She is an instant coffee lover with an obsession for spiral bound notebooks and smooth writing pens. Jennifer lives with her husband and two children, who endure listening to songs that spur inspiration on repeat and tolerate her love for all paranormal, teenage-targeted TV shows.
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