Saturday, 22 October 2011

Review ~ Shattered Dreams ~ Ellie james

Title: Shattered Dreams

Author: Ellie James

Published: 6th December 2011

By: Macmillan

Source: netgalley

First line: “I heard this place is like...haunted”

Last line: But the moment I put my hand to the dull white of her fur, the small, white cat started to purr.

Fave Line: Except for the presence that hummed like invisible blood through invisible veins.

Shattered Dreams could be best described as a YA paranormal thriller. Set in New Orleans post Katrina it tells the story of sixteen year old Trinity Monsour. Having lost her parents whilst very young Trinity has been raised by her grandmother and now after her recent death she finds herself moving to New Orleans to live with her aunt.

As the story begins we find Trinity trying to fit in with the kids in her new school as they play a game of truth or dare in an abandoned house. We get an insight into the personalities of the main characters fairly early on as we travel around the house. It’s clear that Chase likes Trinity and that she likes him too. It’s also clear that Jessica, his ex-girlfriend, is really not happy about it. It’s also during the truth or dare we first become aware that Trinity can see things that other can’t. As the night unfolds a prank is played on Trinity which triggers a sequence of events that leaves one of the group in danger and Trinity comes to realise that she is the one that has the ability to help.

There are many storylines running through this book which are typical of the YA genre, that is, a girl who is unaware of her past, the need to find acceptance, friendship, romance and the challenges one faces when trying to do the right thing. There are however other aspects that set this book apart from others in the same genre. This book is more of a thriller than your typical paranormal story and so in that respect makes a refreshing change.

I love the detail that Ellie James puts in when describing New Orleans and it’s very easy to imagine yourself in the places that she writes about. There are twists and turns that run through the story which continually throw you off track when it comes to figuring out exactly who the baddie is. I certainly had no idea of how the story would end. Whilst I liked the characters of both Trinity and Chase I did think that their behaviour in some circumstances was not typical of your average sixteen year old. The way that they react and talk to each other was far more mature than one would expect of children. There were also smaller plotlines within the story which seemed to take the story off at a tangent and did not appear to relate to the main plotline or contribute towards its conclusion. That said, James has an excellent ability to add a beautifully dark element of suspense through the tale and this only increases as the tale goes on. There are many characters I’d like to hear more about including Drew and I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to pick up the next book to find out what happens next.

Rating: 3 out of 5. This is a good read, particularly if you like a mystery, but you’ll need to keep your eye on the ball if you’re gonna solve it before you finish the book!


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