Monday, April 23, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Shattered by Melody Carlson

Shattered by Melody Carlson

Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: NavPress (April 15 2011)
  • Language: English

Cleo Neilson is the only one who knows why her mother was in a seedy part of town that one night, but she's determined to keep the secret that's breaking her heart. 

Walk through this teen fiction novel of grief, guilt, faith, and forgiveness.

You won't forget the journey.

Cleo's best friend, Lola, is moving away and Cleo wants to spend their last weekend together at a Christian rock concert being held in the city.  However, both of Cleo's parents are busy and cannot drive them and Cleo's mom is quite adament that she is not to travel there on her own.

Cleo is exasparated and tired of her "helicopter mom" protecting and smothering her, so she makes up a story and both her and Lola head into the concert.  When Cleo's mom hears of this, she heads into the city to find her daughter and bring her home, however, she never makes it and is murdered.

When Cleo learns of her mother's death, she is left with much guilt and despair as she realizes her mother was only in the city to bring Cleo home.  Cleo does not share with her family her thoughts and they begin to eat at Cleo, quickly changing her personality and raising concerns from those around her.

Cleo must come to terms with her involvement with her mothers death and by the grace of God, accept and forgive herself.

I was intrigued with Cleo's story, I felt the author did a remarkable job expressing a delicate topic, the death of another as a result of your own actions.  I felt that Cleo's downward spiral into depression was well written and you come to feel for Cleo and her life.

I was impressed with the spiritual affirmations found within the pages, blending with the story without being too preachy.  Cleo is a strongly written character that many her age can relate to, especially if you have lost a parent to death.  Author, Melody Carlson, explains the stages of grief without the reader even realizing it occurring.

The people surrounding Cleo all shared in the story, enriching it further by their actions and their deeds.  Each person concerned for Cleo in their own way; trying to figure out the truth behind her depressive state while surrounding her with love and compassion.

I would give Shattered a four and a half out of five stars.  I shared in Cleo's journey and I cried for her heartache and if you like books on social issues having to deal with death and grief, then you will enjoy reading this tale.

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