Thursday, December 22, 2011

Book Review: Shattered Dreams

Release Date: Dec. 6, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Pages: 352 pages
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Source: Publisher through NetGalley
Goodreads Summary: Sixteen-year-old Trinity Monsour wants nothing more than to live a normal life. But that isn’t as easy as it seems. Trinity is different. She is special. She sees visions, and for those she’s seen, it’s already too late. 

Trinity arrives on her aunt’s doorstep in New Orleans with virtually no knowledge of her mysterious heritage. She begins settling into life at a new school and even starts making friends. But all too quickly her dreams accelerate; twisted, terrifying visions of a girl locked in a dark room. And when the head cheerleader, Jessica, goes missing, Trinity knows she has no choice but to step forward with what she’s seen.

But people believe that Trinity has information about Jessica’s disappearance not because of a dream, but because she is involved. She is kind-of dating Jessica’s ex-boyfriend, Chase, and Jessica did pull a nasty prank on Trinity. Revenge seems like the likeliest scenario.

Nothing prepares Trinity for the dark odyssey that ensues while searching for Jessica, including the surprising romance she finds with Chase, or the shocking truths she learns, not just about the girl who has gone missing, but the past that has been hidden from her.
I expected Shattered Dreams to be similar to other paranormal thrillers I read and loved including The Body Finder and Clarity, two books about girls with paranormal abilities who use them to solve a crime. Shattered Dreams was more about Trinity finding out about her own paranormal abilities than about the crime and instead of thrilling, this book is confusing and disappointing.

The school’s resident mean girl/head cheerleader, Jessica, goes missing after she plays a prank on Trinity and so Trinity becomes the primary suspect. It does not help that Trinity and Chase, Jessica’s ex-boyfriend, start dating immediately after Jessica goes missing. Trinity has dreams where she sees Jessica being held captive and when she tells the police, it pretty much seals her fate as the suspect.

There are a couple of things that I liked about this book. Trinity’s aunt is an awesome character. She is loving, nurturing and involved in Trinity’s life. I’m tired of YA novels where teens live on their own like adults with no parental involvement so this was refreshing. I also love how the city of New Orleans is described. The post-Katrina beauty and desolation of the place is almost like a secondary character. The setting is very well written.

Unfortunately, there was more bad to this novel than good. Trinity spends most of the novel trying to figure out who she is, her abilities and get more info on her parents. The mystery of Jessica’s kidnapping gets pushed to the background for a big part of the novel and I was much more interested in solving the kidnapping than I was about Trinity’s past. 

Trinity’s character (or Chase’s for that matter) is never fully developed. In a few instances, Trinity seems spunky and stands up for herself, but most of the time, she is running away for stressful situations. The idea that they start a relationship while his ex is still missing has its own issues that I won’t even go into. After they start dating, Trinity and Chase fall for each other very quickly but when they have an argument, she runs away and ends up dancing inappropriately in a club with one guy and kissing another, all on the same day!

The writing is also a bit weird and overly dramatic with Trinity feeling like she is being punched in the gut after receiving some important piece of information or that her heart is being sliced out of her when she should have only been nervous or anticipating something. Trinity also feels betrayed. A lot. And yells “I trusted you!” A lot. There are also some paranormal events that were never explained and just seem to be forgotten by all involved as the story wore on.

While I like the idea behind this story, the execution leaves much to be desired. I probably won’t be picking up the other books in this series.

Content: Kissing, profanity, underage drinking and violence.

My Rating: Disappointing


KM said...

Hmm I've never heard of this one.bit I don't normally read thrillers, so... That sounds irritating about the mystery becoming less important. I felt that way sometimes while reading The Body Finder.

Great review!

Wendy Darling said...

Aw, sorry this was such a disappointment. I have to echo what KM says, too, I felt that way about TBF too...but this one sounds even less focused on the mystery. Hope your next read is better!

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) said...

I've seen this one around a little bit lately but I overlooked it mainly because while I love paranormal, I haven't spent much time on thrillers until very recently when I read one or two. This is the first review I've read for it. I haven't read the two books you mention in your review either, The Body Finder or Clarity. So I think I'm still on the fence about it.

As always, though, I enjoyed reading your thoughts! Thanks for sharing them. :)

Rebecca said...

Aww no, I'm sorry it was disappointing... I really hate when a book disappoints you. I was curious about this one, but I'm not sure if I'll be picking it up. I'll have to look into it some more I think. Great review though! Hope your next read will be better. :)

Anonymous said...

Usually I’m all for paranormal thrillers, but frankly, this book sounds a little ridiculous. “I trusted you!” Hahaha. Fab review nonetheless!

Amy said...

Great review! I've been wondering about this one - thank you for sharing and happy holidays! :)


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