Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries. Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon. From: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9366996-shattered-souls
I bought Shattered Souls without having looked into it. Generally speaking, I read reviews for books written by authors I’ve never read before. This one was a gamble for me, but the cover was beautiful and the synopsis on the back was just too hard to resist. I could’ve picked ten books at B&N that day. I limited myself to two. It didn’t take me long to realize there was no way I was leaving without Shattered Souls.
Put yourself in a world where your father died of schizophrenia, and now you’re hearing voices. Pretty scary right? You’d start thinking that you’re going insane. But, thank goodness for Lenzi, she has Alden (*swoon*), who explains everything. If you’ve ever seen the show “Ghost Whisperer” with Jennifer Love Hewitt, you kind of have an idea of what Lenzi’s job is. Hold on though. Lenzi can hear the dead but her job is also ten times cooler than Hewitt’s was in “Ghost Whisperer.” Like Hewitt, Lenzi has to help the dead move on but occasionally, she comes across a very angry ghost, and that’s when things get dicey…. I found the process of her helping the dead move on to be much more interesting. Honestly, the change brought the danger up to a significantly higher level, which made it much more entertaining.
Lenzi was a wonderful narrator. I found her to be very realistic every step of the way. The inner battle she had between believing she was insane and believing she wasn’t, was perfect. She had just the right mix of doubt that made her eventual belief in the latter realistic but not too much that it seemed unrealistic. Her interactions with Alden often made me smile. Here’s a boy she barely knows who is telling her something impossible and she’s thinking he’s crazy but hot. The author didn’t go overboard with this though. Most of the time, Lenzi was a protagonist who was very focused on the mystery in front of her. Noticing how hot Alden is was just a coincidence.
Alden was wonderful and he’d do anything to keep Lenzi safe. His knowledge brought new depth to Lenzi’s character (not that she was shallow before), which served the plot very well. He was a very pleasant character to follow and read about and I think he and Lenzi are both characters that people will easily identify with.
One thing I really like about Shattered Souls is its similarity with other YA books while also being different at the same time. The author handled the love story perfectly. Watching Lenzi and Alden fall in love was such a treat. And the writing flowed very nicely and was easy to understand. I really don’t have any complaints.
P.S. I really love this cover. The details of individual rose petals add so much depth. The background adds an imaginary texture to the cover that also really appeals to me.
The idea of a girl who hears ghosts isn't exactly new in the YA genre, but I have never read a book that's done it quite like this one. Lenzi does hear spirits and it is her job as a Speaker to help these spirits find peace and move on from Earth. Along with her protector, Alden, she completes these spirit's last wishes. Sometimes though they come across a Malevolent, which is an evil spirit fueled by hate.
I really liked Lenzi, she was stubborn and went for the things she really wanted no matter what anybody tried to tell her. She didn't let her gift ruin her life and even though she was dealing with the supernatural she seemed pretty normal. We also have Alden, who is caring and intelligent. He follows rules to a fault and is willing to risk his life to protect his speaker, Lenzi. I absolutely hated Zak, Lenzi's boyfriend in the beginning, he seemed like he was bad news and I just couldn't deal with him. We are also introduced to Race and Maddi, two protector friends of Alden's, these two are funny and I loved the scenes that they were in, even if it was serious they still came across as fun.
This book has everything in it, action, suspense, some mystery and even romance. If you're a fan of any of these things I definitely suggest you give this book a chance, it's a quick and fun read.
I loved Shattered Souls' concept of Speakers/Protectors! Soul-bound, they find each other with each reincarnation and set out to resolve restless souls. Protectors are given an education with each reincarnation, in order to keep up with technological advances, while the Speakers' abilities can only grow with experience. I did find Alden's whole "pain/fear turns me on" thing to be quite off-putting - especially when you consider that in this lifetime, Lenzi is as much a minor as any other seventeen-year-old as she doesn't remember her past lives - because I couldn't understand the reasoning behind it. What point does the pain/fear of his Speaker acting as an aphrodisiac serve in his role as Protector? It just didn't make sense to me, and it wasn't really explained. I was also hoping for more explanation about the Council's role and their history, but found it to be lacking.
I couldn't stand Lenzi. At first, I could relate to her fear of having a mental illness like her father, and I empathized with her rollercoaster emotions. As time went on and she learned that the voices she heard were the voices of restless souls, I couldn't understand her resistance to Alden's teachings. If someone held the answers to all of your questions, why wouldn't you do everything in your power to learn as much as possible? Instead, she spent all her time whining over not being strong enough, complaining about Alden comparing her to Rose, thinking about how gorgeous Alden was, and trying to maintain her relationship with her boyfriend, Zak.
I've got conflicting emotions over Lenzi's relationship with Zak. Lenzi was constantly reminding herself of what a great guy Zak was, and how he was the only friend who stuck around after her father's battle with schizophrenia scared everyone away. But our first real encounter with Zak in Shattered Souls was of him driving Lenzi to a graveyard (located in a sketchy part of town) where he drunkenly tried to make out with her on top of her father's grave before passing out and virtually abandoning her. So on the one hand, he was a drunk, abusive and controlling boyfriend who shouldn't have been romanticized. But on the other hand, Lenzi treated Zak like dirt. She lied to him about being with Alden, led him on when she knew their relationship wasn't going to work, and then didn't even bother to break up with him properly - she just turned off her phone and ignored his texts/phone calls. So there's a different part of me that felt like it was easier to make Zak look like an abusive boyfriend then it was to have Lenzi deal with her conscience and make the difficult decision to end things.
As for her romance with Alden, I also had conflicting emotions! Lenzi went from feeling a sense of familiarity with Alden, to a connection that had her unable to keep her eyes/hands off of him (not a direct quote, but pretty damn close), to love...in about a week. All while Lenzi adamantly refused to let anyone - including Alden - call her Rose, because she was insistent that they were two completely different people and should be treated as such. I couldn't understand why Lenzi would refuse to acknowledge that she was Rose incarnate, but was able to act so freely on the feelings she obviously harboured from being Rose incarnate.
I did find Shattered Souls' plot to be very well-paced, interlacing enough mythology with action-packed resolutions to keep my full attention. There were a few moments that had me questioning the author's motives, where it seemed like Lindsey was using certain situations to make Lenzi appear a little less useless - like the situation with Charlotte's imaginary best friend, for example - but for the most part, I found Lenzi and Alden worked really well as a team, which helped keep the story flowing smoothly.
A quick read with an intriguing concept and a slightly confusing heroine made Shattered Souls an interesting read. While I had problems with some of the world-building, and the romance was conflicting and insta-loveish, I still enjoyed reading about the characters and was invested in their futures. I'd give Shattered Souls a chance if you're looking for a fast, light read with an interesting concept!
We meet Lenzi, a troubled girl who isn't quite sure what is going on in her life. She keeps hearing voices, seeing visions, and the pills just aren't working. However Lenzi isn't the type to back down. I loved that her character was so deep and realistic. No matter how much fear she feels, she is willing to admit it and move forward anyway. It helps, of course, that she has Zak, her sweet and broken boyfriend, to keep her grounded. I fell in love with him almost instantly, despite his cracked interior. The two of them are really sweet together, until cocky and charming Alden comes along. In fact, the more time Lenzi spends around Alden the tougher things get. Do you sense a love triangle? If you do, you are correct. I'm generally not a huge fan of them but honestly? This one is done perfectly and it's delicious (and addictive) to read!
This is a book that will really keep you on your toes as you read. All the emotions in this book are palpable, and I found it so easy to feel what Lenzi was feeling. The emotional aspect of the writing in this book is done so gorgeously, that it just bleeds off the page and into your heart. Although the basic plot of Shattered Souls is rather simple, Mary Lindsey adds in her own twists that will keep you reading well into the night. There are so many beautifully executed clues peppered into the story. By the time I was halfway through I was completely enamored and engaged with the book. There is something for everyone in here. Wit, twists, anger, a slight creep factor. It's all here.
What killed me (and I loved) at the same time, was the ending. I won't spoil it one bit. This is a story you'll need to experience for yourself. I will say that the climax to this book leaves nothing wanting. Except perhaps that you'll want another book. A wonderfully written debut, Shattered Souls is a book that I would (and will once I get my own copy) read a hundred times over.
Title: Shattered Souls
Author: Mary Lindsey
Format: Hardcover ($17.99 US)
Relationship Status: married to Hayden Casey
Mary Lindsey, let me just tell you right now: I LOVED YOUR BOOK WITH THE PASSION OF A MILLION BURNING SUNS. In fact, I got off the airplane two hours later with a snot-covered face due to the burning romance I felt inside. Some YA books are like "they're in love" and you're supposed to believe it. That is not the case this time around, ladies and gents. The romance in Shattered Souls is totally believable, you know, just like the Internet. (I kid, I kid.) There's actually foundation for it, which sets Shattered Souls miles above the rest of the YA Lit Marathon we're all hopelessly engaged in lately.
I'm hesitant to admit that in the beginning of the book, I didn't believe it. Lenzi was in the bathroom, breaking down, hearing voices. Oh, Allah, please not this again. How many times has the hearing-voices plot line been terribly regurgitated? Once I'd cleared that scene, I lowered my expectations. I was going to get the best possible reading experience from this book. I spent my dang Christmas money on it, for one, and I wasn't about to grind $17.99 up in the garbage disposal. The good news is that even if I would've raised my expectations up to as high as I could reach, my mind still would've been blown. See, Shattered Souls unfolds naturally. It's not forced, it's not, for lack of a better word, unnatural, what Lenzi is experiencing. You can tell it's what Lenzi wants. It's not what Mary Lindsey wants Lenzi to want. This is the most emotional book I've read in a while, and that, folks, is the reason I exited the airplane a blubbering mess, not caring about what kinds of looks I was getting from flight attendants and fellow passengers alike.
You see, from the moment I glimpsed at the cover, I knew this book was going to be great. Philomel, I applaud your design team -- they really knocked this one out of the park.
During the reading process itself, I constantly found myself switching sides as far as who Lenzi was with. From the beginning, she's with Zak, and during her scenes with him, I just fell apart. Then she spent time with Alden, and I fell for him, too. Each time she spent time with the Zak, I convinced myself Alden was not the right guy for her, and the other way around. Shattered Souls tore me apart emotionally. The love triangle wasn't made up of one guy who she totally should've been with and one guy who was just there to advance the plot. I commend Mary for constructing the foundation so well. The novel wouldn't have been as heartbreaking and fantastic had the triangle not have fit the description of said adjectives.
The car scene toward the end is when I started blubbering like an emotional fool. From then on, I just lost it. I couldn't even stand the thought of Alden's and Lenzi's romance being torn apart. The ending was magnificent, and I'm completely satisfied. I'm glad it's not a series, because it ended perfectly where it was and I couldn't have been happier with it. (I just found out it will be a series.)
Mary Lindsey is now on my must-buy list.
Unlike the usual heroine Lenzie lacks self-confidence (somewhat due to her father's descent into schizophrenia and subsequent suicide), so when a strange young man, Alden, reveals that she is a Speaker and her gift is to help the unquiet dead resolve their issues, she is less than sold on the idea. If Alden is to be believed, then Lenzie is the reincarnated soul of one of the best Speakers in history; a strong, capable woman who Alden has aided for lifetimes. But Lenzie has none of her former memories and she is torn between the life she knows and the one she is destined to live. Will she trust Alden? Will she be able to escape the malevolent force that hunts her? Is she really going crazy? You'll have to read to find out!
Recommended for Readers Of:
C.C. Hunter, Lesley Livingston, Marissa Meyer, Holly Black
2. Complicated mythos
I loved the paranormal story line in this book. It's unique, and well thought out. Lenzi sends souls on their way by helping them finish their unfinished business, while Alden, her protector, helps her relearn everything she would have known if she hadn't lost her memory as well as doing his duties as her protector.
I love books about reincarnation, and this book has a strong theme about the reincarnation aspect of the book. Because Lenzi cannot remember her past lives Alden and other Protectors gives her flashes from her past that help her realize why she cannot remember her life as Rose, who she was in her past lives.
There is a romance aspect in this book, and I like that it was added, but it seemed to be very forced and not very sincere. It was almost insta-love, but it took a little bit longer than most insta-love stories.
I thought this book was a little bit rushed in the beginning and ended up being shorter than it had potential to be.
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