Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"shattered" by melody carlson

When Cleo and her best friend sneak off to a concert in the city, Cleo's mother follows them and ends up dead, the victim of a mugging. Cleo's guilt becomes too much for her to handle; she blames herself for her mother's death, but she fears her father will never forgive her if she confesses the truth. To cope, she turns to her mother's leftover Vicodin prescription ... and soon, she's buying pills from a local drug dealer. Thanks to one stupid decision, her world has shattered--how will she survive?

Geared toward teen girls, Shattered, part of Melody Carlson's "Secrets" series, gives a powerful illustration of how guilt and secrets can ruin a person's life if they are held inside. Though the premise sounds a bit too fantastical to be true, Cleo's depression and desperation come across as very realistic. Cleo is so ashamed of what she has done, and I think many teen girls will be able to identify with that shame, even if their guilt comes from a more inconsequential wrong. Carlson also shows the healing that can come with confession. Once Cleo shares her secret, her life isn't magically "fixed," but the path to restoration--both of her health and of her relationship with her father--begins.

I think many junior high/early high school girls would enjoy Shattered. It's a little too easy of a read for adults, but we're not Carlson's target audience, anyway. I plan to donate my copy to our school library, as I think it's a book our students will enjoy and, hopefully, learn from.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Glass Road Public Relations. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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