Sunday, March 23, 2014
Book Review and Giveaway: Every Shattered Thing, ends 3/25
Every Shattered Thing, by Elora Ramirez.
I glare at him and sit down in the grass, the icy blades poking through my jeans. I grimace and shift around before deciding to lay straight on my back so I'm facing the meteor shower. It looks like tiny pieces of glass tearing themselves against a black velvet tapestry.
"It's beautiful," I whisper.
He sits down besides me and rests his hand on mine.
"I figured you might like it," Kevin says. "It seems to be something you would understand - complete beauty found in the darkest of places."
This book makes every other YA/NA (Young Adult/New Adult) book I've read in the past seem like their characters lead charmed lives. Ever since she was young, Stephanie has been used by her father as a prostitute - he runs a ring that's now online, too - and she dreams of escaping their grasp. However, she wouldn't dream of leaving her 4-year-old brother, Pacey, alone in that household. Eventually, however, her life begins to get worse and worse, and measures must be taken before the worst can happen.
Stephanie fights reality every day. The voices inside, the ones declaring her worth, deem her broken, used and dirty. She is an object. A toy. Something to be tossed aside when bored. Who will believe her if she whispers the truth about her wrecking ball of a family? Eventually, her secret explodes and the person who means the most to her knows just how shattered she is and why she's so afraid. But rescue is closer than she realizes. Hidden in plain sight, her horror hasn’t been ignored by everyone. Racing against the truth of what she faces, forces are joining together and developing a plan to free her from the hell in her own backyard. And while she’s at her lowest point, she’s hit with the beauty of love at any cost - redemption in the face of ruin. Will it be enough?
Before I delve into this book, I should say that everyone should read it - it was rather eye-opening to realize that so many girls, even in our country, are going through this. Ramirez has created characters that could be ripped from the headlines, and their situations are unfathomable.
At the same time, I was very frustrated with some of these characters. Kevin, Stephanie's boyfriend, knows what's going on in her household, yet she tells him over and over not to get involved. They're both in high school, so you could argue that he's too young to know better ... but Stephanie's former teacher, Emma, and her husband Jude, are not. The problem is that Stephanie's father has half of the town police force in the palm of his hand - they're actually taking part in the prostitution ring, in some cases - so when the police or CPS (Child Protective Services) come to visit her house, it's actually only making Stephanie's situation worse.
However, I was rather appalled that it took so long for Stephanie to get out of her parents' grip. Perhaps that IS real life, but I thought she shouldn't have been left to get beaten up and raped so many times, that something could have been done earlier about the situation. That could just be me being naive, but it's my opinion.
Another small complaint is the ending; I am not sure if there's a sequel, but if there's not, it ended rather abruptly. I wanted to know more about what happens to Stephanie, her family, and Kevin. There's also a small twist at the ending that I didn't see coming, and that also seemed a little unbelievable, too.
Overall, though, I did think this novel was interesting, and like I said before, it's definitely one that should be read - or at least check out similar reads - to broaden your horizons and learn more about these girls' plight, both here at home and overseas.
3 stars out of 5.
*Disclosure: I received an e-galley of this book to facilitate this review. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.
Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Prizes include a $30 Amazon gift card and a chapter of Every Shattered Thing with author notes and a story coaching session. Contest ends Tuesday, March 25th at 11:59pm EST.
a Rafflecopter giveaway