Rummanah Aasi
  I have been looking forward to reading Mary Lindsey's debut novel, Shattered Souls, since earlier this year. Thanks to The Teen Book Scene, I was ecstatic to find out that I will be participating in this blog tour. I really enjoyed the novel and I hope you all will pick it up when the book is released (December 8th according to Amazon).

Description (from Goodreads): 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.

Review: Shattered Souls is an enthralling debut novel of death, love, destiny and danger. While the plot summary may not seem that striking to those who read heavily in the paranormal/supernatural (personally, I don't consider ghosts as paranormal entities) genre, I was surprised how I could easily distinguish this book from all the others due to its smart characters and its combination of mystery, danger, and romance that makes the narrative flow natural, graceful, and quite possibly hard to put down once you start it. I read Shattered Souls in one setting a few months ago and I still remember it vividly.
  Lenzi’s father is dead. He heard voices and was placed in an insane asylum. Now that Lenzi has turned seventeen, she’s hearing them too and is afraid that she too will meet her father's fate: the hospitals, the medications, her mother’s sad face. The voices become intolerable and her troubled boyfriend, Zak, has begun to take notice. When visiting her father’s grave, Lenzi meets a stranger named Alden who assures her that she is not ill and that he can explain everything to her if only she'll listen and trust him. Without much of a choice, Lenzi accepts. Alden tells her that she is a famous Speaker, a mediator whose purpose is to bring troubled souls to peace and to eliminate the evil spirits, who has been reborn. If that is not crazy enough, Alden is her designated Protector, who has been by her side for many years and helps her do her job. Lenzi has absolutely no memory of her role as a Speaker and has no idea what to do. Now Alden is leading her rather than the other way around.
  I loved Lenzi. She isn't overly confident in the beginning of the book, but soon finds her place as she explores her identity as a Speaker. She's terrified that she will suffer the same fate as her schizophrenic father. And when she first starts hearing the voices of the spirits, it really seems like she's going crazy. I liked how Lenzi did not immediately believe Alden and embrace her role as Speaker at first. She wasn't sure of her actions or Alden's intention, but as she learned more about the role of Speakers and Protectors as well as saw the difference she was making and the consequences of not acting, she became a bold and determined girl. Lenzi is both cautious and brave, but what I love most about her is that she made her own decision and wasn't influenced by Alden at all.
  Alden was another character I absolutely adored. Utterly devoted to his job as Protector and to Lenzi without being overly creepy as some love interests in this genre. He keeps his distance for the most part and never pressured her. While he does have some feelings for Lenzi, he keeps them in check and we learn why he isn't forthcoming with his affections as we learn more about Alden's past. Extremely charming, sweet, genuine, smart, witty, and of course handsome, I fell for Alden almost immediately.
 The romance developed at a good speed. There was instant intrigue between Alden and Lenzi, but not instant love. Lenzi was devoted to her boyfriend Zak, who seemed like a nice guy, but had a scary dark side. I felt bad for Zak as we learn about his family drama, but he annoyed me to no end with his over use of calling Lenzi "babe".  Normally this wouldn't bother me, but using it every time he talked to Lenzi got on my nerves. The relationship between Alden and Lenzi is what kept me on my toes, waiting in anticipating to see how it would grow. Alden and Lenzi grew out of shared experience and respect, which to me made their love story that much memorable and stronger. While the book description hints at a love triangle, there really isn't one and thank goodness for that.
  The plot of Shattered Souls is not particularly original, but it's enjoyable nonetheless. I really liked how Lenzi played an active role in helping good souls finding their solace and way to the afterlife. Shattered Souls does combat evil, but Lenzi's altruism as Speaker propels the plot forward. I also enjoyed learning more about Speakers and Protectors and would have welcomed more information about them, but I thought the characters demonstrated their respective roles quite well. The story steadily grew on me as I read it. Every time I was going to close it, I'd tell myself just one more chapter. By the time I finished the last page, I was very sad and wanted more time to spend with Lenzi and Alden. I recommend Shattered Souls for an interesting plot, but mostly for its warm, passionate, and driven main characters, Lenzi and Alden. I look forward to reading many more book from Mary Lindsey.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There are a few scenes of underage drinking, mild language and violence. Recommended for mature Grade 8 and up.

If you like this book try: Shade by Jeri Smith Ready, Angelfire by Courtney Moulton
6 Responses
  1. I loved this one too. Alden and Lenzi were irresistible. Plus, Mary is such a nice person. I want her to do well.

  2. Jenny Says:

    I really enjoyed Alden as well Rummanah! I liked how he didn't pressure her or try to tear her away from Zak and turn everything into a teenage soap opera. I had a little trouble with Lenzi when she decided she was moving on from Zak to Alden, but other than that I liked her a lot. Really nice review:)

  3. LoriStrongin Says:

    Sounds like a good read. I'm a big fan of ghost stories done well, and the whole "hearing voices and being institutionalized" thing sounds like one helluva read. Thanks for the rec!


  4. Small Review Says:

    I was worried that this one would be very "same old, same old" based on that plot, but your review is setting my mind at ease. If it still stands out well in your mind a month later, then that seems like a good sign (or you have a much better memory than me!)

  5. Predictable plots are the absolute bane of my existence, but it's interesting to see an objective reviewer like yourself say that the book still didn't disappoint. Perhaps I should pick this one up after all! Brilliant review, as usual :)

  6. Hm... I do want to read this one. I don't mind original as long as it isn't too clichéd. I don't think it was or it probably wouldn't have been enjoyable. Thanks for the review!

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