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Shattered Paperback – October 26, 2012
About the Author
Amazon best selling author Jeannie Palmer, won the AIA Gold Seal of Excellence for her manuscript, Shattered. A born storyteller, she's been scribbling stories for others from the time her fingers could curl themselves around a #2 pencil. Jeannie lives in Oklahoma, the land where the wind blows gently o'er the plains...and sometimes not quite so gently. She's the mother of two adult sons, and Nana to a handful of grandbabies.
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With only this short synopsis to peak my interest, I started to read Shattered by Jeannie Palmer and I kept reading, engrossed again in my own childhood. I was transported back to grammar school and was immediately tuned into the desperation of youth’s dramatic physical changes, its preoccupation with appearance and attractiveness, and its utter focus on social life, friends and school. I was lost again in the microcosm of my own preteens.
I finished the book in one sitting, totally immersed in the vivid and heartfelt tween world created by the author. Vanessa is a preteen coming of age, torn between childish antics and unfamiliar emotions that stir inside early teens. Shattered pulls the reader in so completely that you’ll find yourself experiencing the book as a twelve year old might. You’ll be inside Vanessa’s head identifying with each thought, completely touched by every emotion.
She’s going crazy and believes her possession is caused by a shiny red garden ball. It’s mystical. It’s terrifying. It has powers to control her life and the ball first appeared when Vanessa’s world started coming apart at the seams. When her friend Camille begins to develop new interests in shopping and puppy love, the ball is there. When she’s forced to see a counselor to fix a problem she didn’t cause, the ball is there. When she experiences uncomfortable feelings for a boy at the science museum, the ball is there, too. Vanessa has to break its spell so her life and the rest of her sanity can be salvaged.
The characters and storyline are drawn so real the reader is swept up into situation after situation from Shattered’s mysterious opening to Vanessa’s circumstances seemingly returning to “the way they were”. But the reader somehow knows nothing will ever be the same again for Vanessa, her family, or her friends.
Shattered is a must read for every early teen to remind them they’re not out there alone and for every adult to bring back misplaced memories of early school days, best friends and conjured enemies, and the bittersweet feelings that changed us all forever. Don’t let a part of your own childhood disappear into the mist of forgetfulness. Read this book with your child and help her cope with these changing thoughts and emotions in a fast approaching new world.
I received a free copy of Shattered from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This is a great read. From the word go this book grabs you and runs. It compels you to read on… after all, it's not that long, is it? You can probably finish it today! Oh the hypnotizing effect of a good story. It uses its brainwashing effect on you late at night as you need to get to sleep, it invades your dreams… not unlike the gazing ball Vanessa becomes fixated on.
All the characters, even Dad (who only makes a few brief appearances) are interesting and well drawn, are brought to life by the dialogue and their actions, are real enough to let the work flow. There's even a character who doesn't have any lines but who's pretty interesting in and of himself. Favorite character though was Gloria, for being at once grown up and still childlike at the same time.
On the topic of age appropriateness, I found the vocabulary and sentence structures challenging (in a good way) for readers roughly 11-14 years old. The tween category, is that what it's called?
This psychological thriller slash lit. fic novella isn't your average tween series about lost teeth or ninjas in a land inside your bathroom mirror though. Instead, the author delves deeply into an important place for teens with issues of separating and alternative families, possibly when that introspection is needed most. Teen years are rife with change, uncertainty and identity formation, and all of those themes are addressed with care here.
Indeed, the voice of this work is spot on as well: the young teen girl comes to life through the narrative. Clipped sentence fragments here and there, and enough teenage angst comes through to keep up the pace and spur the reader on.
Overall this comes highly recommended as an important short work for teens to read, and also a great conversation starter for parents who find themselves with these sorts of tortured young souls living under their roofs. There are lots of worse things you could do then help your child cope with the sudden fracturing of a family than read a book together and discuss the matter with them.