Monday, August 15, 2011

Book Review: Shattered Soul by Jennifer Snyder (Indie Takeover)

Title: Shattered Soul
Author: Jennifer Snyder
Reading Level: Older Young Adult
Publisher: Self-Published
Date Published: May 14, 2011
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
Hellish Nightmare...

If seventeen-year-old Seth Bradson were to describe his life in two words, those would be the two he’d choose. Seth prefers to cope with his crappy existence by spending his days in a drug-induced haze. But when Ali Carson steps into his life, Seth finds something he’s subconsciously been seeking—a new drug, one that consumes his mind unlike any other.


In a moment of unforgivable weakness, Seth allows Ali to try crystal meth, his most addictive temptation. This single event begins the unraveling of both their lives and forces Seth to learn the definition of regret the hard way.
Be warned, Shattered Soul is not a happy-go-lucky story. If you didn’t get that from the title alone, then take it from me; this book is gritty and raw, with heavy drug usage by and around the main character Seth. Despite all that, Seth is almost a sweet guy. He’s in a difficult situation – his father ditched the family, his mother is an alcoholic, and his brother is both addicted to and deals drugs. Seth likes to drown the world out with weed and has, on occasion, hit the harder stuff.

Yet he’s good at his core. Seth is easy to connect to, even if the reader has no personal experience with the kind of life he has. The beginning starts off a bit rough because we meet Seth who, at first glance, appears to be a stoner kid with no aspirations. Once we see him a bit more and see where he comes from and what he wants from his life, the connection to him becomes solid. Seth does not want to be his mom or his brother, but he doesn’t know how to stop himself from going down that path.

Ali, the girl that could very well turn Seth around, isn’t fleshed out completely, but she doesn’t need to be. She’s the spark that lights the fire for him, making him want to be different, even if he hasn’t figured out how. At times, I wanted to hold Seth and hug him and hide him from the destructive people in his life; other times, I wanted to throttle him because he was so stupid and I couldn’t believe he was doing what he was doing; then something would happen and I’d want to protect him again.

That is the beauty in what Jennifer Snyder’s debut evokes. This tortuous story of a teenager living in a hellhole is unrelenting in its portrayal of suburban drug life and how quickly addiction takes hold, escalates, and destroys everything and everyone it comes in contact with. Shattered Soul is gut-wrenching and affecting, taking the reader on a rollercoaster of ups, downs, and has an ending that no one will ever see coming.

Opening line:
Life. Life’s a bitch and then you die. ~ pg. 3

Favorite lines/passages:
With my head down, I gripped the doorknob and turned it. I stepped out into the sunlight and fresh air, closing the door behind me, to block myself off from the dark nightmare which had become my reality. ~ pg. 117
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Find Jennifer Snyder online:

Buy it online:


Candace said...

Wow, this book sounds REALLY good! Your review has me convinced I must get my hands on it. Was it edited really well? I've been a bit particular (more so then usual) when it comes to the editing and even the self publish that I enjoy a lot the editing sometimes gets to me a bit.

Bere said...

Whoa. This one definitely sounds intense. And really, really good. Brilliant review, Nikki. I would definitely like to check this one out. Thank you =).

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

Candace - It was edited very well! I was super impressed by the writing and the editing. Pretty much everything about it trumped my expectations. It's a short read too, so I flew through it in one sitting. I just could not put it down.

Bere - Thanks for the kind words Bere! Trust me when I say that Shattered Soul deserves the glowing review.

BrittLit said...

This sounds like something I could get a lot of teens to like. Gritty and raw is right up their alley. ;) Great review, I'll have to look into this one.

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