Shattered - Reviewed - SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Everybody does it—sneaks out of the house now and then. It's harmless enough, right? Not this time. Cleo Neilson faces the chilling consequences of her actions. Now she has a secret and can’t tell anyone, and it’s breaking her heart. As Cleo fights through her grief and guilt, she learns about faith in God and forgiveness through him. As teenage girls read Cleo's journey, they too will learn the value of having faith and receiving forgiveness as well as just how dangerous it really is to keep a secret.

Every teenage girl has a secret. And every teenage girl loves hearing someone else’s secret. But some secrets are big enough to detour, derail, or even destroy a young person’s life. Each of Melody Carlson’s Secrets novels will propel readers into a world where promises are broken, life is not fair, and challenges can make or break them, while ultimately helping readers discover that solid faith, loyal friends, and a persistent spirit will see them through.

My Thoughts: I understand what Melody was wanting to do with this book I just don't think it's going to have the impact on teens, especially girls like she is hoping it will. Cleo is 17, almost 18; her father is on a business trip she asks to borrow her father's car to go into the city with her best friend Lola to see a Christian concert who is moving the following day. Her mother, Karen says EMPHATICALLY NO - not even allowing Lola to drive them to this concert who has her own car and is 18. Karen is a hovering, smothering, helicopter mom, which is putting it mildly. Karen has a bachelorette party to go to that night, and she plans to make breakfast for Lola, her mom, and brothers before they leave for San Diego in the morning.
The girls use public transportation and get into the city, and come home safe and sound. Lola has to be up early for the road trip to California. She wakes Cleo, gives her a hug and is out the door. Cleo wakes up a few hours later and is surprised to not find her mother any where around. She figures she is down at Lola's because she said she was going to make breakfast for them, and then the doorbell rings and there is a police officer at the door asking if this is the home of Karen Nielson. There begins a cycle of ridiculousness!
The mother in this story was an over bearing nut! Her daughter was 17, almost 18 and a senior, I just don't think that the teens are going to relate to this one. Most 17 yr olds have their own car, are out every weekend, sometimes on school nights, have jobs, are in a relationship, in a sport or club after school. I found this mom to be very unrealistic for a healthy parent child relationship and because of the mother's smother-mothering it leads to guilt for Cleo over something she is not responsible for.
I felt horrible for Cleo. All she wanted was to be able to do the same things her friends did and her mom was afraid of the tiniest little thing she wouldn't let her move without her. Then when tragedy strikes Cleo blames herself. That just angered me! It wasn't her fault! She didn't do anything wrong! Her mom did, she did from the beginning! I so wanted to reach through the pages and give her a huge hug!
Overall, the book was a good read . . . it had suspense, and the characters were great. Sadly, I just don't see it reaching the teens in the manner that Melody is hoping for. I think the main character would need to be younger. say 14 or 15.


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