Sunday, July 31, 2011

Shattered Dreams: A Midnight Dragonfly Novel by Ellie James

Title:  Shattered Dreams: A Midnight Dragonfly Novel
Author:  Ellie James
Genre:  Young Adult
Publisher:  Griffin Original
Format/Pages:  Paperback/342 pages
Release Date:  December 2011

Trinity Monsour has spent her life in the secluded mountains of Colorado, raised and homeschooled by her grandmother. After her grandmother passes away, Trinity moves to New Orleans to live with her aunt.  Trinity knows virtually nothing about her parents, or the city she was born in.  Once in New Orleans, Trinity strives to fit in and lead a normal life. Unfortunately, Trinity herself isn’t normal. She’s psychic.

Trinity’s life begins to change as her visions accelerate. But not everyone believes that she is having visions; some people believe that she is really responsible for the disappearance of the school’s head cheerleader.  Trinity is pulled into a world she never believed was possible, a world her mother was involved in. As Trinity learns secret after secret and more truths are revealed, things around her begin to spin out of control. Will the truth push her over the edge?

Shattered Dreams is a compelling, intriguingly unique story with well-written characters. Trinity is the seemingly typical high school girl, a little bit confused and scared, but wanting everything to be normal.  The “mean girls” at the high school, in particular Amber, are the epitome of the nasty, self-centered teenage girls every one has experienced.  The male leads of the story, especially Chase, at first seem like bone-headed jocks, but grow into characters with more depth than imagined.  My favorite part of the story was the characters.

I enjoyed Ellie James’ descriptions of New Orleans.  She captured the beauty of the city, as well as the haunting loss the city has experienced since Hurricane Katrina.  She obviously has a vast knowledge of the city and she utilized that knowledge to bring the city to life.

While I enjoyed the story James’ wrote, at times it felt a bit out of sync.  This became more noticeable as the book neared the end. New characters were brought in, seemingly out of nowhere, and became an integral part of the story.  A love triangle appeared in the last 60 pages of the book, one that was totally unexpected.  The motives of some characters seemed odd, even questionable, and were never explained.  Fortunately, the story ended well, redeeming itself. 

This is a book I would recommend to my girls, though I don’t think I would encourage them to move it up on their list. Definitely readable and enjoyable. 

I received this book as a LibraryThing Early Reviewer. It will be released in December 2011.

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