March 13, 2012

Title: Shattered Souls
Author: Mary Lindsey
Publisher: Philomel/Penguin Published: December 8, 2011

Pages: 336

A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny and danger
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.

Celeste’s review: What an amazing debut novel! Shattered Souls drew me in from the first page, and I ended up reading it essentially in one sitting. I loved the unique ghostly story line of helping souls move on, but the world created in this novel was so organized, as the Speakers and Protectors were all professionals with quotas to fill! The characters were fabulous too…there were none of those immature high school kids we see so often in YA books, everyone here was real and deep.  Lenzi was a strong and thoughtful heroine, one of my favorite things about her was that she was always doing origami (so cool! ). And our hero, Alden, was all kinds of win….his “light gray, almost silver eyes” and his absolute dedication to Lenzi and his job just made him absolutely swoonworthy.  Half the time I was both sad and frustrated that they would not “be together”, but ahhh, that is part of why I loved it so very much. A really good romance has to build up and burn….it’s always worth the wait.

The story starts with Lenzi hearing voices in her head. She thinks she is starting to lose her mind, which is awful, but it is compounded with sadness because her father killed himself not that long before because he couldn’t deal with his own mental illness. Her only friend is her boyfriend, Zak, who isn’t necessarily a great guy. Lenzi is in love with Zak, though, and she feels as if he is the only person that can give her any kind of “normal”.

To make matters worse, in addition to hearing voices Lenzi soon has a vision and sees a boy in it.  She tries to just ignore all the signs that she truly is going crazy. She spends her birthday with Zak, hoping to keep the evening low key and simple, just wanting the simple pleasure of enjoying her day. They end up visiting her dad’s grave and the boy from her visions actually appears, but gets even more strange when he doesn’t call her Lenzi, he calls her by another name. Lenzi thinks she has officially lost her mind.

This boy, Alden, turns out to be real, and yes, gorgeous. Big time. He attempts to explains to Lenzi who she is and how he fits into her life. Alden tries to get her to trust him and get on board with what she is, that she isn’t crazy and the world needs her. Lenzi is hesitant but agrees to hear him out….this book is the story of their journey.

While the story had me turning the pages, so did the chemistry.  Alden is so attracted to Lenzi, and Lenzi to Alden, and the sexual tension is pretty high and I LOVED IT!! I absolutely died that Alden was so frank with Lenzi. It was great and just so……unf unf unf! Ah, but there was a soft side to the romance too….who wouldn’t love a guy who could soothe you in just one touch?

Another item in the WIN column was the secondary characters. All of them. Before long I was finished with Zak and really wanted him out of the picture. Easier said than done of course. But he wasn’t the only other character that was written so well…friends Race and Maddi fell right into step with Lenzi and Alden. They were fantastic!

As I mentioned in the beginning of the review, I loved how organized the world of Speakers and Protectors was – down to their employee numbers and the reports they had to file. Ms. Lindsey writes in a way that is so easy to follow, the words just flowed and I didn’t have to rack my brain to remember any facts or rules. I actually had to force myself to slow down as I read so I could savor it all. The ending tied up everything nicely, but the only thing I was left wanting was a bigger romantic scene at the end, I felt like I deserved it! However, it still left me with a warm happy feeling. I tweeted Mary Lindsey a few times as it appears this is a stand alone novel (I want more!). She replied that she is currently working on another book but may consider a sequel. *fingers crossed*

I absolutely would recommend this book, you won’t be disappointed!


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