Shattered Souls By: Mary Lindsey

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.

Before I start talking about the book I’d like to apologize for the blog being so dead the past few days! It’s that horrible time of the year again. With all the projects and exams coming up, Michelle and I might be slow to posting up some stuff the upcoming weeks! In other news, here’s the review! Enjoy!

The book Shattered souls is about a girl named Lenzi who suddenly starts to hear voices, thinking she is following the foot steps of her schizophrenic father, Lenzi ignores the voices. Her world changes when she meets a boy named Alden, a boy who keeps calling her Rose and claims that he can help her deal with the voices. He also claims that the voices are actually souls who desire help before passing on and that Lenzi is a speaker who can grant them their last wish.

Being a lover of the whole theme of reincarnation, I expected really good things from this book! I’ve always been fascinated with what happened to souls after we die. Do we simply cease to exist? Is there an after life? Will we be placed to heaven and or hell according to how we were in the life? Reincarnation gives me than we all get another chance in life. When I read this book, I found out only speakers (those who have the talent to speak to the dead) and their protectors (those who protect the speakers from the crazy souls) are reincarnated. I found this really fascinating. The world that Mary Lindsey created was very detailed. Mary talked very much about the rules, the jobs and the politics of the world of the speakers and protectors in great detail. I loved how she presented ghosts and the afterlife in the book Shattered Souls.

I have to be honest; I wasn’t much of a fan in the first couple of chapters of the book. The first 75 pages or so were pretty repetitive. Lenzi thought she was going crazy, she’d freak out, she’d calm down, she’d tell Alden to go away for being creepy. I found Lenzi a bit irritating the first handful of chapters, but as the story progresses, I found myself being fond of her. Lenzi grows up from a girl who refuses to believe in wondering souls to a girl who wants to help them and complains so much less than necessary. The pacing of the book also quickens. I remember taking a couple of days to get through the first 100 pages, but as I continued reading, I realize that I just couldn’t stop. I loved the last half of the book!

In this book, I was surprised not to see as much as I did from Lenzi’s boyfriend Zak. I originally thought this was a love triangle. But, the choice was very obvious from the first meeting! I loved how Mary depicted Lenzi. She was both that innocent girl who had no idea what’s going on and the one who kicked ass. The book showed Lenzi from the present and Rose from the past. This was just one of the perks of a book about reincarnation. I loved how Mary used the whole reincarnation theme and made two characters from one person, where as in other reincarnation books I’ve read, the lead was always the same in all lives and didn’t change significantly.

My favorite part of the book is most definitely just the way that Mary wrote. The world she created was amazing. She made a whole world with so much rules and such a strict system. I also loved how she twisted the whole reincarnation theme and make it stand out from all the rest!

Over all, this book was great! I shell rate it 3.5 because of the almost unbearably slow beginning.

-Caryl

Renegade By: J.A. Souders

Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie.

Her memories have been altered.

Her mind and body aren’t under her own control.

And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb… and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.

Renegade is the first book in the Elysium Chronicles. Renegade is about a girl, Evelyn Winters, who learns that she’s been “conditioned”(brainwashed) to forget her past and anytime that she ever rebelled. It’s also about a “surface dweller”, Gavin Hunter, who stumbles upon her society which means certain execution for him once they get answers from him. Fortunately, Evelyn helps him and in return he helps her learn about what “mother” has done to her and her people. When Evelyn learns the full extent she and Gavin make a plan to escape together from her beautiful yet deadly underwater society, Elysium.

When I first heard of Renegade I thought that the synopsis was cool and that it would really be a good book. Then I saw the cover in detail and was completely taken with the book. The whole thing with the rose and the thorns and the blood intrigued me a lot. The cover looked like a photograph but also looked like it was drawn, which was pretty trippy and awesome. Especially because everything is so beautiful on the cover and then with the way that her head is turned, her gripping the rose and the blood that drips and pools, it made it very mysterious and interesting. I automatically wanted to buy and read this book. Fortunately for me it did not disappoint.

The characters were really interesting. The main character, Evelyn Winters, was deemed “the Daughter of the People”. The Daughter of the People means that she has the perfect genetics, the perfect genetics to make an offspring and that after “mother” can’t rule Elysium then she’ll be the successor and rule Elysium. There’s only one word to describe Evelyn. Bad ass. The way that she knows all her weapons, and how to use them. The way that she speaks to people if their a threat, and the way that she handles her conditioning and her “Enforcer” self. Gavin was the love interest and one of the main characters. He was hot. The way the author described him with his muscles, tanned skinned, blond hair, and gray eyes. Also, he was bad ass on his own when it came to him and hunting and just the way he used his weapons. “Mother” wasn’t actually anyone’s mother; she just made everyone call her mother because she’s just a crazy lady. I actually liked her a lot because of how crazy and non considerate she was. She was just so outrageous! Everything she said and did showed it. I like how the author portrayed that.

When everyone called her mother it just made me think of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. If anyone watched that classic thriller, than you know what I mean. Especially when the author showed the people in Sector three who’s conditioning went awry. I liked it because it gave a grotesque feel. Basically I loved it.

This book was awesome because it was like Veronica Roth’s Divergent and Lauren DeStefano’s Wither. Only it was way WAY better than Wither. There was a scene in the end that was like the ending of Divergent only flipped and just a bit more twisted which I liked.

If there was anything I disliked it was that it got confusing when the author, J.A. Souders, showed Evelyn’s little memories of Timothy. I still don’t get it because Evelyn never really stopped to put all those memories together and explain what had happened with her and Timothy. I guess it was pretty basic but I feel as if it was quite random and confusing.

I really liked the quotes that the author put in the beginning of each chapter. They gave a glimpse of the world, with a little humour, without the main character randomly thinking about it. I hate when authors make the main character explain the world building with their thoughts because the main character can’t just randomly be thinking of the world building.

Overall, I loved this book. It deserves five stars for many reasons. Not to mention this book is so amazing and yet (surprisingly) this is a debut novel for J.A Souders. I can’t wait in till the second book comes out! I bet it’ll be even better then the first if J.A Souders is writing it.

-Michelle