Shattered (A Daughter's Regret)
by Melody Carlson
Published April 15 2011 by NavPress
Paperback, 208 Pages
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.
Seventeen year old Cleo has always dealt with her overbearing mother in the nicest way possible, she overlooks the strict rules, her mothers clingy and sometimes smothering love. But tonight is different, Cleos best friend is moving away in the morning and the girls want nothing more than to spend an evening having fun and going to a concert in the city. When Cleo's mom tells her no, she fights and begs to go but still cannot get her mother to agree. Instead of chilling out and finding something else to do, Cleo sneaks out and go's to the concert anyway. She has a blast even though a nagging feeling bugs her all night and guilt begins to rear its ugly head, Cleo knows shes in big trouble but justifies her sneaking out as an act of freedom. When the girls sneak home all is quiet in the house and the next day runs smoothly, that is until a knock on the door reveals just what a night on the town cost Cleo and her family. After some shocking events, Cleo down spirals and becomes addicted to prescription drugs and only with the help of her Aunt and God, will she ever resurface.
First things first, I will say Melody Carlson has a profound talent writing YA novels and bringing a teens thoughts to life. I think she connects to young readers and is an author you can feel safe having your teens and even middle grade children read. I respect the message that Carlson was getting across in the sense that choices have consequences and sometimes the consequence is more than we bargain for, however I thought the way this message was presented was complete overkill. I thought half way thorough I was reading a Jodi Picoult novel, with all the crazy drama going on with one character, from the choice, to the loss, to the drama and then the after and then some more loss and anger and all the aunt issues…so much drama my head was spinning from it. Im the first parent to say teenagers need rules and guidance but Im also learning (sometimes a hard process) that children need flexibility and room to be expressive and make some choices for themselves, the entire plotline surrounding Shattered could have been avoided had Cleo’s mother cut the apron strings a bit. Seventeen year olds need a tad more freedom than say a fifteen year old, which how I read was the way Cleo’s mom treated her. Without spoiling the novel, I really cant review the topic of the big secret, all I can say is that it was completely overboard and I found it fall into the category of scare tactics and not an actual inspirational message, for me after I finished the novel I walked away having the same feeling I get after listening to a “DO this or Burn in Hell” sermon. Regardless though of my unflavored reaction, fans of Carlson’s work will more than likely appreciate this story, I would recommend it for teen readers who enjoy her books or faith based fiction.
Recommended to mature teen readers (13 and up). Contains: Disobeying, murder, drug use, lying, dealing with guilt and forgiveness.
Thanks to for review copy