Sunday, December 11, 2011
Shattered Souls, by Mary Lindsey
Release date: December 8th 2011
Published by: Philomel
Rating: 2/5 stars
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.
I had this in my TBR list a long time ago. And honestly, I thought this book would be epic, but it wasn't. It left me with a strange feeling after I was done reading it. There were a lot of things that I didn't like in Shattered Souls. Let's go to those first:
-- The main characters were superficial, and the author tried to make them feel deeply, which felt forced to me. Lenzi seemed a great protagonist at first, and then her choices and thoughts made me want to throw the book across the room. She was one of those girls that didn't think before doing something.
Alden was so... strange, I couldn't get a clear picture of him in my head. He was open-minded, and the next second, he was wimpy and full of remorse. HIs personality wasn't solid, like the author couldn't decide wether he'd be tough or not. And since I couldn't get a clear picture, he didn't seem so "hot" to me.
-- The romance was badly developed. Lenzi had a boyfriend, Zak, who was totally cute and suporting and caring at the beggining. She loved him with all of her heart. According to her (and I quote): "He was the only thing anchoring me to reality". And then, in a matter of days (or chapters, in this case), Zak turned into and asshole, possessive and pathetic.
It felt like Zak was there just to make things complicated between Alden and Lenzi. Just to create some sorte of love triangle that, by the way, didn't work. Since the moment Lenzi first saw Alden, it was obvious she'd choose him. Their eyes met, she thought he was one of her hallucinations, but when they touched, electricity flared between them. I swear, when this happened, I knew the romance wouldn't work for me.
Oh, and after that, Lenzi's heart didn't give a damn about Zak. She was always thinking about Alden.
But that's not the worst part. You see, Lenzi is supposed to help "spirits" (or you could say "ghosts") resolve their unfinished bussiness, and Alden is her Protector. He has been with her for many cycles, and they'd fallen in love in past lives.
Lenzi fell in love with him again, of course, but he didn't want a romantic relationship. You'd think she would back off, get hurt by his words? That's not what happened. She begged to stay with him. She begged for a kiss. Lenzi practically threw herself at Alden when she could, and tried to kiss him a lot of times. I wanted to bitch-slap her and scream "What is wrong with you?! Have some self-respect!" Honestly, what's going on with YA heroines?
-- There are a lot of similarities between Shattered Souls and Angelfire, and they were so obvious to me I have to pinpoint them in this review:
Girl who thinks she's crazy, but actually have a propose on Earth: Check.
The girl has a hot Protector: Check.
They had fallen in love before, and this love surfaces again: Check.
Recycled souls: Check.
The girl takes more time than usual to come back, and when she does. she has no memory of past lives: Check.
This amnesia has never, ever happened before: Check.
The boy doesn't want a relationship, but she insists: Check.
I could go on and on with this list, but anyway, that's my point. The difference between those books is the propose of the girl and the Protector. Honestly, Alden even introduces Lenzi to a couple of friends who have known her for, like, a century (just like Will does to Ellie). This really bothered me.
-- Stupid decisions. And I don't say this lightly. Some decisions that Lenzi and Alden took just made me take a deep breath and think "Ok, Bia, calm down, this is just a book".
You're fighting a demon who's possessing a child, and you have a good plan. Then, all of a sudden, you blow it all up, and take a shot at taking the demon down because you're tired of being haunted by him? And you do this knowing that your Protector is not at full strenght? You've gotta be kidding me. No, you don't blow the plan up, you hold yourself together and do what needs to be done. What Lenzi did seriously disappointed me. Her soul is old, she's supposed to be this awesome Speaker who have helped a lot of people, and she's upset and pissed because oh, she's not good enought for Alden. After all, she has to be a badass Speaker not because of thousands of souls that want peace, but because her love life is confused. Of course.
I must admit I think Smith's a fascinating character and villian, but his motivations could've been explored more deeply. And him hunting Lenzi down was an issue addressed like, on the second half of the book. Most of it is just Lenzi fighting against who she is and what she is supposed to be, and Alden trying to convince her.
It's good to get this frustration out of me. Seriously, this is a 2-star rating because even though the plot and characters disappointed me, the writing and level of sarcasm in dialogues did not.
Even the ending of the book didn't please me completely. It left me hanging, and not in a good way. It didn't feel like an ending nor a cliffhanger. Talk about a confusing last chapter. I'm not saying that Shattered Souls is a complete waste of time and I hated it. Not at all. I did enjoy some things, but the main factors, the ones would actually pull me into the story, didn't seem so great and appealing to me. I know a lot of people will love this book, though.
But, please, YA authors, stop creating superficial characters and girls with no sense and conscience. This genre isn't about cheesy romance where one can't live without the other. It's about knowing that, even if you are young, you can fight for what you want, and kick some butt.