Thursday, December 1, 2011

Shattered Dreams by Ellie James

Published: Dec 6th, 2011
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Pages: 352
e-copy: Courtesy of Netgalley and publisher
Summary: Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Trinity Monsour wants nothing more than to live a normal life. But that isn’t as easy as it seems. Trinity is different. She isspecial. She sees visions, and for those she’s seen, it’s already too late. 

Trinity arrives on her aunt's doorstep in New Orleans with virtually no knowledge of her mysterious heritage. She begins settling into life at a new school and even starts making friends. But all too quickly her dreams accelerate; twisted, terrifying visions of a girl locked in a dark room. And when the head cheerleader, Jessica, goes missing, Trinity knows she has no choice but to step forward with what she's seen. 

But people believe that Trinity has information about Jessica's disappearance not because of a dream, but because she is involved. She is kind-of dating Jessica's ex-boyfriend, Chase, and Jessica did pull a nasty prank on Trinity. Revenge seems like the likeliest scenario. 

Nothing prepares Trinity for the dark odyssey that ensues while searching for Jessica, including the surprising romance she finds with Chase, or the shocking truths she learns, not just about the girl who has gone missing, but the past that has been hidden from her.

Creepy old house in the dead of night, a joke gone wrong, teen love, family secrets - I could go on, but they all add up to a very enjoyable psychic mystery, with a decided 'southern gothic' feel.  Ms James does an admirable job conveying the steamy heat and general creepiness of an old abandoned house in New Orleans, and our minds supply the rest.  There is just something about New Orleans in the wake of Katrina, with its mojo vibe and above ground cemeteries that just adds to the creep factor.

On top of that we have a main character with a psychic ability and some family secrets.  Trinity is struggling to come to grips with her psychic abilities and Ms James does not gloss over the negative side of this 'gift'.  I felt very sympathetic towards Trinity, most of the time anyway.  Chase is the understanding boyfriend who seems to be such a kind and caring person.  But, and there's always a 'but', there is an incident about 2/3 through where Chase's reaction to the situation had me just steaming, and not in a good way!  All the good feeling I had about him evaporated.  Then Trinity's actions towards him later in the story really disappointed me.  She had seemed such a strong character before then.   I can't elaborate, or I would be giving out huge spoilers, but I was so upset with her after that.  

Now having finished the story, I suspect that this turn of events was orchestrated to allow for a sequel, which is fine, and if there is one I look forward to reading it.  Shattered dreams reminded me a little of Kimberley Derting's Body Finder series so if you enjoyed those at all, I'm sure you'll love this one.  My issues with the characters actions just show how much I had accepted them.  

The writing was well done, the atmosphere moody and disturbing and the storyline mysterious and thrilling.  A great book all round. 


  1. This sounds quite intriguing. I'm always up for more creepy books. :) It's nice to see that you really got into the characters here--that's definitely quite important (for me) in a book. I may have to check this one out. Thanks for the review! :)

  2. Thanks Jessi, hope you enjoy it as much as I did.