October 2, 2011

REVIEW: The Shattering by Karen Healey

Title: The Shattering
Author: Karen Healey
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Published: 5 September 2011
Edition: 1st; Hardcover: 305 pages
Seventeen-year-old Keri likes to plan for every possibility. She knows what to do if you break an arm, or get caught in an earthquake or fire. But she wasn't prepared for her brother's suicide, and his death has left her shattered with grief. When her childhood friend Janna tells her it was murder, not suicide, Keri wants to believe her. After all, Janna's brother died under similar circumstances years ago, and Janna insists a visiting tourist, Sione, who also lost a brother to apparent suicide that year, has helped her find some answers.

As the three dig deeper, disturbing facts begin to pile up: one boy killed every year; all older brothers; all had spent New Year's Eve in the idyllic town of Summerton. But when their search for the serial killer takes an unexpected turn, suspicion is cast on those they trust the most.
As secrets shatter around them, can they save the next victim? Or will they become victims themselves?

My Review:

I don't usually like mystery books since every one I've read, besides The Weight of Silence, was unappealing and down right boring. I don't really remember what made me want to read this book in the first place. It could have been the cover of the book or maybe even the title. Somehow I was able to get past the "don't judge a book by its cover" expression and read the Goodreads synopsis.

What I liked about the book:
1. The Summary.
You can't get anymore interesting than that. Brother commits suicide then you find out there are more brother's committing suicides. Then you realize there is a murderer on the loose in your very beautiful town of Summerton? It just completely drew me in. I love shows like Criminal Minds and CSI: Miami. I just don't know why other mysterious books fail for me. But this one, I liked it. I love the whole, "lets find the killer" thing. It's cool. It's scary and it's exciting. Especially in a very small town like Summerton, things can go bad real fast sine secrets don't stay secrets for very long.

2. The Friendship & Voice of Characters 
I love the three musketeers dynamic that Keri, Janna and Sione have. This book is split into their three perspectives, where it's first person for Keri and third person for both Janna and Sione. I love how at first they all seemed dubious of each other. But as the story went on, they were all brought closer for one common goal: to find the killer and completely destroy him/her. I loved their banter and little jokes and sarcastic comments. It felt like a real friendship trio. Each voice of the character was unique. I didn't have to go back and remember who was the main perspective. Some books I've read with split perspectives falter in this.

Keri was strong and tough. Very independent and I liked that. She has this "don't mess with me" vibe. She basically rocked. And Janna was funny, quirky and a little wild. I love how she and Keri were totally different, but they still got along. They were still able to reconnect after their lost touch. Sione. *sigh* He's not your typical goregeous, head-over-heels, all muscle sinewy boy. He's awkward, and clumsy, weird and out of place, but he's handsome in his own way. He's self conscious and never sure of himself. But he's so darn sweet and kind and thoughtful. I really did love him. He seemed real, not some made up boy who can never ever exist.

3. The Concept/Plot/Story 
I really liked how different this book was. It's not paranormal. No sparkly vampires, no muscular shape-shifting werewolves, no zombies, and no fallen-angels. I wish I could say what this book is really centered on, but I feel like that's too spoilery. So, just know that it's different. It's unique in its own way. Some parts were predictable, but others just made me go "REALLY?!" It was great. I love when that happens.

4. The Pacing 
I love the pacing to this book. It went straight into what was going on. It was quick and easy to read. Fast paced where it just went straight into everything. No hesitation, lets find the killer! lol. I love that. It wasn't slow at all. At least for me.

What I didn't like:
1. The Setting and Language. 
I have never been to New Zealand. That is where the book takes place. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure New Zealand is a beautiful place, but I never saw it in this book. When I read Anna and the French Kiss and Die for Me I could see Paris. I could imagine I was really there even when I have never been nor seen Paris. This is where this book fell flat. I didn't know what New Zealand was like and I thought the author never really took me there. Sometimes the setting is not really that important in the book, but I felt like it should have been described better since the plot is centered on the town. Also, this book has a mini glossary in the back because the characters sometimes use phrases that are not English. Those were the parts that I found it hard to read because I had to go back and read the glossary and try my hardest to think. I had to figure out what the hell she means. It's was difficult, but it still made the book enjoyable.

2. The Romance. 
Ok. I don't want to spoil it by saying if there is or isn't any romance in this book since this book is centered mostly on friendship. However, it wasn't the romance that was in this book or not that made me dislike it a little. It was a certain part with two certain characters that threw me off. I don't know if anyone who has read this knows what I'm talking about, but it totally made me angry! Not at the author, because I know she means well. But only because I was invested and I hate that. lol.

3. The End.
Like I've said above, I don't want to spoil it. However, I do have to say it's not the actual ending that I didn't like per say. When I read the first chapter, I had a gut feeling about a certain 'something' and I was right. And what saddened me was that I wanted to know WHY? I know I sound weird because if I mention it, then you'd know how it ended. I'm not questioning the ending. I'm questioning something about the ending for a certain character. It's just those types of books where something isn't resolved and you want to know why even though you know that it's not supposed to tell you why because that's just how it is. It was a little frustrating, but I got over it.

4. The Lack of WOW!
Yes, I enjoyed this book. I liked it. However, I didn't love it. It was missing something, some kind of WOW factor. The book didn't blow me away. Some books just take my breath away until the very last page. This book didn't. It was fun and exciting and very enjoyable. But some books just don't have that extra punch to make it taste better and this was one of them. I'm still glad I picked it up though. No regrets. I never leave a book unfinished. No matter how bad it seems. I push through, unless the book is just that bad. This book was not the case. I read the last half of the book in one sitting. I just wish that it didn't take me so long to get there. Stupid school! lol.

Overall, I liked this book. I'm not sure if there will be a sequel, but it seemed like a stand alone to me. I'm also not sure if I would ever reread this book, but there is still a possibility. Nothing is ever set in stone.

However, I do recommend giving it a try. You never really know if you'll like something until you try it, yes? So go ahead and read this book. It didn't disappoint me and there's always room for improvement, but the book was still good.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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