July 21, 2012

Review: Beautifully Broken

Title & author: Beautifully Broken by Sherry Soule
Publisher: Moonlight Publishing
Genre: Young Adult
Sub-genre: Paranormal
Reading age: 14 years and older
Pages: 330
Release Date: August 2011
ISBN: 9780615508122
Source: The author

Summary (from Goodreads):

 Thirteenth Daughter. Heritage Witch. Demon Slayer.

They say every town has its secrets, but that doesn’t even begin to describe Whispering Pines. The townsfolk are a superstitious lot and the mystical disappearance of a local teen has everyone murmuring about a centuries old witch’s curse.

Sixteen-year-old Shiloh Ravenwolf is a heritage witch from the Broussard family, a family both destined and cursed. After she takes a summer job at Ravenhurst Manor, she discovers a ghost with an agenda. That’s where she meets the new town hottie, Trent Donovan. But Trent may be the next victim on the supernatural hit list, and Shiloh is the only person with the power to save him. Complicated much?

After receiving cryptic messages from a creepy wraith and frightening threats from a demon, Shiloh finally begins to understand the mysterious significance of the strange mark branded on her wrist. Now Shiloh must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to protect the other teenagers in town.

Unfortunately, for Shiloh, not all ghosts want help crossing over. Some want vengeance.

My Thoughts:

It is difficult to write this review without spoiling important plot points, but I have done my best.

From the moment I began reading this novel until the conclusion, my heart was pumping and the creep factor was rising. Soule does not hold back – not even a little bit – as she brings Whispering Pines to life. But this is not like ordinary, secretive towns. This place has secrets full of blood and murder. And yet, I found myself wanting more.

Our novel’s heroine, Shiloh Ravenwolf, just wants to be a normal teenager, but she is not normal by any standard. She can see shadows. She hears voices. She has a ghost stalking her. But what do these three things have in common? Soule creates more of a puzzle with this novel, giving readers all the outside pieces before finally filling in the middle. This is where the author keeps readers in suspense, making us wait for the intertwining of all elements, completing the puzzle.

While Shiloh is the novel’s heroine and should be the star, she is upstaged by Ravenhurst Manor, a combination of the hotel from The Shining and the house in Psycho. Yes, the Manor was that creepy. Every time the author placed me there, my heart rate went up. Heck, it's going up right now just thinking of it. But that Manor really does have a history, so to speak. It seems to hold the "key of secrets" in Whispering Pines.

And what is a YA paranormal novel without a hot male counterpart? Enter Trent Donovan. He and his father live in Ravenhurst Manor, and when Shiloh earns an internship there for the summer, the two begin a romance that is steamy, but can the two of them overcome their secrets? Because they both are keeping important things from one another.

Shadows, ghosts, demons - oh my! The addition of these upped the creep factor in the novel, by a lot. The demon alone made me want to keep my lights on, checking over my shoulder (just in case). Their combination with Ravehurst Manor makes this a horror-level novel, just without the gore. 

As a whole I enjoyed the novel. Soule has a lot of potential with this series, and I am curious to see where she takes Shiloh in Moonlight Mayhem. Shiloh has a lot of character development to go, but Soule sets the character up nicely for the sequel. Trent is mysterious enough for readers to crave more but gives just enough of him to have them swooning. And the spook-level of the storytelling is spot on for the paranormal.

I recommend Beautifully Broken to anyone who enjoys a witchy read and the paranormal. If you scare easily, I recommend you read this in the daylight; otherwise, you might find yourself looking over your shoulder one too many times while reading. [Not that I did that. At all. Not even a little bit.]

I have a few lingering questions I hope are answered in the sequel, and I am quite excited to learn that there are “ferocious wolves, deadly necromancers, and shambling zombies.” But I will be sure to read it in the daylight. 

Be sure to check out my interview with the author, Sherry Soule, as well. Learn who her writing inspirations are as well as her favorite pizza topping.  

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the outrageously awesome review. I hope your followers appreciated the post and are interested in reading my new YA series. :-D

    Happy reading,

    Check out My Books


I would love to hear from you