Friday, March 14, 2014

Review and Giveaway for Every Shattered Thing by Elora Ramirez

Stephanie fights reality every day. The voices inside, the ones declaring her worth, deem her broken, used and dirty. She is an object. A toy. Something to be tossed aside when bored. Who will believe her if she whispers the truth about her wrecking ball of a family? Eventually, her secret explodes and the person who means the most to her knows just how shattered she is and why she's so afraid. But rescue is closer than she realizes. Hidden in plain sight, her horror hasn’t been ignored by everyone. Racing against the truth of what she faces, forces are joining together and developing a plan to free her from the hell in her own backyard. And while she’s at her lowest point, she’s hit with the beauty of love at any cost - redemption in the face of ruin. Will it be enough?

*Warning: Contains mature content that may not be suitable for younger audiences*

What I thought about Every Shattered Thing

I was definitely disturbed by the content of this book. I couldn’t believe that the events depicted here can even happen in this day. But then again, I didn’t know a lot about human trafficking and what that all entailed. So I let it roll around in my head for a few hours, and I was even more astonished and disgusted to find that the events in this book could indeed happen and are happening around the country.

It’s going to be hard to review this book without giving away spoilers. Part of what I liked about this book was the gradual revealing of all that was going on, so I’m going to try to keep the spoilers out of it.

Samantha is a senior in high school. She’s quiet and doesn’t have many friends beyond a former teacher, Emma and her husband Jude, and a classmate, who might also be a boyfriend named Kevin. It doesn't take much for these folks to see that something is happening to her, but they don't really know the details. Samantha's home life is seriously bad, and she can’t just pick up and leave because she’s got a four-year old brother to protect.

As her friends gradually learn the extent of Samantha's situation, they attempt to help, but their efforts are thwarted by Samantha’s father and the dirty cops protecting him. I did have a hard time believing that all the cops in the force were corrupt, and that Samantha would have to go back home after all that happened to her, but then again, with the sleeziness of these cops maybe they could make some serious cracks to slip through in the system.

The pacing of this was good, making me want to keep turning the page to find out Samantha’s fate. What I didn’t expect was the ending of this book. There’s a revelation at the end that shatters Samantha more than everything her father has done to her, because it's delivered by someone she trusted in a world where she could trust no one. I totally understood her reaction, even though it was heartbreaking. It also left me wondering if there was going to be a follow-up to Every Shattered Thing.

This content is not for everyone, which makes it very difficult to rate. Readers should take heed of the content warnings. 

Overall, Every Shattered Thing is an engaging, dark and often times disturbing story of human trafficking. There are some parts that are hard to take and hard to believe. In spite of those, I didn’t let that deter me from finishing. It was worth all of the dark to have more awareness of the human trafficking problem.

ARC courtesy of the publisher.

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  About the Author

Elora Ramirez lives in Austin, Texas with her chef-husband. At the age of four, she taught herself how to read and write, cutting her teeth on books like Dr. Seuss and writing anywhere she could find the space--including her Fisher Price kitchen set, the pages of picture books and Highlights Magazine. Since then, she's grown to love the way words feel as they swell within her bones. Writing holy and broken is her calling, and pushing back the darkness and pursuing beauty through story is her purpose. She embraces the power of story and teaches women from all parts of the world how to embrace theirs. She has a knack of calling things out , the truth and the detail, the subversive threads that make a life a story. She loves hip-hop, wishes she lived by the beach and cannot write without copious amounts of coffee, chocolate, music, and her husband's lavender liqueur.

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