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Souls #1

Shattered Souls

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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.

336 pages, Paperback

First published December 8, 2011

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About the author

Mary Lindsey

5 books956 followers
Mary Lindsey is a multi-award-winning, RITA nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on the Texas Gulf Coast with her ever-patient husband, two cantankerous Cairn Terriers, and twenty-six bossy chickens.

Mary also writes under the pseudonym Marissa Clarke

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Profile Image for Lea.
112 reviews501 followers
December 11, 2013
Warning: If you don't like reading rants about books, especially for ones that you liked or think you're going to like, then you aren't going to like this review, because I've honestly never been more pissed off at a YA book before. If you do like reading rants about books, well then, this should probably be pretty darned entertaining...


OK, so let me start off by just saying, I really tried to like this book, honestly I did.

I tried up until the very last page to have hope that something was going to happen that would redeem the entire thing for me.

But it just.



[Insert sad face here.]

Maybe I should blame my OCD tendency to finish a book no matter what. Because even when I absolutely can't stand a book, I have to finish it. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I really did consider DNF-ing this book about halfway through because I just could not take much more of Lenzi's weak character-- she was literally making me sad and angry at the same time-- but then, I thought well, maaayyybeeee she'll get better, maybe she'll have some kind of major revelation and turn into this super awesome character, transforming into a strong, confident, kick-butt kinda gal who can stand on her own two feet without a man to validate her entire existence.

But alas! It was not to be.

And I can honestly say, probably more than I can for any other book I've read, that I quite literally HATED this one. It was absolute torture to read, and the only thing that got me through to the end was knowing that I'd get to write this outraged and rant-astic review afterwards.

~Brief Summary~

Lenzi's dad has recently died-- committed suicide-- because he couldn't get rid of the voices in his head. Now 16, Lenzi is starting to not only hear voices, but see things too. Her musician boyfriend Zac can't help her. Alden, the strange guy she meets in a graveyard one night, tells Lenzi that she is a Speaker-- she can speak to lost souls and help them to find rest in death by freeing them from the problems that keep them bound to Earth. Alden is her Protector-- he protects her from Malevolents, violent spirits who don't want to be helped, but who could potentially possess Lenzi's body, using it to take out their rage or revenge. But Lenzi has no recollection about her past lives as a Speaker, and now there is a really dangerous Malevolent who wants revenge on her for something Lenzi can't even remember...

Now, seriously, with a plot synopsis like that, I really thought this book was going to knock my socks off. Well, read below before you make the same mistake that I did.

~My Thoughts~

So the number one reason why I could not stand this book was because I could NOT stand Lenzi. The girl absolutely annoyed the living crap out of me, and it was downright painful having to read from her whiny, immature point of view. Yes, I can understand her frustration and fear after finding out that she's supposed to talk to the dead and help them out of Earthly purgatory, but really? If I had just found out that I could talk to dead people AND it was up to me to save them from eternal damnation, I'm pretty darned sure my number one concern wouldn't be which boy I'm currently dating. For real.

Now, this seriously drove me crazy, because all Lenzi ever did was: A.) Drool over how gorgeous and beautiful Zak and Alden were, or B.) whine and complain about how sucky her life was.

That's it, the girl had no other thoughts.

Oh, but she can fold origami-- lots of origameeee!

(Because, you know, the main character has to have a "hobby" to make her seem "smart" and "interesting.")

Meanwhile, the immaturity levels reached astronomical proportions-- I'm talking whining and complaining galore. And when she does finally try to be the mature adult? She gets about as far as donning a pair of "tan slacks and cream-colored turtleneck"-- yes, that is an actual description of what she wears, I'm not making this up-- because clearly you have to dress like a flipping geriatric to appear "grown up." Slap on a pair of Velcro Easy Strides and Lenzi is good to go. Terrific!

OK, so on a more serious note, my main beef is that I thought the message Lenzi sends out to readers was absolutely horrible-- I found nothing about this character that was respectable, admirable or worth emulating: she was lazy, whiny, vapid, annoying, willingly ignorant, and worst of all, completely and desperately dependent on the acceptance of a guy-- no matter how controlling or abusive-- to validate her existence and her sense of self-worth.

I'm sorry, but that is a crap-tastic way to present a character.

If you're going to write about a self-deprecating girl who constantly belittles and demeans herself, you need to at least let her eventually come to the realization that she doesn't have to debase herself, and that she really is worthy of respect and healthy male attention. But if this never happens? If the main character never learns to respect herself? How am I the reader supposed to respect her? I honestly wish that Lenzi had developed into a strong and confident character. But this never happened. And it made me sad. Really, it did.

And then there's Reason Number Two why I didn't like this book-- Zak.

Whom I affectionately like to call Zak the Asshat.

Where do I even begin with how much I loathed this crappy excuse for a love interest?

Zak (the Asshat) was hands down the biggest jerk-wad I think I have ever read about. And what's worse, he was passed off as actually being in the running for Lenzi's heart! I mean if this is any indicator of what a cruddy little weasel he was-- the guy got drunk on page 40, tried to feel up Lenzi at her father's GRAVE and then abandoned her in a cemetery at night, in a bad neighborhood, on her freaking BIRTHDAY.

Say whaaaaat?!?

Oh, you heard me right.

Which brings me to what I hated most about this book-- the dysfunctional, abusive and completely NOT romantic relationship between Lenzi and Zak. So after everything that Zak puts her through, Lenzi goes right back to him so she can appease her mountain of insecurity, essentially turning into a total doormat and making out with the ground he walks on for the next 20-something chapters.

Because, you know, God forbid she lose this absolutely perfect specimen of male chivalry.

Yes, I know she goes off with Alden to do her whole Ghost-Speaker thing, but here's what grinds my gears: Lenzi never gets a clue about what a dirt bag this guy really was-- and what really scared me was that the author never seemed to have a clue either, because even by the very end, Lenzi was still spouting about how Zak was such a "cool guy" and her only "real friend."

Well, NO, no he wasn't.

Actually, he was a controlling, possessive, alcoholic, and even dangerous and abusive psycho. And I'm not OK with that never being addressed. I'm NOT OK with that kind of a person being passed off to potentially young and impressionable readers as being romantic or attractive.

To hammer home my point, there is even one point at the end of the book where Lenzi gets into a car with drunk Zak (told you she's not the brightest crayon in the box), and tells him it's all her fault that their relationship failed and that she's a freak who isn't good enough for him-- this is the same guy, I'll mention one more time, who abandoned her in a bad neighborhood at night on her birthday, and possessively stalked her to the point where the police should have been involved! Umm, NOT OK!!

[Side Note: If I had to hear Zak say "babe" at the end of one more sentence, the book would have gotten hurled across Starbucks. (Not really, it was a library book-- and I wouldn't want to knock over anyone's triple venti macchiato-- but you know, in theory). Seriously, give me a fa-reaking break.]

Oh but wait ladies and gentlemen-- there's more douche-baggery ahead!

Let me introduce you to Alden, Lenzi's second love interest, whom I affectionately like to refer to as Asshat #2. Alden is Lenzi's Protector who keeps her safe from all the big, bad Malevolents. Except for the fact that he never tells her anything, keeps her completely in the dark, and did I mention that he is TURNED ON by Lenzi's fear and pain? Yes, I kid you not, it actually says in the book that Alden Asshat #2 is turned on by Lenzi's fear and pain.

I'm sorry, but isn't that the definition of sadism? Why yes, yes it is! And how lovely-- it's being passed off as hott, sexy and romantic!


[This is the part where I take a long, deep breath and try not to FLIP THE CRAP OUT.]


Alrighty, so added to all this wonderfully disturbing twistedness, the book was also full of some of the most bizarre and ridiculous one-liners that I've ever read, which illicited reactions running the gamut from bursting out laughing hysterically to slapping my forehead in total frustration to looking up from the pages like someone had just run across my yard wearing nothing but a thong and a cowboy hat.

Oh, I know you're curious now! Well here are a few little gems that I couldn't resist mentioning:

"Even lifeless, he was hot." ~p.80 (OooooooK, that's a little creepy...)

"I wasn't addicted to Xanax, but I could certainly become addicted to Alden." ~p.116 (I literally burst out laughing for a good 5 minutes after reading this.)

"Should I shake his hand or kiss him good night on the cheek? Maybe I should act like Spook and just lick his face." ~p.138 (No comment-- I'll just let you soak in the sheer awkwardness of this quote.)

We also have a wonderful villain in the story, named Smith. Smith is a crazed lunatic from the 19th century who is out to whack Lenzi due to a century-old grudge he has because Lenzi jilted him in some past lifetime. (Totally by coincidence, Smith was the only character in the book I liked.)

Finally-- and this is a HUGE pet peeve of mine in YA literature-- I HATE when the protagonist comes across as mind-numbingly vapid and completely useless.

Now I don't want to beat a dead horse because I've already ranted about Lenzi, but I'm still not quite over her character and how she came across as being 115 pounds of pure dead-weight. Throughout the whole book, Lenzi is just thrown around by events outside her control and by the people (in this case, the boys) around her, and she reacts-- no real thought or action on her part changes the plot all that much, so she's basically a pretty- albeit whiny- little puppet.

And what's worse? It comes across as though Lenzi's entire sense of identity is wrapped up in whether she has a guy to fawn over. This bothers me big time, because not only is it annoying for me to have to read about; I think it sends a really bad message to readers in general. I mean, if you look at this story, Lenzi basically lets herself be a doormat for Zac to wipe his dirty boots on for the first half of the book, and the second half of the book is Lenzi pathetically trying to be a good Speaker just so she can impress Alden and live up to his expectations. AND she's also cheating on Zak, who yes, does win Asshat of the Year, but still, I was not at all impressed with our girl Lenzi throwing herself at Alden when *technically* she was still with Asshat-- I mean, Zak.

So yeah, I don't like any of that. Why couldn't she have wanted to be a kick-ass Speaker to make herself happy, to increase her own self-confidence, based on what she's capable of and not what some dude thinks of her? Not to stand on a feminist soap-box, but I'm just saying, I would have liked to see Lenzi be more independent, strong-willed and confident, without the whole "I'm nothing without a man" attitude.

In the end, Lenzi made Bella look like a combo between Einstein and Daenerys Targaryen in comparison-- yes, THAT is how awful and pathetic she was.

Sigh... OK, so after that tirade, it's now time to say something positive about this book. It's a policy of mine that no matter how much I disliked a book, I won't leave a review without stating at least ONE thing that I did like about it. So I will say that the action scenes in this book were really well done, and the concept of the Speakers and Protectors freeing the Hindered and fighting the Malevolents was a really good one-- I thought it was interesting and creative.

Honestly, I did, I'm not just saying that to avoid getting the stink-eye numerous times for being a total jerk about this book...

So to wrap up this really long review, I will just say that there were lots of readers out there who adored Shattered Souls. I totally respect their opinions, and know that my review is only one of many. And even though I didn't like it, that doesn't mean that you won't! I can't recommend this book myself, but I would suggest checking out other reviewer's opinions of it to see whether it's something you want to get into.

[**NOTE: Also, read what my girl Jennifer had to say in her review -- I really couldn't agree with her more, and I'm actually confounded that out of 280+ reviews, no one has really bothered to mention this disturbing aspect of the book that she so accurately points out.]

[FINAL NOTE: To fully appreciate my feelings and reactions to this book, it's best to read my Goodreads status updates-- in fact, if I didn't get all of this off my chest while I was reading the book, I'm pretty sure I would've had an aneurysm, no joke. So a big thank-you to Goodreads for helping me to maintain my sanity.]

Lea @ LC's Adventures in Libraryland
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,619 reviews53 followers
January 28, 2012
Yes, one star. And, oh, how I long to make that only a half star. Alas, in this Goodreads fails me.

Why the slam, you may ask? I could talk about the number of reincarnated-pair romances floating around the genre right now, the thin plotting, or that our main girl Lenzi apparently can't tell an abusive alcoholic of a soon-to-be-ex boyfriend from a standup guy. But instead I offer this exchange, the culmination of a very scary trend in teen fiction, between the hero (and romantic lead!) and the heroine:

He fidgeted and then ran his hands through his hair. "Okay. Your fear is a turn-on. Protectors are stimulated when their Speakers are afraid. It's what makes it possible to put you in harm's way. Otherwise, our instinct to protect you would trump everthing and we'd never allow you to do your job..."

Well, that certainly wasn't what I expected. "Get out! You're turned on by fear?"

"And by pain to some extent." He winked and pulled his hand away.

Dear Writers of Teen Fiction: Please try to remember that sociopathy and sadism are not synonyms for romance. When you have the male lead tell the heroine he's turned on by her fear, I don't think "Wow, HAWT!", I think "Run, bitch, run!"

And so should you.
Profile Image for Diana Stormblessed.
535 reviews34 followers
January 17, 2012
Is 5 stars really the most I can give? How do I express how much I love this book? This might be the only book I've ever read, or at least read in a long long time, where I was immediately drawn in on the very first page.

Lenzi is just trying to be normal. Her dad was schizophrenic. He heard voices, and then he died. Now Lenzi is hearing voices, too. The stability in her life is her ever so sweet boyfriend Zak. But the voices are getting worse, and as much as he wants to, Zak can't really help. And that's when she meets Alden, in a cemetery no less. And although she resists, Lenzi starts realizing that she needs Alden if she's wants to keep the voices at bay.

I love this story. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "soul mates", and not at all in a corny way. The writing is wonderful. The dialogue is witty and sarcastic, just how I like it. The whole book is quote worthy. And the characters....

Lenzi is just a girl trying to make sense of the horrible situation she finds herself in. She's scared (who wouldn't be?), but she's not weak, and like a true heroine, she gets better with every page. I sympathized with her. I loved her.

And I loved Zak. The book starts with Lenzi having a boyfriend. In most books you would expect the boyfriend to be an ass, so that the heroine can fall in love with the hero, or something like that. But usually that's not the case in real life, and its not that easy in this book. I loved Zak. He really loved Lenzi and wanted her to be happy. In my mind, he was totally date-worthy. And so was Race for that matter. Race was another protector, and another one of the wonderful men that I fell in love with in this book.

Which brings us to Alden . Sweet, patient, caring. I think I'm in love. Lenzi remembers nothing of her past lives as a speaker, and Alden is by her side the whole time, helping her deal with what would be a truly unbelievable situation to most people. Did I mention how much I love him?

In addition to the truly original story, the witty writing, the heart warming characters, and the great action, there's an ending I didn't expect, and yes, I did cry like a little girl. I did reread the last few chapters a few times after reading the book, just to be close to the characters again.

And a a final note: OMG look at the cover! Its a girl, disintegrating into rose petals (cuz her reincarnation's name was Rose). So beautiful! Ok, I'm going to stop gushing now.

And don't forget "There's hope until the last second" - Cover page of the IC Rule Book

See full review and author interview at: www.nightlyreading.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Cindy.
Author 1 book56 followers
November 14, 2011
Lenzi’s father is dead because he heard voices and now that Lenzi has turned seventeen, she’s hearing them too. Her life flashes before her eyes: the hospitals, the medications, her mother’s sad face. She’s sure this is the course of her life until she visits her father’s grave and meets Alden. Alden is handsome and when he touches Lenzi, everything feels right in the world. The only problem is that Lenzi has a boyfriend and Alden seems to be just as much out of touch with reality as Lenzi is.

Before long, Lenzi has little choice but to believe Alden that she really is a Speaker and he’s her Protector. As a Speaker, Lenzi has the ability to help lost souls move on to Heaven or Hell. She’s apparently been doing this for centuries but has no memory of it or of her longtime Protector, Alden.

Her boyfriend, Zak, is the sexy musician type that keeps things interesting, but not necessarily always in the good way. Despite his downfalls, he’s extremely supportive of Lenzi and will do anything to help her overcome the voices in her head. It’s obvious that he truly cares for her, which makes it hard to dislike him at times when you know you should.

And if it isn’t enough that Lenzi has to choose between her loyal boyfriend to her centuries long Protector, Lenzi also finds out that she’s been the target of an extremely strong malevolent spirit and he’ll stop at nothing to finally destroy her.

Shattered Souls is an original and remarkable debut that had me on the edge of my seat for much of the book. Lenzi is a strong female lead that I instantly connected with and wanted to see succeed. I fell in love with Alden immediately. He’s handsome, devoted, confident and never puts his own needs before Lenzi’s. What else do we need in a man? And then there’s Zak. He may not be perfect but his character is built strong enough throughout the book that he’s impossible to forget and perhaps, you’ll fall in love with him a little bit too. He’s not perfect, but they can’t all be, can they?

I thoroughly enjoyed Shattered Souls and am keeping all my extremities crossed that we’ll get a second book to follow-up with. It’s exceptionally well written, fantastically disturbing and head over heels romantic. I simply cannot wait to read more by this extremely talented author!
Profile Image for Brooke.
159 reviews113 followers
September 13, 2011
QUICK REVIEW: eeeep! This book was ah-FREAKIN'-mazing!! I am at a lost of words for that ending! So, so, SO good! Everybody needs to buy this book when it comes out, it's an awesome, awesome story! It's so much more than just a "ghost story" GAH!! i don't know how to explain it, besides SHATTERED SOULS IS FANTASTIC!! <3 <3 <3 oh! and I love Alden... that is all!

FULL REVIEW: The concept of this book was simply incredible and I was mesmerized from page one!

I may be a tad biased because ghost stories are my absolute favorite, but this book was soo much more than that! It had everything; the creeps, action, danger, romance, sadness, and humor. I seriously can’t praise it enough!

I think I may have a tad bit of a girl crush on Lenzi. Fer Realz! She’s so down to earth but like totally unique (umm...how freakin’ cool is it that she does origami!? Yeah, pretty freakin’ cool!) And she’s extremely compassionate and spunky and not afraid to kick a spirit's ass! She’s the perfect gal to be a Speaker!

I was in awe the whole time I was reading about the world of Speakers and Protectors! I don’t know how to explain the concept, but it was seriously mind-blowing! Especially when Lenzi would let another soul speak through her...ZEEP! It was spine tingling! Not knowing exactly what a hindered spirit wanted or needed in order to pass on was creepy and captivating and suspenseful and had me on. freakin’. edge!

And of course, every Speaker needs a Protector, right?! Enter Alden! SQUEEEEE! I am totally and completely in love with him! He’s witty and gorgeous and protective and just *sighs* perfect! Not to mention he can make one hell of a cup of hot chocolate, take away your anxiety with a simple touch, annnnd probably would like to be handcuffed. ---> *swoons* *drools* *dies*

"I feel your soul responding to your emotions. We're linked. It's how I found you. It's how I protect you." ARC Pg 37

He. responds. to. her. soul. GAH! How amazing is that?! Talk about taking “soul mates” to another level! *wistfully stares off into space daydreaming about Alden*

*10 minutes later*

Umm, right back to the review! Another character I really liked was Alden’s comrade, Race! First of all, that name is made of awesome. And second, he was just a good guy, always saying something funny or insightful.

As for Zak, Lenzi’s “boyfriend” I liked him in the beginning but then he kept showing up when I didn’t want him to!! HUMPFF! and ugh! and just...he is no Alden!

AH! Back to Alden and Lenzi! Their banter was so hilariously cute! And the angst! Oh, man the angst! And all the...ehem...sexual tension between them, I was just like, “MAKE THE EFF OUT ALREADY!” They’re pretty much one of the most tantalizing couples I’ve ever read about! No Lie. I LOVE THEM!

I did not want this book to end! But alas it had to, and I was dying of suspense the last 10 pages! I almost had a heart attack, I was freaking out so much! And then some things went down that I was NOT expecting...AT all. And I was in shock!

This is an ABSOLUTE MUST READ. The cover is gorgeous, the story is gorgeous and I hope to goodness there is a sequel! I NEED MORE Alden & Lenzi, I NEED more soul sharing AND I NEED more eerie ghostly encounters. EEEEEP, I love this book, make sure you go buy it in December!
Profile Image for Jessica.
1,160 reviews81 followers
December 16, 2011
Shattered Souls isn't just a book that you read, it's a book that you experience. I'm going to start out with that. Honestly, from page one I was completely hooked into Lenzi's struggle, her world, and everything going on. This is a haunting tale, with so much suspense that it sinks it's teeth into you and carries you along as things develop. What I'm saying is that this is a book that you need to read. It's addictive.

We meet Lenzi, a troubled girl who isn't quite sure what is going on in her life. She keeps hearing voices, seeing visions, and the pills just aren't working. However Lenzi isn't the type to back down. I loved that her character was so deep and realistic. No matter how much fear she feels, she is willing to admit it and move forward anyway. It helps, of course, that she has Zak, her sweet and broken boyfriend, to keep her grounded. I fell in love with him almost instantly, despite his cracked interior. The two of them are really sweet together, until cocky and charming Alden comes along. In fact, the more time Lenzi spends around Alden the tougher things get. Do you sense a love triangle? If you do, you are correct. I'm generally not a huge fan of them but honestly? This one is done perfectly and it's delicious (and addictive) to read!

This is a book that will really keep you on your toes as you read. All the emotions in this book are palpable, and I found it so easy to feel what Lenzi was feeling. The emotional aspect of the writing in this book is done so gorgeously, that it just bleeds off the page and into your heart. Although the basic plot of Shattered Souls is rather simple, Mary Lindsey adds in her own twists that will keep you reading well into the night. There are so many beautifully executed clues peppered into the story. By the time I was halfway through I was completely enamored and engaged with the book. There is something for everyone in here. Wit, twists, anger, a slight creep factor. It's all here.

What killed me (and I loved) at the same time, was the ending. I won't spoil it one bit. This is a story you'll need to experience for yourself. I will say that the climax to this book leaves nothing wanting. Except perhaps that you'll want another book. A wonderfully written debut, Shattered Souls is a book that I would (and will once I get my own copy) read a hundred times over.
Profile Image for Andrea Cremer.
Author 32 books6,623 followers
January 7, 2011
I was thrilled to blurb this amazing debut! It's a wonderful, original read full of romance and suspense.
Profile Image for Trisha Wolfe.
Author 37 books2,373 followers
December 17, 2011
I can say with all honesty that this is one of my favorite books. I did not want to give this book up to the next person on the tour. I wanted to hide it away so I could read it again. And I did reread many scenes, just so I could relive them and sear them into my brain.

First off, Mary Lindsey’s writing is clear, fresh, and descriptive. I lost myself in the words and had to force myself to slow down, as I wanted to take my time, but the writing was so easy to inhale. I was gripped into the story from the first scene of the book. It was haunting and sent chills down my spine. Then Lenzi fast became a friend. I loved her logic, and I connected with her easily. Don’t get me started on the romance. As much as I loved and devoured the plot, the romance is where it’s at. I love the buildup in the relationship, and the tension of Lenzi trying to discover who she was and what Alden means to her. Alden—swoon. More. Now.

I love when I don’t see an ending coming. Though I was all prepared for it to complete the way I saw in my head, and felt that would be a satisfying conclusion, I was reading with my jaw on the floor by the last chapters. I didn’t see it coming at ALL. No spoilers, so you will just have to read and see what I mean. Fantastic read with amazing characters, SHATTERED SOULS was a powerful debut, and one that I’ll be reading again and again.
Profile Image for Stacy.
1,330 reviews63 followers
October 4, 2011
Reviewed by http://urbanfantasyinvestigations.blo...

Engaging, emotional, roller coaster of a debut. Lenzi thinks she is going insane like her father and is trying to hold her self together. She hears voices and sees things that no one else does. Her boyfriend Zak tries to be helpful but is slowly starting to think she is crazy too, then Alden appears and everything is slowly revealed to her and starts making sense.

I loved the plot. The fact that Lenzi and Alden have reincarnated together over and over throughout time was highly enjoyable to read about. Although I loved Lenzi, Alden was my favorite character. I was drawn to him from the moment he showed up in the story. Lenzi has always been everything he ever needed and it shows. The more time they spend together the more we learn about their past and why Lenzi doesn't remember all she is supposed to in this lifetime. There was always something coming out that I would have never guessed and when all was revealed I was still shocked. The gorgeous cover pulled me in and the story kept me reading, I am hooked and excited to read more.
Profile Image for Mimi.
265 reviews359 followers
January 19, 2012
When a book has a cover this gorgeous, you want to buy it and just pray that the story inside is awesome enough to match... and that's exactly the case with Shattered Souls! I loved it!

At first I didn't think I'd really enjoy this book because it starts off like your typical girl-sees-dead-people story. But once Lenzi starts to accept who she is and we get to know all of the amazing side characters, the story picks up quickly and you won't be able to put it down!

I adored Lenzi! She was a realistic, witty, and easy-to-relate-to girl that grew into such a strong and admirable character over the course of the book. And the summary makes it seem like there's an overpowering love triangle but there actually isn't! Zak represents her hurtful past. Sweet, caring, and totally swoon-worthy Alden just makes everything more awesome.

The plot and world were fantastically crafted. As soon as you reach that hook, every single page is engaging and addictive... and by the time you get to the last few chapters, you'll be begging for it not to end yet wanting to know what happens at the same time!

Twisting, original, and intensely heart-pounding, Shattered Souls is a debut that definitely matches up to the beauty of the cover! I recommend it wholeheartedly to people who are looking for a good ghostly reincarnation story, and to anyone who likes YA in general. :)

BUY or BORROW?: Buy for sure! The cover alone is buy-worthy, but having it on your shelf makes it easy to grab when you're craving to read it again. And this book may be a standalone, but I really wish that Mary Lindsey would make it a series! *hint, hint*

(Original review at Mimi Valentine's YA Review Blog)
Profile Image for Aydrea.
1,048 reviews84 followers
October 2, 2011
I absolutely loved this book because it had a new concept I haven't read about before and it captivated me almost right away. Poor Lenzi (awesome name!) has no idea what is going on and frankly neither did I right away and I think that is what pulled me in. There was a lot going on in this book and figuring things out along with Lenzi was awesome. I want to say more, but I don't want to ruin anything so I will just say that I loved everything about this book from the concept, to the plot and the characters. I loved every minute of it because I just never knew what was going to happen next.

Lenzi was an awesome MC, she was easy connect to because she could be you. She is terrified and has no idea what is going on and she is not perfect (she was overall a great MC). Then there is Zak, who I liked at first then turned into a complete jerk! Race was a fun character too, good comedic relief! Alden was definitely a favorite character of mine because he was so adorable. Even though there were times where he frustrated Lenzi (and me) but for good reason. But seriously I loved him. He always put Lenzi first no matter what and their scenes together were awesome (I can't say to much more or it will ruin the book). Ahh I don't even know what else to say!

Overall I absolutely loved this book and I highly recommend it! The book had a fresh, new concept and the whole thing was a roller coaster ride that kept me on the edge of my seat. I really hope there is a sequel because that ending was not what I was expecting and I need more Alden and Lenzi. Plus there is so much more to learn and I love the concept and I want to learn more :)

You should totally pre-order it now!

**Oh and a huge thanks to Brooke from Brooke Reports for letting me borrow the book!
January 3, 2012
4.75 Soul Shattering Stars!

I'm in love with this story! It was creepy and eerie at times, but the story had so many other more elements. It's a story of love, death, finding closure, and second chances.

All our heroine, Lenzi, wants is a normal life. She has a supportive boyfriend in Zak, but that doesn't help her little problem of hearing voices. She's looking for answers that doesn't involve medication or a trip to the psychiatrist. The reason she hears voices is not because she's her schizophrenic father's daughter, nor is it because she is a freak, it is because she is a reincarnated Speaker. As a Speaker, she is able to hear the voices of dead souls and often times, Speakers are used as vessels that can house these souls to communicate. These souls have unfinished business that prevents them from moving on. Speakers can help these souls find the closure. However, not all souls are good, some are Malevolent. Malevolent souls try to take a body and use as their own. To drive these types of souls out, Speakers are teamed up with Protectors. In her previous lives, Lenzi was known as Rose. She was always teamed up with Alden. Alden has known Lenzi/Rose all his life. When Lenzi finally emerges as a Speaker, Alden is there to guide her through. Normally, Speakers and Protectors keep their memories from their previous lives intact. However, Lenzi doesn't remember her life as Rose. Will spending so much time with Alden alter her relationship with Zak? Can Alden train her in time to prevent a Malevolent soul seeking revenge on Rose? What type of relationship with Alden have with Lenzi? Is she anything like his Rose? Will it be a bad thing if she's not? Just read and find out. I'm telling you, this story was amazing and I'm really hoping for a sequel. =)
Profile Image for Rachel.
Author 3 books718 followers
August 23, 2011
What if all of a sudden you started hearing noises inside your head? The sound of static growing louder and more persistent each day, becoming even more distracting. And what if one day those noises turned into voices? Voices pleading for your help. Clamoring to be heard. What would you think?

You’d think you were going crazy. Because there couldn’t possibly be another reason. Anything else would be even more insane.

So, the only conclusion Lenzi could reach was that she was losing her mind. There wasn’t any other answer that made sense. Not when her father heard voices, too. Voices that drove him to end his life as his only means of escape from the torment.

But when she meets Alden and he offers her a different explanation, she’s not so sure that she’s the only one who’s crazy. Because what he suggests is certainly not a part of any reality she’s ever known.

Reincarnation? Past lives? Speakers and Protectors who help ensure that lost souls find their way? And that she is supposedly a Speaker and Alden is her Protector and has been for many lifetimes? None of this could be anything more than some deluded fantasy. It has to be. And he must be even more insane than she is.

Besides, how could she even think of believing him when she can’t remember anything? And if they’ve had lifetimes together, as he suggests, why doesn’t she remember him?

With only these two options before her – admit that she’s crazy and live a life filled with hospitals and doctors and medication or accept what Alden is telling her and spend her days resolving unfinished business for Earth-bound spirits – Lenzi is not thrilled with either choice. But she knows how things ended for her father. And Alden is sort of gorgeous….

Maybe being a Speaker wouldn’t be so bad after all.


Shattered Souls is an incredibly imaginative and refreshingly original debut novel from author Mary Lindsey. The story and characters are exciting and surprising and just brilliantly written.

The story gets right to the point and brings the reader immediately in. There is no long wind-up and no immediate mystery. Readers are thrust into Lenzi Anderson’s life just as the trouble for her begins. She starts hearing voices and is afraid that she is suffering from the same ailment that took her father from her less than a year ago.

Her boyfriend Zak is initially understanding and supportive, until she meets Alden who suggests that what she’s going through is not the same as what happened to her dad. Alden tells her that her name is Rose and that she has been reincarnated in order to help the Hindered – souls with unresolved issues that remain Earth-bound.

Alden claims that the two of them are connected and that they have been reincarnated again and again to serve this purpose – she as a Speaker and he as her Protector. As Lenzi struggles with this newfound information, Zak fights to keep her by his side.

But even though she doesn’t remember her past lives, her feelings begin to grow for Alden, taking her further and further away from the life she’s known and the boy she thought she loved.

Shattered Souls is an all-consuming and truly unputdownable book. Even though this story has a paranormal focus there is such a realness to it that comes from the characters. They are genuine and their actions, reactions and responses are very believable.

Mary Lindsey has done such a remarkable job in crafting her world and each of her characters. And because the world centers around the main character, Lenzi, it allows readers to engage with her in a much more personal way, letting them really get to know who she is as the story progresses.

Shattered Souls has everything that readers of this genre will enjoy – a slightly less than perfect heroine with a wickedly sarcastic sense of humor, who develops her strength and courage over the course of the book; a gorgeous, strong and fiercely loyal hero; an immensely flawed and incredibly jealous boyfriend; and a gripping paranormal storyline involving a past shrouded in mystery, a ticking clock, and a malevolent spirit seeking vengeance.

This story is not only a must read, but a must re-read.

(On the blog I gave this my 6 star rating)

On a personal note:

When I first heard of this debut book I fell in love with the title. When the cover was revealed I fell in love all over again. But much, much harder. When I actually got a copy and had a chance to read it, which I did long before release date, I fell so completely in love that it became one of those “forever” books.

I loved this book from first word to last, from cover to cover, and every single thing in between. This is another one of those books that I have an instant connection with. I connected with the story and the main character. And my connection wasn’t simply to the love story – which I did love – I was connected to the entire story, and to Lenzi.

This book felt like a totally new and different story. One that I hadn’t read before. One that was fresh and exciting. And it felt really real.

Lenzi is just so awesome. There was no immediate acceptance of her abilities. She didn’t just nod her head and follow blindly along when Alden came around and told her what she was. She fought it. She held on to her disbelief. She continued to mistrust until she just had to believe.

She didn’t fall in love at first site with him and ditch her boyfriend. There was definitely an attraction, and something more, but she fought that, too. The timing on everything just felt right.

Lenzi wasn’t the perfect heroine. She was relatable. She was real. She wasn’t the world’s best girlfriend, she didn’t keep her room spotless, and she didn’t always make the best decisions. These and so many of her other characteristics actually made her even more likable. And as the book went on she grew stronger and braver and learned to believe in herself.

And she was funny. Oh was she funny. Practically every single note I took was because of some quirky way that Lenzi thought of something. This story, told from her point of view, was just so perfect. I kept putting down the book after reading something that Lenzi said or did, so I could just say out loud how much I loved this book. To anyone listening. Or to a completely empty room. It just had to be said – audience or none.

I really hope that this is a series. I really, really do. I am not ready to say goodbye to Lenzi and to Alden. And even though there is no cliffhanger, that last line hints at something seriously awesome to come, so I am hoping there will be more. Much, much more. Those few loose ends could become the start of at least two more books. Books that I would definitely read. No question. I’m a fan for life of this author.

I want to talk more about the story, but I don’t think I can without seriously giving away spoilers about Lenzi and Alden. I will just say that the Goodreads description doesn’t do justice to this amazing book as it only hints at its awesomeness.

Just one of my favorite Lenzi passages:

He was waiting for me to say good-bye, looking as nervous as I felt. Should I shake his hand or kiss him good night on the cheek? Maybe I should act like Spook and just lick his face.
Profile Image for Gretchen Hohmeyer.
Author 2 books117 followers
February 27, 2012

Recently, I picked up a copy of a book called Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey. I was really excited about it, not going to lie. The premise seemed awesome, and the beginning of the book really just came right at you without any preamble. I really, really wanted to like this book, I did–I bought the hardcover over two other books I really wanted to pick up. Let’s just say it turned into $18 wasted.

Shattered Souls has a cool premise, but it’s basically on the back burner as the main character, Lenzi, struggles over feelings for two boys: her boyfriend Zak and her Protector for a thousand years, Alden. I guess Lindsey was going for that YA cliché love triangle in which the readers see too hot specimens of male knights in shining armor and begin to argue about which one Lenzi should be with.

The answer is NEITHER ONE.

I could not finish this book for this very purpose. I could not read page after page of Lenzi agonizing over her conflicting feelings for two boys who were the two most awful specimens of everything wrong with the male population I had ever read about. Zak, well, he’s an angry drunk, to say the least. In the very BEGINNING of the book, he gets drunk, tries to get it on with Lenzi OVER HER FATHER’S GRAVE, ABANDONS her in a CEMETARY in a BAD PART OF TOWN–all of this taking place ON HER BIRTHDAY. The rest of the book gets progressively worse, if you can believe it.

Alden? Well, besides being a creepy stalker who won’t go away even though Lenzi orders him to SEVERAL TIMES, is just…awful. Just try this quote on for size:

He fidgeted and then ran his hands through his hair. “Okay. Your fear is a turn-on. Protectors are stimulated when their Speakers are afraid. It’s what makes it possible to put you in harm’s way. Otherwise, our instinct to protect you would trump everything and we’d never allow you to do your job…”
Well, that certainly wasn’t what I expected. “Get out! You’re turned on by fear?”
“And by pain to some extent.” He winked and pulled his hand away.


But the worst thing? Lenzi is perfectly okay with this. When she is not being lazy or whining or otherwise annoyingly passive, she is STILL DEBATING which guy is hotter and twisting herself around in ways that are NOT good for her just because her entire existence seems to revolve around one of these hot guys accepting her. She seems like she’s in such a constant state of self loathing that she doesn’t believe she is worthy of HEALTHY love.

And that would have been okay, if it were ever addressed. If it were ever mentioned. If there was ever a speck of feeling throughout the book that THAT IS NOT RIGHT. BUT THERE WASN’T. Instead, the entire book seems to be telling its readers that if your boyfriend is an alcoholic, abusive, dysfunctional, sociopathic and sadistic, well, that’s okay.


I’m fully aware that these kinds of relationships happen in real life; that they are a fact that real women struggle with every day. That isn’t right either, of course, but I’m not being harsh to those women. I’m angry at YA literature that tells young girls that kind of relationship is okay when it really, really isn’t. Being a teen is hard enough. For a lot of us, books are supposed to be an escape. We see strong characters and we try to be like them. But if these books–if our little havens–are telling us that these kinds of relationships are okay, what are we supposed to think? Well I’m just going to take a stand right here.


Quite frankly, no matter your age or gender or anything at all, we all deserve happiness and real love. We are all stronger than we think. But when YA books write about relationships and even teen girls in this manner, it almost takes a little bit of that strength away. It makes it seem like somewhere, there is this group of adults–from the writer to the agent to the publisher and everywhere in between–that is telling us that these kind of relationships are okay and even normal when they REALLY ARE NOT. I’m picking on Shattered Souls right now because it was the book I was just reading, but it’s hardly the only book like it. I’m sure you guys can give me at least one example of the book you’ve read that made it seem like some kind of teen behavior–whether it be related to relationships or not–was treated without the care and respect that it deserves, and made out to be okay when it wasn’t. Dear Writers, Agents and Publishers of Teen Literature:


Believe it or not, this post is a lot calmer than I originally planned it to be. Shattered Souls made–and still makes–me legitimately angry. Let me just say, one more time, a few words for the teens reading these types of books:

Abusive boys are NOT OKAY.

Sadistic boys are NOT OKAY.

Drunk boys are NOT OKAY.

Stalker boys are NOT OKAY.

Sociopathic boys are NOT OKAY.

And you know what?

NO GIRL is dependent on a guy.

NO GIRL needs to have her self-worth determined by a guy.

NO GIRL is weak.

We are all talented, beautiful, smart and strong. Just like you don’t listen to any haters, don’t listen to these books. Make your own choices. Let’s all show these writers, agents and publishers that these kinds of messages in writing are NOT OKAY.

(You can comment on this post at www.adkwriter15.wordpress.com)
Profile Image for oliviasbooks.
772 reviews512 followers
September 27, 2013
The short version:
A bit draggy and boring during the first half, but quite captivating, when the action and the romance started to run warm.

The long version:
Lenzi Rose had a schizophrenic father, whose condition unraveled her mom, thus Lenzi does not dare to confide in her that she is hearing voices trying to enlist her ""help"" (like Isobel in Unraveling Isobel). Instead she talks to the only person still by her side after her father took his life (do people let their friends drop because of mentally ill perents? Well.), her boyfriend Zac, who had a difficult and neglected childhood himself and is now on the verge of becoming an alcoholic. Zac persuades Lenzi to medicate herself with her mother's presciption Xanax, which reduces the voices to static buzz.

On the eve of Lenzi's seventeenth birthday, which she decides to spend visiting her father's grave, Zac passes out on the graveyard and misses the moment, when Lenzi instant-attracts with Alden Thomas, a boy who insists on knowing Linzi from uncountable former lives, on being able to teach her how to deal with the voices, shortly on being the protector-half of their ghost-busting/ghost-helping team. Although Alden is self-confident and not shy with physical contact, knows - opposed to her - exactly what to do and is capable of a lot of marvelous tricks, he is by the rules of their profession the inferior one who has to obey and to follow, which - along with his infatuation - reminded me a lot of the peculiar relationship between the hero and the heroine in Angelfire. Another thing those two books have in common is the long introduction of the lore and the fighting methods and tasks that go with it cut into two or three heavy chunks to be swallowed by the reader ... pardon by the reincarnated and clueless heroine. Although the heroine lusts after her protector in between and starts to lay the foundation for the formula-completing love-triangle, I contemplated giving up during that part of the plot, because I was bored.

There were some flashbacks to the nineteenth and eighteenth century and the fact that the whole help-good-ghosts-pass-over and excorcise-and-banish-gone-bad-ghosts business was organised by a secret institution with contacts in high administrative places, which reminded me repeately fleetingly of The Eternal Ones, although I have to say I liked Shattered Souls definitely better than all the three books mentioned until now.

What Shattered Souls does not compare to is the Mediator series (Shadowland etc.) by Meg Cabot. Although Alden was cute and hot and loyal, he is no Jesse and - though hundred times more likable and kind than Angelfire's Ellie - Lenzi with her occasional whininess, her undecisiveness and her general bluriness, as definable character traits are concerned, would never hold up against Suze on the latter's worst day.

That impression might also derive from the fact, that the real action (and that got me finally hooked) in this first volume of a series or trilogy starts pretty late in comparison. The plot rather focusses on the - certainly forbidden - romance (including business-wise absolutely necessary, but secret sleep-overs of the boy in the girl's room) and the pressure put on the paranormal couple by their own unwaveringly strict kind: Alden reluctantly reveals to Linzi, who is still coming to terms with her fate, that they have to fulfill a weekly ghost-busting quota ... or else. This reminded me a bit of Jehova's Witnesses' duties ... and not really in a good way. But the ending hinted at the possibility that Linzi seems to have some inner-institution ass kicking in mind for the volumes to come. If I might be persuaded to read one of those is still undecided.

I don't believe Shattered Souls offers anything really special besides the ultra-gorgeous cover, but I would not label reading it a waste of time either. Young adult paranormal romance lovers, go ahead and read it. I've really read worse.<
216 reviews47 followers
March 4, 2011
Creepy and engaging from the start, Shattered Souls twists ghosts with the heaven and hell concept in an original and well executed manner. With a strong protagonist, action and build up early on, and an explosive climax, this one definitely pulls the reader in from the start and doesn’t let go. Add in the gorgeous writing and blend of easy banter and intense situations, and this is a stellar debut and an author to take note of.

Lenzi is a very dimensional, well rounded character, whose personality comes through early on. She is brave and determined, and despite the fear she often feels, always finds the strength to face it head on. Zak, her boyfriend, is charming and likable early on, and though he brings plenty of tension to the table as the story progresses, he very clearly cares for her deeply. There are some sweet moments between the pair, and some heartbreaking and intense ones as well. He pulls out both the best and the worst in Lenzi, and though he doesn’t have a constant presence within the story, he is built strongly enough early on to remain memorable throughout. Alden is completely swoonworthy, charming, cocky and relaxed while also having his moments of insecurity and awkwardness. His relationship with Lenzi is built and developed in a very steady and understanding manner, having both an immediate intensity and a slow yearning.

Lindsey’s mythology and explanation take common concepts and twist them into something all her own, and she does it fantastically. The basic idea is simple, but her execution is phenomenal. From the physical effects of what Lenzi is and what happens to the overall reasons it events exists, Lindsey explains everything by the end of the book. Little clues are smattered throughout, also, that an astute reader will pick up on, while other things come completely unexpectedly. The writing is gorgeous, having a very bold fluidity that gives both a solid voice to Lenzi while also bringing out both the physical settings and the emotional ones. Lindsey has made intangible things like fear and pain realistic and something any reader will understand. Add in the romance and building sexual tension, and she has nailed this one with the emotional side of writing in a way that comes off as completely easy and effortless.

This is a book that will make the reader think, and that has taken some simple concepts and twisted them into something completely unique. The characters are fantastic, having a small cast but all of whom are bold, well developed, and memorable. While some parts could be considered slow, Lindsey has inserted wit and humor to combat it. With a great word economy, and stunning writing that is to the point without being elementary, and an extended and explosive climax, Shattered Souls is a brilliant and bold debut.
Profile Image for Ferdy.
944 reviews1,098 followers
January 3, 2012
1.5 stars

Shattered Souls is a typical YA paranormal book.. it has the whiny TSTL 'heroine' desperate to be loved by the mysterious, beautiful 'hero' who rejects her time and time again.
Lenzi sees ghost and is terrified that she's inherited her dead dad's schizophrenia.. as expected she's a self pitying, boring, righteous mess who thinks no one has suffered as much as her. She has a boyfriend who is devoted to her but he of course is forgotten about when our hero mysteriously shows up being oh so mysterious.
Mysterious Alden insists Lenzi isn't crazy and that instead she has a calling to help ghosts cross over. Lenzi discovers that she is a Speaker and that Alden is her Protector, she also learns that she has had many past lives as a speaker with Alden as her protector.. this **rolls eyes** explains her insta-love and connection to Alden.
Alden being the oh so mysterious hero that he is keeps things from Lenzi about her past, her job as a speaker and an evil ghost who is hell bent on destroying Lenzi.. he has a poor excuse for keeping vital, potentially life saving information from her in that he didn't want to overwhelm poor little Lenzi.. it's ridiculously contrived to add further 'tension' to the story and to make Alden appear all broody and mysterious.. it fails on both counts because it just gets frustrating and makes Alden seem like a grade A idoit.
Of course Lenzi is not your ordinary Speaker.. she's the most specialest , most powerfulest Speaker that ever was.. groan why couldn't she have been the weakest and most ordinary just to mix things up a little.
Anyway Alden and Lenzi help some ghosts to cross over, Lenzi becomes the bestest speaker overnight, Lenzi wants Alden, Alden says no, Lenzi treats her boyfriend like crap and then gets confused when he gets angry at her, Lenzi wants Alden, Alden says no, big bad ghost tries to kill Lenzi, Lenzi whines, Lenzi wants Alden, Alden says no, even though Lenzi is TSTL she does what no other Speaker could do for over a century and ghostbusts the big bad ghost, Lenzi wants Alden, Alden says no, then Alden says yea, Lenzi lives HEA.. until the sequel anyway.
Profile Image for Britta.
322 reviews54 followers
September 20, 2011
This book blew me away. The gorgeous cover and intriguing plot description had me expecting alot - it met every one of those expectations, exceeding most.

After Lenzi's father goes crazy and kills himself, Lenzi is scared that she may be following in his footsteps since she is now hearing creepy voices, noises and having visions. Then she meets the mysterious Alden who tells Lenzi that she is the reincarnated soul of Rose, an amazing Speaker who's job is to help troubled souls with unfinished business. Lenzi is thrown into a extreamly difficult position. A small part of her is relieved she's not crazy and is happy to have this new purpose... but with this new job comes a lot of danger and the incredible task of filling the shoes of Rose, a supposed part of herself that she has no memory of. She's also not too happy about having to willingly share her body with another soul - especially those who try to force their way in, trying desperately to shove Lenzi out. This great debut mixes romance with purpose and free-will with fate.

Although this book holds some resemblance to Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton and the recent horror movie Insidious, it definitely holds its own. I flew through this book, almost completely in one sitting. The plot is interesting and engaging and moves at a great pace. This book was very action packed, but it also had romance, mystery, slight creepiness, and a ton of suspense. What I loved most about it is that in the end everything is wrapped up. Although I'd love for there to be a sequel, I'd be content if this is a stand-alone.

I don't want to give anything away, so I'm sorry that I'm being kind of vague. Just trust me, if you like darker or paranormal YA, pick this one up when it comes out in December!
Profile Image for MOVED - CHECK BIO.
96 reviews164 followers
January 9, 2012
I really liked this book. It was one of the best I've read,....EVER!!!

Lenzi..or Rose, thought she was going crazy. Then Alden showed up and she got pissed.
Zak is supposed to be Lenzi's boyfriend, but he ain't a good one.

The character's personalities keep the same through out the book. Lenzi is sarcastic, smart, funny, and gets pissed. Alden disobeys, obeys, and is unpredictable. Zak is whack. He gets drunk, gets jealous, and......ick, can't tell anymore.

I would compare this to Shatter Me. THIS WAS BETTER THAN THAT BY 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 X 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000! The girls on both books had boy trouble, trouble trouble, and had to face something bigger than them. Shattered Souls was better, read it and you'll see.

It takes place in a small town, and had a good ending. I think it will be a series, because it is a cliff-hanger.

Read this and I'll talk more. I don't want to spoil it, so read it!!!
Profile Image for Bri Martinez.
244 reviews46 followers
December 15, 2011
Lenzi’s father committed suicide after he could no longer deal with the voices in his head. But now Lenzi has started hearing them, too, and she is sure she is on a path to self-destruction if she cannot keep them out of her head. Her boyfriend, Zak, tries to help where he can, but it is never enough. Then a mysterious boy named Alden appears, and he says that he is a Protector, someone who watches over a Speaker, a Ghost Whisperer who is supposed to help the dead move on. He says Lenzi is his Speaker and he can help her control the voices. She is all for that, but even with her attraction to Alden, he seems a little crazy himself. And now a malevolent spirit out for revenge is back, and Lenzi is standing right in his path. Looks like it’s time for her to make a decision.

I enjoyed this book A LOT. At first, I was kind of confused as to the roles of the Protector and Speaker and their abilities, but things became clear pretty quickly. The premise of the story is actually really interesting, and while the idea of a ghost occupying and possessing a person’s body is not new (same with the Ghost Whisperer aspect), Lindsey gives a nice little twist to the story to make it super original and really enthralling. I also really liked Lindsey’s writing. She really has a way with words that clearly gets feelings across, and her descriptions are eloquent in a way that makes readers feel like they are in Texas themselves.

I really liked Lenzi. I think what I liked about her the most was how down to Earth she was. She is known as one of the most powerful Speakers ever, yet there are still moments when she is scared and has no idea what to do. She listens to the advice others give her and she is pretty smart. She is definitely one of the better female leads in YA literature. And I LOVED Alden. Why is it I always fall for YA boys? I do not know, but Alden was AWESOME. He was willing to put Lenzi first and he just seemed to really care about her, which I loved. He almost never thinks of just himself, he is always there for her, he listens to her, and the list just goes on and on. Alden is the perfect man. I will end it there. I also liked Zak. There were moments in the book where the reader is not supposed to like him, but I could not help feeling for him. He is a troubled soul who has been abandoned by his parents and had a rough upbringing, and now the girl he loves is pulling away from him. He makes some bad decisions, but he just wants to save the relationship with his girlfriend. I do not know how other people feel about him, but I did not hate him at all. He may not be perfect like Alden is, but what real man ever is?

This was an amazing debut by Mary Lindsey. If you have not read this book yet, I would definitely add it to your to-read list. You do not want to miss out on it! Everything about this book is beautiful. AND THE COVER. I do not know what it is about this cover, but I am obsessed with it. It is GORGEOUS. There has been no mention of a sequel, but if there is one, I am going to be all over it. However, Lindsey will be releasing another book, Annabel, sometime in 2013. It is going to be a retelling of the original Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe. I am looking forward to reading anything else this talented author releases (and please let there be a SS sequel!).
Profile Image for Reading Vacation.
524 reviews105 followers
March 21, 2011
In a word, Shattered Souls is breathtaking. Mary Lindsey’s superb writing and an engaging plot put Shattered Souls high up on my list of 2011 favorites. Simply breathtaking.

Lenzi is a complex character. While she is here in the present, she also has a centuries long past as a Speaker. This means that Lenzi has conversations with lost souls who are trying to move on after death. Shockingly, Lenzi has no recollection of her past and the many times she has been reincarnated. Oh how I loved the explanation for her memory lapse.

Lenzi has a boyfriend named Zak. He’s a sweet musician who grows increasingly jealous of Alden, the new boy in Lenzi’s life. I take that back, Alden is not new to Lenzi. He is Lenzi’s protector, so he has actually been with her for a great many years. However, since Lezni has no memory, it is as though they have just met. This romantic triangle has sparks and tension to spare.

There is an evil spirit bent on destroying Lezni. This spirit has a wicked past and a seemingly good reason for being upset. This part of the story is creepy and just the right amount of scary.

The story takes place in Galveston, where something tragic happened during the hurricane of 1900. Little facts about the hurricane and the seawall that still stands today are dropped throughout the story. Living in Texas, I like that some of my state’s history plays a part in the setting.

Mary Lindsey’s debut novel captured me and took my breath away. This review comes early, but the book is very much worth the wait.


5 Loved


Wow! Lenzi’s dress is shattered into many pieces that look like petals or leaves. Even the title is shattered. It is a simple concept, but done in such a unique way.
Profile Image for Rach.
198 reviews204 followers
July 28, 2013
An amazing book I loved it. I just heard there is a book two so even better. Although I cannot believe I have to wait till 2014 to read it :(
Profile Image for Kitten Blue.
688 reviews367 followers
May 7, 2012
What a load of absolute crap. I don't feel like writing a proper review. Behold - quotage!

"The other students talked about me, but not to me, which was probably my fault. I'd made no attempt to even be friendly.


Ignoring other students' curious stares, I left everything in my locker, including my backpack. I wasn't going to do homework anyway, so why bother?"

Way to be enthusiastic about life, Lenzi. She obviously has no desire to make friends or pass the school year, but ... why? I just finished Shattered Souls and I honestly can't say that the above attitude is explained at all, or even has anything to do with the story.

"Before I made it outside, Zak texted telling me he'd had a great time last night. I replied that I'd had a blast and couldn't wait to see him again. Grinning, I slipped my phone back under my jacket into my purse before braving the carpool line."

And she doesn't see him again before deciding that things are not actually working out between them. Uh ... say, what?

"He fidgeted and then ran his hands through his hair. 'Okay. Your fear is a turn-on. Protectors are stimulated when their Speakers are afraid. It's what makes it possible to put you in harm's way. Otherwise, our instinct to protect would trump everything and we'd never allow you to do your job, which is to put yourself in danger in order to resolve the issues that keep the Hindered Earth-bound.'

Well, that certainly wasn't what I expected. 'Get out! You're turned on by fear?'

'And pain to some extent.' He winked and pulled his hand away.

I turned on the sofa to face him. 'That's totally sick. Whose pain?'


I cried out as the Hindered entered my body. I hadn't thought about the pain involved, or I'd have braced myself for it. Fortunately, it only lasted a second. A jolt from Alden jumped up my arm. Well, that answered my question - my pain. Fantastic."

WTF is this convoluted and highly disturbing shit?! So, since this seventeen-year-old girl can't remember the myriad past lives she's lived (don't get me started on THAT), she's basically your average seventeen-year-old girl, complete with no friends [see above] ... and she's FORCED to hang out with a creepy guy who's been around since the dinosaurs, or whatever, and who gets TURNED ON by her fear and by the pain he keeps FORCING her to put herself in ... WHAT THE FRIDGE TART?! And he's like this because he won't be able to put her in danger if he's not turned on by it. I repeat, WTF?! Mary Lindsey, what the hell were you SMOKING THINKING?! Oh, sorry, I forgot that IT'S OKAY because HE'S HOT. FYI - I'm one of *those* people who actually like Patch Cipriano, so - you know - I can separate what's okay in fiction from what's BATSHIT CRAZY in reality, but this Alden dude SKEEVES ME THE FUCK OUT!!

You don't even want to know about the other guy, Zak. Sheesh.

Oh, I forgot to mention the nasty sexual innuendos running rampant. Or the bizarro master-slave business, or whatever the heck, between the Speakers and their Protectors. Very, very unsettling stuff. Apparently the Speaker [Lenzi, in this case] decides everything, including what the relationship between herself and her Protector [Alden the Dinosaur, in this case] is going to be. The Protector is just ... subject to the whims of the Speaker ... for eternity. o_O This plot is all very wish-fulfilment, if you ask me.

"'Thanks, now get out. I'm feeling claustrophobic. One soul in here is enough.'

As you wish, my master, he joked. You'd better go touch me, though, unless you're starting to like pain.

I huddled on the sofa next to his lifeless body and wrapped my arms around him. 'Get out, my oppressed minion. ... Be gentle.'

He exited with little pain.

'Hello, friend,' he said."

Exchanges like the one above do not make me laugh; they make me feel sick and leave me with a bad fucking taste in my mouth. This shit is not okay.

"I didn't know what to do. I had a boyfriend. A great boyfriend, but something in me needed Alden."

I hate to be the one to break this to you, Lenzi, but you're a bitch.

"Zak's message was hostile. He accused me of, well, doing exactly what I was doing: hanging out with Alden and lying to him about it. I didn't respond other than to turn the volume off on my phone."

This exchange between Lenzi and Zak takes place sometime after their wonderful date [see above] and before the part where ; NOTHING has happened since they were last together to justify her treating him like absolute shit. Lenzi, YOU'RE A FUCKING BITCH!!

"'Please, Lenzi, just wait for a moment and collect your thoughts. We're both too agitated to talk rationally. We need time to reflect.'"

LMFAO. Douche.

"He must have climbed in through my window during the night."

Standard stalker protocol. Of course he did.

"'When did you get here?'

'I've been here all night.'"

Also standard stalker protocol. Of course he has.

"'What did they say?' I buried my face in his shirt, trying to get closer to him.

'They told me to get my affairs in order.'"


P.S. o_o

"When I gave him the news, he whooped so loud, hotel patrons stared."

Is this book written by a ten-year-old kid?! What normal person would react in this way after finding out ?!

What else do I hate?! (1) the boring info-dumpage (2) the even more boring scenes from past lives (3) the stupid reasons why Alden and Lenzi can't hook up, which I still don't understand (4) Rose (5) the dumbass system with the points and shit (6) the fact that - for the most part - anything interesting that happens is summarized in a few short sentences (7) the hodgepodge excuse for a plot (8) the random bad guy whatnot (9) basically, everything

A load of absolute crap. My brain has been defiled. End of.
Profile Image for Lucy.
241 reviews149 followers
August 14, 2011
Shattered Souls is an addictive read that captivated me from beginning to end with its haunting story and intriguing characters. This fast-paced and well-crafted paranormal romance is one of my favorite paranormal books of the year.

Lenzi has been hearing voices and seeing visions, which are interfering with her life and making her wonder if she’s inherited her father’s schizophrenia. Her rocker boyfriend, Zak, tries to understand but he’s battling some issues of his own. She suddenly meets Alden, someone who seems to know what the voices mean. He tells her that she is a Speaker; someone who can hear and speak to lost souls and helps them move on. Not only that, she is a reincarnated Speaker who has performed this role over many lifetimes. Alden knows about this because he has been her Protector for centuries. But something is different this cycle and Lenzi must decide if she wants to continue on in her destined role or break free.

Lenzi has no recollection of her past lives and history with Alden and in fact she is jealous of the person that Alden describes. Lenzi has a lot to deal with in her life, both personally and with her new unexpected role, but her personality makes it easy to root for her success.

Alden is a complex character, very protective and brave, and I enjoyed finding more about his and Lenzi’s past lives. Since they have such a long history together, though Lenzi can’t remember it, it makes sense that they would be drawn to each other rather quickly. By contrast, Zak seems like his heart is in the right place but does not have Alden’s cool and confident demeanor.

The story’s pacing is well balanced and the action, romance, and surprises kept my attention throughout. The malevolent ghosts that pop up in the story added some scares and encouraged me to read during the daylight hours. Combined with the rescuing of lost souls, the reincarnation mystery and romance kept me turning pages. This book seems to be a standalone, and the story does tie up loose ends while leaving me craving a sequel. Shattered Souls should appeal to fans of YA paranormal romance books such as Unearthly.
Profile Image for hayden.
1,063 reviews732 followers
July 26, 2014
More reviews at http://www.bookworm-teen.blogspot.com/ !

Title: Shattered Souls
Author: Mary Lindsey
Format: Hardcover ($17.99 US)
Relationship Status: married to Hayden Casey

(According to this picture, we are now legally married. See the ring on top of it?)

Mary Lindsey, let me just tell you right now: I LOVED YOUR BOOK WITH THE PASSION OF A MILLION BURNING SUNS. In fact, I got off the airplane two hours later with a snot-covered face due to the burning romance I felt inside. Some YA books are like "they're in love" and you're supposed to believe it. That is not the case this time around, ladies and gents. The romance in Shattered Souls is totally believable, you know, just like the Internet. (I kid, I kid.) There's actually foundation for it, which sets Shattered Souls miles above the rest of the YA Lit Marathon we're all hopelessly engaged in lately.

I'm hesitant to admit that in the beginning of the book, I didn't believe it. Lenzi was in the bathroom, breaking down, hearing voices. Oh, Allah, please not this again. How many times has the hearing-voices plot line been terribly regurgitated? Once I'd cleared that scene, I lowered my expectations. I was going to get the best possible reading experience from this book. I spent my dang Christmas money on it, for one, and I wasn't about to grind $17.99 up in the garbage disposal. The good news is that even if I would've raised my expectations up to as high as I could reach, my mind still would've been blown. See, Shattered Souls unfolds naturally. It's not forced, it's not, for lack of a better word, unnatural, what Lenzi is experiencing. You can tell it's what Lenzi wants. It's not what Mary Lindsey wants Lenzi to want. This is the most emotional book I've read in a while, and that, folks, is the reason I exited the airplane a blubbering mess, not caring about what kinds of looks I was getting from flight attendants and fellow passengers alike.

You see, from the moment I glimpsed at the cover, I knew this book was going to be great. Philomel, I applaud your design team -- they really knocked this one out of the park.

During the reading process itself, I constantly found myself switching sides as far as who Lenzi was with. From the beginning, she's with Zak, and during her scenes with him, I just fell apart. Then she spent time with Alden, and I fell for him, too. Each time she spent time with the Zak, I convinced myself Alden was not the right guy for her, and the other way around. Shattered Souls tore me apart emotionally. The love triangle wasn't made up of one guy who she totally should've been with and one guy who was just there to advance the plot. I commend Mary for constructing the foundation so well. The novel wouldn't have been as heartbreaking and fantastic had the triangle not have fit the description of said adjectives.

The car scene toward the end is when I started blubbering like an emotional fool. From then on, I just lost it. I couldn't even stand the thought of Alden's and Lenzi's romance being torn apart. The ending was magnificent, and I'm completely satisfied. I'm glad it's not a series, because it ended perfectly where it was and I couldn't have been happier with it. (I just found out it will be a series.)
Mary Lindsey is now on my must-buy list.

Five Owls
Profile Image for Kelsey.
466 reviews11 followers
July 2, 2011
Shattered Souls has been on my watch list for months, ever since I first read the summary. Luckily, with spellbinding romance, a clever premise, and unique characters this breathtaking debut completely lived up to my expectations.

Lenzi was a character I liked right away. She was so real and someone I was rooting for from the start. Her personality shines throughout the novel and she was incredibly well developed. Lenzi stayed true to herself even in the roughest of times and never let anyone stop her from doing what she felt was right. There are so many YA heroines that I would want to be friends with in real life and Lenzi is one of them. Unfortunately for Lenzi she doesn't have many friends, except for her boyfriend Zak. Zak was a constant in her life who only wanted the best for her and although he didn't always shine, you could tell his feelings for Lenzi were true. Zak was an intense character and he added a unique side to the story. But Zak isn't the only guy in Lenzi's life.

When Alden enters the scene, Lenzi's life is forever changed. He informs her that the voices she hears and the visions she sees aren't signs of schizophrenia. In fact, Lenzi is actually a reincarnated Speaker and Alden has been her Protector for centuries. Lenzi learns she can communicate with and assist lost souls and help them achieve peace to move to the other side. Alden was a sizzling and sweet guy who was there for Lenzi when she most needed him. His antics were endearing and he was very complex. Without him Lenzi would never have figured out the truth behind her powers.

Mary Lindsey truly made Shattered Souls her own and the execution of the story was amazing. All the plot twists and blistering action kept me turning the pages; anxious to see what the outcome would be. The premise was really well done and the explanations were all believable and intriguing. While reincarnation has been done many times before, Lindsey put a twist on the idea and I loved reading about Lenzi and Alden's histories together. The writing was also excellent and made the book that much harder to put down. There was a lot of build up to the ending, which did not disappoint. It was startling and engaging, and kept me on the edge of my seat to the final word.

This was an overall fantastic debut that combined so many things that I love in a story- romance, action, mystery, and a kick-butt protagonist. I definitely recommend checking this out in December, it is paranormal at its best and I can only hope a sequel is in the works!

Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Isamlq.
1,578 reviews710 followers
December 16, 2011
The Good

The whole protector-speaker thing. They’re basically exorcists. Even if the way Alden explained the in’s and out’s of what they were and what they did come off as a little clumsy to suit my taste, I did enjoy the novelty of it all. She talks to dead people and he protects her. Throw in some reincarnation and then some amnesia, and I thought the whole thing as not bad.

The So-so

Rose thinks she’s schizophrenic. (I think I’d have liked her more if she were.) When compared to her previous versions, Lenzi is so very different from Rose. Where Rose (as told from Alden’s POV) was sure, confident and directed, Lenzi is not any of those things. But who could blame her? Learning what she was and what she could do was done slowly through no fault of her own. Alden was simply too closed off and very careful not to break any rules. The last begs the question of ‘why?’ Why was he so careful? What was there to hide? When we learn of heartbreak and of arrangements and of rules, all things that lead his to behave the way he does, things do make sense.

And then... No, just no.

Lenzi read weak and selfish to me, her not knowing her past in no way excused how she behaved around the boys. And speak of the boys. Oh, the choice she had to make: weighing between a hot head, enabler, possibly alcoholic pill pusher versus Ghost boy, who pretends not to be controlling but was in fact very controlling. Really, how was a girl to decide? Liking her was made more difficult by the fact that she lied and avoided the truth with regards to her 'relationships' as often as she could. Should it be enough that she admitted these faults to herself? Ugh, nope. There’s a world of difference between knowing that you're doing something wrong and then not doing that wrong thing to begin with.

Profile Image for Kathy.
2,741 reviews5,978 followers
September 6, 2011
Fabulous debut!

There is already a lot of hype about this book and its release date is still 3 months away. In my opinion it is well deserved hype. Shattered Souls is an original, engaging book that is sure to be a hit with those who enjoy young adult paranormal fiction. I was hooked right from the start and loved the characters and storyline. This book stands alone but I would love a sequel.

There is an overwhelming number of books in this genre being released and it is impossible to read them all. Shattered Souls is one you don't want to miss.

4.5 Stars

Content: a little language & innuendo
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