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Shrapnel

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It’s been six years since Dylanie and her family visited a Civil War site and the place came alive with cannon fire. Problem was, no one could hear it but her.

Now she’s sixteen, her dad’s moved out, her mom’s come out of the closet and Dylan’s got a spot on Paranormal Teen, a reality TV show filming at historic Oakleigh Mansion. She’ll spend a weekend with two other psychic teens—Jake and Ashley—learning how to control her abilities.

None of them realized how much their emotional baggage would put them at the mercy of Oakleigh’s resident spirits, or that they’d find themselves pawns in the 150-year-old battle for the South’s legendary Confederate gold. Each must conquer their personal ghosts to face down Jackson, a seductive spirit who will do anything to protect the gold’s current location and avenge a heinous attack that destroyed his family.

295 pages, Paperback

First published January 17, 2013

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About the author

Stephanie Lawton

6 books151 followers
Always a misfit, Stephanie Lawton writes twisted romance that tugs the heart strings then punches you in the gut.

She has a tendency to psychoanalyze people, which comes in handy when creating character profiles. She has a fascination with teacher-student relationships, bullies, psychics, doomsday preppers and larger-than-life characters.

Making readers squirm is her greatest pleasure.

Proceed with caution.

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5 stars
19 (37%)
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23 (45%)
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5 (9%)
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Displaying 1 - 22 of 22 reviews
Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,935 followers
December 4, 2013
"We carry secrets under our skin like shrapnel. Our surface wounds heal, but the damage festers underneath while we worry what tiny pieces will work their way to the surface for the world to see."

3.5 stars. Stephanie Lawton has quite a way with words. I was already in love with her writing because of her book Want but I wasn't sure how her style of writing would translate to a ghost story. While Shrapnel didn't quite have the same lyrical quality to it that Want had (which I highly recommend), I found myself slowly inching forward throughout this book, becoming more curious the further in I got.

At first, I was sort of disappointed that I wasn't completely immersed in the history of it all and thought that this was going to be just another basic paranormal romance. Apparently, I need to work on my patience, because when we got to the place of finding out more about the bigger picture, I was completely sucked in to the haunting (no pun intended) atmosphere. It also didn't hurt that there was a choose-your-adventure reference, since those are my favorite reviews to write.

Each character had a story to tell. The only character which didn't really resonate with me was the secondary female character Ashley, but that was okay, since I couldn't get enough of Dylanie, Jake, and Jackson.

Dylanie - the damaged ingenue. Or as Jake observed : she's a pierced and inked kitten. She didn't know her place in the world and her story felt like the start of a new journey.

Jake - the guy who could have it all if only he knew how to get it. He says : My parents don't like me because I've got a smart mouth. My teachers don't like because I don't pay attention. Girls don't like me because I'm one episode away from a padded room. I loved Jake's character. One minute he was smooth, the next he was half joking about how he wanted to stop crying in front of girls. He knew he had issues but he somehow still managed to come across as a hot guy. Strangely broken characters fascinate me.

Jackson - the charming and scheming ghost. This one's a lady killer. His mystery only brought a new dimension to the story. A love triangle involving a ghost? I never knew if I was supposed to like him or not, which only added to the fun.
"Dylanie," he drawls, "let me in."

While I thought there were a few minor missteps in this book, such as a case of insta-love on steroids, as well as mention of getting hooked on the high from a taste of another (I didn't miss it this time - my detector is back!), the issues were minimal. I give this author credit for going out on a limb and writing something completely different from the contemporary book she'd last put out.

Now that this is over, I just have to sit back and impatiently wait for Lawton's next book.

Profile Image for Julie Reece.
Author 5 books370 followers
October 29, 2012
OMG! < It's true, I said it. I love everything written by this amazing author and Shrapnel is no different. With her foray into gritty paranormal, we see another side of Lawton’s writing personality, and you’ll be thankful for her creative schizophrenia because her imagination for ‘dark and twisty’ is wonderful. (If not a little disturbing)

I really enjoyed this story’s no nonsense heroine, hot and super-cool hero with a hilarious sense of humor, premise and surprising secondary characters. The mystery kept me turning pages almost as much as the 'will they or won’t they' romance. It’s not the same old thing. Mucho awesomeness!
Profile Image for Candice.
Author 12 books20 followers
March 4, 2013
I have had the worst/best case of book hang-around since I've finished this. Perhaps it's because I've been reading so many series lately, and I've just grown accustomed. Or maybe it's because Mrs. Lawton has written some great, multi-dimensional characters that are --dare I say it? Haunting me -- ha. This is a plot-driven book, but she still took the time to build up each character but so sneakily and stealthily you don't recognize it from the action. The story is told in three different first person narratives but each voice is so unique, the reader never has to say, ok, backup to the chapter header, whose head am I in now?
One of my favorite lines that fits perfectly with Dylan, the main protagonist, is when she first sees the room she's to occupy while filming at Oakleigh Mansion, "the doilies from the parlor have bred and populated the upstairs rooms, too." ha! I read that and almost choked on my cheese grits.
I love stories that take a piece of a puzzle, a real-life mystery, and put their own spin on it. As a resident of Mobile for the past ten years, I really enjoyed this book.
Profile Image for Xondra Day.
Author 46 books160 followers
January 23, 2014
I bought this book out of pure curiosity. More than a few people remarked that it was the best book that Evernight Teen had published since it started up. This was enough for me to seek it out to see for myself.

I don't do spoilers so I won't get into plot details other than to say that the blurb describes the story well.

I don't read a whole lot of paranormal or YA, but this book was enjoyable, and I would recommend it to fans of the genre.

I will most likely try another book by this author in the future.
Profile Image for Angela Quarles.
Author 12 books515 followers
November 2, 2012
A haunting, gritty paranormal dripping with voice. I was immediately sucked into the world she created and was on the edge of my seat racing to finish it.
Profile Image for Cyle.
956 reviews130 followers
March 8, 2013
GENRE: YA Paranormal
THEME: Romance, Ghost
RECEIVED: Blog Tour
BLOG: http://seeingnight.blogspot.com/

REVIEW:
This is my first book from Stephanie Lawton and I couldn’t wait to see what she would do with three gifted teens in a haunted house in a paranormal reality show. These characters learn a lot about themselves, their abilities and that together they don’t feel like the outcast everyone else has made them out to be.

Shrapnel follows Dylan, Ashley and Jake as they all meet at the historical Oakleigh Mansion to film the new season of Paranormal Teen. But once they step foot in this mansion their abilities catch the interest of a very powerful ghost who turns their weekend into a whirlwind of chaos.

Dylan is the first to be introduced and the one who has the most personal baggage that she’s been trying to deal with. She has a old woman spirit who has been nagging her in her room, her father left and her mother has a female partner, thus adding to the list and making her a major bully target at school. Dylan’s character starts to unfold as she meets Ashley and Jake, she’s able to open up more and learn about her ability to see ghost. But she is also the perfect target for a malevolent spirit in the house that really has his eye on her. She’s a spunky, gothic, and sarcastic young teen who knows how to frustrate everyone in the group.

Jake was my favorite; he can feel the emotions of others (an empath), which makes it a challenge and learning experience to block everyone when he gets there. He has a unique connection and chemistry with Dylan and I enjoyed their little spats and trying to uncover the truth with what’s really going on. He also has a few secrets with his ability that I found to be an interesting addition to his character.

Ashley is more of the innocent and weaker of the three; she has to deal with the possession of a younger spirit in the house. Her character clashed a lot with Dylan, adding some interesting dynamic and drama between the two. She did whine, cry and complain a little too much but I felt her development in the end was good for her.

Overall this is a great start to what I hope is going to be a series since this has so much potential. I would love to see these three take on another haunted place and use their gifts to help whatever spirits are in need. Plus they still have a lot to learn about themselves and what they can really do with their abilities. The villain of this story is one that will frustrate the readers and intrigue them; he’s defiantly a sneaky and mysterious character. All in all this was a fun mystery solving adventure with a wild bunch that will keep the readers guessing on what’s going to happen until the very end.

RECOMMENDATION:
This is a Young Adult novel that I could very much see as a real television show or movie. Fans of the Ghost Hunter tv show will love this! Plus fans of Bodi Ashton’s Everneath series and Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamers series will enjoy Shrapnel by Stephanie Lawton.
Profile Image for CoffeeTimeRomance andMore.
2,045 reviews168 followers
December 31, 2014
Dylanie, aka Dylan, is forced by her mother. Ashley is driven by the death she is unable to forget. Jake is tired of feeling all the pain around him. These three teens have powers none of them want. As if being a teenager is not painful enough, now they see, hear and feel things no one else can.

All three meet during a filming of a TV show, which is meant to teach them how to handle their powers. Unfortunately, the ghosts from the past have a different agenda.

The antebellum home has unfinished history to settle. The ghosts are determined the living will help the dead. Can Dylan, Ashley and Jake help the dead before their powers become more than they can deal with?

Shrapnel is a story full of teen angst. The reader is able to experience youth again, but may find it is painful the first time around. Ms. Lawton writes a story that becomes a roller coaster ride headed off the tracks. The ghosts are more vivid than the living, and the character development brings them back to life. Take a trip back into the past, merge it with the present, and you have a superb story. I highly recommend giving Shrapnel a read.

Delane
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More
Profile Image for Joyce Scarbrough.
Author 21 books37 followers
January 30, 2013
I hate reality shows, but if there was one that featured the characters—both living and dead—in this book, I’d be glued to the TV every time it was on! Just as it is in the real world, it’s what’s going on behind the scenes in this book that’s the real story, and it’s deliciously dark and spooky, tantalizingly sexy, funny, and heart wrenching from one page to the next. The main characters are all different and unusual in their own quirky way, and even the peripheral characters are fun and three dimensional. I guess if I had to pick one thing I loved the most about this book it would be the kickass heroine, Dylanie. She will grab your heart from the beginning, but don’t try to get sappy with her or anything or she’s liable to slap you upside the head. And she gets away with it because she’s just that awesome.

This is the second book I’ve read by Stephanie Lawton, and both have, hands down, one of the most spot-on YA voices I’ve ever read. This lady is a talented writer, and I look forward to her future books.
Profile Image for Dani C. (Polly's Place).
546 reviews243 followers
January 26, 2013
Dylanie isn’t like most teens. She can see ghosts so her mom got her on the show Paranormal Teen. This show helps teen psychics control their special abilities. So Dylanie along with Jake and Ashley get to spend a weekend at on old house that was involved in the Civil War. What they didn’t expect was that the spirits there still have some unfinished business…

I am not usually a fan of book where you switch from one narrator to another but I have to say that it didn’t bother me in the slightest with this book. The characters were so well devolved that you could clearly ‘hear’ their voices when it was their turn to talk. The plot was pretty fast moving and still easy to keep up with.

If you are looking for a new YA Paranormal novel that has a bit of mystery and romance this is the book for you! I totally enjoyed it and am looking forward to seeing what this author writes next!
Profile Image for Lee Ward.
Author 13 books259 followers
June 20, 2013
This is the second YA novel I have read by Ms. Lawton, and like the first, SHRAPNEL is a five star, page-turning, keep you up into the wee hours, kick-ass story! Dylanie sees ghosts. And not the sheet-flying kind--the green-eyed, jaded, hot male kind! When her mom gets a spot for Dylanie on a reality TV show that focuses on teens with similar abilities, no one expects what goes on behind the scenes. This story is sexy, spooky, chilling, and the author has such an authentic teenage voice, I'm sure her muse is sixteen.

I enjoyed this story immensely and highly recommend it. Bravo, Ms. Lawton!
Profile Image for Annabelle Blume.
Author 11 books41 followers
October 10, 2013
As a lover of all things paranormal, I'm always looking for something new. This was an excellent novel with a unique plot and great characters. Dylanie is truly likable and I love watching her work to find herself, which is fraught with challenges I think most girls can relate to. Jake is an adorable YA Hero, just sexy enough to grab the reader's attention and just tame enough for YA. And Ashley is a bit of comic relief, though she'd be hurt to hear me say that.

Overall, a wonderful YA Paranormal with a thread of spirituality that I really enjoyed.
Profile Image for Israel.
Author 4 books9 followers
June 20, 2013
Badass fast pace YA Novel on roids! I thoroughly enjoyed this wild ride by Stephanie Lawton. Her writing and wit have a quick pace all their own, and give the reader a sensation one can only describe as riding a lace trimmed hang glider towards damnation.
Profile Image for Jamie Manning.
Author 5 books127 followers
May 30, 2013
Yet another winner from Stephanie Lawton! Her quick wit, fast pace, loveable characters and exciting plot have all come together to make a page-turner that fans will love. I give it 5 stars!
Profile Image for J. .
330 reviews2 followers
October 29, 2012
Another AMAZING book from Stephanie Lawton!! A sexy Southern Gothic ghost story with Stephanie's signature amazingly messed up characters! Love it! Can't wait for a schmexy cover reveal!
Profile Image for Linda.
4 reviews
February 23, 2013
Paranormal is my least favorite but this book pulled me in and kept me there, finished in one sitting!
Profile Image for Rachmi .
929 reviews77 followers
Want to read
November 24, 2012
Really loved Lawton first book, Want. So, I definitely want to read her other books.
192 reviews11 followers
March 2, 2013
When I got started I couldn't stop. It was a little creepy for me, but I think the YA readers will love it:)
Profile Image for Alicia.
218 reviews18 followers
May 26, 2014
There was a whooooooooole lot going on in Shrapnel, but ya know what? I liked it.

I'm not saying it was "great," "epic," "amazeballs," or even "really good." But it was entertaining and different.

The premise for this story is that three teens with paranormal abilities are sent to film a reality show in an old, super-haunted civil war-era mansion. The house? Think Tara from Gone with the Wind, or Brad Pitt's place in Interview with a Vampire. I'm from the South and I can confidently say, "caaaaa-reepy!!!"

I went into Shrapnel thinking it would be told strictly from Psychic and Ghost-pal, Dylan. (That's what the synopsis would make you think, really) The novel *did* start with her narrative, and her boots are on the front of the book. But there were narrative changes between all three teens within the same chapter.

That wasn't necessarily a bad thing but Dylan's internal dialogue sounded a whole lot like Jake's. And Jake's name is really similar to Dylan's ghost-man Jake. More than a few times I had to go back a few pages to make sure I was reading in the right voice, and thinking of the right guy.

The third teen in this story is Ashley, and honestly I kinda feel like this book should have been told completely from her perspective. She seemed like the perfect girl on the outside - blonde, bubbly, southern and sweet. But she's a precog and has dreams of the future. She failed to prevent her little brother from drowning because she ignored a dream. And in this story she's the one the ghost of a young boy chooses to possess, which causes her to be the subject of attack from a truly evil, angry ghost. Does that not sound like a book you'd want to read?

I mean, yes Dylan has a lesbian mom and she's been scarred (literally) by the Christian girls at school. She's got a giant chip on her shoulder and there's no doubt she's got the best paranormal talents out of the three. But otherwise there's no real reason to like her or empathize with her.

As for Jake, he's a cool teenaged dude and I enjoyed his candid thoughts. His 'gift' is that he's an empath and can intensely feel the emotions of those around him. You wouldn't think that would be useful (at least I didn't when I realized I was going to have to listen to him narrate a third of the book) but it's actually pretty cool. As with Ashley, I thought his backstory was unique and complex enough to warrant much more attention and found him more grounded than ol' Dylan.

The rest of the cast features the reality-TV show hosts and I gotta be honest - I could have had a WHOLE lot more explanation about THAT whole sitch.

I mean, paranormal teens featured on a show hosted by paranormals who want to teach the youths how to guide their skills in a haunted atmosphere.... umm... which network/channel would pick that show up? Would those parents not get all kinds of shit about letting their underage kids on such a show? And tell me more about these hosts with powers of their own.... they're older, wiser, and they've probably seen a lot more cool, ghosty shit.

I took a glance at other reviews of this book and they're all pretty fangirl-ish. That's TOTALLY okay. I have authors that I love and will pretty much give anything they publish 5-stars because zomgMOAR! So I don't want this to seem like I'm raining on anyone's parade. Shrapnel was good and entertained me much more than I thought it would. But next time I hope Ms. Lawton will stick to one narrative OR let the most unique and strongest character lead the story. Sometimes it's not the one you intended, but instead emerges as you write.
Displaying 1 - 22 of 22 reviews

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