I heard it said once that every human is a story with skin. If this is true, paragraphs would be etched in the scars on my wrists. Whole chapters could be written about the way my heart pounds when I startle awake. And every single one of my tears could fill a book. But stories, with all their promise, only leave room for disappointment. I don’t have room for that anymore. I left it all—the hope, the love, the promise—back in my old life with the ghosts I’d rather forget: Jude. Emma. Pacey. Kevin. This is how I dare to move forward and to believe in a beginning. I let go of the old. I just grab the new and run. I don’t wait around anymore. I can’t. Waiting leaves room for the voices. Somewhere between water and sky, I'll find a way to burn these voices to the ground.
Elora Ramirez has been telling stories her whole life.
She taught herself how to read and cut her teeth on books from Dr. Seuss and writing anywhere she could find the space -- including her Fischer Price kitchenette, the pages of picture books, and Highlights Magazines.
She's matured since then, writing instead in the margins of her books and on the mirrors of her apartment.
Founder of Awake the Bones, she's not content to stop at writing her own books and loves sharing with others the alchemy of becoming a #novelistwild. She's coached hundreds women in finding language to tell their own story well, serving as a midwife for others' words. She has a dream to one day own a house with a room full of indie books she helped birth.
Intuition and hustle get her through the day, as well as her little lion man and her chef-husband who always greets her with a kiss.
An outstanding breakthrough and an incredible piece of work!
The second book in Ramirez's Shattered Things series, starts off months later from the ending in book one. I believe this book could be read without reading the first, especially if your one of the weak hearted, faint-hearted, easily squeamish whatever you like to call it. BUT. The only way to truly grasp and connect with Stephanie's feelings, emotions, and truly understand the depth of hell she went through, then you would not see a word of this book until finishing the first. I like to describe this book as the brighter side of Stephanie's rough-trekked journey. She is finally more in control of things and able to, in a way, start fresh although she is still mentally tormented and constantly looking over her shoulder, too paranoid to really relax. However, things are far from over and the evil she was able to distance herself from was lurking, biding time to strike. The only thing different now is that she will fight back with vengeance to fuel her and no longer cower in fear. Along side her are her true family, willing to be there for her no matter what hell may bring.
I extremely appreciate the lightness of the new characters' personas, even though they have fought their own demons, they came over the other side still being able to smile and have hope. Just reaching out to Stephanie in an a way not many others would've before proved Stephanie's self-condemnation wrong and especially helped her come to know that there are people out there that are good, worth fighting for, loyal, and extremely trustworthy.
With Stephanie's past not wanting to let go, she can't think of anything other than to run at first, but her new friends, Jessa and Ren, get her to stay. Mostly Jessa, because Ren was poking for answers and invading her personal space in the very beginning. Although, that doesn't exclude Jessa being just as nosy, if not more. They helped her try to fit in, experience things and learn that there is more out there in the world to see while living. They convinced her to stay, as well as relieve her anger, and stress. To let go.
The poetry in the story was very helpful and added a mystique aura around things that happened, both good and bad. They poetry was a story itself and completed the prose perfectly.
The storyline finally comes to an end, but not without a few scrapes and bumps along the way....
I wish there was more to read about on the trafficking of the girls and the corrupt authorities, but that was all for the first book. The bad news first, the lesser bad news last. This book was mostly about Stephanie's transformed avenging spirit against the evil of her father, and how much it took for her to be as far from her broken home and the trafficking as possible before it caught up to her face-to-face.
Overall, this read was a great contrast of light to the first's dark, a complete turn-around for the characters that allowed them peace and an amicable ending, I enjoyed every bit and will continue to look forward to more great work such as this original.
At the end of Every Shattered Thing, Stephanie runs away from her home, freeing herself from her abusive father and leaves Kevin behind after she is devastated by his betrayal. Looking for a fresh start where no one knows her, she lands a job at a coffee shop, lives in a hotel, and tries to forget her past while her father’s voice in her head whispers poison to her.
Against her better judgement, she lets her two coworkers, Jessa and Ren a little bit into her life. Stephanie doesn’t trust anyone with good reason, but she eventually gives into Jessa’s determination to be a friend. A day trip to San Diego turns deadly though and Stephanie is convinced that her father has escaped jail and is now stalking her.
Stephanie has to decide whether to run again or take help from her two co-workers, Ren and Jessa. Elora Ramirez does a wonderful job of building the suspense of wondering if Stephanie’s father is nearby, and at one point I even doubted Jessa’s motives. The tension here is so very nicely done.
There’s the very creative use of poetry to convey some of Stephanie’s darker emotions which helped to keep things from getting too grim when they could have easily gone that way. There’s still bad stuff happening, but Ms. Ramirez manages to maintain threads of hopefulness in the story, especially through the friendship of Jessa and Stephanie.
When Kevin appears, Stephanie comes close to running again, unable to forgive him for not telling her about his part in the job. And it’s become clear that Stephanie’s father is nearby, waiting to pounce. Good thing Jude shows up too. It was really wonderful to see the characters from the first book come back to continue to help Stephanie. And she’s going to need it when the trafficking case comes to a devastating conclusion.
It’s taken me some time to write this review, because this book was really rich in emotions and had a solid storyline that was neither unrealistic or sad to wrap things up. Stephanie’s long term issues from her father’s abuse and prostitution has still left her with damaged, but when Somewhere Between Earth and Sky ends, but you just know that her life has gotten better.
If you like a darker story that focuses on emotions rather than acts, I’d recommend this series. While the subject matter is difficult at times, Stephanie’s story is beautifully told, leaving this author and this series is one of my memorable reads this year.
"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain." Joseph Campbell
I am not sure how I can write this review. My brain, as of late, has been a complete pile of mush. Pregnancy brain mush. But I happened upon this quote above while trying to find some inspiration to write it. And let me tell you that it couldn't have been more perfect for this book. At least to me.
Rameriz writes a story that is absolutely full of hurt and pain. But in the midst of all this tragedy comes something poetic and beautiful. I am overwhelmed by her ability to write something so amazing and yet heart wrenching at the same time. Her words, her sentences are some of the most beautiful I have ever read. I am just in awe of this lady.
While book 2 is not as heavy as book 1, you still have a sense of it lingering over and feeling its weight in SOMEWHERE BETWEEN WATER AND SKY. It is enough to make you still feel the hurt and heart break. When you pick up this book you are reminded once again of all that has happened in Stephanie’s past. But you keep on reading, hoping and praying that Stephanie finds her joy and her happiness. If anyone deserves happiness, it is her.
If you read the first book you know you have to read this one. You have to find out if there is the happy ending or not. You have to see what happened to her old friends after she moved on. You have to see if there really is such a thing as justice. If you haven’t read EVERY SHATTERED THING you can still read this one without feeling lost. I definitely recommend you pick up book one and give it a go. Just keep in mind it is heavy and hard to read at times, but most certainly worth it. 5 Stars!
Initial Thoughts: This book was absolutely gorgeous. The first book was hertbreking and so was this book but with it came a lot of hope and surprises and I couldn't have asked for a better book.
The Characters: Now if you've read the first book, you know that Stephanie ran away at the end because she felt like everyone had only been lying and tricking her even though they were helping her. She was most devsted in thinking that Kevin had only been pretending to love her and that she was only a job for him. Despite all of this thinking, Stephanie goes through major character growth. She still has many, many problems (who wouldn't if they were in her place) but she wants and tries to become a stronger person, and she does become a stronger person. And the thing is, she learns she doesn't have to do it/be alone in the world.
Ren and Jessa are two friends that Stephanie makes from her job and they are both wonderful, supportive people who help her so much throughout the book. They helped her to learn to trust, let go of all the bad things in life, and to live as she should in the beauty of life with others and not in isolation. They were two truly great and genuine friends and I just loved every second Stephanie spent with them.
The Story: The book starts off a couple months after Stephanie ran away to LA. She's working a job at a coffee shop and that is where she meets Ren and Jessa. From there starts her journey of becoming stronger and living a better, more fulfilling life. But the evil, the internl and externl, that she left behind is still there, following her even in her new life. Stephanie thought she escaped her dad and her awful life. She was wrong. They still haven't gone way and left her alone. When she catches on that she isn't sfe, she has no idea what to do or how she'll ever be free. Now I can't give the rest away but the book just pulled me into Stephanie's world leaving me guessing how it would turn out. I was definitely surprised all the way because I just really never knew what was going to happen. I loved it from start to finish.
The Romance: Kevin isn't actually in a lot of the book but he never left Stephanie after she left. He went after her even though she didn't know and kept his distnce though he made sure she knew he was there. Now when he finlly does come in, it isn't all rainbows and sunshine. Stephanie thinks he used her to do his job, but that wasn't the case at all and I never doubted Kevin one bit. He's too good of a guy to do something bad or hurt other people especially Stephanie who he truly does love. But Stephanie decided to hear the truth from Kevin and believe it and so everything worked out for them in the end...with some minor bumps long the way but the love between Kevin and Stephanie is so tangible you can't deny they are made for each other.
End Thoughts: This book was such a powerful story and I loved how it turned out. I really loved the development of the story, the characters, and everything in between. There was mystery and heartbreak and hope and love. It was one touching story that will stay with me for a long while. 5 stars.
It has been exactly one year and one month since I sat down to write my review for Every Shattered Thing by Elora Ramirez, and now here I sit again, trying to find the words to write a review for it's sequel. With the sensitivity needed in the approach of Stephanie's story, I've found myself on both times being nervous of writing about it.
I knew straight away that Somewhere Between Water And Sky would be different to the previous book. There was just so much heartbreak and devastation in Stephanie's story, and this book was the start of something new. It was for Stephanie to step away and start afresh. I knew it wouldn't be easy. You can run away from your past but can you ever really escape it?
I loved to see the broken and damaged girl from book one, open herself up and flourish like she never had the chance to before. Whereas Every Shattered Thing had seemingly no room for hope, Somewhere Between Water And Sky is bursting with it! I loved the new characters and the roll they played in bringing colour and life to Stephanie's darkness, and though we technically know their story already, I would LOVE to see the full story of Jessa and Ren.
I felt that some parts of the story were rushed and underdeveloped; certain scenes could have had a lot more depth and emotion to them, and others just happened too fast, or were resolved too quickly. I also would have liked a bit more focus on the romantic connection between Stephanie and Kevin. But other than that this was a really great read!
I suppose that it can technically be read as a standalone, because there is the outline of the back story retold in this book, but to get the full effect of the events, and the utter brilliance of this authors writing and talent for telling a story, I would absolutely suggest reading Every Shattered Thing first.
Another great book from Elora Ramirez, and I can't wait to see what she has for us next.
This follow-on from Every Shattered Things follows Stephanie Tiller to California where she is part on-the-run, part on-the-journey-to-finding-herself.
Thankfully, Elora never glosses over the real trauma that Steph has experienced (I have to call her Steph - she is completely real) and Somewhere Between Water and Sky explores the fragile nature of her personality, in her strength and her beauty and her pain and her triumph.
The relationships Steph tentatively forms in this story drive the plot, with artfully weaved moments of conflict and resolution, not to mention the suspense. There is also a palpable sense of fun imbued throughout, particularly thanks to the character of Jessa, who comes alive on the page, she is truly a vibrant gem of a character. Jessa, for me, was probably the highlight of the whole book - though, with her own demons to face, she certainly is no bed of roses - her mannerisms and personality shone out like a beacon, which in a way, is a perfect metaphor for what Steph so badly needed. Aside: I would have loved to know more about Jessa's story - but perhaps the author has a spin-off in mind ;)
In the concluding chapters readers will find a quite satisfying ending, which is certainly not without its share of drama and tragedy. Elora respects the intelligence and creativity of the reader's imagination by purposefully not tying everything up with a neat and tidy bow. The final denouement of this story is hopeful and thoughtful and requires just the slightest suspension of disbelief (which we want in a work of fiction, in my opinion!)
If you haven't read Every Shattered Thing I would certainly recommend you do so prior to reading Somewhere Between Water and Sky. Though it has a darker feel, it brings you into Steph's inner world, which is essential in understanding her state of mind in the second volume.
I highly recommend both of these books, I devoured them both in a matter of a few days!
Check yes! Loved the book. Somewhere Between Water & Sky started out with mystery and some really dark emotions. I was like, "Wow, let's jump right into this!" I really didn't know what to expect from this book. As I kept reading it, I found myself saying, "This would be an awesome back story" or "I hope we find out more about these other characters". Well. Um. Apparently this is the second book. The first is called Every Shattered Thing. Even though there's a first book to it, Somewhere Between Water & Sky can be read as a stand alone and still be an awesome story. I'm just greedy when I find a great book. I just wanted more from the back story because everything else in the plot was full of details. Now that I know there's a book before it, I'm definitely going to check it out so I can reread this book. That's just me though. After I find that a book I read was not the first one in the series, I go back and read those and then reread the one I first got. It's my thing. And it totally gets me loving the book even more the second time around.
So back to this review. I kind of geeked out when I noticed a couple of Doctor Who and Sherlock references. As a Whovian, I had to smile. Every. Time. But seriously, that was just an added bonus because the story is really good. I physically felt that torment that Stephanie, the main character, was going through. She is a strong character (which I love!) and has been through Hell and back with emotional scars to prove it. Seriously, this book was a roller coaster ride - not the deep valleys and peaks, but being at the top of the roller coaster to only find out it goes even higher. What suspense! My adrenaline was pumping the whole time. Anything that can get a reaction like that from me, where I feel for the characters and has tons of suspense, deserves my recommendation. check it out today!
Excuse me while I pick up the pieces of my shattered heart!!
This book was amazing in every way and it left me breathless. Every Shattered Thing tore me to pieces, and when I heard about this book I could not wait to see if Kevin would find Steph, and if they'd work things out. But mostly I wanted to see if Steph would finally find the peace she so deserved.
Although this story still held the dark undertones of the first book, it was filled with so much more hope and the promise of a better and happy future for Steph. A bit closed off at first, her walls slowly but surely started to come tumbling down, and it had a lot to do with her new friends, especially Jessa, who was the best friend a girl could ever ask for.
I was shocked when Sam Tiller came back into the picture and started with his threats again. He was so brazen but so sneaky at the same time. But, I was really glad that Steph was willing to fight. There was a fierceness in her that intensified the more this story developed, and I was almost afraid it would force Steph to do something stupid. The final showdown was brutal and gut-wrenching and by the end of it I was an emotional wreck. Just when I believed things were turning up for everyone involved, things turned south and I just kept praying that it wasn't the end. That both Kevin and Jude would be okay, that Steph would make peace with the circumstances as they were, and that finally, finally promises would stay intact.
The end of this story was just beautiful. Heartbreaking to a point, but complex and stunning at the same time. Emotional from start to finish, this was a spectacular read!
First, this was the every first time I have ever read anything by this author but after reading the premise of Between water and Sky, I was very intrigued. I started out loving the way it was written, so much hurt and pain that was conveyed in just a few sentences, that requires talent. Other Authors I’ve read take pages to say that the MC felt, sad!
Stephanie is running, it’s clear in the first sentences of the book that she ran out of fear, and hurt and pain. She has the average temperament of a person who is running: stand-offish, sarcastic and no friends.
She’s been doing alright, a place to live, a job, all she has to do is keep her inner demons at bay, which considering what she ran from is hard to do. She lets herself get befriended by Jessa and Ren, who have their own issues that I would have loved to read an entire story about, rather than have Jessa say it in a nutshell. What I loved about this story it that it was very…artsy. It had the kind of ‘stop and think feel’ to it at times and, for me, I love when a book can do that.
“…Sunrises reminds us that there’s always another day…”
I haven't read the first book to this series as well. :/ I don't think I want to read it as it is going to be harsh/dark and I am not- I can't digest it nowadays if you know what I mean. This book deals with the same harsh reality but it has things a bit more on the brighter side what with our protagonist's trying to take control and she does.
I loved the writing in this. I mean look at the synopsis. Some beautiful words there. Our protagonist has dealt with human trafficking and this book revealed what effect that can have. This book was sad. And it was powerful. I loved the poems throughout the book. Her past friends made an appearance as well. Stephanie realized something's about them which was good for her to know for a more happier life.
This is the follow on from every shattered thing. Months later Stephanie runs of to LA in search of new beginnings, she's trying to hide the scars of her past but the ghosts are still in her head, they're still talking to her, she wants to set them free. But this time around she's ready to fight ! And fight she does, I was so proud of her. This book shows you the devastation of what human trafficking can do and the effect it has. It shows how one shattered heart can over come all of her past and fight for new beginnings. I honestly feel privileged to be able to read and review such an amazing story. A real eye opener.
Once again, Elora reaches into the depths of humanity and brings us another chapter in Stephanie's story. At first I was hesitant, feeling as awkward as Stephanie does when we meet the newest members of this cast of characters that compile her life. But as the book went on, the tears flowed. I have a love for Kevin, a love for Stephanie, and a love for this story that left me raptured and broken and weeping and forever changed -- once again.
This book is not for the faint of heart. But it is for the good.
This was a hard book to read, and not due to the subject matter. The author rarely would indicate who was speaking, so the reader must guess. Another really annoying thing is that the there is a major plot point that the main character watches the sun rise over the ocean. That would be nice if the story wasn't set in California. There were so many mentions of the sun rising over the ocean that I started to really get annoyed. In California, the sun SETS over the ocean. In order to watch the sun rise, they would have had to have been on the east coast.
At the very least, you will fall even more in love with Stephanie. More likely, you will begin to carry her story in your heart and will go through grief and growth with her. What a beautiful sequel, and an excellent book in its own right. Ramirez knocks it out of the park all over again. Full Review: http://melissaboles.com/2014/09/24/so...
I loved this book. Very lush prose. I don't typically read books where the protagonist is so young; it was a nice change for me and brought me back to what it was like in my 20s, full of promise but also confusing, you're between ages almost. The author handles this well. I recommend this book.
The title and the cover of this book attracted me to read it, but I didn't know it was a sequel. The writing is simply phenomenal and Ramirez nails it with her descriptions and narrative-conscious thoughts! I really felt for Stephanie who was obviously running away from something since the very beginning of the book. I felt sorry for what happened to her in the past, but she escapes to a small part of California and befriends two coworkers- Ren and Jessa at the coffee shop.
Each character is very well developed. I can picture Ren looking a slanky like Shaggy from Scooby-Doo sans the brown hair, and I can picture Jessa looking like a young Cindi Lauper (hint- 80s kids like me remember these guy). Even the setting is painted perfectly through Ramirez's details, especially when they enter an old abandoned house off the beach. I would have loved to have seen this scene developed a little more. Here is where I felt the story could have picked up steam, but instead, we are sent into another one of Stephanie's flashbacks.
I did finish the book because the writing is really that good! Ramirez's words are like silk on paper and make you feel like you're inside of the scene. But, the plot itself fell short, for me. I wanted so much more. I think as a reader you're forced to stay in Stephanie's conscious too long, and as her backstory gets darker, layers of her past and what really happened unfolds a bit too late.
Before I wrote this review, I went back and read book one for more insight. Having done so, I actually think both books could have easily been made into one, and then I would have given it a better rating. We needed more action in book two, more dialogue, and less summary and narratives.
I had to intentionally wait before writing this review because I honestly didn’t know how I felt after reading both “Every Shattered Thing” and “Somewhere Between Water and Sky”. I am going to write one review for them both.
While they have “romance” elements, I personally would NOT classify theme as a romance. It’s a drama and suspense. I struggled to read “Every Shattered Thing” due to its intensity. It was disturbing to me and I even skimmed through about a fourth of the book not because it wasn’t well written, but painful. However, I did finish it.
“Somewhere Between Water and Sky” was much easier for me to read. I enjoyed Jessa and Ren and felt they gave depth to the story (plus, they were entertaining). They MUST both be read, I’m just warning you to be emotionally prepared for the first book.
The first book of the series I gave 2 stars - this one is 5. The plot and the characters were balanced. Character development, interactions, behavior, dialogue etc were believable and realistic.
This book is definitely not as dark as the first book, since this is the aftermath of book 1. Triggers and kidnappings. She makes friends and lives a new life.. until her past catches up with her.
I hoped that I would have more closure on what happened to her dads “business” and the sex ring. I’d like to know if it was shut down after that last scene with her father. Yet that is not enough to lose stars over.
Book 2 closed the series nicely, with the implication of a happily ever after, after the book ends. No epilogue, but in this case I think it would have taken away from the sparkly promise of HEA.
The sequel to Every Shattered Thing follows our protagonist through literal journeys (running away? or finding?) and those that exist in her mind. A teenager healing from trauma, unsure if it's over or just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Compellingly beautiful even as it dives into the ugliest themes, the stories that need telling even when people don't want to hear them. Stories like Stephanie's.
Ramirez's style of poetry that tells the story of prose, and prose that laps and lingers like a poem never disappoints, and I was glad that we got to see where, and how, everyone ends up in this conclusion.
Recommended for those who watched Broadchurch or liked Big Little lies.
Another great book. At the end of Every Shattered Thing, Stephanie runs away from her home, freeing herself from her abusive father and leaves Kevin behind after she is devastated by his betrayal. Looking for a fresh start where no one knows her, she lands a job at a coffee shop where she becomes friends with 2 people, lives in a hotel, and tries to forget her past while her father’s voice in her head whispers poison to her.
Loved this more than book 1. I loved watching Stephanie grow into the person she needed to be. I loved watching her get stronger and able to fight for herself. This was the perfect conclusion to Stephanie’s story. I still had the spacing issues that I had with book one. I haven’t seen any reviews mentioning it so maybe my downloads had errors, I don’t know.
This is one of those unusual book that tells a really compelling story having the potential to leave a profound personal impact. Stephanie is a truly compelling and complex character and her story is told with all the twist and unpredictability of a true to life drama. This character truly belongs in a book and I have no doubt there is room for her in quite a few more.
This can't be the end of their story. I hope something new transpires into a third part to the series. Maybe a series on Ren & Jessa? The characters are so interesting, captivating and real that you are left with a desire to read more! Definitely following Miss Elora to see what else she has in store. A must read!
Wow!! You have to read Every Shattered Things before you read this book. I will not go into how good these books were other than to say I read both books in two days. Two very awesome books, I'm happy to have read!