Andrea at Reading Lark's Reviews > Beautifully Broken

Beautifully Broken by Sherry J. Soule
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's review
Dec 22, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: 3-stars, kindle, paranormal, read-in-2011, witches, young-adult

Review Posted on Reading Lark 12/27/11:

Beautifully Broken is the first book in a new witchy series featuring Shiloh, a teen heritage witch who also has the ability to see ghosts. Witches + Ghosts = Andrea is excited. However, in spite of the alluring concept, Beautifully Broken didn't quite live up to my expectations. It was a fun read, but I don't think it reached its maximum potential.

I did enjoy learning about the town of Whispering Pines and its curse. Residents of Whispering Pines are a quirky, superstitious collection of people who believe that the curse is to blame for the disappearance of local teens. The idea of heritage witches was also very intriguing. I loved the detail of Soule's witch lore. Furthermore, I really liked the addition of the shades and wraiths. Sherry Soule is a gifted story teller and I can't wait to see how her craft will grow and improve in the future.

Another thing I really liked was the relationship between Shiloh and Evans. Evans becomes a mentor of sorts and helps Shiloh understand more about her abilities. Think of him as the Dumbledore to her Harry Potter. I also was really happy to see that there was one character who could accept Shiloh exactly as she was - in spite of the whole witch thing. She doesn't always have others in the book who can be a support system for her.

I do not want this to seem like a review that is bashing this book. It's really not meant to be that at all. I just think I would have enjoyed the read more if I had known to expect the flaws. One thing that really bugged me about this book was that I was so overwhelmed from page one. The reader is dropped into the story in a moment where Shiloh is seeing ghosts in her room. It took me awhile to really understand what was going on - it was very confusing. Once I got my bearings, I felt like I was constantly slapped in the face with information. Information should be given to readers slowly - not in a torrent of words. Also, Soule did a lot more telling than showing which slowed down my reading momentum.

In addition, I found myself getting frustrated with some of the dialog. The teen speak and pop culture name dropping was annoying and some of the dialog didn't sound realistic to me. Shiloh's running inner monologue also got a bit tedious at times. I found myself wishing she'd keep some things to herself - particularly her feelings about Trent. Their insta-love was a bit much for me.

However, in spite of all these issues, Soule still manages to create a likable protagonist and a fascinating universe. I really believe that Shiloh and this series have a lot of potential and will mature with time and experience. I wouldn't hesitate to pick up future books by Sherry Soule. Beautifully Broken is an admirable first novel and I would recommend it to YA Paranormal fans.

One Last Gripe: There were a lot of editing issues with this one.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The paranormal lore

First Sentence: For as long as I could remember, I'd heard whispers in the shadows.

Favorite Character: Evans

Least Favorite Character: Trent

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