Saturday, November 3, 2018

ARC Review: Boy Shattered by Eli Easton

Boy ShatteredFrom the blurb:

You’ll make it out of here, Brian. I swear. 
I had everything—school quarterback, popular with girls, and my dad was proud of me. I told myself it didn’t matter no one knew the real me. And then I nearly died. Landon saved my life. He’s the bravest guy I know. He came out a few years ago, proud and fierce, and he ran into gunfire to help others. Me, I’m a mess. Can’t even stand to be in a room with the curtains open. But here’s the thing about losing it all: You get a chance to start over and be someone new. Only how can I move on when the two shooters who attacked our school were never caught? And why do I feel like I’m still in the crosshairs?

Will you kiss me? 
When I came across Brian Marshall,the hottest guy in school, dying on the cafeteria floor, I did what anyone would do. I tried to save him. His request surprised me, but I figured he needed comfort, so I kissed him on the forehead. When he survived and came back to school, he was broken in body and mind. He still needed me, and soon we were unlikely besties. But what I saw at school that day woke me up. I want to demand action on gun control, lead protests, raise my fist. I’ll tear the world down if I have to. And if I can get the man of my dreams and save the world at the same time? I’ll take it. Only I didn’t understand that the horror at Jefferson Waller High wasn’t over.

Heather's rating:

I wasn't sure that I wanted to read Boy Shattered, and, to be honest, it was a tough read all the way through. I picked a bad day to start it, a day when I already felt bleak, and it did not make my mood any better. However, I think Eli Easton wrote an important book, and a really moving love story.

I'm going to start off with things you should know before attempting this book.

If you've read the blurb at all, you'll know at least some of these things. It's important to know that the story is painfully angsty and sad. It is also YA, so there is little-to-no on page sex. Eli Easton can write some steamy stuff, but this isn't in that category. Also, trigger warnings: gun violence, children dying, homophobia, PTSD.

I really fought with myself over this story. I have school-aged kids, and gun violence is something that keeps me up at night in cold sweats. Did I really want to subject myself to a fiction story surrounding that very topic? Turns out, I did.

I loved the heavy, atmospheric style of Boy Shattered. It is a weighty story, but one that has moments of lightness, and the overall feeling is of something that is really powerful. After reading a number of fluffy stories, it felt good to sink my teeth into something real, even though it was my worst fears come to life.

The romance was also truly lovely. It was a pure, sweet first romance mixed with all the pain and terrible angst born of tragedy. It was a bright spot for me in the story, and I loved the innocence and weariness of these two MCs. The pacing of the romance was also just spot on.

There was also a mystery aspect that I didn't love, but I, in general, hate suspense and mystery. I always read who the killer is before watching any movie where people die, and so not knowing who was behind the shooting was torture for me, and I don't enjoy torture.

All in all, if you have the emotional fortitude to read something painful but beautifully gripping, you should try this one. Just go into it knowing what to expect and you'll reap the rewards.

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*

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Enjoy, my friends!

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