Shattered Dreams

Shattered Dreams - Ellie James I received an advance copy of this through Goodreads and could not put it down! A classic young adult novel, but definitely one of the best I've come across. Slated to be released in December, I feel Ellie James' Midnight Dragonfly series will be a great hit!

The first aspect of the book that pulled me in was the setting. Right from the beginning, the hollow, bleak surroundings set the perfect mood for the entire book. Taking place in post-Katrina New Orleans, most of the city is run-down and abandoned- a perfect place for the extreme level of mystery- murders, family secrets, and a strange ability at the center- that the reader comes across straight through to the end. The city's imagery haunts the reader just as the events that take place in it haunt the protagonist.

The author introduces a very interesting subject through the main character- precognition. Orphaned and sent to live with an aunt she doesn't even know, Trinity Monsour is plagued by the ability to "see" events before they happen. Unfortunately, not many people are ready to accept this as truth, causing many complications when she tries to use this ability to locate a missing girl. I've read plenty of novels starring protagonists with strange abilities, but this was a refreshing first.

I also really enjoyed the character development. I was surprised by which characters the author chose to open up to the reader, especially Pitre and Dylan, because of the minor roles they played through the first half. However, they were skillfully included in the finale.

Every major aspect of a successful young adult novel is present in this first installment of the Midnight Dragonfly series: a misunderstood teenager, romance, big secrets, a little naivety, great personal growth, and an ending that will make the reader's jaw drop. Mostly, I was just happy there weren't any vampires. I give this one four out of five stars and look forward to the second book.