Book Review: SHATTERED SOULS by Mary Lindsey

Today’s review is part of the Teen Book Scene Tour. A complete schedule of the tour can be found here. SHATTERED SOULS is Mary Lindsey's debut novel and launches December 8, 2011. A Backwards Story recently posted an interview with the lovely Mary Lindsey for Teen Book Scene, so if you missed it, CHECK IT OUT!!
To find out more about Mary Lindsey, please visit her website and blog. You can also follow her on Twitter.

Author: Mary Lindsey
Release Date: Dec. 8, 2011)
Publisher: Philomel/Penguin
Received: ARC from author/publisher for review/blog tour


Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.

This is one of those books where the cover is so devastatingly beautiful that it makes you take notice. I couldn't tell whether or not I'd like this book after reading the summary. There was definitely potential, but I'm not really a paranormal person. But that cover!!! I also liked the fact that author Mary Lindsey was weaving her own mythology into the mix and when Teen Book Scene listed SHATTERED SOULS for an upcoming tour, I decided to take a chance on the title. While at times, the novel reminded me a bit of Lauren Kate's FALLEN and Courtney Allison Moulton's ANGELFIRE, it was also uniquely its own.

Reincarnation has always been a popular subject matter. People always want to believe that there's life after death and love reading about people who have defeated the odds and come back to live again. Winners of the Reincarnation Lottery, of course, are the ones who remember their past. In SHATTERED SOULS, Lenzi is a reincarnated soul who no longer remembers her past. She thinks she's ordinary until she starts hearing voices. She's convinced she's becoming schizophrenic and crazy like her father until she meets Alden. Of course, Alden seems crazier than she is. He states that he's Lenzi's Protector and that she's a reincarnated Speaker, able to speak with the dead and send them onward when they're in a state of unrest. Lenzi refuses to believe him until he proves firsthand the truth of his words. Usually when a Speaker is reincarnated, he or she remembers each and every past life. Lenzi can't remember ever being Rose, a prominent Speaker who was very good at her job. Lost and confused, she must turn to Alden for help, even as the world she thought she knew begins unraveling around her.

Tense and gripping, SHATTERED SOULS is filled with many edge-of-your-seat moments. Scenes revolving around ghosts and exorcisms are properly creepy; I wouldn't want to be a Speaker--or a Protector. The romance that builds between Lenzi and Alden unfurls slowly and in a natural fashion. Lenzi's relationship with her crazy ex-boyfriend can be eye-raising at times, and I wish she had been less wishy-washy in her feelings. I feel that Lenzi did grow as a character throughout the book and think she'll have a stronger backbone in the next novel. The novel is also peppered with interesting secondary characters that I would have liked to learn more about and hope to do so in the future. The world building is sturdy and creates a unique environment I haven't seen before, but would like to explore again. SHATTERED SOULS can stand alone, but leaves questions unanswered and various elements slightly under-developed so there will be someplace to go when and if another novel should be released in this world. I hope there will be; I'd love to watch Lenzi grow even more as she embraces her new role in life.


Hands down, there is no question that SHATTERED SOULS is one of my favorite covers of 2011. It's simply STUNNING. No ifs, ands, buts, or maybes. I love the way the model's dress is made out of rose petals---ones that are beginning to decay and blow away and crumble. It's especially poignant because the main character Lenzi's middle name is Rose. I love the way the image makes it seem as though Lenzi is shattering.

And the title treatment! It's also shattering apart. It fits perfectly with the title and the overall concept. I love it!!

Not only that, Mary Lindsey has shared the FULL JACKET ART with me to pass on to all of you, my favorite book worms. The jacket wraps around the spine and onto the back:

(Click the image for a larger, more detailed look!)

And on the back, I love that there's an origami rose (part of the original cover design concept), because it ties in to the way Lenzi is always absently creating such things when nervous!!

Love, love, LOVE this cover in more ways than I can begin to say!

[This entry is part of The Story Siren's Debut Author Challenge of 2011. See how I've done so far here.]


  1. Great! The plot does sound very familiar, but I don't mind that as long as the characters are good.

  2. Mary Lindsey brings Galveston and Houston to life with her paranormal story. Teenagers and adults alike can enjoy this book.
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