Book: Shattered Dreams

Shattered Dreams by Ellie James

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publish Date: December 6, 2011
Series: Midnight Dragonfly #1
ISBN: 0312647026
ISBN-13: 9780312647025
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | eBay | Powell’s 

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Trinity Monsour wants nothing more than to live a normal life. But that isn’t as easy as it seems. Trinity is different. She is special. She sees visions, and for those she’s seen, it’s already too late.

Trinity arrives on her aunt’s doorstep in New Orleans with virtually no knowledge of her mysterious heritage. She begins settling into life at a new school and even starts making friends. But all too quickly her dreams accelerate; twisted, terrifying visions of a girl locked in a dark room. And when the head cheerleader, Jessica, goes missing, Trinity knows she has no choice but to step forward with what she’s seen.

But people believe that Trinity has information about Jessica’s disappearance not because of a dream, but because she is involved. She is kind-of dating Jessica’s ex-boyfriend, Chase, and Jessica did pull a nasty prank on Trinity. Revenge seems like the likeliest scenario.

Nothing prepares Trinity for the dark odyssey that ensues while searching for Jessica, including the surprising romance she finds with Chase, or the shocking truths she learns, not just about the girl who has gone missing, but the past that has been hidden from her.

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I have one word for you. Creepy.

Well, that was the first thing that popped into my mind as I started to read Ellie James’ Shattered Dreams. I mean, the first line had the word haunted. The descriptive words that followed gave a goose bump-inducing imagery. James knew the significance of the first scene’s setting. And all this from the first few pages?


Shattered Dreams begins with a group of teenagers on their way to a long-ago abandoned mansion, aged and consumed by Katrina. Inside, they play a game of Truth or Dare that turns out to be a cruel joke on new girl, Trinity. Trinity has flashes of paranormal visions that begin the premise of the story.

Trinity has never lived a normal life. After the death of her parents, six year old Trinity lived in seclusion with her grandmother. Trinity’s grandmother has hidden her in the mountains of Colorado, home-schooled her, and has never looked back. But now, grown up Trinity has questions, and it isn’t until she lives with her aunt, after her grandmother’s passing, that she gets them.

From here, it gets a little confusing. I feel there are two paths that Shattered Dreams takes, and somewhat ends together. I am sure that they were meant to be weaved together and relate to each other, but there was a disconnect between the two. It didn’t blend together seamlessly, and that’s where my confusion began.

The first path follows a mystery crime that only Trinity can solve. Visions come to her at random times, revealing messages from the victim. Only a few images would come to Trinity, and James had you constantly guessing who was the culprit.

The second path follows Trinity’s voyage to uncover her past. Starting with her grandmother and ending up with her mother. She connects pieces to a puzzle that is larger than she has ever imagined, finding things way beyond her expectations. But Trinity’s revelations seemed to be in her heard, or that’s what James made me believe. Others couldn’t witness it for themselves, and only Trinity experienced them first hand.

For the most part, I liked Trinity. I was drawn to her gift and her personality. She didn’t seem jaded by everything going on, and at times I wondered if that was believable. She has a good head on her shoulders though, and I appreciated that about her. Despite the many questions about her past, she owned who she was.

Of course, how can I forget to talk about Chase. He seemed transparent. There wasn’t anything mysterious about him. He was just a good guy. But I think that was good of James to write Chase that way. With everything going on with Trinity, did the reader really need a complicated love interest? I don’t think so.

For a good part of the book, I felt completely enveloped in Trinity’s two different paths. I anxiously read each word, fearing what would happen next. There was a constant flow of events, leaving me little to no time comprehending what just happened. I found myself reading unexpected details, unveiling a bit more of the story, page by page.

I have a lot of unanswered questions. I feel like there wasn’t enough explained in Shattered Dreams. I wished the pacing, where the story progressed, would have been different. It felt like the introduction was the span of three chapters. Then there was a slow build-up and a fast ending.

2 thoughts on “Book: Shattered Dreams

  1. I think what bugged me most was that when you get into the book, it feels like you get into it in the middle of it. Things have already happened and you feel sort of unbalanced.

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