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.
About the Author
Ellie James believes in dreams and destiny. A graduate of the LSU Manship School of Journalism, Ellie has been writing as long as she can remembering, with tragic poems and tender stories giving way to mystery, adventure, and a fascination with the unexplained. Currently, Ellie resides with her husband and two children in Texas.
Read an Excerpt
Shattered DreamsA Midnight Dragonfly Novel
By Ellie James
St. Martin's GriffinCopyright © 2011 Ellie James
All right reserved.
“I heard this place is like … haunted.”
Stepping around a huge old oak, I lifted my flashlight … and saw the house. Everyone else kept tromping through knee-high weeds, but something held me there, totally still, while Spanish moss slipped against my face.
The abandoned Greek Revival rose up against the moonlit sky like something ripped straight from the picture book my grandmother used to keep on her coffee table. Surrounded by seriously old trees and nearly covered by vines, it was big and boxy, with massive columns and wide porches. Once the place had probably been white. Even at night I could tell that. But now it was dirty and worn out. Tired.
It was an odd word, but there you go. Alone. The old place with its dark windows and peeling siding looked like it was …
A warm breeze blew off the river, but I hugged my arms around myself as I watched them—Jessica, the stupidly beautiful cheerleader; her way-too-skinny best friend Amber; Jessica’s little sister Bethany; and the guys: Chase, the quarterback (and my chemistry lab partner); Drew, who rarely said more than two words at a time; and the massively tattooed Pitre—making their way toward a broken window. They weren’t that far away, but they might as well have been in another state.
At the steps leading to the porch, Jessica swung back to me. She was the one who’d invited me to tag along. “What’s the matter, Trinity? You’re not scared, are you?”
My throat tightened. I wasn’t scared. That wasn’t the right word. Just … uneasy.
“Just taking it all in,” I said, forcing my legs to move. Beneath my flip-flops I felt stuff crunch. I didn’t want to know what.
Amber made it to the window before she turned back. “Last year,” she said, her eyes glowing, “these two seniors came here—”
“Amber!” Jessica shot her friend a shut-up look. “What are you trying to do? Make her leave?”
That would be a yes. I was the new kid, after all. On the first day of school when the teacher had said Trinity Monsour, everyone had turned to stare at me, obviously sizing up the new girl. Being from Colorado made me an outsider, but at least I looked like I belonged. With long dark hair and dark eyes, skin my grandmother called olive, a T-shirt and low-rise jeans, I could have been Jessica’s twin.
But still. Starting a new school junior year pretty much sucked.
“Leave?” Amber said. “No way.” And with that she slipped into the darkness beyond the broken window.
Two of the guys—Drew and Pitre—followed. Jessica waited until I reached the big bushes obscuring the porch before taking Chase’s hand and tugging him toward the darkness. Bethany shot me a nervous look, but followed anyway.
I recognized the voice as belonging to Amber. Sidestepping broken glass, I reached the tall window and lifted my flashlight, looked inside. They all stood there, waiting.
There was that word again. Waiting.
And with it my throat tightened.
Or maybe that was because of what I saw behind them, neat little piles against the far wall. Ashes.
“Of course,” I said against a slap of warm air. Until New Orleans, I’d never known air could be so thick. Breathing was hard enough, but my hair! It had been straight in Colorado. Here it was a frizzy mess. My aunt kept saying I would get used to it, but I think she was just saying that.
She does that a lot, tells me I’ll get used to things. But I’ve seen that look she gets in her eyes, the worry.
“Then what are you waiting for?” Through a mass of perfect, coffee-colored ringlets, Amber’s smile looked more like a smirk. “Want Chasey to hold your hand?”
Jessica’s eyes narrowed, invisible claws coming out for the thousandth time since she’d discovered her boyfriend and I were chemistry partners. Just because we had an out-of-class assignment—
But that was another story.
She eased closer to him, inserting herself between him and me. Through the play of shadows his eyes met mine anyway, forcing me to look down at an empty fast-food bag trapped by a rock.
I so knew he was taken.
I also knew I did not want to go into that house. Everything inside of me screamed for me to stay right where I was. But I rubbed my palms against the amazing Rock Revival jeans I still couldn’t believe Aunt Sara had bought for me, and stepped to the broken window.
(If anyone had told me back on my birthday in April, that six months later I’d be breaking into a deserted mansion in the Garden District of New Orleans in the middle of the night with a bunch of teens I barely knew, I would have thought they were on serious drugs.)
The cold hit like a punch to the gut. I must have staggered from it because Chase lunged for me, his arms reaching out. The warmth of his hand practically seared through the invisible blanket of ice suddenly covering every inch of my body.
No, I told myself. No! Not now.
Not in front of these people …
The last time I’d felt the icy veil—
I stopped the thought, knowing I couldn’t just stand there like an idiot in a trance. No one else heard the buzz. No one else felt like they stood in a freezer. My flashlight showed the sheen of sweat on Chase’s forehead. Everyone had on tank tops—Jessica’s was plastered against her chest. No one was shivering.
And only on the inside.
Kind of like the old house.
With a pretend laugh, I stepped from the warmth of Chase’s hand and again rubbed my hands against my jeans. I didn’t bother looking at Jessica. I knew she’d be glaring in that she-animal way of hers.
“Holy crap.” I gagged on my first full breath inside. Mud and smoke and stale whiskey mixed with something else, something really foul. “How old is this place?”
“Real old,” Chase said. “Civil War, I think.”
“Wow.” The beams of our flashlights jumped through the pitch-black room, creating a strobe-light effect. I could only catch pulsing glimpses. Floor. Darkness. Empty water bottles. Darkness. Peeling walls.
By the time I caught detail, it was gone.
Refusing to let my hands shake, I played it cool and lifted my light to the far wall, and saw the tattoo. Well, not really a tattoo, graffiti was more like it, intricately painted over the faded image of a paddleboat on the river.
The heart was done in black. A red cross ran through the top, with some kind of weird swirl design and grid through the middle, like something you’d see on someone’s arm.
Actually, I was pretty sure I had seen it.
“Before Katrina,” Amber said, strolling over to dominate the circle of light, “you could still see the blood.”
Blood? Inside, mine ran cold.
“You still can, dimwit,” Jessica said. “This place didn’t get any water.”
“Omigod—” That was from Bethany. I twisted around, found her staring at the back corner. She was really pale—and really glued to Chase. His eyes were narrow, his dimples gone. “W-what’s that?”
With my light I followed her line of vision to a small collection of sticks piled on top of each other.
Except they weren’t sticks.
“Bones,” Amber whispered.
I swallowed hard as Bethany let out some kind of strangled sound. “I don’t think—”
“No one’s making you stay,” Jessica pointed out before her sister could finish. “If you want to leave…”
“Probably an animal.” Chase’s voice held absolute calm. “They like to die alone.”
Bethany, a smaller, less sexy version of Jessica, looked up at him as if she wanted nothing more than for him to be right. It was so painfully obvious how badly she hung on his every word. His smile was warm as he gave her a brotherly pat on the back.
I was quite sure it broke her heart.
Around us darkness throbbed, and with every warm breath of wind, the old house groaned. The place was huge. I had no idea how many rooms there were, or who (or what) else could be inside.
The urge to move was strong. To leave. The stillness felt … wrong.
Everything felt wrong.
… still see the blood …
“I thought everything flooded,” I said, stepping toward the wide hallway that cut through the middle of the house. I’d only been a kid, but my memories of the hurricane were vivid. My grandmother had been glued to the coverage, her eyes worried, her hands fisted together. I’d never seen her like that, and it had freaked me out.
It wasn’t until Gran died that I understood why.
She’d never been one to talk about the past, had always said, Triny, ain’t no point lookin’ backwards. But I’d never really thought much about it. Maybe because I didn’t have much to look back at. My parents died when I was little—I didn’t even have any pictures of them, didn’t have any brothers or sisters. I had never been anywhere besides the Colorado mountain where Gran raised me, had never even seen an ocean.
Gran always made everything sound simple.
Never, not even in the aftermath of Katrina, had she mentioned that she’d been born in New Orleans and had lived there for fifty-one years, until my parents died.
I still didn’t know why she’d left. Aunt Sara, Gran’s youngest, said her mama had needed to make a clean break.
I guess that made sense. That was, after all, sort of why I was in New Orleans. Of course, being an orphan and having no living family besides an aunt I’d rarely seen was the much bigger part.
Nothing prepared me for how totally my life was going to change. And even though Gran had watched nonstop news coverage of Katrina, nothing prepared me for how wounded the city was.
At sixteen, I was coming to realize there were some wounds you never got over.
The old house knew, too.
“… Garden District and French Quarter are on higher ground,” Chase was saying. His voice was warm, like some kind of drugging anchor I wanted to grab, but I knew how disastrous that would be.
“The roads were like rivers,” he explained, “but most of the houses were okay.”
Through the beam of Drew’s flashlight, Jessica’s smile glittered as she dragged her finger along the grid superimposed on the heart. “Which is why the blood is still here.”
They were practically begging me to ask. “What blood?”
Jessica looked away, down toward a pile of … corn? I tensed, trying to focus on the faint sounds of the city drifting on the night, sirens and the horn of a tugboat, music. Laughter.
In New Orleans, if you listened closely enough, you could always hear something.
At least I could.
The low buzz threatened to drown it all out. Still cold, I swung my flashlight toward the broken glass, but saw only the shifting shadows of the huge trees beyond.
I would have sworn someone had been watching.
“No one knows for sure,” Jessica said, and I could hear the deliberate drama in her voice.
“But they say when the moon is full…” Like it was tonight. I doubted that was a coincidence.
“The walls start to bleed.” That was Amber.
“And that you can hear a girl crying from one of the rooms upstairs.”
“And smell whiskey…”
My heart bumped hard, even though it was obvious what they were doing. They were like lame, wannabe actors reading the script for some low-budget horror flick. And while I hadn’t spent tons of time with kids my age, I wasn’t stupid.
Jessica and Amber had been friends forever. Chase and Drew were cousins. They’d all grown up together. I was the new girl.
That, apparently, made me fair game.
But the cold was real. And the tomblike darkness. The disgusting smell.
Still, I swallowed hard and tilted the flashlight to shine on my own face. “I want to see.”
* * *
Sometimes I really regretted my smart mouth. Now was definitely one of those times. Jessica led us through the shadows of the kitchen to a closed door. She pulled it open to a blast of stale air, revealing a hidden staircase.
“This is what the servants used,” she said, taking the first step.
“You mean slaves,” Amber corrected, lingering at the bottom as the rest of us started up.
Her friend huffed. “Whatever.”
“The blood is theirs,” Amber just had to say. “Some weird voodoo—”
Her terrified scream stopped me cold.
“Amber!” Jessica cried as we all swung our flashlights behind us. We saw them immediately, Pitre pressing Amber against the graffiti-polluted wall, his hand over her mouth. Her eyes were wide—furious.
“Jerk,” Jessica muttered.
But Pitre only laughed. “Sike!”
“Let her go.” That was not Chase, as I expected, but Drew. Three words strung together.
There’s a first for everything.
Pitre’s lip curled as he stepped back from Amber. She recoiled from him, slinking up several stairs while barely seeming to move. All the while she looked at him like he was one of those disgusting cockroaches Louisiana specialized in.
Apparently she was a lot more over the night they hooked up than he was.
“I think it’s time for you to go,” Jessica hissed, shining her flashlight into his face. “No one wanted you here to begin with.”
His mouth curled. “Now who’s scared?”
Her eyes got narrow. “Chase. Make. Him. Go.”
Chase moved between them like a referee, and in that moment I felt so bad for him. I mean, putting him in that position, making him choose between his girlfriend and his All-State receiver.
“I wanted him here.” Chase’s words surprised me as much as they surprised everyone else. I stepped back, but couldn’t stop staring at the way his blue eyes glittered. “If he goes, I go.”
The walls pushed closer. Jessica didn’t move, though. No one did. I’m not sure anyone even breathed.
It was Jessica who moved first, after a long hot second, glancing beyond Drew to her best friend. Their eyes met. Understanding flared.
“It’s cool,” Amber said, even though it was obvious she was lying.
The awful drone grew louder, and the walls wouldn’t stop watching. If someone got locked in here—
I needed to move. “Then come on,” I said. Standing in place made me feel like a sitting duck.
“Need me to lead?” Pitre asked, obviously needling Jessica. “Because I’d be happy to show you where to go—”
“Oh, shut up.” With the words she took off.
Flashlights in front of us, we all followed, Chase and Bethany behind Jessica, Amber and Drew behind them, me with Pitre. He said nothing, but I would have sworn I saw a flicker of respect in his quick glance. Or maybe that was gratitude.
Upstairs, doorways lined each side of an ultra-long hallway, all closed, like in a hotel. Except this had been a house. Actually, was still a house. Just empty.
Except for the presence that hummed like invisible blood through invisible veins …
Oblivious, Jessica swung open the second door to the left, and vanished inside.
Again we all followed. My heart pounded hard as I crossed into the room—the mattresses stopped me. Surrounded by the remains of little white candles and an unbroken chain of dead flowers, they dominated the center of the room, like … an altar.
Crouching beside them, Jessica glanced up through a tangle of dark hair, and smiled. “You wanna see?”
Copyright © 2011 by Ellie James
Excerpted from Shattered Dreams by Ellie James Copyright © 2011 by Ellie James. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Shattered Dreams drove me crazy. I do believe that that was Ellie James¿ intentions, and she succeeded in this twisted storyline. I feel like I just got off the for insane people roller coaster ride. I don't know if I love this book or need a bottle of Xanax. I guess I will go with love because it did make me feel every one of my emotions. Even though most were frustrating. By the time I finished Shattered Dreams and understood the whole story, I can say yes I like this book. But boy, in the middle of reading this story I felt like locking the main character up and throwing away the key. So I have to hand it to Ellie James, I feel like I know how Trinity was feeling and what James was wanting me to understand about Trinity in this storyline and she definitely achieved it with me. Trinity is sixteen, and her grandmother has died, so she goes to live with her aunt Sara in New Orleans. This is her first time going to public high school as her grandmother home schooled Trinity in order to protect her from people finding out about her visions. It¿s not until she goes to live with her aunt that she starts to learn who her mom and dad were, and that she inherited her mom's gift of vision. When Jessica goes missing, she¿s not sure if she should help. She¿s been told to hide her gift. Chase is the gorgeous blue eyed quarterback that she¿s fallen for, but she keeps pushing him away. She feels like once he finds out about her visions, she will become a freak to him and break her heart. Trinity drove me crazy with hot and cold feelings for Chase, and I had a hard time understanding her reasoning when Chase already knew a little about her visions. I think their relationship could have been done better. Tell you the truth, I like Dylan¿s character a lot more than Chase I would have liked to seen Trinity end up with Dylan, who already knew everything and his character had more strength to me even if he didn¿t come into the story until halfway through. I would recommend Shattered Dreams as a must read. I will say you need to definitely put yourself in Trinity¿s place to understand how she¿s been raised and where she¿s coming from. Which I believe Ellie James accomplished this for me. I know I felt as crazy as Trinity.
I loved the book. Once I started reading it, I had a hard time putting it down. Great storyline about the girl and her family line. Along with a boy who loves her dearly.
If you like clif hangers this is the book. It also involves a love between trinity and this guy
I have major mixed feelings on this book!! If my boyfriend didnt believe me he wouldnt be my boyfriend anymore!! Sorry but trust is everything in a relationship & when the going went bad he ran away lame!! Now the guy who didnt even know her seemed to care way more than anybody else,thats who I would pick thats true Love!! This book had me going in way to many different directions with women who knew who she was but no other explanations to it & a wierd skinny bleeding cat??!! I really need a Valium after reading this book LOL I just hope the next book is better since I bought the entire collection ughh kinda wish I didnt now...
I found this book by reading Haunted Destiny that was a short story by this same author. In the back, there was a preview for this book and I read it, and fell in love with it! It sounds so good! I always read fictional books like these, so I know I'm gonna love this one!!
Trinity is special. She dreams true things, things that are or will be happening...and most of the time they are not good. Trinity comes to live with her aunt in New Orleans after the death of her grandmother. After a foolish prank is pulled on her by Jessica, the mean but popular girl at school, Jessica turns up missing. Trinity has "seen" what is going on, but most won't believe her and the ones that do think Trinity had something to do with it. Trinity has to find a way to save Jessica before it's too late, but there is a deeper plot at work against her that she doesn't see. Trinity is a great character. Haunted by her past and her present she is looking for answers to so many questions. The urgent one is how she can help Jessica without making it seem even more like she was involved in the disappearance. She is also trying to learn more about her family and the mysterious "gift" she has of seeing things. Trinity is helped by by her new friend, Chase. Chase used to be Jessica's boyfriend and is also being investigated as a potential part of her disappearance. He has connections and tries to help Trinity find answers to her many questions. A great story that draws deep on the history of New Orleans, from its historical cemetaries to the wreckage left by Hurricane Katrina. We follow Trinity as she learns about the city of her past and what to expect from her future. 4/5
Shattered Dreams is a Paranormal/YA/Romance that revolves around the muddled life of Trinity Rose Monsour. Orphaned after the death of her parents when she was only a toddler, and then again by her dearly departed Grandmother, she moves in with her Aunt (who she barely knows) and tries to start anew. However, it quickly becomes apparent that Trinity’s life is never going to be normal. She’s a precog—blessed (or cursed) with the gift of witnessing people’s death before it happens, just as her mother, and her mother before her. Shortly after coming to live in New Orleans, she is witness to the grisly future of a classmate, and all chaos ensues. I really enjoyed this book. The writing was clear, easy-to-follow, and for the most part, well written. There were a few punctuation / conjunction misuses that aggravated me, but I’m willing to admit that I’m nitpicky about those sorts of things. The pace moved along at a steady pace, the world building was well done (if a little hard to follow at times), and the characters were… well, maybe not three dimensional, but not completely flat either. Honestly, the characters weren’t the best I’ve seen written, but they weren’t the worst either. They all had their roles to play and had their own clear identities… but I don’t think they were as well fleshed out as I’d hoped. Many of the characters (such as Jessica’s little sister—who’s name escapes me—and Pitre) had little more than cameo’s as far as face-time went. They were all right while on-screen, but quickly stepped off and faded into the shadows until key moments. I didn’t feel like their presence in the book was integral to the story, nor that they had any stage-presence once they were off-camera. Maybe I’m being finicky because I’ve read some fantastic characterizations recently, but it could have been worse. There was one other problem: as interesting and unique as the world building of Ms. James’ novel was, it was also hard to follow. I understand that trinity was a precog. I understand that her mother and her grandmother were precog’s before her. What isn’t made clear, is how the women came upon this ability, who the other “magic” people exactly were in this story, and what connection they all had to Trinity’s family. There seemed to be this underlying current that perhaps they were part of a bigger, more important sub-story than what was just going on in this book, and that perhaps there were connections to Hoodoo and Wicca…. but honestly, I’m not sure what those connections are. There were so many unanswered questions in this book concerning Trinity’s place in this web of the paranormal. There came a point when, like Trinity, I couldn’t tell who she should trust. The line between her visions, reality, and the unseen paranormal world were so incredibly blurred that I lost track of what was real and what wasn’t. It was a disquieting feeling, and I can’t help but feel sympathy for Trinity. We were both going a little mad.Despite these two aspects, I enjoyed the book. The story was fascinating, and punctuated with thrilling chases, paranormal mystery, and teenage romance that made this a fun and engaging read. Overall: I loved the book. It was by no means perfect, but it was still a great read, and I’d be happy to recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA fiction. It wasn’t a light-hearted read, but if you enjoy psychological thrillers and supernatural powers, you’re probably going to love this. I certainly plan to continue on with the series
So this review isn't going to be one of the nicest I've written and it's one of those books I have mixed feelings about. Shattered Dreams is about a girl named Trinity who dreams about a girl in danger, but the twist is she doesn't know if it's herself or another girl. As the story unravels, secrets are revealed and her life is changed forever. The characters had a lot to be desired in this book. I can't really think of any character that stood out to me. I know Trinity should have been the one I loved, and I did like her for the most part, but she did some really stupid, immature things that really turned me off her. I can handle a lot of immature things, but not when those stupid things can put your life in danger - not when it isn't self-sacrificing. To her credit though, she does use her gift to try and find Jessica before it's too late. Even though Jessica had been nasty to her beforehand. Chase was all right. He was just the normal-type mc male who was there for the heroine for the most part. He seemed more relatable to me then any of the others. I understood him more. And I positively loathed Jessica. She acted like a psycho ex-girlfriend who couldn't let go of the guy who dropped her because he discovered he liked another girl. Sorry, honey, but he didn't cheat on you with Trinity, he did the right thing and dumped you first. Not that he wanted to be with you anyway. If I recollect the story correctly, you emotionally blackmailed him into staying with you when he had tried to dump you earlier and that was BEFORE he met Trinity. Anyway, let's just say she really got on my nerves. She had played these stupid disappearing games in the past, which is part of the reason why nobody thought much of it when she first disappeared - because she had done it all before. Done it before as part of a ploy to get back at people. That's probably a spoiler. I'm usually very careful not to go into what may possibly be a spoiler, but in this case I don't really care. The sad thing is where I would have felt sorry for any other person in her position, I couldn't. I just couldn't connect to her as a victim - and I hated that. The only thing that saved this book for me and the reason I would go on to read the next is because of the story line. I like reading paranormal books - especially when it involves clairvoyance. I've always had thing for books that include it. Even though the book felt disjointed, I have to admit I still liked the way it was done. And I liked the idea of a game and matching wits with the bad guy. I don't know who I'd recommend this book to - I guess it would be to anyone who likes paranormal books, because, well, when it comes right down to it, this is only my opinion.
A really good book that i would recomend for anyone 14+
I got this book for my birthday from a friend that knows I love dragonflies. Once I read the story I fell in love with the work by Ellie James, I highly recommend it.
This book jumped right into the story with Trinity and her friends (some of whom are not so friendly) visiting a haunted house in New Orleans. It was a promising beginning; very creepy with a lot of interesting tension between the characters. However, the novel proved to be disappointing. Trinity can see bits of the future in dreams and visions. Sometimes she mistakes these visions for reality and runs around screaming at men wielding knives and cats and strange women who knew her mother. About halfway through the book, I began to feel like the whole story was a dream sequence. By the end, I could barely make sense out of the plot and large sections blurred in my mind because they were so confusing. The main characters were interesting enough, but they could have used a little more depth. There were references to things in Trinity's past that were never fully explained, even though it seemed like the author was building up to it. The romance was sweet, though, especially the way it blossomed while playing Halo. I thought that was a rather original setting for a kissing scene. So, in the end, this book was a mixed bag for me. The things I liked were slightly outnumbered by the things I didn't like. I wouldn't really recommend it unless you like weird, creepy visions and inexplicable running.