Shattered Dreams (Midnight Dragonfly Series #1)

Shattered Dreams (Midnight Dragonfly Series #1)

by Ellie James

Paperback(First Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312647025
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 12/06/2011
Series: Midnight Dragonfly Series , #1
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

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 Dreams

A Midnight Dragonfly Novel
By Ellie James

St. Martin's Griffin

Copyright © 2011 Ellie James
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780312647025

ONE
 
 
“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.
Alone.
It was an odd word, but there you go. Alone. The old place with its dark windows and peeling siding looked like it was …
Waiting.
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.
Waiting.
“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.
“You coming?”
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 here!
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.
Only me.
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.
Darkness.
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.
Waiting.
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.
Crying.
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


Continues...

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.

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Shattered Dreams 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
iheartyabooks More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like clif hangers this is the book. It also involves a love between trinity and this guy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
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
Zoey_Talbon on LibraryThing 1 days ago
If I'm honest, it took me a long time to get into Shattered Dreams. I took ages just to read the first forty pages, and even after that, it was kind of a slow read for me. I think my problem was with the narrator, Trinity. She wasn't a character that I could connect to. At all. I mean, sure, she lusted after a boy who already had a girlfriend, which is perfectly normal, but other than that, I had no ways to connect to her. We didn't learn anything about her interests or hobbies, so there wasn't really anything to connect to.I also felt like the rest of the characters weren't involved enough, excluding Chase. Of course, the book was supposed to be about the mystery surrounding Jessica's disappearance, etc, and it was, but I felt like too much of the book was centered on Trinity and everything that was going on with her. I wouldn't consider Trinity a whiner, not by any means, but I was fairly annoyed because we didn't get to see much of the other characters.I have no idea how I felt about Chase. :P He was very helpful and did almost everything he could for Trinity, but sometimes, he just fell flat to me. He was the romantic interest, and it was obvious that Trinity liked him, but he wasn't anything for me to swoon over like I often do with fictional characters.The writing style saved this book for me. It was simple and easy to understand, yet there were still amazing descriptions of everything. I'm not sure how to say this, but the . . . creepiness bled through, I guess :P James made it believable, and if Trinity was scared, so was I. (Sort of. I don't scare easily.) The only problem I had when it came to the writing style was the italics in the dialogue - there was way too much of it, especially when people said Trinity's name. I felt like every time someone said her name, it was in italics.Overall: Shattered Dreams was full of suspense and twists I never saw coming. Although I wish some of the other characters had been more involved and I won't be clamboring over people to get the sequel, once you get into it, Shattered Dreams is an okay read. 3 stars.
psteinke1122 on LibraryThing 1 days ago
3.5 Stars!Trinity has recently returned to her birthplace of New Orleans. She moved to the mountains of Colorado when she was a toddler after her parents died. Her grandmother has recently passed and now she is living with her Aunt Sara back in NOLA.Trinity is starting to have strange visions and dreams involving an acquaintance from school being abducted. But then the girl is really abducted. Trinity, being a good kid who wants to help, shares her visions with the police and she becomes suspect #1. Meanwhile Trinity has a personal quest to find out what really happened to her parents.I got sucked right into the story¿the fact that it starts out in a creepy abandoned house in the Garden District, sure helped. What was so personal for me about this book was the setting. N¿Awlins is someplace I¿ve visited often and love dearly! I could visualize so many of the landmarks and districts as I read in the story¿it brought back so many fond memories!I liked the story, even though some of the secondary characters were flat. Trinity is a good kid who wanted to help a girl who had gone out of her way to make Trinity feel unwelcome. And she continued to try and help even when everyone turned against her, which I would have found very difficult to do. Chase, the object of Trinity¿s affections, however was not one of my favorites. He was an open book¿he lacked depth. However, Dylan, on the other hand, was much more mysterious¿I wanted to know more about him! This appears to be the beginning of a series, so I¿m guessing a love triangle will figure prominently in the future.The story did have some confusing parts that I found myself rereading a number of times and still didn¿t really understand, little side streets we would start to venture down that would then be abandoned. For example, elements of Trinity¿s parents that were hinted at, but never explained. Some of these asides seemed pertinent, but most didn¿t.Overall, I thought it was a good debut, though a little rough around the edges. Like I said, I loved the setting and the pacing of the book and Trinity is a character I would like to know more about.
Bookswithbite on LibraryThing 1 days ago
I really enjoyed this book. A new power. A psychic combined with real life drama always makes for a great story. Ms. James took amazing characters filled with an dynamic plot and gave the reader a great read!As the reader began this book, we meet Trinity tormented by dreams she doesn't understand. I really like how the reader is captivated from the beginning of whats these dreams mean. Ms. James give the reader clues piece by piece as the reader delves deeper into dreams. I like how the reader is taken by Trinity's past and how it comes back to haunt her.The characters of the book are right where I want them. They know, but don't really know. I enjoyed Trinity asking questions, snooping around. It was like she is her own Nancy Drew! The reader also sees a love form during the whole process of Trinity learning the family secret. I like that Trinity does not have to do things all by herself. She has good friends and people looking out for her.This book strongly reminded me of The Body Finder. Only in this book, people are not to forthcoming about Trinity. There is a lot of skepticism and prejudice that Trinity must over come in order for her to be who she is meant to be. Overall, this is a great book that everyone can enjoy! Dark and edgy, Shattered Dreams gives a new twist in paranormal.
AmieG on LibraryThing 1 days ago
Trinity Monsour has spent her life in the secluded mountains of Colorado, raised and homeschooled by her grandmother. After her grandmother passes away, Trinity moves to New Orleans to live with her aunt. Trinity knows virtually nothing about her parents, or the city she was born in. Once in New Orleans, Trinity strives to fit in and lead a normal life. Unfortunately, Trinity herself isn¿t normal. She¿s psychic. Trinity¿s life begins to change as her visions accelerate. But not everyone believes that she is having visions; some people believe that she is really responsible for the disappearance of the school¿s head cheerleader. Trinity is pulled into a world she never believed was possible, a world her mother was involved in. As Trinity learns secret after secret and more truths are revealed, things around her begin to spin out of control. Will the truth push her over the edge?Shattered Dreams is a compelling, intriguingly unique story with well-written characters. Trinity is the seemingly typical high school girl, a little bit confused and scared, but wanting everything to be normal. The ¿mean girls¿ at the high school, in particular Amber, are the epitome of the nasty, self-centered teenage girls every one has experienced. The male leads of the story, especially Chase, at first seem like bone-headed jocks, but grow into characters with more depth than imagined. My favorite part of the story was the characters.I enjoyed Ellie James¿ descriptions of New Orleans. She captured the beauty of the city, as well as the haunting loss the city has experienced since Hurricane Katrina. She obviously has a vast knowledge of the city and she utilized that knowledge to bring the city to life.While I enjoyed the story James¿ wrote, at times it felt a bit out of sync. This became more noticeable as the book neared the end. New characters were brought in, seemingly out of nowhere, and became an integral part of the story. A love triangle appeared in the last 60 pages of the book, one that was totally unexpected. The motives of some characters seemed odd, even questionable, and were never explained. Fortunately, the story ended well, redeeming itself. This is a book I would recommend to my girls, though I don¿t think I would encourage them to move it up on their list. Definitely readable and enjoyable.
MonicaLynn on LibraryThing 1 days ago
I truly enjoyed this book. Very fast paced, action packed, holds your interest type of story. Trinity after losing her grandmother moves back to New Orleans with Aunt Sara and learns about her true self. She trys to make new friends and things turn around on her with her gift that she has been given and trys so hard to help out her new friends who don't really seem to be to friendly at first. Especially Jessica, who gets kidnapped and poor Trinity is being accused of Jessica being missing. Nicely twisted around plot, enjoyable quick read.
allureofbooks on LibraryThing 1 days ago
Shattered Dreams by Ellie James is a ghost story that takes place in New Orleans. That was pretty much all I needed to hear to make me want to pick up the book. I love spooky books set in the South! Unfortunately, this book basically failed on every level. I found the plot and characters both utterly ridiculous. I could barely make myself finish ¿ I had to scan through sections of it to make it through.Before I really get going, I do have to speak positively about the setting. I think post-Katrina New Orleans is showcased very well. There are creepy old mansions and dark corners aplenty, I was very happy with that part of things. Sadly, my good feelings for the book end there.Trinity moves to New Orleans after growing up with her grandmother in Colorado. When the grandmother dies, she moves to live with her aunt. As she tries to make friends, her life gets pretty complicated when the really scary visions she sometimes had growing up become a lot more frequent. When popular girl Jessica disappears after playing a prank on Trinity, lots of people look at her for the blame. That doesn¿t include Jessica¿s boyfriend Chase, who pretty much immediately jumps ship and seems to fall for Trinity.The characters were laughably bad. Emotionally (well, really only relationship-wise), they seemed more like thirty-five year old adults than teenagers. Every time I turned around Trinity and Chase were holding each other and Chase would calmly there-there her as he pulled her into his arms ¿ that immediate intensity came off as very odd. A real class act, that guy. No qualms about becoming involved in a very intense relationship with the girl blamed for making his (very recently ex) girlfriend disappear. Plus, major insta-love alert. Absolutely no character development to make readers understand why they want to be together. No real development otherwise either ¿ I couldn¿t tell you anything about Trinity except that she has ghostly visions and likes to whine to Chase about them.The silliest things kept happening throughout the story. Like for example, Chase offered to help Trinity find out more about her parents, who she knows little to nothing about. He almost immediately has the information about who they are and where they lived ¿ apparently he keeps confidential city records in his back pocket? Then, as they walk up to the creepy abandoned house, he suddenly disappears. Trinity freaks out when she can¿t find him and goes running around looking for him. Then, suddenly he is there again and randomly says, ¿I was adopted as a baby but my parents lied about it and told me I wasn¿t.¿ He then goes on to tell the story about how he discovered this ¿ when they are in a tense situation and Trinity is obviously scared out of her mind. Can you say totally random and out-of-place? I literally laughed out loud in disbelief at the horrible timing.It has been a long time since I¿ve sincerely disliked every single thing about a book. Normally the things I don't like are plot points I know others will enjoy ¿ but this is one book I recommend everyone pass over. I have already seen positive reviews of it on Goodreads though, so if you were interested in reading it before seeing my review you might look a little further before you completely give up.
hrose2931 on LibraryThing 1 days ago
Release Date of this book is December so I'm doing a mini review.What I loved- Great story line! I haven't read anything like it anywhere else. Trinity, the main character is precognitive, but more than that. Her dreams are terrifyingly real so that she doesn't know if what she is seeing is real or imagined. And they don't only happen at night. Her parents died in a car accident and she grew up with her grandmother in Colorado being homeschooled. She knows very little about her parents and has never even seen a picture of them. Her grandmother has told her to keep her vision to herself. When her grandmother dies she goes to live with her father's sister in New Orleans. That's where the story takes place in post Katrina New Orleans. The author uses the devastation of Katrina as part of her setting. It has a somewhat haunting feel to it and it's also a psychological thriller. Trinity has to piece together her past and find the answers she doesn't know she's looking for before she can clear her name for a crime she didn't commit. I didn't completely understand her motivations and mistrust, but the story line was strong and fast paced and carried the novel along quickly. There was never a dull moment and Trinity never had the woe is me attitude, which I loved. She was strong on the outside but not so much on the inside. And made a few dumb mistakes.What I hated- Insta love, the boy she liked called her "Baby" ugh! Too many uses of she had to remember to breath, she held her breath, was she breathing, had she breathed, that kind of thing and Chases' bottom lip, just so you know if full. Said that a few times. Those are minor I know, but they kept cropping up so much that they bugged me.But I gave it five stars because it's completely fascinating and a fast read and it's like a sprint to the finish line. I couldn't put it down! It's the first in a series that is going to be fantastic and I'm kinda sad I got to read it so early b/c I'll have to wait forever for the second one to come out. I'm not as interested in the romance as I am in Trinity's abilities. Can't wait for the next one.Heather
jasmyn9 on LibraryThing 1 days ago
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
Loyet on LibraryThing 1 days ago
The storyline was okay but the execution just wasn't good. The writing seemed forced, like the author was trying too hard to make it sound good. The characters were flat. The main character (Trinity) had some depth, but everyone else was like an empty shell. The love interest (Chase) had no personality. I had no idea why Trinity would be into him except that he was hot and said the things she wanted him to hear. Honestly, I was only able to get about halfway through the book before I just gave up!!
Readingfanatic1 on LibraryThing 1 days ago
I really, really tried to read this one. I just could not get into it. The characters really bugged me to the point I was rolling my eyes instead of enjoying the story. Thus, while I gave it a shot, I quickly gave up on the story.
DarkFaerieTales on LibraryThing 1 days ago
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales Quick and Dirty: The writing and characterization of the protagonist are strong, but there are confusing holes in the plot at times. Opening Sentence: ¿I heard this place is like . . . haunted.¿ The Review: I enjoyed reading this book for the poetic descriptions and the strong protagonist voice. Trinity has had a different childhood than most of the teenagers her age, growing up orphaned and homeschooled by her grandmother a thousand miles away from her closest family member. After her grandmother dies, Trinity moves to New Orleans, where her parents grew up, to live with her Aunt Sara. Right off the reader is able to get a feel for the kind of person Trinity is. She accepts the challenges in her life, and works to overcome her troubles. She doesn¿t fit in very well at school, but feels a close connection to her lab partner, Chase. Not only is her life difficult in the normal sense, but Trinity also seems to have inherited her mother¿s gift of psychic visions. These visions increase in frequency and accuracy, and they could help save the life of the girl who treated Trinity poorly. Trinity is smart, strong willed, and funny. I enjoyed reading her, and her voice really came out through the pages. Some novels have apathetic narrators, but not Trinity. She is driven by emotions and the need to know the truth, which propels the story forward. She knows almost nothing about her parents and their deaths, and starts to slowly uncover the truth as she explores mysterious New Orleans for her parent¿s past. The reader finds out information as Trinity does, and the need to know what happened kept me reading until the end. The book focuses mainly on Trinity, but she is not the only character, of course. Her Aunt seems nice enough, but we don¿t see much interaction with who Sara really is. Ellie James does not really focus on character development for anyone else, but the reader must also remember that this is the beginning of a series, so Shattered Dreams may just be an introduction to the characters around Trinity. The one person she has the most interaction with is Chase Bonaventure, who is the ex-boyfriend of Jessica, the girl who went missing. Chase is described as likable, attractive, and athletic. Beyond liking Trinity and spending a lot of time with her, we really don¿t find out much about who he is as a person. She has an indescribable attraction for him, and he is protective of her fairly quickly, but the relationship between the two does not go into much more detail than that. Maybe we will see more of who Chase is in later books. For me, finding out what happened to Jessica and Trinity¿s parents kept me reading until the end. This book is definitely a paranormal mystery since Trinity experiences clairvoyant dreams that could lead the police to find Jessica if they would take her suggestions seriously. We see the friction between the paranormal and the normal when Trinity is not believed by the police, but is suspected of having something to do with the disappearance in the first place. Anyone who reads paranormal novels knows how difficult relations are between those in power and those who know more because of their gifts. The plot jumps around a bit between what Trinity dreams about, what actually happens, and what Trinity finds out about her family¿s past. The story telling was a bit disjointed, but the descriptive imagery and mystery helped tie the book together. The ending was a bit confusing, but it functions as a cliffhanger for the next novel. I think Shattered Dreams was a good start, and I¿m interested to see where this series goes. Notable Scene: Open door number one; open door number two. Life was about choices. Take a different path¿dream a different dream. Even the road not taken led somewhere. I¿ll never know what would have happened if I¿d just turned and walked away.But I¿m never good at that. Determined not to buckle, I stepped deeper into the room¿and saw. Lightening flashe
Humphreys3 on LibraryThing 1 days ago
I found this to be a really interesting book. Being from Louisiana myself, I enjoy books that take place in set area. For now I will say that I recommend this book. Till I can write a proper review, which will hopefully be real soon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AuthorUnpublished More than 1 year ago
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
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sandyemerson More than 1 year ago
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.