Monday, July 8, 2013

Book Review: Shattered: A Daughter's Regret by Melody Carlson

Shattered: A Daughter's Regret
Shattered: A Daughter's Regret by Melody Carlson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Seventeen-year-old Cleo loves her mom, but not her mom's overprotective nature. When the chance comes for Cleo and her best friend Lola to attend a concert in the big city, a Christian concert even, her mom refuses to let her drive. And because the date coincides with a party her mom, Karen, must attend, she can't drive the girls to the concert either. Knowing that she and Lola can make it safely into the city and back again, Cleo figures out a way for them to attend the concert without her mom ever knowing. The guilt is sort of a shock, and she can't really concentrate on the music, but at least Lola had a good time. When Cleo wakes up the next morning, her mom is nowhere to be found. At least until a police officer rings the doorbell with the worst news imaginable.

Choices have consequences, and Cleo learns this the hard way. And the way she deals with the guilt of her last choice is making another poor decision in an attempt to erase her pain. Shattered deals with two separate issues: rebellion and substance abuse. What begins as the prospect of a fun evening with only a little deception quickly spirals out of control. Choices have consequences and when you're a teenager, your protective parents aren't out to squash your fun, they only want to keep you safe.

One of the best lessons learned in Shattered is that you can't make other people's choices your own. Don't heap guilt on your head over a choice someone else made, even if it was from an indirect action of your own. We are responsible for our own actions and cannot control the actions or choices of others, no matter how much we want to.

This one was a tough book to read. I understand the decisions Cleo made because I had a little bit of a rebellious streak in me as a teenager, still do even though I'm an adult now. I get wanting to do the exact opposite of my parent's instruction. In my case the consequences were never severe. In Cleo's case, the consequences were devastating. With a lot of guidance and love from her aunt, Cleo learns to accept forgiveness, both from herself and from the Lord. She has a tough road ahead of her, but I think she'll make it.

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