Length: 85,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Tiferet Design
You’ll make it out of here, Brian. I swear.
I had everything—school quarterback, popular with girls, and my dad was proud of me. I told myself it didn’t matter no one knew the real me. And then I nearly died. Landon saved my life. He’s the bravest guy I know. He came out a few years ago, proud and fierce, and he ran into gunfire to help others. Me, I’m a mess. Can’t even stand to be in a room with the curtains open. But here’s the thing about losing it all: You get a chance to start over and be someone new. Only how can I move on when the two shooters who attacked our school were never caught? And why do I feel like I’m still in the crosshairs?
Will you kiss me?
When I came across Brian Marshall,the hottest guy in school, dying on the cafeteria floor, I did what anyone would do. I tried to save him. His request surprised me, but I figured he needed comfort, so I kissed him on the forehead. When he survived and came back to school, he was broken in body and mind. He still needed me, and soon we were unlikely besties. But what I saw at school that day woke me up. I want to demand action on gun control, lead protests, raise my fist. I’ll tear the world down if I have to. And if I can get the man of my dreams and save the world at the same time? I’ll take it. Only I didn’t understand that the horror at Jefferson Waller High wasn’t over.
When you have a topic like school shootings the focus of a story, it can be tough for many people to read. The subject matter is disturbing on so many levels, and for some readers pushes buttons that they don’t ever want to be pushed. For me, living just under 15 miles from the school where the Parkland shooting took place, it’s common to see #MSDStrong bumper stickers and magnets on cars, or people wearing t-shirts in support of the school that’s right here in our community. While I may not have children of my own, I do have some in my family—and the thought that this could happen to one of them is terrifying.
In Boy Shattered, the author puts you right in the thick of things with a depiction that goes beyond eerie, and might have you thinking twice about not just the possibilities in other schools, but in ANY setting where you don’t have total control of your own surroundings. Going through that from both Landon and Brian’s points of view (especially Brian’s) made for a highly emotional read—not just regarding the shooting itself, but also how it affects them both afterward.
There’s a strong line of tension running through the book until close to the end since resolution is not immediate for the victims, something that is a powerful factor in Brian’s recovery. There’s even more drama added in the form of conflict with Brian’s father and his beliefs (the word that comes to my mind is “infuriating”. But alongside all that is the friendship and eventually romantic relationship that develops between Brian and Landon, and there’s an intensity between them that is supercharged thanks to the event that brought them together.
You cannot read this book and come away from it unaffected. The subject matter is relevant and unfortunately ongoing in our lives today, and for some readers it may hit too close to home to be comfortable. Be prepared for a brutal, uncensored eyewitness look at one of the horrors of our current society…but also know that the author shows hope and strength in the midst of it all.
5 stars, full stop. This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language, sexual content, and scenes of a graphic and disturbing nature depicting a school shooting. This is a heavy read, just know that going in (and you’ll probably want to have something light and fluffy queued up to read next after it).
About the Author
Eli has loved romance since her teens and she particular admires writers who can combine literary merit, genuine humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, bulldogs, cows, a cat, and lots of groundhogs.
In romance, Eli is best known for her Christmas stories because she’s a total Christmas sap. These include “Blame it on the Mistletoe”, “Unwrapping Hank” and “Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles”. Her “Howl at the Moon” series of paranormal romances featuring the town of Mad Creek and its dog shifters has been popular with readers. And her series of Amish-themed romances, Men of Lancaster County, has won genre awards.
In 2018 Eli hopes to do more of the same, assuming they reschedule the apocalypse.
Her website is www.elieaston.com
You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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