Author: Kathi Baron
Publisher: Westside Books
Pages: Hardcover; 262
Release Date: September 1, 2009
Source: JKS Communications
Content Screening: Mild Violence
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy more realistic reads, that deal with tough issues.
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Teen violin prodigy Cassie has been tiptoeing around her father, whose moods have become increasingly explosive.After he destroys her beloved and valuable violin in a sudden rage, Cassie, shocked, runs away, eventually seeking refuge in a homeless shelter.She later learns that her father, a former violinist, was physically beaten as a child by her grandfather, a painful secret he's kept hidden from his family, and the cause of his violent outbursts. With all of their lives shattered in some way, Cassie's family must struggle to repair their broken relationships.As Cassie moves forward, she ultimately finds a way to help others, having developed compassion through her own painful experiences. Written in lyrical prose, SHATTERED tells the moving story of how one girl finds inner strength through music.
Kathi Baron introduces us to the story of Cassie, a fourteen-year-old violin soloist. Her antique violin is her life, as is the Chicago Youth Symphony. When her father shatters her violin, and essentially her heart, Cassie's life takes a course that will shape her life.
I thought that Cassie's overall voice was fairly authentic. We watch as she goes through normal issues we all do growing up, like dating. The difference, of course, is that Cassie also has to deal with domestic violence and a broken family at the same time. I felt for her, but I kept looking for more emotion. Cassie and her family are very one-dimensional. I wanted to see more in depth into their lives so I would feel more immersed.
I also found myself interested in how attached Cassie was to her violin. This story is supposed to show a girl who finds her inner strength through music. However, there isn't much musical content at all. I was a musician for much of my life. I know how easy it is to fall into it as a whole way of life. I don't doubt that Cassie would have felt this way too, since her violin was so dear to her. We never really see this though. It's hidden under the rest of the plot line.
Although I did read the entirety of Shattered, I was left feeling slightly disappointed upon finishing. I would have loved to see more characterization and a little more polish to the writing. However I definitely see something with unique potential here. I'm glad I took a chance.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.