#JustContemporary Spotlight with a Giveaway ENDED: Shattered Soul by Jennifer Snyder

Today for Just Contemporary {find out more about this event and the list of other reviews, etc HERE} I have a review on Shattered Soul as well as a an interview with the author and a giveaway.
Shattered Soul by Jennifer Snyder
Paperback, 152 pgs.
Published May 14, 2011 
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Won

Hellish Nightmare…
If seventeen-year-old Seth Bradson were to describe his life in two words, those would be the two he’d choose. Seth prefers to cope with his crappy existence by spending his days in a drug-induced haze. But when Ali Carson steps into his life, Seth finds something he’s subconsciously been seeking; a new drug, one that consumes his mind unlike any other.

In a moment of unforgivable weakness, Seth allows Ali to try crystal meth, his most addictive temptation. This single event begins the unraveling of both their lives and forces Seth to learn the definition of regret the hard way.

This was not an easy read.  At only 152 pages it seems like it would be easy to just cruise through it, but no, this book is heavy.  Heavy and real and very very important.  This isn’t going to be a book for everyone, but any parent with a teen should read it.  Every teen should read it even if it’s just to get a better understanding to why anyone would ever do a drug that you know is going to kill you.  This book is real.  Painfully real.  Trust me when I tell you that this is how it is.  Obviously each person has their own story but I think anyone who has seen the downward spiral of drug use and abuse can really relate.
This is a very well wrote book, I feel it’s important to point that out since so many are afraid of self published books or small indie press books.  It was well edited and had amazing characters that were very realistic and well done.  The plot played out perfectly for the story and while in no way was this a happy book I think it went the way it should have.  Just go into this knowing you aren’t getting a happy story.  This is a realistic story portraying drug use and abuse and the scene behind it all.  There is cursing and swearing, there is drug use, this book is harsh.  But like I said, it’s real.  I think it was important that this story did not hold back.  It portrayed things as they really are.
What I think made this even harder was that the main character was a good guy.  He had good intentions, he had a sweetness about him, he had a big heart.  He was just thrown into circumstances that he really felt he couldn’t control.  And things just unwound all around him until he had nothing left.  I very highly recommend people to read this one to better understand the effects of drugs and why someone would allow it to control them so completely.

And now I have a short interview with the author!

Shattered Soul deals with some heavy stuff, what inspired you to write this story?
As to what inspired me, I can’t really say because I’m unsure of that myself. I’d never even read a young adult contemporary book before writing Shattered Soul. In fact, I posted the first five pages on a writer site (QueryTracker.net) asking what genre people thought it was because I had no clue.

It’s such a heavy subject that I had to take breaks from reading it because it’s just so spot on real. Was it hard for you to write such a dark story? How did you manage it without going into a dark place yourself?

Writing Seth’s story I never felt drawn into my own dark places or into those I’ve known who have been in a similar situation to Seth’s. I guess it was sort of therapeutic in a way. This story is just simply one that came to me so rapidly and so intensely, I just knew there was no way that I couldn’t write it.

If you were to find a person in Seth’s situation what would your advice be to them?

This is a hard one to answer without giving any of the story away, but my advise to Seth would be: don’t give up. People can over come their life situations.

I know you have some other books out (or one now and another soon?), can you tell us a bit about them?

I do have a novella titled Touch out and a short story that goes along with it titled Choice. These are both back stories for a full length young adult paranormal romance novel I’ll be releasing in the second half of 2012 titled Hereafter, which follows a seventeen year old girl named Rowan Harper who is forced into a high ranking position on the Reaper’s Council and what happens after. Touch is Rowan’s story of how she came to be in that position, and Choice is her love interest, Jet’s story of how he came to be Reaper number 142 of the East Physical Realm. When reading these back stories, I recommend that you read Touch first and then Choice.
* My note:
Addiction can be a two sided coin and I hope that Shattered Soul shows people both sides. For some, the lifestyle of an addict is what they are raised around and all that they know. It’s how they see others deal with their problems and so it becomes normal. For others, it’s simply one bad choice, one moment of peer pressure that changes their life forever. Especially when methamphetamine is involved.
Are some of the scenes in Shattered Soul things that I myself have witnessed or been through in my own personal life? Some, yes. What writer doesn’t put a little piece of themselves into each of their stories. But, the funny thing about addiction is, you don’t have to feel the effects of it physically to know how strong it can be. Whether it’s having an Aunt, Uncle, Mom, Dad, best friend, a boyfriend… or simply the boy who sits next to you in class, addiction is something that touches us all in one way or another. Seth and Ali’s story is a sad one, but it’s also one that happens more often then we’d like to think about. Maybe this story will save someone from the gripping hold of drug addiction, I don’t know. Maybe this story will bring comfort to someone who is going through a similar situation, I don’t know. But I do hope that it allows people to open their eyes and take a look at those around them in a new light. Addicts are not hopeless, they are simply just lost no matter which path they took to get to where they are.
– Jennifer Snyder
One paperback copy of Shattered Soul to one lucky person!  *This book was provided by the author but I will be mailing it*
US only
Must be 15 or older to enter.
Ends 11/30/11
To Enter:ENDED
Leave a comment with contact info. 
Thanks for subscribing!


  1. Oh my wow. This one sounds intense and amazing and painful and just- wow. I NEED to read this book. Seriously. How have I not known about this book before now?! Wow. Wow.

  2. I absolutely love authors who are brave enough to give us readers that gritty, raw honesty, no matter how painful or harsh. I’m doing something similar with the book I’m writing now, and at times I finds my hands shaking because yeah, it’s hard to go to those dark places, but the writing is so much stronger for it.

    DEFINITELY want to read this book, especially knowing that Jennifer doesn’t villainize drug users, but portrays them as people who makes mistakes, human just like the rest of us.

    Thanks for the giveaway op!


  3. I so want to read this book! I read the blurb on goodreads and I was hooked. I am so glad authors are coming out of there shells and telling stories that are real and true to a teenager. As a mother I applaud the author for telling such a true and wonderful story. Thank You!


  4. Shattered Soul hit me so hard when I read it. And I can’t say I have personal experience, at least not on that level. The interview was very enlightening too. I had no clue Rowan’s story from Touch was going to be a full length novel. I’m so happy it is though because there is so much that could happen in that world. Thanks for sharing this!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge