Review: Shattered by Aubrey Coletti

Shattered by Aubrey ColettiSchool’s in session at J. Alter Academy, and for Toni, Joseph, Ann, Charlie, and their boarder friends, that means they are still at the mercy of its draconian ways. While suffering the harsh consequences of their attempted escape, they must now contend with the formidable Headmistress and her taste for human experimentation — with the boarders as her favorite subjects. The seven friends play a delicate, dangerous game as they seek to discover the secrets behind their school and their own unique abilities. Yet as they move closer to uncovering the truth, will one of them be forced to pay the ultimate price?

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Spoiler Alert: Shattered is the sequel to Altered, in the The Academy series, which means spoilers may run rampant in this review.

Review

I’ve read my fair share of young adult fiction over the years, as an adult, and have to say I love it when I come across an atypical young adult story. Stories can be dressed up with quirky characters and plenty of fanfare, but the basic premise is usually there. Once you read enough you can’t miss it, so when you get to read something with more than quirky characters and fanfare, it’s a treat.

It has been some time since I read Altered and I dove straight into Shattered without re-reading Altered. Unfortunately my memory is not as fantastic as it used to be and my memories of Altered are on the vague side, but after a few chapters I was able to remember the characters and the horrible predicament they had found themselves in.

Judging from memory, I believe the nature Vs. nurture theory I was so in love with Altered is not as present in Shattered, but this is balanced out with a more in-depth view of the characters and the mysteries behind the school itself. I’m left wondering who to root for. It’s not that I don’t want the main characters, the students, to get out and be free from experiments, but I can also understand the ideals expressed by the authority figures.

If there is a villain in this piece then I have no idea who it could be anymore except perhaps mental illness and the disasters brought about by extraordinary talents.

I did have issue with a few expressions and beginnings of scenes. I’m very in-tune with noticing how characters are introduced and I can appreciate the mystery created and detail shared when a character is introduced via their looks and physique, but as long as it is the once. It shouldn’t be needed again, scenes should be begun with introducing the scene rather than the character. I felt the characters were overly introduced after the initial introduction.

I also didn’t understand the need for swimming across the lake when it’s cold, but then I got to thinking. I considered maybe they were so desperate to get away from the school they were willing to risk hypothermia and death. If you were attached to a shock box, threatened with starvation, kept from socialising openly with your friends, and lived with the knowledge of basement level rooms with medical equipment, what would you do? I might not swim across a cold lake, I can’t swim that far, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I did something as equally dangerous and foolhardy.

Apart from my issues and my confusion over some of the actions of the characters, I just want to know what is going to happen next. I want to know now. I want to know what the point of the school is and why these kids are special. Mostly I really just want to know if Charlie is going to be ok. I believe she is my favourite. Ann and Joseph’s arguing was tiring, but I think Ann has grown on me as well as Toni. Without spoiling it I have to share two words… the ending! Aah! I need to know everything.

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