Book Review: Beautifully Broken

Beautifully Broken (Spellbound #1)
Published By: Moonlight Publishing
Publication Date: August 30, 2011
Page Count: 328
Buy it at Amazon or IndieBound
Source: Provided by Author
Audience: YA - Paranormal

Beautifully Broken is the first book in a new witchy series featuring Shiloh, a teen heritage witch who also has the ability to see ghosts. Witches + Ghosts = Andrea is excited. However, in spite of the alluring concept, Beautifully Broken didn't quite live up to my expectations. It was a fun read, but I don't think it reached its maximum potential.

I did enjoy learning about the town of Whispering Pines and its curse. Residents of Whispering Pines are a quirky, superstitious collection of people who believe that the curse is to blame for the disappearance of local teens. The idea of heritage witches was also very intriguing. I loved the detail of Soule's witch lore. Furthermore, I really liked the addition of the shades and wraiths. Sherry Soule is a gifted story teller and I can't wait to see how her craft will grow and improve in the future.

Another thing I really liked was the relationship between Shiloh and Evans. Evans becomes a mentor of sorts and helps Shiloh understand more about her abilities. Think of him as the Dumbledore to her Harry Potter. I also was really happy to see that there was one character who could accept Shiloh exactly as she was - in spite of the whole witch thing. She doesn't always have others in the book who can be a support system for her.

I do not want this to seem like a review that is bashing this book. It's really not meant to be that at all. I just think I would have enjoyed the read more if I had known to expect the flaws. One thing that really bugged me about this book was that I was so overwhelmed from page one. The reader is dropped into the story in a moment where Shiloh is seeing ghosts in her room. It took me awhile to really understand what was going on - it was very confusing. Once I got my bearings, I felt like I was constantly slapped in the face with information. Information should be given to readers slowly - not in a torrent of words. Also, Soule did a lot more telling than showing which slowed down my reading momentum.

In addition, I found myself getting frustrated with some of the dialog. The teen speak and pop culture name dropping was annoying and some of  the dialog didn't sound realistic to me. Shiloh's running inner monologue also got a bit tedious at times. I found myself wishing she'd keep some things to herself - particularly her feelings about Trent. Their insta-love was a bit much for me. 

However, in spite of all these issues, Soule still manages to create a likable protagonist and a fascinating universe. I really believe that Shiloh and this series have a lot of potential and will mature with time and experience. I wouldn't hesitate to pick up future books by Sherry Soule. Beautifully Broken is an admirable first novel and I would recommend it to YA Paranormal fans. 

One Last Gripe: There were a lot of editing issues with this one. 

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The paranormal lore 

First Sentence: For as long as I could remember, I'd heard whispers in the shadows.

Favorite Character: Evans

Least Favorite Character: Trent

Thirteenth daughter. Heritage witch. Demon slayer. 

They say every town has its secrets, but that doesn’t even begin to describe Whispering Pines. The townsfolk are a superstitious lot and the mystical disappearance of a local teen has everyone murmuring about a centuries old witch’s curse. 

Sixteen-year-old Shiloh Ravenwolf is a heritage witch from the Broussard family, a family both destined and cursed. When she takes a summer job at Ravenhurst Manor, she discovers a ghost with an agenda. That’s where she meets the new town hottie, Trent Donovan, and immediately becomes spellbound by his charms. Yet she is determined to discover the connection between them before it’s too late. 

Finally, Shiloh's met someone who is supercute and totally into her, but Trent may be the next victim on the supernatural hit list. And Shiloh is the only person with the power to save him. Complicated much? 

It sucks to have a destiny, especially since Shiloh would rather spend her summer being a normal girl who worries about clothes and boys, not the supernatural. But she’s never been 
normal and the stranger things become the more her own magical senses awaken. 

With cryptic messages from a pesky wraith, she will begin to understand the mysterious significance of the strange mark branded on her wrist, and decide how much she's willing to sacrifice to protect the other teenagers in town. 

Unfortunately, for Shiloh, not all ghosts want help crossing over. Some want vengeance.


  1. bummer..this looked promising. great review and i appreciate your honesty.

  2. @kimba88 - I would still recommend giving it a try. I think I would have been less frustrated if I had gone in knowing what to expect.

  3. Thank you for the review. I hope your followers appreciated the post and are interested in reading my debut novel, Beautifully Broken.


    Check out My Books

  4. BTW, since the book was an ARC copy, there are always some errors throughout, but everything was corrected before the final publication. ;-)


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