When a mysterious explosion kills her sister, Salem becomes convinced the death was no accident--it was a conspiracy. But no one else at her high school believes her, and all she has so far are theories and clues. With Carrie's killers still out there, Salem's not sure who she can trust. If she can't she prove she’s right before it’s too late, the conspiracy might take another life—hers.
I'm excited to share with you a bit about Shatter today! This will come as no surprise to people who know me or follow my reviews but I'm a very lazy blurb reader. And, if I do happen to read a blurb, chances are that I'll forget it by the time I actually read the book. Then I'm completely surprised when I start reading because I have no idea what is coming at me! That's what happened with this book.
This book is a YA murder mystery with a dash of suspense and danger. As with most murder mysteries, there are a lot of characters in this book but the author did a good job of introducing them so I didn't feel too overwhelmed. Everyone was suspicious at one point or another so that was awesome. There were moments of intensity and then moments of quiet when Salem was just in her head, thinking and feeling but the story always had a good forward momentum.
Salem was a very likable character. As a reader, I couldn't help but feel compassion and even a little pity for Salem who found herself in a very sad and lonely situation. She was so desperate to figure out what exactly happened to her sister. I loved how Salem listened to her intuition. She wasn't always exactly right, but close. Her intuition never steered her completely wrong. I loved how she gradually found a small circle of people she trusted and how they all worked together to solve the mystery.
This was a good change from my usual reading fare and I enjoyed it!
Content: some violence (gang violence, murder, shooting, beatings, guns)
Enjoy the following excerpt:
The class is dead silent. Mr. White’s lips tighten. He swallows. There’s something dangerous about the new guy. The teacher leans over AddyDay’s desk and spins her packet so he can read the list of partnerships. “Fine. We’ll break up the threesome. You’ll pair with . . . Salem Jefferson.”
At the sound of my name, I turn to look at my new partner.
The guy near the door is tall. He has the kind of incredible good looks that invite stares, but that’s not the only reason he’s getting them now. The cursive lettering of a tattoo rises from the opening of the guy’s worn flannel shirt. Two gold chains hang from his brown neck. A guy accessorized in gang paraphernalia, not caked with it. His only completely visible marking is an upside down V inked onto his right cheekbone, black and distinct. The tattoo calls my attention for some reason, even though I’m sure I’ve never seen a symbol like that before. An upside down V . . . it seems so familiar.
His expressionless, dark eyes dart to meet my gaze from under a stiff, backward-facing ball cap. My classmates watch him stare at me.
“Salem Jefferson,” he says slowly, putting a slight emphasis on my last name. He waits for my response.
I realize he knows exactly who Salem Jefferson is. Exactly who I am. I’m Carrie’s sister.
Terrified, I whirl back around to face forward. Gang members targeted Carrie, made her frightened. Was he one of them? The skin between my shoulder blades tightens. Why were gang guys after Carrie?
About the author:
Nikki Trionfo lives in Riverton, Utah with five kids, a CrossFit-training husband who writes computer code, and lots of hip hop background music. Her teen murder mystery, SHATTER (May '17 from Cedar Fort), won grand prize in LDStorymakers’ First Chapter Alongside Heather Clark, she hosts free writing webinars on YouTube at #50FirstChapters.
A committed party-girl, Nikki serves as the social coordinator of LDStorymakers Conference and chair of Storymakers Tribe. Other notable stuff includes an honorable mention in Writers of the Future and a spot in Utah Horror Writer's shorty-story anthology. This all sounds really serious, but if you run into her, she gets down. Truly. www.nikkitrionfo.com/Shatter