Monday, June 29, 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Shatter by Charisse Moritz

4 Stars

Tia West, 17, isn’t your ordinary high school senior. For one, she has six siblings, five of which she’s just as much a mother figure to as a big sister. Then there’s the stray pets adding to the chaos of the West abode, and it doesn’t seem like she could possibly take on another project or responsibility when Tia tackles the mother of them all in the form of a fellow classmate and juvenile delinquent.
“I am the Titanic, carrying way too many people, not nearly enough life rafts, and the iceberg is inevitable and right up ahead.”
Gibson Tazmerek, 17, wears his facial scars as a warning, and most of his classmates have gotten the stay-away message loud and clear. His reputation precedes him.  But Tia doesn’t scare that easily. In fact, it seems she hasn’t met a challenge that she doesn’t want to nurture, and Taz is no exception.
“Ever since steamrolling my ass this morning, she has steadily ramped up the level of torture until I’m somewhere between homicidal and a hardon at all times.”
Though listed as YA romance, which I don’t normally dip into, the sample pulled me in and then the characters just kept tugging. Like to the point where I couldn’t put it down till I finished it. They were unique. They were engaging. And coupled with their witty narration and entertaining banter/dialogue, they kept me turning pages to find out everything from what makes them tick to what antics the West tribe would stir up next.

In fact, the characters are one of the strengths of the novel. From the main characters to the side characters, there was depth and there was distinction. One of the things that stood out was something the adult romance market is often short on—a strong heroine. I was incredibly pleased to find Tia as someone who not only didn’t break down, didn’t back down, and wasn’t about to be walked over, whether from potty mouth ten year old boys or surly seventeen year old ones. Simply put, the absence of doormat female characters was refreshing.

Though Taz is broken and has plenty of frustrating moments, my heart did break for him. He was an underdog to root for, and I was rooting for him to find his voice.

Told via their dual alternating first person POV, the story was strong and engaging. While there are some heavier issues woven in, for the most part it didn’t drag it down and the tone kept it largely lighthearted. However, towards the end there was just one angst too many for me and a reveal I felt that took away from the romance.

And on the romantic end of things, the romance is largely slow burn. As an adult romance reader, I did crave more steam, but the scenes that are there are well written and avoid the cheesy dialogue that befalls certain adult romances.
“…every swirl of my tongue, every slide of my fingers seems a little bit selfish because there’s no way she’s getting as much out of this as I am.”
This is the first book in The Choosy Beggars Series. The next story will feature Taz's bandmate. 

Safety Recap:

*I volunteered to review this ARC. All reviews written by Book-Bosomed Book Blog are honest opinions. In the interest of providing unbiased book reviews and to avoid misleading other readers, it is the blog’s policy not to withhold or delay any reviews no matter the star rating. To the best of my knowledge, this title was presented to the blog without any conditions or stipulations.

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