Monday, February 27, 2017

Shaken by Susan Hatler. Brace yourselves for high levels of frustration

Book Synopsis

Shaken by Susan Hatler, book, Mind Reader series, ypung adult, paranormalHigh school junior, Kylie Bates, can suddenly read minds. When she touches people’s hands, she’s able to see their deepest thoughts. As if that’s not freaky enough, her dad sends her to help hottie detective, Sam Williams, track down a missing girl. Way too much pressure, especially for a girl who can’t watch Scream without getting nightmares.
Then, finding the missing girl leads to much more than Kylie’s prepared for. Like discovering that her dad has been lying to her. That she has a family she never knew about. That the girls have powers similar to hers. Oh yeah, and that someone is out to get her.
When the detective’s teenage wanna-be-cop cousin, Trip Williams, approaches Kylie at school insisting she help him solve the case, she discovers Trip might be the only one she can trust, and the only one to help her unravel the secrets behind her mysterious gift. Shaken

My Opinion

1.95/5 stars.
It pains me to give a bad review to a book from an author I previously enjoy reading. I read one of the author's love stories, A Christmas Kiss. Then, I was convinced that I will read more from Susan Hatler. And surprisingly, I did. (Yeah, when I picked this book up, it took me a while to put two plus two together and realize that the author is one and the same Susan Hatler.)
I am separating the review in two main parts the good and the bad.
The overall idea behind the book sounded promising.
Interesting power/paranormal system.
Police investigation.
"I am your [Darth Vader] father," theme.
Black Arrow pointing leftDarth Vader meme
A lost family.
A strong main teenager male character.
A strong secondary teenager/young adult female character.
A clueless supposedly strong and smart main teenager female character.
Secrets upon secrets.
Teenagers' life problems.
A mind reader and other peoples with powers.
Family birth mark.
Great steamy parts.
Shrink dad.
Though thugs.
High school.
Let's not forget about a pretty good author.
So yeah... These were great ingredients suggesting a good story recipe.
"What went wrong," you ask. Well... The story is told from the main character's first person point of view.  AAAAnd, let me tell you, I had this strong urge to talk some sense into her.

Well... I will try to keep my salty side in check as a respect for the author and her hard work. My intention is not to insult people, just to critique one's work.
The main character lacked the proper development. She was the TV-cliché-American-dream teenager. In the beginning, I was, "Alright, her naïveté is understandable since she just discovered a whole new world." I was unable to connect with somebody like her. Everything about her felt forced. She was portrayed as smart and strong and with a desire to be normal; although, the end result was disappointing. The word "shallow" popped in my head more than once while reading the book.
Why? I prepared a list because it is blunt, precise, and without confusion:
  • female teenage cares more about what people think about her more than situation at hand; 
  • obsesses with boys even though she tries to show the reader otherwise;
  • and seriously the insta-love felt too... instant;
  • lack of angst and sparks;
  • the main character figures and masters her power rather quickly but fails to see the obvious things;
  • main character is portrayed as smart, because she does not lose the opportunity to remind the reader this fact every single time (I do not care you have a 4.0 GPA. Show me that through your actions and thought process. Shout out to Drew - secondary female character - who finally pointed this fact out. I love you girl. I wish the book was told from your point of view);
  • (this piece is not about the main character) the supposed father calls his daughter a lair even though he knew that there is a high - to the roof - chance that his daughter may have powers because... genetics;
  • (also about the dad) the father is rather irrational in protecting the paranormal gifted daughter from everything considering that it is easy to have a normal life again (Dude, that ain't gonna happen!);
  • (again, not about the main character) I got the feeling that the adults were seen as the enemies of teenagers than complex people who can be also allies. 
Like I said, the right ingredients for the wrong recipe. At least for my taste. The intriguing elements and my curiosity in the unanswered questions were not enough for this book to receive a high rating. Believe it or not, I am - still - kind of curious to know what happens next.
The writing was good with the story flowing rather nicely most of the time. I believe it would have worked better if the story had been told from the third person.

Overall, this book was not my cuppa tea.

winking face emoji
This is my sole opinion. ^_^
Feel free to check out my review on Susan Hatler's A Christmas Kiss.
I would like to say thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Romance
Language: mild
Sexual content: moderate
Violence: moderate
Drugs/Alcohol: mild



  1. I don't want to sound superficial, but what's up with the cover? The font reminds me of Goosebumps XD

    1. You are fine. To be sincere, I thought this book is going to be similar to Goosebumps (sort of) based on the font. But no ghosts and monsters there! :))