Review: Castles on the Sand by E. M. Tippetts


Title: Castles on the Sand (Shattered Castles #1)
Author: E. M. Tippetts
Date of publication: 17 Aug 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Coming of age

Author's links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

My rating: 3 stars

Goodreads Blurb

If there’s one thing Madison Lukas understands, it’s pain. The pain she feels when her mother ignores her completely. The pain her best friend endures as her parents starve her as punishment. The pain of a dangerous boy whose mother has to be carried away by law enforcement on a regular basis.

She gets it. She feels the pain of others as if it were her own.

But when a mysterious man claiming to be her long lost brother appears with promises of relieving her suffering, trusting him could reveal more truths than Madison is ready for. Because the truth can hurt, too.

My Review

I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange of an honest review.

Castles on the Sand was a nice quick read which I couldn't put down and finished in just one day. It is young adult novel about growing up to be your own person despite all the obstacles the heroine, Madison, faced. 

The story started slow for me and I didn't really like Madison at the beginning but as the story went on I came to understand her better and started to appreciate her character more. She is faced with a number of issues every teenager faces (acceptance in the family and school, first crush, having a BFF, etc.) and then some more. She experiences some serious family drama, her relationships with her friends - boyfriends, best girl friend, school friends and enemies - put her character to the test and force her to make some very important decisions about herself. I liked the way the author presented her attempts to understand herself and those around her and ultimately to find her place in the world. 

Her relationships with the other characters were well developed and very convincing, though at times I was really angry with the way Madison let everyone treat her, at least, at the beginning. 

In the course of the story we saw how she got the strength to stand up for herself mainly with the help of the love and support of the people loving her (her brother, Carson and Alex). 

What bothered me most in this book was the strong religious message (Mormon). It found it really off putting how tightly the Mormon beliefs were interwoven in this book. I am a religious person myself, but would prefer the fiction I read not to try to impose its religious messages so strongly. 

Still, I would definitely recommend this book to fans of YA fiction who enjoyed well told realistic story with complex characters.

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