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Shattered Innocence: The Error of Revenge

I was less than impressed with Kimberly Whitner-Hill’s Shattered Innocence: The Error of Revenge. I found this book to be not very well thought out and poorly executed.

The first chapter begins with a scene in the life of the main character, Kayla. That scene is never revisited, however, and within two pages the clock is turned back to her father’s childhood. For the next nineteen pages, the narrative focuses exclusively on him, which wouldn’t be such a big deal—after all, every good story needs a decent back story—but the entire book is only fifty-five pages long.

After the main character’s birth on page twenty, the story skips forward six months in just one paragraph, and then four more years in the span of a few pages. Kayla only manages to take hold of the narrative on her own merits on page thirty-six after she turns eighteen and her father dies of a brain aneurysm. After her father’s death, the story revolves around Kayla trying to find a man good enough to deal with her immaturity, although I question whether it actually is her immaturity and not just the author doing a poor job of developing the characters.

The characters in this story are flat and uninteresting and a lot of details are glossed over: Kayla’s childhood abuse, her mother’s emotional breakdown, her father’s death, her military career, the birth of her son, and marriage to a man she doesn’t love. Whitner-Hill writes, “After [Daryl] broke off the wedding, she left. They were separated for a short time when he realized that he could not stand being without her, but he was still not ready for the ultimate commitment: marriage.” A few pages before that, Kayla and Daryl learn that Kayla is pregnant. It is only after their son is born that they start thinking about getting married. (Their son is only mentioned for a few pages.) I have a sensible view of marriage, but it seems to me that having a child is a much bigger commitment than marriage.

Some of the issues that Whitner-Hill needs to address to make _Shattered Innocence _a feasibly interesting read are spelling and grammatical errors, unexplained characters popping up for just a few pages, and illogical jumps in time. If a story is actually there, it’s buried under really bad writing, and that’s regrettable. As it is right now, this is not even a good first draft.

Written by: Viannah Duncan, March 25th 2009

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