Sunday, September 13, 2015

Review: Shackled by Tom Leveen

Title: Shackled
Author: Tom Leveen
Year Published: 2015

Genre: Youth Lit fiction
Pages: 212
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2015 Google Reading map)USA (AZ)

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the back of the book):
 Sixteen year old Pelly barely manages to leave her home to work at the local coffeehouse. Her panic attacks are just that bad. but holding down a job is all part of her master plan to reenter the land of the living, following years of therapy, meds, and even a stint in a mental hospital.

The new plan seems to be working--that is, until the appearance of a girl in the shop, an unkempt girl accompanied by an older man. A girl who mouths "help me" on the way out. Pelly immediately recognizes her best friend, Tara, who disappeared from the mall six years ago. Too shocked to take action, Pelly helplessly watches as the girl and man drive away, and steels herself for a new spiral into crippling anxiety. And yet, amazingly, she feels more energized than she has in years. Despite the cautions of her attentive fellow barista, David, and the voices in her head second-guessing what she believes she saw, Pelly knows she must track down enough evidence to force the police to reopen Tara's dusty file. No longer will she be shackled to the anxious thoughts, fears, and grief. But in seeking answers through whatever means necessary, she'll come face-to-face with true evil.

Review: I have abandoned two books since my last posting. I was reading the second of these books while at my daughter's dance studio and I realized there was a bookstore down the street. So off I went and bought five books! I haven't done that in so long! Shackled was one of those books. I proceeded to read two thirds of it at the dance studio and the other third before bed last night. Boy did that feel great; Tom Leveen to the rescue!

I have liked every one of Tom Leveen's books that I've read and I actually bought two of his books in my five-book haul. This book did not disappoint as it had me from page one. Pelly's anxieties are extreme and we don't really know where they come from until the second half of the book, but that's okay since what really matters is that they are debilitating and she is trying to get herself out of them. Unfortunately, she's off her meds, has stopped seeing her therapist, and is cutting to "relieve the pressure." This part of the story is so important; I've known a number of people with anxieties and it is just so tough!

David, Pelly's fellow barista, is a wonderful guy, but it takes us a while to realize that. He is what someone with anxieties needs: patient, caring, and interested. And of course, he becomes a love interest (this is YA after all).

I am not going to go into the plot any more than I have as some things need to be discovered while reading this book. Typical me, I didn't read the entire description of the book before buying it so there was a lot that was surprising to me and I think that made the book even more enjoyable and effective.

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