Thanks to the author Bryan Healey for letting me review Shattered Wings.
About the Book
John holds the American dream: A man he loves, a beautiful little girl, a suburban home and a well-paying job... And then a sudden layoff brings about unexpected financial and emotional strain. As he struggles to find new work, a growing sense of despair triggers a relapse into alcoholism and causes him to face his demons of addiction, discrimination, and regret as he tries desperately to recover before it's too late...
For more information about Shattered Wings you can visit Bryan's blog. You can also follow him on Twitter.
This one I thought would be a bit difficult for me to read. So many of us right now are struggling with losing our jobs, not having the money to make ends meet, and all the other stresses that come along for the ride. It's a difficult subject to talk about, let alone get emotionally attached to in a story (as I almost always get emotionally attached to the stories I read). My fear was that I would be emotionally drained after reading this. Healey masterfully pulled off a story that let me get attached, but didn't drain me, and actually let me wanting to keep reading.
The character development was so great in this book. John comes off as a bit of a jerk (sometimes a lot of a jerk) but he was still likeable. I really attached to him and even though I felt like he needed a swift kick in the you know what I still felt the pain and anguish that he was going through. I just wanted things to work out good for him. As the book progresses we are taken back through important moments in his life that give us a little more insight into how his life has progressed. We get to meet Charlie with him, we get to see him when his daughter is born, we get to see all the important events that have gone on in his life. Being privy to these moments really helped to form the bond that I built with John.
I think it takes a great author to be able to pull of flashbacks in a story without making the story feel choppy. The flashbacks sometimes confused me, as I would get lost in the story and I wouldn't realize that I was in a flashback. I think that is my only criticism of this book, while the flashbacks didn't deter from the story I didn't always pick up on the fact that I had jumped into the flashback. But I think this is more due to my reading habits rather than an error on the author's part.
But overall it was a great book. I really liked the characters, even when I didn't want to. There were some great twists that really made John's situation that much more desperate. The ending was great, I had part of it pegged, but the last twist really threw me for a loop. I was left with a few questions, but I didn't feel like I was left with an unfinished story. Enough was answered to keep me satiated, and enough was left unanswered to make the ending quite intriguing.