Shattered Blue (The Light #1) by Lauren Bird Horowitz

Posted: February 15, 2017 in Book Review
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About :

After her older sister is killed in a terrible accident, Noa struggles through her classes in a prestigious California prep school. She relies on her friends to survive; her parents grieve too hard for their lost daughter to give their living daughter the kind of companionship she so suddenly and violently lacks.

Enter Callum Forsythe, the new high school hottie. Noa feels the sparks between them almost immediately. But even as Callum seemingly-reluctantly reciprocates her attentions, he explains why their relationship will be difficult: he is Fae, banished to her world where he must feed off human Light to survive.

And that’s only the beginning of their troubles. Shattered Blue is YA Paranormal/Fantasy/Romance authored by Lauren Bird Horotwitz and published September 15th 2015 by Skyscape. Paperback, 336 pages. It won several awards and honors including 2016 Independent Publishers’ (IPPY) Silver Medal for Young Adult Fiction, as well as Finalist honors in the 2016 USA Book Awards for  Best New Fiction and Best New Fantasy, the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Best Young Adult Fiction, and the 2016 International Book Award for Best Fantasy

I KNOW IT SOUNDS LIKE TWILIGHT, but hang on a sec!

If you think you know what happens in Shattered Blue when you read the summary, I guarantee you’ll be surprised. If you’ve ever enjoyed a YA paranormal love story, I recommend checking this one out—and for more reasons than just that GORGEOUS cover.

Thoughts :

After two DNFs, Shattered Blue was the perfect pick-me-up. I kept hearing about it on Socially Awkward Bookworm and The Worn Bookmark , but I hadn’t quite decided to order it for my library until I saw Renegade Red (book #2) pop up on Netgalley—I knew it was a sign! I ordered Shattered Blue immediately and it came in the mail on the very day I DNFed Crossroads of Canopy.

I devoured it.

Horowitz weaves a fully-formed Fae mythology into Shattered Blue. Several orders of Fae live in Faerie and their politics rumble through all the way through the “portal” to the human realm.

‘Use and Let Use,’ he proclaimed. ‘Fae Power without bias.’”

In a such fast-paced YA paranormal, this level of worldbuilding is completely entertaining. I was never bored.

The Fae magic system also personally affects Callum and Noa as they navigate their relationship: whenever Callum touches her, her Light flows into him. This roadblock adds even more tension and intrigue to the human-Fae relationships in the book!

And there’s more good news: Shattered Blue is full of emotional truths, especially regarding grief and love. When Noa’s older sister Isla dies, the whole family grieves in individual ways. Noa has strong, meaningful relationships with her family, especially her little sister, Sasha, but her grief over her Isla’s death sometimes stains even those precious Sasha-moments:

It suddenly struck Noah how awful it would be to lose a sister at Sasha’s age, like Callum had. A different kind of awful from losing someone like Isla, who was a person fully formed.”

The prose is also beautiful and poetic. Throughout the book, we get poems like this first stanza of Noa’s poem “Mermaid Hearts”:

We’re swift in currents.
Down spiny sprays of kelp we dive,
Run hands through leaves to hunt
for snails and sapphires.”

I admit, I have a soft-spot for atmospheric coastal stories (I loved Twilight as a young adult), especially set on the CA coast. Because spoiler alert I live there, haha. But isn’t that beautiful? Horowitz dazzled me with her poetic prose and free form poetry throughout the book.

Shattered Blue is also appealingly plot-driven, delivering regular twists to the romance and other plot arcs. Little mysteries or dramas pop up constantly throughout the story, set against the backdrop of Noa’s school or Noa’s home, and most of them have to do with discovering Faerie.

I slammed the request button for book II as soon as I finished Shattered Blue because *dances* I CAN’T TELL YOU WHY but I CAN’T WAIT to find out more about the Fae realms! And in book II, I have a very good feeling that we will!

Nay-sayers will find a few things to complain about, although I hardly feel like mentioning them after enjoying such an immersive experience!

However: (1) It does have that creepy Edward-watches-and-EVER-PROTECTS-Bella thing going on, and I don’t know if that’s just a ya trope or a paranormal trope or what, but it’s a little weird. (2) The focus never really lands on Noa’s female friendships. In fact, her best friend Olivia is mainly used as a plot device.


A genre-perfect read. Gorgeous prose, emotional complexity, speedy plotting and absorbing twists on Fae mythology make this one of the best ya paranormal fantasies I’ve read in a long time.

Recommended To :

I think any fans of ya paranormal, especially of the Fae variety, will love Shattered Blue. If you need a beach read or a book to pull you out of your book slump, I recommend this one. If you liked Twilight, I think you’ll love this.

*****5/5 STARS

  1. On one side the premise sounds a few alarm bells for me: YA themes, paranormal, love story – I encountered a few badly written stories of this kind and they left their mark on me forever 😀
    On the other, your mention of great writing and deep, well-explored feelings, piques my curiosity.
    Now I know how Hamlet felt! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Christy Luis says:

      To read or not to read? XD XD It’s definitely a book for readers who like a certain genre. If you avoid paranormal YA as a rule, this probably won’t be your thing. But if you like to cherry pick the best ones, then I recommend it! I actually don’t read much paranormal YA anymore, precisely because of the Twilight-clone phenom, but this one kept popping up with good reviews and the author has some pretty sweet creds. She studied writing at Harvard with Jamaica Kindcaid :O

      Liked by 1 person

      • Although I never read Twilight (watching the first movie was more than enough for me, thank you very much….), YA paranormal got its “bad name” with me because the genre is trope-laden, and seems to follow certain rules that don’t allow for any surprise – been there, done that, got the T-shirt, and all that jazz 😀
        But your review *did* make me pay attention, because it seems that the story can walk on its own legs, no overused tropes helping it on so… who knows? I might enjoy this one!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jen says:

    Oh, oh, oh this sounds like a lot of fun! And I’m one of those people that doesn’t care if it contains certain tropes, as long as the characters are wonderful, the storyline is a lot of fun and especially if the writing is beautiful! Adding this to my tbr, and I can’t wait to see what you think of the 2nd book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Christy Luis says:

      Yeah, it’s pretty impossible to care about things like that when you fall completely in love with a story 😍 I hope you love it as much as I do!!! 😀 I felt like writing the entire review with exclamation points and little heart emoticons, haha. I was approved for book II and I’m planning to read it as soon as I can fit it in! Yay.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. TeacherofYA says:

    Yay! FIve out of five! I have this one and have been putting it off! I need to stop putting this one off! I trust your judgement bc of our similar taste in books!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Christy Luis says:

      Yeah, it’s sooo good! And I just started the ARC of book II and it starts off with a huge twist 🤓 I think you’ll love these Stephanie!


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