Shatter ~ Review with Excerpt and Giveaway

By Nikki Trionfo

It is Salem's junior year in high school, but nothing is as it should be. Her sister is dead and Salem is convinced that Carrie's death was no accident. But how do you prove something when no one believes it is possible?

Set in the heart of California's farming community of Verona a clash is about to take place one that will pit growers against pickers. And Salem finds herself in the middle with her father, a grower, and Carrie's legacy as a union supporter. Who could have wanted to hurt Carrie? And even more disturbing who buried a murdered worker in their orchard and is it related to Carrie's death?

Determined to learn the truth about Carrie and her death, Salem enters into a dangerous quest for the truth. One that brings to light a secret that Carrie was keeping, one that could explain why she was targeted. But without knowing the why of Carrie's actions a very large question still remains who. And finding the answer just may cost Salem her life.

The deeper she delves the more questions she raises and she questions who she can truly trust.  Time is running out as the area threatens to erupt over workers' rights.

This book will open the reader's eyes to the plight of migrant/immigrant workers and the fears that they face as the attempt to support their families. The power and draw of gangs is also explored throughout this book.

The book moves forward from the first day of school with flashbacks to key moments in Salem's life that play a role in explaining what lead to Carrie's death.  This is a powerful and moving story that teens will be drawn into. This is a realistic read that will expose readers to a world that they may know little about other than an occasional news snippet they hear.

I highly recommend this book for tween and teen readers and it would make an excellent choice for a book club reading selection. This will be a book to keep them reading all night - which with summer just around the corner would be an excellent all nighter.

I was provided a review copy of this book by the publisher with no expectation of a positive review.

About the Book:

“We never knew there could be people in the orchard. 
Dangerous people.”

When a mysterious explosion kills her sister, Salem becomes convinced the death was no accident--it was a conspiracy. But no one else at her high school believes her, and all she has so far are theories and clues. With Carrie's killers still out there, Salem's not sure who she can trust. If she can't she prove she’s right before it’s too late, the conspiracy might take another life—hers.


The class is dead silent. Mr. White’s lips tighten. He swallows. There’s something
dangerous about the new guy. The teacher leans over AddyDay’s desk and spins her packet so he
can read the list of partnerships. “Fine. We’ll break up the threesome. You’ll pair with . . . Salem

At the sound of my name, I turn to look at my new partner.

The guy near the door is tall. He has the kind of incredible good looks that invite stares,
but that’s not the only reason he’s getting them now. The cursive lettering of a tattoo rises from
the opening of the guy’s worn flannel shirt. Two gold chains hang from his brown neck. A guy
accessorized in gang paraphernalia, not caked with it. His only completely visible marking is an
upside down V inked onto his right cheekbone, black and distinct. The tattoo calls my attention
for some reason, even though I’m sure I’ve never seen a symbol like that before. An upside
down V . . . it seems so familiar.

His expressionless, dark eyes dart to meet my gaze from under a stiff, backward-facing
ball cap. My classmates watch him stare at me.

“Salem Jefferson,” he says slowly, putting a slight emphasis on my last name. He waits
for my response.

I realize he knows exactly who Salem Jefferson is. Exactly who I am. I’m Carrie’s sister.

Terrified, I whirl back around to face forward. Gang members targeted Carrie, made her
frightened. Was he one of them? The skin between my shoulder blades tightens. Why were gang
guys after Carrie?

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Author Bio:

Nikki Trionfo lives in Riverton, Utah with five kids, a CrossFit-training husband who writes computer code, and lots of hip hop background music. Her teen murder mystery, SHATTER (May '17 from Cedar Fort), won the grand prize in LDStorymakers’ First Chapter Alongside Heather Clark, she hosts free writing webinars on YouTube at #50FirstChapters.

A committed party-girl, Nikki serves as the social coordinator of LDStorymakers Conference and chair of Storymakers Tribe. Other notable stuff includes an honorable mention in Writers of the Future and a spot in Utah Horror Writer's shorty-story anthology. This all sounds really serious, but if you run into her, she gets down. Truly.

Learn more:
Dig into the Shatter World. Books about unions and reformed gang members. Blogs about my experiences writing with diversity. Some of the posts are League of Utah Writers award-winning essays. http://www.nikkitrionfo.com/shatterworld/

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