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New Release Review and Giveaway: BREAK MY BONES by Shawn McGuire (The Wish Makers #2)

Definitely different–and I liked it!
Break My Bones
by Shawn McGuire
(The Wish Makers #2)
Publication date: September 1st 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult


Everyone makes mistakes. Crissy’s just might kill her.

Seventeen-year-old Crissy Sheets was so sure Brad was the one, she believed him when he swore the first bruise was an accident. She believed him when he told her he loved her after the second. Now trapped in an abusive relationship with no idea of how to get out, she’s all but given up on ever having the life she dreams of. With little to lose, Crissy wishes for a better future.

She’s told her wish has been granted, but nothing has changed. Her house is still a dump, her mother is still drinking, and Brad still wants to control her every move. Then Lance moves into the house across the yard. He’s hot, chivalrous, and wants to help Crissy break free. Will standing up for herself push Brad too far?

Who hasn’t made a wish or two (or two million) sometime in their lives?

Crissy Sheets’s life is pretty miserable. Her mother’s an alcoholic, and probably a drug addict as well. She and her two sisters all have different fathers, none of whom stuck around to help raise them OR saw fit to remove their daughters from the more than questionable parenting that their mother offered. Her older sister, Vanessa, at the age of nineteen is already the mother of ten-month-old Oliver, and Crissy’s spending her summer babysitting him, her youngest sister Corona, and Corona’s best friend and neighbor Jayden. She’s only getting paid to watch one of the three–any guesses as to which one that is?

Her other major summer activity? Trying to keep her boyfriend Brad placated so he won’t give her more bruises. Or worse.

Can you blame her for making a wish?

Shawn McGuire has created an interesting world here. Desiree, a former sixties flower child, is now a Wish Mistress; she facilitates people having the possibility of getting what they wished for by placing the tools they need to put themselves on the right path within their grasp. It’s definitely not a fairy-godmother-like situation; no magic wands or helpful forest animals offer assistance to these heroines.

Crissy wants a better future. At the beginning of the book, she’s afraid her life is on the same path as her mother and older sister–waiting around to be rescued by a man, settling in the meantime for dead-end jobs and Mr. Right Nows. (Or Mr. Tonight. Or Mr. Next Five Minutes. You get the idea.)

“All you gotta do is find that right man to take care of you and life is golden,” Mom had told me since I was Corona’s age.

Crissy’s dated a bunch of losers–much like her mother and Van–but Brad seemed different at first. He was kind. He listened. He had a job. He bought her stuff. And then he got…intense.

He gives her a phone with a built in GPS unit, so he won’t ever have to worry about where she is. (Crissy calls it the “Girlfriend Pinpointing System”, but never to his face.) He texts her constantly, wanting to know who’s she’s with and what she’s doing. He shows up, with little or no warning, expecting her to drop whatever she’s doing to be with him. And he expects sex when, where, and how he wants it. And when he’s having a bad day? Crissy just might end up paying the price.

She spends a 90+ degree summer in long sleeves to hide the hand-shaped bruises on her arms. But it’s okay, right? Because Brad loves her. He says so. And he’s sorry to hurt her, but if she’d only understand what he’s going through and be a better girlfriend, he wouldn’t have to.

Shawn McGuire does an excellent job of showing how a person can delude themselves into thinking that abuse is their fault. (It isn’t–EVER. That’s one of the best messages of this book, and Crissy eventually does get it, thank goodness.) Crissy starts her journey by making a wish, but ultimately she’s the one who has to make the conscious decision to change. Her journey is empowering and inspiring, and though parts of the ending are a bit simplistic, overall I really like what Ms. Maguire did with her character.

Break My Bones is the second book in Shawn McGuire’s Wish Makers series, though it works just fine as a standalone. Events from book one (Sticks and Stones) are mentioned, knowing the details of that book is not important for understanding the events of this one. I’m definitely intrigued by book three (will it be Desiree’s book? I can’t find a lot of information on it yet, other than a Pinterest picture of Desiree’s bus on Shawn’s website) and am not at all adverse to going back and reading book one sometime in the future.

Rating: 4 stars / B+
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Shawn McGuire is the author of young adult, coming-of-age novels that blend contemporary settings with a touch of fantasy and magic. She started writing after seeing the first Star Wars movie (that’s episode IV) as a kid: she couldn’t wait for the next one so wrote her own episodes. Sadly, those notebooks are long lost, but her desire to write is as strong now as it was then. She grew up in the beautiful Mississippi River town of Winona, Minnesota, the small town that inspired the setting for Sticks and Stones and the upcoming Break My Bones. After graduating college she moved to the Milwaukee area of Wisconsin (Go Pack Go!) where she lived for many years. She and her family now call Colorado home and when not writing or reading, Shawn enjoys cooking and baking, crafts, interior decorating, and spending time hiking and camping in the spectacular Rocky Mountains.Author links:
Twitter: @Shawn_McGuire
Goodreads: Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. The abuse aspect sounds really well done and realistic, and might open some people’s eyes. too. I hate when people think it’s so easy to “just leave” when you’re in an abusive relationship.

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