Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Every Shattered Thing by Elora Ramirez Review Guest Post and Giveaway

Every Shattered Thing by Elora Ramirez
Publish Date: August 27, 2013
Find It: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N

Stephanie fights reality every day. The voices inside, the ones declaring her worth, deem her broken, used and dirty. She is an object. A toy. Something to be tossed aside when bored. Who will believe her if she whispers the truth about her wrecking ball of a family? Eventually, her secret explodes and the person who means the most to her knows just how shattered she is and why she's so afraid. But rescue is closer than she realizes. Hidden in plain sight, her horror hasn’t been ignored by everyone. Racing against the truth of what she faces, forces are joining together and developing a plan to free her from the hell in her own backyard. And while she’s at her lowest point, she’s hit with the beauty of love at any cost - redemption in the face of ruin. Will it be enough? 

Every Shattered Thing by Elora Ramirez

My Thoughts:  Every Shattered Thing by Elora Ramirez is a book about Human Trafficking. Human Trafficking is "a form or modern-day slavery that is broken down into two categories: forced labor and sex trafficking...Sex trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act is under the age of 18 years." (source: Restore One)

So let that sink in for just a second. And then let it sink in for just another second. Because while you're letting it sink in, this is going on all around you. It's everywhere - all over the world, yes - but it's also right here in the United States. It's here in your states and in your towns. And in the case of Stephanie Tillor, it was happening in her home. 

The story in a nutshell? Seventeen-year-old Stephanie's father Sam runs a prostitution ring - a big-time organization in which he trades young girls for money. He makes a fortune, too. He runs a website in which he posts pictures and videos. He's managed to get the local cheerleading team wrapped up in his ring, and he's even gotten his daughter so deep into it that she feels like she'll never break out of it alive. It all started when she was twelve years old and she was traded to some local police officers so he wouldn't get into some trouble. Since that time, Stephanie has been abused - verbally, physically, and emotionally by Sam - and traded to men for money. 

Here's the thing: Steph didn't exactly realize that Sam was doing this to anyone else until she finds some pictures of some young girls in some compromising positions, some quite young. Steph knows that she needs to do something about this, but she has no idea what to do because she knows the local police aren't going to do anything - they all visit her in the shed behind their house and pay Sam lots of money for that privilege. What do you do when local law enforcement is involved in breaking the law?

Lucky for Steph, she has a handful of people that she can trust. And while she doesn't realize it, they're working behind the scenes to find her a safe place, to change her life. 


***********

It's difficult to keep talking about Every Shattered Thing without giving the entire story away because I want everyone to know there is hope for the girls in these situations...and boys and the women and whoever else might be stuck in them. I want everyone to know that there are places and organizations out there that can help people that are in situations like Stephanie. There are a couple that are mentioned in the story - Love146 is one of them, an international organization - but there are also organizations that help victims that are abused and exploited right here in the United States

You guys, this stuff happens in our towns, in our neighborhoods. People just like us are being treated this way and stripped of their dignity, just like Steph was in this story. They feel hopeless and shamed and unworthy, and they feel that they have no place to go. In Steph's case, people saw her bruises and they saw that something was wrong with her but they didn't want to get involved SO THEY DIDN'T. It took the hard work and dedication of a few people to pull her out of the hell she was living in and to give her hope. 

I can say that this was honestly one of the hardest books I've ever read, and I'm sure it was one of the hardest things Author Elora Ramirez has ever written. But I felt like I needed to read it to feel Steph's heart, her feelings, her shame. It begins with an awareness that this is going on, and Elora Ramirez has given that to us with Every Shattered Thing. The next step is the help for people like Steph - so grateful for the characters like Emma, Jude, and Kevin because there are people like these guys in the world, fighting hard to get rid of the people like Sam. 

I recommend Every Shattered Heart by Elora Ramirez for older-YA-and-above readers that enjoy YA/NA Contemporary stories with Issues. This one isn't easy, you guys, but it is rewarding. Stephanie is a character that will stick with me for some time. 

*********************************************************************

I'm thrilled and honored to have Author Elora Ramirez on the blog today to share a few words with us about writing her book. 

I’ve heard it said before that there are two types of writers in the world: pantsers and planners. The pantsers fly by the seat of their pants, letting the story come to life as they type. The planners organize. Outline. Map out their characters. 
Writing Every Shattered Thing was definitely moment after moment of flying by the seat of my pants.
Watching that cursor blink against the white space and typing out Sunrises make me come alive I knew the story would be a raw one. I knew there would be situations and topics I would need to tackle in order to make this character who was bouncing around my head and heart come to life. 
She was the girl I mentored and almost adopted.
She was the student who left my class to cut in the bathroom.
She was the teenager who at seventeen had never heard the words I believe in you. 
So I started writing this story that felt a lot like telling the truth but telling it slant, and then Stephanie goes and throws a curve ball into the mix by admitting to Kevin her deepest secret. 
And can I just say I’m not one to write a morality tale? Like, I think at some point there was a small part of me bent on justice and wanting to explore my feminist tendencies within writing but not now. I’m more concerned with character development and staying true to the story. 
So in a lot of ways, I’m very much a reluctant messenger.
Here’s the thing: I believe everyone has a story and that story can change the world of someone if we let it. And Stephanie? She gutted me. Giving her the space to breathe showed me things about writing and fiction and who I am as an individual I never anticipated. So this processing through storytelling quickly turned into an urgency. I began researching. I began calling up organizations. I asked questions. I listened. 
I found out that human trafficking earns more per year than Nike, Starbucks and Google combined.
I heard from officials who participate in raids describe what it’s like to plan the route of a rescue and how everything about it is harsh: the busting down of doors, the yelling, the guns everywhere, the snipers waiting in the distance. 
I heard from those who work with survivors talk about the frailty of the foster care system and how easy it is to make a quick buck on a child.
I learned that often, a knee jerk reaction is the worst and taking a breath and assessing is the best.
I remembered that in every rescue is a story.
And I finally understand the cadence of Stephanie’s words vibrating against my bones: 

The sky is screaming....the morning sky [screams] my discontent to a world not listening.


*********************************************************************

Every Shattered Thing will appeal to fans of:

YA/NA Contemporary Romance with Issues
 Issues: HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Every Shattered Thing by Elora Ramirez
is currently available for purchase. 

*********************************************************************

Elora Ramirez lives in Austin, Texas with her chef-husband. At the age of four, she taught herself how to read and write, cutting her teeth on books like Dr. Suess and writing anywhere she could find the space—including her Fisher Price kitchen set, the pages of picture books and Highlights Magazine. Since then, she's grown to love the way words feel as they swell within her bones. Writing holy and broken is her calling, and pushing back the darkness and pursuing beauty through story is her purpose. She loves hip-hop, wishes she lived by the beach and cannot write without copious amounts of coffee, chocolate, and her husband's lavender liqueur.

Follow Elora Ramirez:  Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter /  Website 

*********************************************************************


And now for the Giveaway! 

Author Elora Ramirez 
is generously giving away 
(1) ecopy of EVERY SHATTERED THING 
(1) signed pair of red converse and 
a signed copy of EVERY SHATTERED THING 

There will be two winners! 

Good Luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow on Bloglovin follow us in feedly 

*********************************************************************

I have linked an organization near to my heart because it deals with the abolition of Human Trafficking. Restore One is a legitimate organization dedicated to helping those that have been exploited by this devastating crime. 


5 comments:

  1. This book first caught my eye with its main character's name (I always perk up seeing "Stephanie") but now I see how it is entwining with my real life, which has become aware of just how prevalent this is thanks to the work of friends and my church.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This one caught my eye because it's a "taboo" topic. Even though it's becoming not so taboo, people don't put much stock in it. I like the idea of "taboo" topics. They usually rip your heart out, but make you more aware.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This book scares me to death, but I KNOW that human trafficking is a BIG and REAL thing happening right now in our world. Boston is actually a hub for the "industry" or whatever you want to call it. I think what moves me the most about this story is that Steph felt completely trapped and alone, but there were people out there who noticed what was happening and did something to help her. I'm sure she has a very long road of healing, but I am thankful for people who step up and do something to fight and to help others who don't know how to break free.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh goodness, Asheley - I feel like this one might just break my heart. Thanks for reviewing so many books that I feel like are maybe a little below the radar - I find so many things here that I hadn't heard of before!

    ReplyDelete
  5. It was an emotional ride for me, cried through reading. Felt the pain, hurt en desperation of Stephanie. Furious at and disgusted by her father and the men, angry at her mother, felt the love of Kevin, Emma and Jude and through this felt the hope for Stephanie. Whenever I see the sunrise I will remember this story.

    Mariz
    Hail Claims

    ReplyDelete

Leave a comment! I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts and I try to respond back!

 
BLOG TEMPLATE BY DESIGNER BLOGS