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Learning to Feel: A Review of Jessica Sorensen’s “Fractured Souls”

Goodreads.com Description: “Gemma thought she had said her good-byes and had felt every possible emotion she could before her soul was detached again. Deep down inside, she hoped she’d never wake up from it because, in her eyes, life without emotion and memories isn’t worth living. But she does wake up and discovers she can still feel and remember everything she experienced over the last few months. Alex is also telling her that everything’s okay, that he didn’t betray her, and that what she thought happened really didn’t. Gemma isn’t sure if she can trust Alex, so she tries to keep her distance from him, even though the electric connection and her desire make it nearly impossible. The only person she can trust is Laylen, but even that becomes complicated when the lines of their friendship begin to blur. While Gemma struggles with her emotions and relationships, she searches for her mother, entering a dangerous world of secrets, seduction, and evil. The further she digs into her mother’s secrets and past, the more she wonders what waits for her at the end of her search and if maybe some things are better left in the dark.”

**Mature Content Warning** 17+ for language and sexual content.
(this is a re-imagining of the Young Adult Paranormal book, The Underworld (Book 2 in the Fallen Star Series) told as a New Adult Paranormal)

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed Jessica Sorensen’s Fractured Souls. I felt it was a much better book than the first one, Shattered Promises, in this series.

Sorensen gave the characters more depth in Fractured Souls. This dark, twisted tale was an exploration of their emotions. Gemma, the main character, is still learning about her emotions. And, even Alex is discovering emotions long since hidden. The biggest emotion the two of them face is Love. Although the story is paranormal with an unfathomable situation, Gemma is constantly asking the same question: How do you know it’s love. Much like their situation, it can’t easily be answered.

The characters aren’t the only ones who get to explore emotions. Readers get to feel sympathy and hate. In Shattered Promises it was hard to really like Gemma until her emotions showed up. Alex was such a ‘douche’ he was unlikable. Thankfully, that changes in Fractured Souls. Once you learn their perilous situation, you like them and sympathize with them. Even the vampire Laylen is more likable. Sorensen gives us true villains to hate in this story too–Nicholas, Stephan and the Queen of the Underworld.

Emotions aren’t the only thing explored in Fractured Souls. The conflict between Good and Evil spans the story. For Gemma, does the presence of evil within a family doom her to being Evil? What does that say for Alex whose father is the embodiment of Evil? And, what about Laylen? He’s a tragic soul created from Evil. Can he have Good within? I love how Sorensen explored this concept. All the answers aren’t given in this installment. But, you’ll want to keep reading to find them.

Fractured Souls is a tale with humor, some memorable moments and a few insightful quotes. The best one came from Gemma. “There are things in life that happen that change who we are, things that are hard to come back from, and in the end we never really are the same.” That sums up the whole story.

Be sure to read the novella, Unbroken. Sorensen writes more about Good and Evil and how it impacts Gemma and Alex in this quick read.

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