Sunday, August 2, 2015

Becoming Ellen by Shari Shattuck

Published August 11, 2015 by G.P. Putnam’s Son

Ellen Homes is done being invisible. Well, sort of.

Living with her closest friends, Temerity and Justice, has helped her step out of the shell of invisibility she once hid away in. She still seeks refuge in solitary time and observing from afar, but she has pushed herself to open up to others in ways that bring her unexpected happiness.

But when a terrible bus crash upends her normal routine, Ellen finds herself on a whirlwind crusade for the unseen and downtrodden. Only this time, helping others—including two young children with no one else to turn to—will mean facing a pain from her past that she’s long tucked away.

 My Thoughts…

The main character is Ellen.   Ellen is social awkward for many good reasons.    Her history is not easy, yet she has managed to live a semi-normal life.    She works, she has roommates, and she is getting more social.   I loved her “relationship” with Rupert.   While she was clueless as to what he was asking her, she realized that he was a good guy and managed to be in the same room with him and even have a conversation or two.     The last part of this book definitely shows the leaps and bounds that Ellen has made in her ability to step out of her comfort zone. 

While this book is all about Ellen the secondary characters are who caught my attention.   I loved Temerity and Justice.   Shari Shattuck did an excellent job of giving the reader a peek into their lives while keeping the story mainly about Ellen.     The peeks managed to get my curiosity up about the rest of their lives.   We met their family and realized how amazing their parents are.   Not many parents can handle what Temerity and Justice’s friends are dealing with.    

This is a series.   I did not read the first book in this series and probably will not go back and read it.   I do not feel that I missed anything by not reading it.   Shari Shattuck gave enough background to the characters that I had a good understanding of why they were how they were.    

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Praise for Shari Shattuck

"A heartfelt and moving portrait of life on the sidelines. It is a book for anyone who has ever felt they didn't count. And who hasn't felt that way at least once?  A lovely, compelling novel about a woman you won't soon forget."
—Kristin Hannah, New York Times-bestselling author of The Nightingale

Becoming Ellen deftly picks up where Invisible Ellen, a favorite of mine, leaves off.  It's a novel of grace and tenderness, so darkly funny in places it made me laugh out loud; I kept stopping as I read, to hold on to these wonderful characters, to keep them with me just a little longer.”
—Luanne Rice, New York Times­-bestselling author

“Shattuck delivers strong, well-balanced characters and clever dialogue, making this both a fun read and a satisfying story of personal transformation.”

“A sweet comedy about a lonely young woman who discovers she has a talent for righting wrongs.”
Good Housekeeping

“An upbeat, entertaining survival story about the souls of lost human beings often ignored by society. With her well-drawn characterizations and distinctive protagonists, she shows how lives can be profoundly transformed through unlikely human connections.”

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