Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Special Edition: YA Book Review PJ Sharon's Savage Cinderella

Welcome to a Special Edition day
at the Book Boost featuring a
Book Review of PJ Sharon's
YA novel Savage Cinderella!

This special feature day at the Book Boost is in support of the Young Adult Romance Writer's Chapter (of which I'm a proud member as well) and the review was completed courtesy of Mirta Espinola, Editor/Publicist.


There have been travesties plaguing our society for centuries, but more recently gross atrocities against children have caught insatiable attention in the media. Stories of murdered or missing children have run ramped for everyone to view live on the news. So when I began to read Savage Cinderella, from the name alone I was hesitant thinking it would be some dark fairy tale, but as I began to read I was intrigued.

The beginning of the story unfolds as a man named Roy takes a girls’ body out of the trunk leaving her for dead in the mountains. The way the author writes the dominance in his character is the epitome of what readers would associate with a killer and pedophile. In addition, Roy’s character speaks about promises he makes that he does not retract-ever. That common thread is embedded throughout the story. And in the final pages it resonates in the readers’ mind to an almost deadly end.

The reader builds an emotional bond with the victim through her plight and when she yields no more to her fears, the reader becomes empowered alongside her. As the story progresses, Brinn survives the mountains and without giving up too much of the story undergoes a wonderful, yet difficult transformation when a journalist, her love interest, discovers her in the wilderness.

The author, PJ Sharon, strings words together in poetic perfection. Her use of figurative language draws in the reader and allows for a grand appreciation of the scenery she depicts. One of my favorite excerpts:

“Kicking along the pathway, she took a moment to stop and take in the view along the crest. It was a lovely day, the sun spilling across the valley, the trees like a sea of green set beneath a cloudless blue sky. She drew in the crisp morning air. She never tired of the breathtaking beauty of the mountains with their tangle of deep blue ridges that spread like tree roots into the mist. The perfect view could only be improved if she had someone to share it with, she considered, not for the first time. She pushed the thought away.”

In this paragraph from Savage Cinderella any reader can see the harmonic "wordology" of this author. The characterization is also right on with an impressive insight to the nativity and vulnerability the victim Brinn possesses. Furthermore, the hideous description of the villain, Roy, brings strong emotions of hatred and disgust rightfully so as we root for the protagonist in this story.

The title, Savage Cinderella correlates with the theme accurately and Cinderella represents a simple, virtuous and innocent symbol as the word savage is appropriate for the environment Brinn was thrust into after being disregarded like trash. If anything could be juxtaposed to symbolize beauty in the rough it would be the main character and the title. To me, the story brought the weight of the evils upon children to light, with a passionate story that saddened me, but also evoked an array of feelings within me. I know that is what writers want readers to do-FEEL! I believe this to be true with this author.

Savage Cinderella was presented to me as written for young adults. Some mature issues regarding sex and sex acts were addressed although none were actually depicted in the book. In my opinion it is appropriate for older middle school and high school teens. All the issues relating to sex are tastefully explained as it coincides with issues pertaining to the material and main ideas in the story.

As a parent I would read it before I allowed my middle school teen to read it, but I would feel more than comfortable with it being read by a high school student. However, this is a personal choice any parent can assess. I can say with any clarity is that in comparison with some of the TV shows today advertised to teens, this is much more responsibly suited for them. As a parent I would read and discuss the content matter with my teenager. It presents many valuable lessons as well as an appreciation for learning, a trusting friendship, and the importance of family.

Paula Sharon is an author to watch!


PJ Sharon is author of contemporary young adult novels, including Heaven is For Heroes, a finalist in the Denver Heart of Romance Molly contest. Her stories have garnered several contest finals, including a place in the Wisconsin Romance Writers FAB Five contest for On Thin Ice.

Her third novel, Savage Cinderella, was a finalist in the prestigious Valley Forge Romance writer’s contest as well as the Florida Romance Writers Golden Palm contest in 2010.

On the road to publication, PJ decided that indie-publishing was the best fit for her books. Although the themes are mature, evoking plenty of drama and teen angst, PJ writes with a positive outlook and promises a hopefully ever after end to all of her books. She believes in strong heroines empowered by learning valuable life lessons. Because of this, readers of all ages will be captivated by the emotional and romantic journeys of her characters.

Writing romantic fiction for the past six years, and following her destiny to write extraordinary stories of an average teenage life, PJ has been a member of Romance Writers of America since 2007 and is an active member of the Young Adult chapter of RWA. She is mother to two grown sons and lives with her husband and her dog in the Berkshire Hills of Western MA.

Visit her on the web here:


Eighteen year-old Brinn Hathaway has survived alone in an abandoned cabin in the High Country of North Georgia since she was a child. If her life is lonely and less than complete, at least she is safe from the man who kidnapped her, held her captive, and left her for dead in a shallow grave in the mountains. She believes that her parents are dead, the police are her enemy, and that if she returns to the world, her tormentor will find her. With the help of some unlikely friends, she has what she needs to survive, but is surviving enough?

Life takes a turn when a young nature photographer, Justin Spencer—in pursuit of the fabled Wild Child—captures her on film. While chasing the story of a lifetime, Justin is injured and Brinn comes to his rescue. The two build a tentative friendship, but with his own violent past, an abusive alcoholic father, and a mother he couldn’t protect, he must decide if proving himself is worth betraying the trust of the girl he has vowed to help.

Trust is a commodity that Brinn has been unable to afford. Can the kindness and gentle touch of a stranger break through the wall she has built around her heart? After half a lifetime of living in isolation and fear, Brinn must decide if leaving the safety of her remote cabin is worth the hope—and danger—that may await her.

Pick up your copy today! Click here.


Mirta R. Espinola lives with her son and husband in Texas. She has a BA and an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies/Education and has been reviewing and editing for about 3 years. She also works publicity for a local Texas author and continually specifically reviews and edits young adult and children’s literature. She is working on her first children’s book.

Visit her on the web here:


Mirta E said...

I cant wait to read more of Sharon.......excellent book!!!

Mirta E said...

Kerri, thank you so much for supporting authors and literary enthusiasts.....

Lorelei B. said...

What a great review! I totally agree with your comments. I've had the pleasure of reading all of PJ Sharon's books and think they're amazing. She has a great voice and I'm always lured into her stories. Can't put them down until the very end. Didn't think it would draw my interest because it's geared to YA, but I found them great for all readers. Truly enjoyed them. I think she's a gem!