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I Belong

Review: Shelter Me by Mina Bennett

Shelter MeTitle: Shelter Me

Author Mina Bennett

Genre: NA Contemporary

Series: N/A

Publication Date: October 10, 2013

Format: eBook, 264 Pages


IBSN-13: 123-0000188460

Reviewed by: Bridget


He’s the only thing she has left to believe in…

Marissa was the first person to break Jacob’s heart. When they were children, she made it very clear that she wanted nothing to do with him. She didn’t mean to, but her mother had ordered her to stay away from her Sunday school crush: “He’s a nice boy – don’t you ruin him.” So she kept her feelings hidden, telling herself that no matter how sweet he seemed, he’d still end up turning on her, like everyone else did.

Jacob never loved anyone like he loved Marissa. He knows he should try to forget about her, especially now that he’s engaged and she’s happily married – or so everyone says. Even though they’ve grown and gone their separate ways, in their tightly-knit community, that still means seeing each other at every Sunday service, church picnic and backyard barbecue. He swears that her eyes still have that sad, haunted look, but he manages to keep his distance.

Until one night, when everything changes.

With Jacob’s relationship in shambles and Marissa pushed to the breaking point, they’re drawn together by an unstoppable force. Temptation is irresistible. Giving in is unthinkable. But it soon becomes clear that nothing – neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation – can keep them apart.

Quick & Dirty: With bland characters, a confusing story, and no desire to finish the book, I can honestly say this was not a book for me!

Opening Sentence: Her sisters were named Mary and Martha.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Marissa grew up in a small community where everyone attends church and once you get a reputation it never goes away. Marissa was always shy as a child and struggled with depression. With two beautiful and completely normal older sisters, Marissa was branded as different but not in a good way. As she grew up everyone avoided her and she became known as a troubled child. The only person that ever treated her nice was Jacob, a sweet boy that she was told to stay away from because he was bad news. At the age of 18 she finally meets someone that is interested in her. There is a new pastor that works with the youth in their church. He isn’t much older than Marissa and he is a very handsome and well respected man. They become engaged and are soon married, but her new husband has secrets and he may not be as good of a person as everyone thought.

Jacob has been in love with Marissa ever since they were little kids. Things never progressed beyond friendship between them but Jacob always wished it would have.  Now that they are all grown he knows that it’s too late to pursue her, but he doesn’t know if he will ever be able to stop loving her. He tries to start something with someone else but it just doesn’t feel quite right, and because they live in a small town he still sees Marissa all the time. She’s married now, but she doesn’t seem to be any happier. Maybe Jacob still has a chance with her, but he will never know unless he finally gets over his fear of rejection and tries.

Marissa was a very hard character to like. She was so insecure with herself that she would pretty much do whatever her parents told her to do. She had absolutely no backbone which leads to her being abused both physically and emotionally. I understand that situations like this happen in real life but I felt that the way Marissa was portrayed was very unrealistic. I did feel sympathetic towards her a little bit but for the most part I just thought she was weak and I was never able to build any kind of connection with her. On top of that she was a very boring character that was easy to forget about.

Jacob was a very bland character. He is one of those people that just goes with the flow and doesn’t ever care to do anything out of the ordinary. He claims to have loved Marissa forever, but he never sticks up for her to other people. I honestly didn’t understand why he never said anything to her about his feelings until she got married and it’s too late. Personally, I didn’t really think he was all that attractive and for the most part I didn’t really like him.

This was actually a DNF read for me. I got about ¼ a way into the story and then I started to skim because I really wasn’t all that into the story. By about half way I just decided to give up all together because it just really wasn’t working for me. I didn’t like the characters, they were very bland and hard to connect with. One of the things that bothered me the most was the cheating. I don’t care what the circumstances are; if you are married you should never cheat on your spouse. Get a divorce and then do whatever you want, but I am a firm believer in marriage and I didn’t like how it was portrayed in the story. The book was a lot more religious than I was expecting as well, which just didn’t work for the type of story it was. It was also really confusing and I don’t really know what I was supposed to get out of the story. Maybe if I had finished the book things would have come together at the end, but I had no desire to keep reading anymore. Overall, this book obviously didn’t work for me, but if you think the synopsis sounds interesting go ahead and give it a try. Hopefully you will have a better experience with it.

Notable Scene:

As big, hot tears splashed on the floor beneath me, my mom ran towards me and asked me what was wrong. Did someone hit me? Did someone say something mean? Did they take something?

I couldn’t articulate what was wrong. When she finally got the story out of me, the look on her face said: oh God, is she really throwing a fit over this?

“You have to stick up for yourself, honey. Go up to the adults and just say ‘excuse me, I don’t have a partner.'”

All I could do was nod and sniffle. I didn’t bother explaining to her that there was no time, that I would have had to push my way through a crowd of hysterical kids to reach the stage and climb up there to talk to leaders, singling myself out as the sad little lonely girl who couldn’t even find her own partner for clapping games. “It’ll get better,” my mom had said to me then, wrapping her arms around me and resting her chin on my head as I sat on her lap.

“It’ll get easier, sweetie.”

That, of course, was a lie. Even back then, I knew

FTC Advisory: I was provided with a copy of Shelter Me.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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