Shattered by C. Lee McKenzie

SKU 978-0-3695-0421-0

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A Story of Betrayal and Courage

Nineteen-year-old Libby Brown is on her way to the winter Olympics for her shot at the Gold. But on a last practice run, an out-of-bounds snowboarder collides with her, and she wakes up in a hospital unable to move her legs. Terrible accident they say, but was it? Or did someone want her off the U.S. slalom team? Libby must find the truth or remain shattered forever.

14+ due to adult situations



Etta Princeton, self-proclaimed Shoshone princess, always painted her nails while she sold lift tickets to early bird skiers. The shade varied, but the basic color was never anything but pink.

I peered into the kiosk window. “Hey, Etta. What’s today’s color?”

“You won’t believe this. Pocahontas Pink. I had to try it, right?”

Etta made me laugh. She was one of most upbeat people I’d ever met. “Absolutely.”

She took her time sizing me up. “Wow, I’m loving the lime green suit, Libby. Stunner.” She made a final stroke of Pocahontas Pink on her nails.

“It’s my treat to myself. Have to look good if I get that ticket to Europe.” But I knew I had the slot.

Etta dipped the nail brush into the bottle and closed the top. “So half day?”

“I’ve only got time for maybe one run. Can you make me a deal?” I crossed my fingers. I was already way over budget, and I didn’t want to have to ask for another loan from my dad. He’d done so much for me as it was, and while money wasn’t a huge concern in the Brown home, my parents had cut back on a few luxuries to make my dream of the Olympics come true.

Etta blew on her fingertips, then, keeping her hands extended so as not to muss her fresh polish, she handed me a pass. “My treat. Just wave to me from the games, okay?”

I was about to say I’d be sure to do that when a skier slid up next to me and almost elbowed me out of the way.

Before I had time to tell the jerk to watch what he was doing, he was screaming through the glass at Etta.

“Get the patrol up on Blake’s Crossing. There’s some screwball snowboarders doing crazy crap. One of those brats almost ran me off the side of the mountain and into a tree!” 

I held the pass up and mouthed thanks to Etta, who was already on her cell.

It was only a little after eight, but things were already busy on the slopes. I should have rolled out of bed earlier and caught the first shuttle, but I’d overdone it on the slopes yesterday and skied a lot longer than usual. I’d had a major case of nerves about the final tryouts. Tomorrow I’d know if I’d made the U.S. slalom team—if I’d be on my way to Austria.


Product Reviews

Score: 5 out of 5 (based on 13 ratings)
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Shattered - C. Lee McKenzie
Written by Mike Boyd on 9th Feb 2022

SHATTERED is an amazing book that deals with a tough subject: what it's like to come to terms with a physical disability. I had initial reservations about reading it, fearing it might be too grim. But last summer I had the good fortune to read a weekly series of blog posts in which Ms. McKenzie introduced 12 of the main characters. By the time she posted the final one showcasing her heroine, Libby Brown, I was hooked. The story is about a girl--a champion skier and contender for the Winter Olympics--who becomes disabled, but rises above adversity with the help of new friends who have been through similar experiences. We watch as Libby suffers some of the lowest lows of her young life, and then as she scores small victories that lead her toward a return to the ski slopes--albeit on a "sit-ski"--and a new goal: a spot on the U.S. Paralympic ski team. Along the way, she learns a second sport, rowing, that teaches her an important skill: how to succeed as a member of a team. [Spoiler Alert] While most of the book is a first-person narrative in Libby's voice, one of its most intriguing plot threads is a revealing series of third-person cutaways called "The Arrangement." Through these, we discover that the accident leading to Libby's injury--she collided with an out-of-bounds snowboarder while on a downhill run--was no accident. It was an arranged hit job. If you're up for a mystery, you'll stretch your detective muscles trying to figure out whodunit. A final dividend that SHATTERED pays the reader is an O. Henry ending--or two. And after all, who doesn't like surprises?

5 stars
Written by Jacqui on 13th Dec 2021

I'm not a YA (Young Adult) reader, but I will read anything C. Lee McKenzie writes. Her stories are always about a teen faced with impossible situations that would defeat most of us--even most adults--except McKenzie shows us how to survive, even thrive. In Shattered (Evernight Teen 2021), high school senior Libby Brown is a shoo-in for the US Olympics team until she’s run over by a snowboarder during a practice and paralyzed from her waist down. Now she must figure out how to move on with her life without being bitter for what she's lost. Fear not. Though a traumatic situation, the story is upbeat with a positive message for recovery and renewal.: "Prove to me that handicapped is just a word, not a punishing life sentence." "My sweet girl, you do not disappoint me. You only disappoint yourself." "Please let me sleep. Barring that, let me die and get out of here. Please." Did I mention the twist at the end? Completely unexpected and totally satisfying. Highly recommended

4 stars
Written by Erin on 13th Dec 2021

This inspirational tale of heartbreak and courage is an intriguing mix of strong characters, redemption, romance, and even a touch of mystery. The plot revolves around 19-year-old Libby Brown’s fight to regain a sense of normalcy after becoming a paraplegic when a snowboarder hits her while she is skiing. Gone are her hopes to attend the Olympics and instead she must learn how to adapt to a life in a wheelchair. The author, C. Lee McKenzie, has created realistic characters from Libby to her parents to wheelchair-abled friends. Harley, Libby’s buoyant, optimistic friend, is particularly refreshing and inspiring. An amputee, Harley never allows herself to feel anything but enthusiasm for her future. The story is strengthened by the ongoing search for the snowboarder who caused Libby’s accident and was part of a dark alliance to remove Libby from the Olympics. This is the third young adult novel I have read by Ms. McKenzie, and her writing never disappoints

Inspiring Story
Written by Amazon Customer on 13th Dec 2021

I had this book on my TBR list for several days but didn't want to read it. I was afraid it would be too sad. Was I wrong! The sad part happens quickly. An Olympic ski team hopeful suffers a devastating accident. The rest of the story is so uplifting that I'm sorry I waited to read it. After Libby realizes she will never walk (let alone ski) again, she goes through many emotions, comparable to the stages of grief. That made sense since she grieves her lost legs and former life. With the help of a smart-mouth rehab roommate, Libby manages rehab then going home. All along, she ponders her accident. Temporary amnesia blocks the actual event, yet her dreams give her clues. Was it really an accident? Did someone deliberately crash into her? Libby's journey seems very realistic. Ms. McKenzie's research into paraplegia is evident through Libby's everyday plus new activities. She has more options than she realizes at first. With the help of new friends she's able to try a new sport. This story is so inspiring. Not at all the depressing saga I expected it to be. I'm glad I read Libby's story. I think you will, too.

Written by Toinette on 29th Nov 2021

I enjoyed this book because it was a challenging read that offered a satisfying ending. Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to review this book. Libby Brown is not a character I could relate to at the beginning of the story, but by the end, I think she's someone I wouldn't mind meeting and spending some time with. Her transformation is drastic, yet she's still the same person, just a more mature and well-rounded person. Aside from the obvious tragedy Libby has to deal with and overcome, the biggest struggle for her is culture shock. Her reality shifts from being one of the beautiful and privileged of the world, who only has to worry about making her personal dreams come true, to becoming like everyone else- the other, the not so privileged, the marginalized, etc... It's easy to get caught up in how much this character whines about her situation but if the reader is honest with themselves, they will recognize that they too would act the same way if their reality all of a sudden shifted. Whether that be learning how to live with paralysis, or learning how not to live with a lot of money, or learning how to live in a place where you don't speak the language, or learning how to live in a place where the ruling class has a skin color different than yours, etc... it's a challenge to navigate culture/reality shock and find a way to thrive. My main issue with this story was the best friend. She's my favorite character but has a major flaw. To me, she wasn't very realistic. I think if she had shown just one moment of vulnerability, it would have made her so much stronger. I love the fact that she was optimistic and inspirational, but she could have as least said something like, "I wasn't always this way..." If this was in the book, it wasn't significant enough for me to remember. The mystery was a great secondary plot to keep the reader interested when wanting a break from Libby. The ending still has me reeling. I understand that it was for the best, but that's a story I'd like to get more into. The aftermath of that choice would be an interesting book. I can't imagine what it would be like to destroy a family but that's all I'll say. Don't want to give too many spoilers.

How life can changer in an instant
Written by cwtlgca on 29th Nov 2021

Fascinating story about a young woman whose life is changed by one incident. An Olympic level skier who is made into a paraplegic. The story has twists and turns and compelling characters. I couldn't read anything else until I finished. Highly recommended.

Written by Guildfest on 29th Nov 2021

C. Lee McKenzie has written a wonderfully inspiring novel about love and resilience. Even if your challenges aren’t as daunting as those faced by the protagonist, you’ll find her story compelling. Five stars--I thoroughly recommend it!

Emotionally powerful YA contemporary with a mystery twist
Written by Christine Rains on 28th Nov 2021

Libby Brown's hopes for Olympic Gold are crushed when her spine is crushed on an incident on the mountain. She must gather all her strength and dig deeper for more to pull her life back together. Yet depression and despair threaten to pull Libby down into a darkness she cannot escape. This was an incredibly powerful and emotional YA contemporary read. There was a little bit of romance and a mystery twisting the plot, but they weren't the focus. It's about a very real and heart moving journey a young woman must make living her new life as a paraplegic. Libby comes into the story as a highly independent and focused person, and while her determination is put to the test in learning how to deal with everything that is going on, she learns some more important lessons of family, forgiveness, and finding strength through others. I think anyone of any age would be moved by this tale, not just young readers.

How life can changer in an instant
Written by cwtlgca on 28th Nov 2021

Fascinating story about a young woman whose life is changed by one incident. An Olympic level skier who is made into a paraplegic. The story has twists and turns and compelling characters. I couldn't read anything else until I finished. Highly recommended.

Written by J. Fraser on 13th Nov 2021

Libby is a finely-tuned athlete heading for the Olympics when an accident changes everything. Libby has to battle hard to deal with the grief, rage, and despair that grip her following her injury, especially when she discovers it might not have been an accident at all. This book takes the reader on an emotional journey that is well worth traveling. The characters will pull at your heart, make you smile, and cheer. The twists will keep you turning pages. An excellent read!

4 stars
Written by Gabbi C on 13th Nov 2021

Shattered takes the kind of situation that seems like it might crush a life and strike fear into anyone, especially, as in this case, an athlete, and turns it into a hopeful story of one girl's struggle to overcome her depression and anger about what has happened to her into a life where she has choices. They're not the choices she starts with, of course, but by the end, her character has undergone a change that will stand her in good stead for life. Moving swiftly from the accident that paralyzes this Olympic standard skier, through a series of other disasters, twists, and turns, Libby becomes someone we would all hope to be. A key factor in this is the new friend she makes, Harley, who is a character a reader can warm to immediately. Libby resists the friendship at first, but soon sees that Harley is pushing her to be her best self. The mystery at the heart of the initial accident is handled well and has an unexpected twist at the end. I kept trying to put the book down to do other things I was supposed to do, but had to pick it up again as it raced to its satisfying conclusion. Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC

This Will Win Your Heart
Written by GSCH on 8th Nov 2021

Libby Brown won my heart and so did her best friend, Harley. I understood how terrible it was for Libby after her fall on the slopes, and I wanted her to find a way to put her life back together. It was gratifying to read her slow, but sure progress back to skiing and so much more. What I liked about this story was that while there was some romance, that wasn't the focus. There was a mystery that I really loved, and was surprised by. Then there was the interaction with all of the characters that was so great. All of this combined to make for a super read.

Written by Kortnie on 8th Nov 2021

As a former high level college athlete, this book brought to life one of my biggest fears that haunted me for a very long time. When you are an athlete, just the thought of something happening to you where you can no longer compete in the sport you love is terrifying. This nightmare becomes a reality for our protagonist Libby in Shattered. Libby is 19 an Olympic hopeful skier and just before the trials she is involved in a horrific accident that damaged her spine and leaves her paralized from the waist down. Now that her dreams are no longer in reach, she must find the strength to accept her new world and adapt to this life. I really enjoyed the mystery to this. We are given random chapters called “the arrangement” that give clues to the fact that Libby’s accident wasn’t an accident after all and was actually orchestrated by a rival skier (or was it?) I liked the character growth we see in not just Libby but some of the side characters as well. This story felt real and painful and I honestly was hooked from the first page. The twist ending made my thriller self very happy and in the end this was a really heartwarming story.