Thursday, August 20, 2015

From the Wreckage (From the Wreckage #1) by Michele G. Miller Review

Holy smokes readers. Ethan here coming at ya again for my fifth review in two days. This review will finally catch me up and I'll start my week over with a clean slate tomorrow (tomorrow starts my work week, random right?). Thank goodness, I never thought I'd catch up. Anywho. Tonight's review comes at ya with a lot of feels. I'm warning you guys, I haven't caught this many feels in a long time. The entire novel was just-- okay, let me save something for the review. This time on the chopping block? From the Wreckage by Michele G. Miller. Here's a bit about the novel and our author before we get to my thoughts:

“In a matter of minutes on a Friday night, I lost my school, my identity, the security of my first love, the personality of my sweet fearless brother, my best friend, my town, everything as I knew it. Everything changed.”

"Minutes - that’s all it takes to change your entire life. How do you deal with that?”

For high school senior Jules Blacklin surviving the storm is only the beginning. Faced with the new reality of her life, she must find a way to rise From The Wreckage and answer the question - how do you get back to normal, when everything that was normal is gone?

Book One FREE on All Platforms!


Michele G. Miller

I write fairytale love for everyday life! My writing is eclectic ranging from YA Historical Fantasy, Coming of Age Drama and New Adult Suspense, but the one thing they all have in common is ROMANCE. I love LOVE.
Personal tidbits:I'm a married mom of three. Grew up in Maine and Alabama (Roll Tide) but moved to the Carolina blue skies in 2002 (NC) and love it here!
I'm a fool for good dialogues and great lyrics!

I love football, chocolate and hiking in the mountains! I also love social media and can be found daily perusing Twitter or Facebook.

My Thoughts:

You guys who read my reviews know several things about me. I real a lot of YA. A whole lot of it, I also read a lot of contemporary romance, even though I'm not a huge romance fan. That, specifically, being said, it takes a whole lot for me to read a contemporary romance book and find it worthy of praise. That doesn't even take the fact that it's a YA novel into consideration at all. In my experience, YA contemporary isn't been... the greatest of reading experiences. The stories are often bogged down with teenage angst and the authors are near always out of touch with contemporary teenage reality. Then I met Michele G. Miller.

I'll start this out with a disclaimer. I picked this book up for free online several months ago and read the first third or so. For some reason I had to stop and I forgot all about it until I recently met Michele in person and she, yet again, piqued my interest. After picking up this story (a second time) from the very beginning, I wasn't able to set it down. Seriously folks. Words can't even describe how this story made me feel. 

Can you imagine a life in which a tornado could change your entire life? Friends, family, your home in mortal peril? I can. I was born and bred right in the midst of Tornado Alley. Year-round I watch the skies for storms, always on edge when a big one comes. I've survived several, and even been caught outside during one. Tornadoes are no joke. In fact, anyone who has been through one can tell you they're one of the downright scariest things imaginable. Never before would I have imagined an author could so perfectly capture the presence, the feel, the emotional plight of the storm. When From the Wreckage fell into my hands, I knew I was holding a piece of literary greatness.

The plot for Wreckage was probably one of the most unique I have ever seen in a YA contemporary novel. I don't even have a work to compare it to as it is so unique. Wreckage follows the story of Jules (as told through flashbacks) as she lives through a tornado that tore her town apart and nearly stole her life. Throughout the story, Miller mixes in the deepest of heartbreaking emotion to emulate the mental journey that not only Jules, but her entire community must undergo to pull through such a devastating time. Broken hearts and newfound love follow Jules and her friends as they learn the true meaning of live, friendship, and life. 

Sound deep enough for you? Folks, I won't lie to you here. I've said this before: I'm not an emotional reader. I'm just not. I don't often find myself with tears at the hand of a novel. Miller broke me in a way I haven't been broken in a very long time. This novel cut me to the core and I felt every one of these emotions like a knife to the heart. I found myself tearing up to the point of having to set the book down on three different occasions. Kudos to you Miller, you opened the floodgates. Gah. Miller really hits home with the plots and the themes I've described here, creating a novel that is sure to pull at the heartstrings of all readers, across genres.

The setting for Wreckage was written to perfect. Tyler, Texas (though not the Tyler, Texas) is small-town America. I saw so much of my hometown in its' characters, description, and eventual destruction. The close-knit community setting was captured in a way that tells me that Miller truly has experienced that life for herself, as nobody who hasn't could have written such. 

While there are several notable characters in Wreckage, I'll focus on the main three: Jules, Stuart, and West. Jules was an incredibly written character on a number of levels. Unlike other YA heroines who are trying to prove themselves or acting in very non-teenage girl ways, Miller knocked it out of the park with Jules' character, capturing the heightened emotions, the mindset, and the maturity a teenager would have. It was truly touching. Per Stuart, Miller really threw me for a loop, I was really waiting for the ball to drop and for us to uncover a deep, dark secret, but the truth was Stuart really was all that we see on the surface. West, on the other hand, really hit me hard. His character really had such a transformation and incredible development throughout this first installment of the series that he quickly became my favorite part. I have a thing for well-written male-YA characters. I suppose having been one myself, it irks me when authors get it wrong.

Everything about Wreckage screamed perfection. Let this review be a warning for you all, if you aren't equip to handle extreme feels and an absolutely incredible novel that will leave you breathless until the very last page, this story probably isn't for you. Who am I kidding, add this to your TBR today! With beautifully crafted words, Michele takes the darkest of moments in the hardest of times and brings hope and love to a story desperate for salvation. Kudos to you Michele G. Miller, you've written a masterpiece that's truly fit for my bookshelf. 

After reading my glowing review, it should come as no surprise that I am granting From the Wreckage by Michele G. Miller a near-perfect 5-star review. I cannot say enough incredible things about this first installment to the series. I am anxious to read the remainder of this series with the hopes I enjoy them just as much! A highly recommended read for all readers of YA (this one is mature-YA) and up. 


Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of From the Wreckage by Michele G. Miller. As you can see from my 5-star review above, this was definitely the read for me, and then some! I could not get enough. Michele is an amazing author and an incredible person all the way around. I've had the great honor of meeting her TWICE now and each time was a genuine pleasure. I have collected FIVE of Michele's novels and will be reviewing them each here on the blog in the coming months. Add this one to your TBR, it's not to be missed!

Until next time, Happy Reading!


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