Scattered Links by M Weidenbenner ~ Review & Giveaway!

Release Day Tour Scattered Links is a novel that pulls its characters from the gutters and, in the end, celebrates the tenacity of the human spirit.

Thirteen-year-old Oksana lives on the streets of Russia with her pregnant mama and abusive aunt—both prostitutes. When Mama swells into labor, Oksana makes a decision to save herself from abandonment, a decision that torments her forever. When her plan fails and her aunt dumps her in an orphanage, she never has the chance to say goodbye to her mama or tell her the secret that haunts her. Scattered Links is a story of family and the consequences that come from never learning how to love, of a girl’s inability to bond with her adopted family and the frustrations that follow. How can a child understand the mechanics of forming a healthy relationship when she never had a mother who answered her cries, held her when she was frightened, fed her when she was hungry, or loved her unconditionally? Only when the child meets a rescued abused horse, and recognizes the pain in his eyes, does she begin to trust again.
Scattered Links, (initially titled Love is Just a Word), was the winner of the 2013 Aspiring Writers Competition, sponsored by Write on Con and The Reading Room. Scattered Links was intended to show a glimpse into the life of a child with RAD, reactive attachment disorder, so prevalent in children who never had unconditional love in infancy. This novel was inspired by Michelle’s journey to Russia to adopt her orphan daughter. Upon seeing the neglect of orphanage children and learning of the effects of RAD in post-institutionalized children, Michelle researched this disorder, committed to giving her daughter the best chance at a healthy life. Sadly, many parents can’t cope with the behavior from kids with RAD and re-home their children like pets.

Buy on Kindle | Paperback

About the author:

Michelle grew up in the burbs of Detroit with five brothers. No sisters. Each time her mom brought the boy bundle home from the hospital Michelle cried, certain her mom liked boys better than girls. But when her brothers pitched in with the cooking, cleaning, and babysitting—without drama, Michelle discovered having brothers wasn’t so bad. They even taught her how to take direct criticism without flinching, which might come in handy with book reviews. Michelle blogs at Random Writing Rants where she teaches and encourages writers how to get published.

Follow Michelle:

Blog - Random Writing Rants Teaching adults and teens how to get published
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

My Review:

This was one moving book! I haven't read many books lately that have had me in tears and a few times throughout the book at that. It also left me with a whole different outlook on Russia and adoption. This is a fabulous book for teens and adults. Be prepared to feel sad, to be angry and feel happy all in one short book.

The author does a great job with this book and bringing you into Oksana's life, you feel the dirty conditions she lives in, her hungry and her need for love and companionship. One struggle after another Oksana learns to grow throughout this book. She grows up way faster than she should and has real decisions to make. It was hard to read about how she wasn't interested in staying with her adoptive family but at the same time it was very understandable after being abandon by her aunt and not knowing if her mom even knew what happened to her and her baby sister.

The writing is a bit short and choppy but appropriate for the character that is learning English. I was happy that Oksana made a connection with Boris the horse and was able to overcome the language barrier. Oksana was a hard character at times as you just wanted to take her into your arms and hug away the pain and challenges that she faced throughout this book. No child should have to live through the ordeals that Oksana did.

A fabulous read!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~


  1. Hi Jenn -
    Thanks for this great review! I love your fun blog here and the header. Very cute. Is that your dog?

    1. Anonymous8:22 AM

      Thanks for stopping by Michelle, and for your comments. Yes that is my puppy (or to resemble) our crazy beagle!

  2. My husband is my hero.

  3. My mother is my hero.
    My rafflecopter name is Julie G.


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