Book Review: Freedom Road by T.M. Sounders

Freedom Road by T.M. Sounders is a book about eighteen year-old Samantha Becker. Her solace and reason for getting up every morning since the age of eight has been music, more precisely the guitar. With an alcoholic mother and controlling but somehow distant father, Sam dreams of escape to Julliard and studying classic guitar. However, when her father's insistence that Sam work for his bank, and an 'accident' threatens Sam's ability to even play guitar she loses confidence and digs in deeper behind her emotional walls. Just as she is about to give up on everything, two unexpected people work to break through the walls and force her to evaluate her life and dreams; including her family, band-mates, and adjustment to her injury and its effects on her long term goals. Can Sam break through and be the person she always wanted to be, or will she collapse to the will of others and lose herself in the process.

Freedom Road was a phenomenal, but far from emotionally easy, read. Sam has a horrible home life and feels abandoned by everyone that she have cared for her. The band she plays with are her friends by default, and are far from the most supportive bunch. When her father 'slips' and causes an injury that would change Sam's life forever she needs to readjust how she thinks about everything, including herself. I felt her despair from the very first page, and  found myself cringing or holding back tears in sympathy on several occasions. I liked that even though I had guessed the big twist in the story early on, and had a feeling on how certain parts of the book would resolve, the journey never ceased to be moving and interesting.

I would recommend Freedom Road for young adults and adults, particularly those that like coming of age stories or can relate to any of the crises that Sam faces. Younger readers facing troubled homes or trying to overcome an injury that blocks a life goal could also benefit from this book. There is nothing other than the tough problems Sam is facing that makes me hesitate in recommending for middle school age students. The story is hard to read emotionally, but it is completely worth the ride.

**FINALIST, USA Book Awards, Young Adult Fiction, 2012**
**FINALIST, Next Generation Indie Awards, Young Adult Fiction, 2013**
**Second Place/Quarter-Finalist in the YA category of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards**



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Author Bio
T.M. Souders was born in Johnstown, PA and grew up in the suburbs outside of Pittsburgh.  She graduated in 2004, from Youngstown State University, with a degree in Psychology and minor in Women’s Studies.  She is the author of bestselling women’s fiction novel, Waiting on Hope, as well as the novelette Dashing Through The Snow, and the three-time, award-winning YA novel, Freedom Road. She is the founder of The Serious Reader, a site dedicated to connecting with readers one book at a time. She currently lives in rural Ohio with her husband and children.


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This review is part of T.M. Sounders blog tour. For more information about the author and other stops on the blog tour check out her website; http://www.tmsouders.com/.

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