Title | Broken Things
Author | Lauren Oliver
Genre | YA Mystery, Thriller, Fantasy
Pages | 416
Publisher | HarperCollins
Series | None
Release Date | October 2nd, 2018
It’s been five years since Summer Marks was brutally murdered in the woods.
Everyone thinks Mia and Brynn killed their best friend. That driven by their obsession with a novel called The Way into Lovelorn the three girls had imagined themselves into the magical world where their fantasies became twisted, even deadly.
The only thing is: they didn’t do it.
On the anniversary of Summer’s death, a seemingly insignificant discovery resurrects the mystery and pulls Mia and Brynn back together once again. But as the lines begin to blur between past and present and fiction and reality, the girls must confront what really happened in the woods all those years ago—no matter how monstrous.
Lauren Oliver is one of those famous American young-adult authors that I often have to question. I find her books pretty hit or miss at the best of times, with the large majority being benched before hitting the one-hundred page mark. So when I found out that she recently released another story, I was pretty on edge about it. Then I learnt it was a mystery and/or thriller and I knew that it would be worth giving it my attention. I have spent the last two hours devouring this four-hundred page book and let me tell you, I was enthralled.
That’s the problem with lies. They aren’t solid. They melt, and seep, and leak into the truth. And sooner or later, everything’s just a muddle.
Broken Things follows the aftermath of the accusation of three teenagers, Brynn, Mia and Owen, who were ostracised by their small-town for the mysteriously horrific childhood murder of their friend Summer. While the story switches between Brynn and Mia, the some-what protagonists of the story, it’s pretty easy to understand what is going on. The plot was pretty interesting, and though not entirely unique within the mystery genre, it successfully had me hooked until the very end. I was unable to guess the murder off the bat, making the story all the more intriguing. I hate being able to predict the story before it happens. I loved the direction the story went in, and though there were certain parts I would be hesitant to re-read in the future, the story progressed brilliantly.
Pacing and style of the story was certainly interesting. As mentioned before, the story is told from either Brynn or Mia’s perspective – shifting back and forth between when they were children and the current time. Oliver also uses certain spaces and chapters in the book to include quotes from the childhood book they adored, and edits from the story they were collectively scripting before Summer’s untimely death. Lauren Oliver executed this very well – I think they added a little bit of spice and context to the story. They weren’t boring or unnecessary – they served their purpose incredibly well. As a result, the story had a steady, constant pace. Sure, it dragged in places but filler chapters have that effect. It would unfair to judge this book entirely based on small fillers. The chapters were of reasonable pace and size – not too much information and not too little. I appreciated that while it was descriptive, it wasn’t too much: the perfect amount of flowery.
Visually, the book was incredibly pleasing too. I could shout from the rooftops about the importance of a pretty front cover, and Broken Things certainly delivered. I was so interested in finding out the reasoning behind the design. I adore it. Also, it was incredibly easy to sympathise with Brynn and Mia. To live in a town where such a horrendous crime occurred would be terrible – for the victim to be your best friend, horrific: but then to be accused of said murder? Unimaginable. Their daily struggle with their treatment from the townsfolk is really eye-opening to the true effects of rumours, lies and injustice. It makes me sad to thing there are people out there living lives like Brynn and Mia, only with no way to clear their names. It was also great of Oliver to include the LGBT references scattered throughout the book. Sexuality plays into the story a lot, with two of the main themes being homosexuality and paedophilia. Both are executed respectfully, with relevance and great understanding put into their inclusion.
In rehab, I can be whoever I want. And that means, finally, I don’t have to be a monster.
I didn’t expect to like Broken Things as much as I did, and I would have to admit that I did really enjoy it. Was it the best book I’ve ever read? No. Will I be recommending this book to my friends? Yes. Do I recommend you to go and read it? Yes, I do. If you adore mysteries and crime fiction, you’re going to love this. If you want to read something different, this is a great book for that too.
But don’t take my word for it – because now there are things called book trailers. Not going to lie, we didn’t have these when I was growing up. But then again, we didn’t have book blogs either. Check it out below!
Still unsure on whether this book is the one for you? Have a look at what other bloggers have to say.
Confessions of a YA Reader says “Broken Things grabs you right from the first chapter.”
Nia @ Shades of Paper says “The ending was a bit disappointing to me.”
Bella @ A Bella Fairytale says “This book was a quick read. I did enjoy every minute of it.”