Title: Broken Things
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery/Thrillers, LGBT+, Romance
Publication 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.
“Before we were the Monsters of Brickhouse Lane — before everyone from Connecticut to California knew us by the tagline, ad blogs ran pictures of our faces, and searching our names to let to sites that crashed from all the traffic — we were just girls, and there were only two of us.”
I was pretty intrigued by the premise of this book because it sounded unlike anything I’ve ever read, and not only that but it was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, so I couldn’t be happier when I got approved an ARC of Broken Things, and despite it had elements I liked and I had so much fun reading the story and trying to discover what was really happening, I had a few issues with some of the characters and the plot itself that made me not love this book as much as I wanted to.
I think the mystery element was there and it was well written. After finishing the first few chapters I was pretty intrigued and wanted to keep reading to discover who the actual killer was and what really happened that day. The whole story was super atmospheric and it almost felt as if I was inside the book along these characters trying to figure everything out.
One of the main issues I had with Broken Things, however, was the characters. They weren’t that remarkable to me, and I feel they were your typical YA mystery female leads. Though they overall had a nice evolution throughout the story, and I enjoyed seeing them explore their friendship, there was something about them that made me not connect with them as I expected to, and that probably had to do with the lack of knowledge of them (even though we knew a bit about their back story and what they were going through, I feel the book focused more on the fantasy story they all loved when they were younger and trying to figure out what happened the day their friend died).
“I don’t talk about Mia, or Summer, or Owen, or Lovelorn and what happened there, how we believed in it, how it became real. In rehab, I can be whoever I want. And that means, finally, I don’t have to be a monster.”
I also found the romance completely unnecessary. I feel this is one of those books that could have worked out amazingly without a romance in it, and adding it one just made it a bit more boring, mostly because it didn’t add anything to the story. And I can understand why the author did it, but I just found the interactions between those characters a bit forced and awkward sometimes.
One of the things that I was so intrigued about was the part the fantasy book took in Broken Things, and I think that added something unique to a normal mystery book. I enjoyed getting to know why they all loved it and become obsessed with it when they were younger, and why it was so important.
The ending was a bit disappointing to me. I found it so predictable, and maybe that’s just a personal thing of mine, but I guess I was expecting to be a bit more surprised with all those revelations made in the last 50 pages, and unfortunately for me, it ended up being quite anticlimactic.
Overall, it was a solid three star read to me. I enjoyed the fantasy world and the mystery, and the characters had a nice development, but there were some issues I had with the ending and the dynamics between those characters that made me not enjoy Broken Things that much.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.
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