*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: Broken Things
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
I can’t say I loved or hated Broken Things by Lauren Oliver. I didn’t mind it, but it was nowhere near as good as Panic or Delirium. Broken Things tells the story of 3 teenagers–two girls in particular–who were accused of killing their best friend when they were thirteen years old. The story is intricately wrapped up with a fantasy novel that they adored and a fan fiction that they were writing together.
The story has a very haunted and supernatural quality to it. It’s a spooky murder mystery YA novel with characters who are struggling greatly in the aftermath of wrongful accusation. These girls’ lives have changed so drastically in the 5 years since their friends deal, yet they are still at the centre of the town’s scorn and derision. Few have forgiven them their past and even fewer make attempts to make amends.
I had a really hard time believing the towns conviction in believing that 2 girls that young really committed such a brutal murder. I could understand the cold case and I could really get on board with looking into the victims friend, but the hatred that the town feels for these young girls, even after they are no longer suspects, it fierce and enduring. It weaves a very tragic tale.
I did enjoy the friendships that developed throughout the book. Oliver always writes very interesting and well-developed characters. This book shows a story arc of things past, present, and future, and the characters really grow and blossom as the story unfolds. If you’re really in the mood for some against-the-grain type characters, this is the right book for you. They are interesting, in depth, and anything but normal. There’s a lot of hormones, feelings, memories, and so much more at play, adding to the difficulty of their search to find their friend’s real killer.
What I liked about this book as well was that it tackled some other big issues. It explored drug abuse, physical and mental abuse, depression, anxiety, familial relationships, sexuality and sexual orientation, and so much more. It does really pack a punch with the strong variety of characters and personalities. This story really showcases the spectrum of struggles that people face throughout their lives, both intensely difficult, but also mundane.
Overall, I think fans of Oliver will enjoy this read, but it’s certainly not as powerful as her other series. For me, it was just fine, but I hope you’ll enjoy it more!