REVIEW: Broken Things by Lauren Oliver

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“Five years ago, when I had just turned thirteen, I killed my best friend.”

Back of the book blurb:

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.

Chase’s thoughts:

Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9780062224132

Available for Purchase:

My rating:

            I felt compelled to write this review even though the book was released almost a month ago, mainly because it’s around Halloween and Broken Things is a wonderful spooky read, but also because Lauren Oliver’s writing has always intrigued me and I want people to know how much I love her.

            Like I said, Broken Things is a perfect Halloween read. Murder, fanfiction, and dreamy boys, oh my!

“Wishes really did come true in Lovelorn. Which could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on who was doing the wishing.”

            Broken Things is a twisty, suspenseful, and heartbreaking mystery about two ex-BFFs, Brynn and Mia, trying to figure out what really happened to their other best friend, Summer. I absolutely love a good slasher story, which isn’t really what Broken Things is about, but it’s not paranormal, which I was extremely happy about. There’s just something so much scarier about an actual human committing these awful and gruesome crimes. It makes it more real, I think.

            I also love how Broken Things is also a story within a story. Honestly, I would love to read The Way into Lovelorn. It’s almost reminiscent of Slice of Cherry, if anyone has read that book. It was super creepy, but extremely intriguing.

“She was going to move to New York City and be a model when she turned sixteen, and afterward have her own fashion line. She was going to be a famous actress and write her memoir. She was going to do so many things.”

            I’m not sure if it’s just because I’m obsessed with Pretty Little Liars, but so many YA murder mysteries follow Sara Shepard’s original blueprint. And I feel like Broken Things did, too, just a little bit. I’m not complaining about that at all. Summer Marks really felt like a grungier (and maybe a bit meaner) Alison DiLaurentis. She was the leader, the one who was going to do Big Things and Mia and Brynn were just there along for the ride.

“We all protected Summer, for reasons I can’t totally explain. That’s why Brynn and I never told anyone what really happened that afternoon in the woods, and why we never revealed what Summer was really like.”     

            I really enjoyed Mia and Brynn’s love/hate relationship with Summer. How Brynn and Mia couldn’t stand her but also needed Summer. It displays toxic and abusive relationships so well and I think Lauren Oliver should be applauded for educating young adults that even friends can be abusive. Not just significant others. This creates a wonderful dynamic for the entire novel that will have the reader eager to turn the next page to find out what really happened to Summer, because like Mia and Brynn, they’re almost half in love with Summer, too, but also feel guilty for being a little glad that Summer is gone.

“He grabs my shoulders before I can move past him, and I know, I know that something huge is happening, the kind of thing that takes worlds apart and remakes them. Hurricanes and tornadoes and boys with blue eyes.”

            I love the subtle romance that happens throughout Broken Things. A lot of YA gets discredited because it almost always features some sort of romance, but obviously, I enjoy it so much. I think Lauren Oliver approaches the romance in an elegant way, never letting it get in the way of the true mystery of the novel: What happened to Summer Marks that summer?

            And that mystery is intense. I wish I could say I saw it coming, but I truly am the worst at figuring out mysteries. I think I read a couple of reviews saying that they caught it in the first 25 pages, but that wasn’t me. I was on the edge of my seat the entire novel. Lauren Oliver’s wistful and atmospheric writing kept me intrigued on each and every page.

            Broken Things is a stunning Halloween read that will stay with you for ages.

Happy Reading!

The Wandereader

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