ARC Book Review: Broken Things by Lauren Oliver
ashley | I love Lauren Oliver. The books of hers that I have read I’ve enjoyed immensely and she’s one of those authors that I’m always googling to find out when her next book comes out. Receiving an advance copy of Broken Things was super exciting and the story seemed a little different for Oliver, though right up my alley, and I couldn’t wait to see what one of my favourite authors did with one of my favourite genres.
I don’t usually start my reviews at the end, but I need to start this by saying thank you, Lauren Oliver, for ending this book exactly how I wanted it to. The last sentence was so perfect, if it had been anything else, I would have been highly disappointed.
Now that that is out of the way, this book really did grow into everything I was hoping it would. I was a little nervous about some of the directions I thought things were heading, but Oliver craftily created one path while sneakily tiptoeing along another through the whole book. That is to say, I didn’t see the “big reveal” coming, which I almost always do.
Though if I’m being completely honest, I was a little lukewarm about it, it didn’t seem all that shocking or unexpected, other than the fact that I didn’t suspect it, I’m kind of disappointed in myself for not expecting it. But Oliver has written such a darkly beautiful piece that straddles the line of fantasy and realism that I think I was more caught up in the beauty of all that darkness than the actual who-dunnit story itself.
After all, that wasn’t really important. What was important was watching this motley crew of broken people reunite and try to fit all their pieces back together, accommodating new pieces and old pain into whatever new and magical existence they were now living in five years after the fact.
Whether intentional or not, this obsessive fantastical story seems very reminiscent of the Slenderman case, at least at first, where two girls kill their friend because Slenderman told them to. I was weirdly fascinated with that case, and that same fascination was strong with this story. I needed to know these girls’ story and what really happened that night. This drove me through the book pretty quickly, not to mention Oliver is just a wonderful writer and storyteller and makes it so easy to get lost in her words.
I quite liked the characters, Brynn and Mia were so very different, but rounded out a lot of qualities that are expected from high school girls if you combine them together. Everyone in this book was a strong representation of someone I’m sure everyone can remember from their high school. They play into the stereotypes and fulfill specific roles, but that is what makes the book so painfully relatable. These could be people you went to school with, these people could be you. They were so flawed and, like the title says, broken, and they all really spoke to me.
Another author I am super biased about, I will probably love everything she writes. But this felt like it went in a bit of a different direction for me and I loved that it felt different, but the voice and Oliver’s awesome ability to humanize broken and flawed characters was still very much present. That’s what makes her such a great author.
october 2, 2018