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Broken Things PDF, ePub eBook

4.6 out of 5
30 review

Broken Things

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Broken Things PDF, ePub eBook 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 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.

30 review for Broken Things

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    Well, I did indeed finish this with record breaking Lauren Oliver speed. While I did have the murderer figured out by page 25 (this could be chalked up to simply reading too many mysteries) and it felt slightly bloated, overall this was a compulsive, can't put it down type of book that I think many readers will enjoy. I'm going to think on this one a bit more before writing my full review, but I'll go ahead and post trigger warnings below. CW: Murder of children, graphic violence, pedophilia, mur Well, I did indeed finish this with record breaking Lauren Oliver speed. While I did have the murderer figured out by page 25 (this could be chalked up to simply reading too many mysteries) and it felt slightly bloated, overall this was a compulsive, can't put it down type of book that I think many readers will enjoy. I'm going to think on this one a bit more before writing my full review, but I'll go ahead and post trigger warnings below. CW: Murder of children, graphic violence, pedophilia, murder and abuse of an animal (this is graphic and highly unsettling), homophobic slurs (always challenged but used multiple times throughout), and fat shaming comments. *I received a copy for review via the publisher.

  2. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    apart from her ‘delirium’ series (which i adored), lauren olivers books have been a hit or miss for me. however, i was really looking forward to reading this because this is the first time ive read any sort of mystery story by LO and i couldnt wait to see how she did. overall, i wasnt too disappointed with this, but it didnt excite me as much as i wanted it to, either. true to her style, the writing in this is wonderful. its the kind of prose that makes you want to read the entire book in one sit apart from her ‘delirium’ series (which i adored), lauren olivers books have been a hit or miss for me. however, i was really looking forward to reading this because this is the first time ive read any sort of mystery story by LO and i couldnt wait to see how she did. overall, i wasnt too disappointed with this, but it didnt excite me as much as i wanted it to, either. true to her style, the writing in this is wonderful. its the kind of prose that makes you want to read the entire book in one sitting. but the characters? not so much. there just wasnt anything about them that made me become invested in their lives, which is kind of the opposite of what you want from a murder mystery. also, the conclusion felt very underdeveloped, in my opinion. maybe it was because i didnt guess the ending like most people did, so it just felt like a 400 page book was quickly wrapped up within a short chapter. regardless, i thought the fantasy element mixed in with a mystery was really clever. i liked how it was a book within a book and i thought the writing reflected that very well. i think this is perfect for any lauren oliver fans, but i wouldnt recommend it to anyone looking for a gripping mystery. ↠ 3 stars

  3. 4 out of 5

    BernLuvsBooks (Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas)

    🤔 What really happened to Summer 😵 ? Summer Marks was brutally murdered in the woods. Everyone thinks her best friends did it... they didn't. Broken Things was definitely an engaging read, unfortunately it was also quite predictable. The story begins on the 5th anniversary of Summer's brutal murder. We know that her best friends, Mia and Brynn, didn't do it. Yet, each girl holds pieces of the puzzle, secrets they have never shared with anyone. Mia and Brynn haven't spoken since they were a 🤔 What really happened to Summer 😵 ? Summer Marks was brutally murdered in the woods. Everyone thinks her best friends did it... they didn't. Broken Things was definitely an engaging read, unfortunately it was also quite predictable. The story begins on the 5th anniversary of Summer's brutal murder. We know that her best friends, Mia and Brynn, didn't do it. Yet, each girl holds pieces of the puzzle, secrets they have never shared with anyone. Mia and Brynn haven't spoken since they were accused of Summer's murder. While cleaning out her home Mia uncovers the book they were obsessed with - The Way into Lovelorn. In the early days of their friendship the girls spent their days recreating the book in their very own Lovelorn, a decorated shack in the woods. The girls' frenzy for the story lead to a shared obsession for writing a sequel. Mia knows the truth of Summer's murder is somehow tied to Lovelorn. Summer was the most obsessed of them all. She had introduced them to the world of Lovelorn and was its gatekeeper. After her death, Lovelorn had simply disappeared. One day the shack was there with its flowered wallpaper and decorations. The next, it was back to being just a dusty abandoned shack. It was as if their Lovelorn had never really existed. The police wrote off Mia's story as fantasy but she knew there was more to it. Lovelorn had existed and the key to solving Summer's murder lay with it. I enjoyed the idea of the story and the main characters were well developed. Brynn and Mia were both struggling as a result of their friend's murder. I found the direction their lives had taken since the murder interesting and enjoyed watching them reconnect. The cast of side characters - Owen and Abby were quirky and awesome. So why then did I rate the book just 3 stars? The predictability factor did it for me. I figured out who really killed Summer very early on and while I was hoping to be proven wrong, I wasn't. I was also very underwhelmed by the entire reveal. Once I suspected who it was, I knew the reason - it was the only plausible one in my mind. I was really hoping for something more. All in all this was a good read. It just wasn't amazing.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Hamad

    This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription Actual Rating: 3.5 stars “Five years ago, when I had just turned thirteen, I killed my best friend. I chased her down and cracked her over the head with a rock. Then I dragged her body out of the woods and into a field and arranged it in the center of a circle of stones I’d placed there with my other friend, Mia. Then we knifed her twice in the throat, and five times in the chest. Mia was planning to douse her body with This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription Actual Rating: 3.5 stars “Five years ago, when I had just turned thirteen, I killed my best friend. I chased her down and cracked her over the head with a rock. Then I dragged her body out of the woods and into a field and arranged it in the center of a circle of stones I’d placed there with my other friend, Mia. Then we knifed her twice in the throat, and five times in the chest. Mia was planning to douse her body with gasoline and light her on fire, but something went wrong and we bolted instead." 🌟 This is the opening chapter and once I read this I was intrigued and wanted to read this. I was happy to see that there ARCS out there and happier that I got approved in one day! 🌟 Now, Lauren Oliver is a smart author, I like what she did with Replica and Ringer. Her other books are also bestsellers but I don’t see her books getting much hype lately. I wanted to discover why because to me they seem as good ones. 🌟 Now, this started out brilliant. I love when first lines can make you want to read the whole thing. But the main problem is after this this started to get a bit slower and no as much as interesting. I mentioned in my last review the new trend of 3 girls and this books follows this trend, I forgot to mention that this trend entails one of the girls being a Lesbian which is also found here. The problem is that Summer who was murdered seemed like a good person at first but then I couldn’t sympathize with her. 🌟 The characters were not the best part of this, there is a fat rep that is not so great. The girls were annoying at sometimes too. I would have preferred if I could relate to the girls more. 🌟 Also this has a book inside a book. There are bits of the books that the girls wrote as a fan-fiction and to be honest, I didn’t give a damn about it. It was short and fast and that’s good but it didn’t add much to the story. This was a thriller and I am supposed to be on my toes with excitement and although I wanted to know what really happened, the suspense waned at some points. The reveal didn’t catch my breath too! 🌟 The writing was mostly good although some metaphors made me cringe. But the ending was so smart too and It made me happy again, hence the additional 0.5 star. “I knew even then that my dad was wrong- words could kill you, in a thousand different ways.” Summary: A good thriller novel that has excellent beginning and endings, don’t go to this with very high expectations and you will enjoy it more. If you are a writer, I think this may help in some creative writing too. ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)

    Actual rating: 3.5 Thank you Harper Collins for sending a review copy in exchange for an honest review Trigger Warning: Murder, abuse, animal abuse, pedophilia, self harm and violence. The moment I read the synopsis I knew I had to read this book. Mystery has never been one of my usual genres but I figured this one was definitely worth a try. The way the first chapter started hooked me in immediately. I was intrigued by the plot and excited to start guessing who the real murderer was. The story was Actual rating: 3.5 Thank you Harper Collins for sending a review copy in exchange for an honest review Trigger Warning: Murder, abuse, animal abuse, pedophilia, self harm and violence. The moment I read the synopsis I knew I had to read this book. Mystery has never been one of my usual genres but I figured this one was definitely worth a try. The way the first chapter started hooked me in immediately. I was intrigued by the plot and excited to start guessing who the real murderer was. The story was told from two perspective: Brynn and Mia. Both were Summer Marks best friends. We alternate between the two most of the time. There were chapters in between with quotes from The Way Into Lovelorn. Brynn was a favorite. She was funny (her points of view were the funniest in my opinion) She admitted to the mistakes that she made even if she didn't voice them out loud. She had flaws but so does every character. Mia was a lot more quiet and didn't really say much to most people. She stood up when something wrong was done or said so that’s one thing. Both girls had their own things to deal with in this story. I liked getting to know how different they both were from each other. The story was really easy to get into. I was interested from the beginning until the end. I played detective and kept keeping a mental profile of all the characters trying to guess who the murderer really was. The guessed who really killed Summer early on in the book but kept it aside. At some point I was 100% sure I was right. Turns out I actually was. I felt like guessing the killer really dimmed the magic of the story for me a little bit. Overall, the story was really enjoyable. It was different than most of the book I’ve read. I really enjoyed the writing too. Would definitely recommend the book to those who love a good mystery. || Blog || Instagram ||

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tammie

    4.5 stars for me. I found Broken Things to be a unique book-slightly disturbing but a good read. Main characters Brynn, Mia and Owen were all accused of a horrific crime when they were younger-the killing of their friend Summer. Summer was left in a field and stabbed multiple times. There wasn’t enough evidence to charge anyone but the three remained ostracized from the local community. Fast forward 5 years later and these now teens set out to clear their names and find out the truth of what hap 4.5 stars for me. I found Broken Things to be a unique book-slightly disturbing but a good read. Main characters Brynn, Mia and Owen were all accused of a horrific crime when they were younger-the killing of their friend Summer. Summer was left in a field and stabbed multiple times. There wasn’t enough evidence to charge anyone but the three remained ostracized from the local community. Fast forward 5 years later and these now teens set out to clear their names and find out the truth of what happened the day Summer was killed. Broken Things is very well-written and I enjoyed all the characters in the book. I would recommended this to fans that like mysteries and darker theme books. Though labeled YA, I’d say more older teens and adults due to the graphic nature of the book (my opinion only).

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alana • thebookishchick

    Let's just get this out of the way first, the cover of this book is actual HAIR GOALS, and I would be 100% lying if I told you that wasn't what caught my attention first. The second reason I was drawn to this was because it reminded me of the Slender Man stabbing case where two best friends lured another friend into the woods and repeatedly stabbed her an attempt to impress the fictional Slender Man and left her to die. Luckily, the real-life story does have a happy ending and does not end with Let's just get this out of the way first, the cover of this book is actual HAIR GOALS, and I would be 100% lying if I told you that wasn't what caught my attention first. The second reason I was drawn to this was because it reminded me of the Slender Man stabbing case where two best friends lured another friend into the woods and repeatedly stabbed her an attempt to impress the fictional Slender Man and left her to die. Luckily, the real-life story does have a happy ending and does not end with a dead girl like this book does. But a large part of me wonders if that particular case was the inspiration behind this novel. The story starts off on the five year anniversay of Summer's death. Mia and Brynn haven't seen or spoken to one another since they were accused of the murder of their best friend. And even though they did not murder Summer, the girls still have secrets of their own and the town still holds them accountable, labeling them and one other boy as the Monsters of Brickhouse Lane. Mia finds The Way into Lovelorn, a book that Summer, Mia, and Brynn were obsessed with. Picture a The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, Narnia type of story. The girls spent their days together in a sort of frenzy to figure out the ending of the book since the story ended mid-sentence. That frenzy quickly turned into an obsession of writing a sequel with a proper ending and trying to bring Lovelorn to life, which ultimately ended in murder. tw: murder, self harm, animal abuse and murder (very graphic), homophobic slurs, pedophilia Here's what I liked... -The way the past, present, and snippets from The Way into Lovelorn and Return to Lovelorn, which is Summer, Mia, and Brynn's story, were all woven together. Initially, I did struggle with it in the very beginning but it got better as the chapters got shorter -Mia and Brynn were both dealing with their own demons since Summer's death, and I thought it added a nice touch to making the characters more likable and interesting -Awesome side characters. Wade and Abby brought a lot to this story and without them it would have been a lot more dull -The epilogue had me grinning from ear to ear -Super atmospheric which was perfect to kick off my September reads and will be the perfect addition to your bookshelves when it comes out October 2nd Here's what I didn't care for... -The killer. I guessed who murdered Summer VERY early on. So, I was bummed when the big reveal came and it turned out to be who I guessed, especially because it felt like at one point the author was going to go another way and pin the murder on a different character. But nope, Detective Alana was on the money. -There is an extremely graphic scene that includes murdering a cat which was so unsettling for me. I have a stomach of steel and I could hardly get through it, so just be prepared because it is definitely on the more gruesome side -The reason Summer was murdered was not only underwhelming but it also felt super underdeveloped. The book came in at over 400 pages and the barely 2 page explanation of why Summer was murdered just did not cut it for me Favorite Quotes 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 a muddle.  #47. Truths you can never say, because they will strangle you on the way up. Stories can be rewritten over and over, demons recast as heroes, and tragedies as grace. That's the promise of a place like Twin Lakes. No one's ever really a stranger. Which means: there's no place to hide. All in all, while I did have issues with this book I'd be lying if I said I didn't devour it in nearly one sitting. I don't think this is one of those profound mystery/thrillers that will stay with me for ages but it was definitely entertaining while it lasted, minus the cat part. However, if you are looking to add an atmospheric, creepy read to your TBR this October than this may be the one for you! Blog | Twitter | Instagram

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cesar

    2 stars. For the most part, mystery novels, whether they be YA or adult, have always left me entertained with their stories. I've read my fair share of good mysteries as well as bad ones. And unfortunately, Broken Things is one of the bad ones. Not bad that I hated the story, but bad in that I was expecting more but didn't get much. Broken Things takes inspiration from the Slenderman Stabbing that happened a few years back. The main characters, Mia and Brynn are the town pariahs. Five years ago, t 2 stars. For the most part, mystery novels, whether they be YA or adult, have always left me entertained with their stories. I've read my fair share of good mysteries as well as bad ones. And unfortunately, Broken Things is one of the bad ones. Not bad that I hated the story, but bad in that I was expecting more but didn't get much. Broken Things takes inspiration from the Slenderman Stabbing that happened a few years back. The main characters, Mia and Brynn are the town pariahs. Five years ago, they were accused of killing their friend Summer in a ritualistic way based on a book they've read. Since there was no incriminating evidence that they actually killed Summer, they were let go but their reputation went down the drain afterward. Now, five years later, something comes up that brings both girls back together to find the real murderer. I should've liked this book. It's got a mystery, complex characters, and knowing Lauren Oliver, it has good writing. But in the end, I didn't have much of a good time. CW: violence and animal abuse. If I had to sum up my thoughts on Broken Things, it would be wasted potential. There was so much about this book I should've liked. It wasn't until I was halfway through with it that I knew I would be disappointed. I still held onto the hope that it would get better but it didn't. And when I got to the end, I wasn't really satisfied with how it ended either. Pros. I liked the characters of Mia and Brynn. They aren't simple characters. They are very much complex in regards to their emotions and actions. They can be straightforward that may come off as rude, but I find this trait to be a good thing. How they handle situations as well as their own internal struggles made me like them as characters and as individuals. Lauren continues to shine in her writing. To me, I like it when she writes in 1st person because we can get to know her character's thoughts. We get to see more development from the characters (or whatever development there is for any character) as well as reading their true feelings. Cons. Though I liked Mia and Brynn, there were moments in the book where I confused the two together. Earlier, I said they can be straightforward and that trait is what made me confuse the two. When a chapter from Mia's perspective was over, I thought I was still reading her POV in the next chapter only to find out I was now reading from Brynn's POV. It wasn't a major problem but still a flaw. The mystery was not the best part of the story. There are other books out there who did take inspiration from the Slenderman Stabbing (the only one I can name is Mister Tender's Girl), but Broken Things failed on creating a complex mystery. Don't get me wrong, I was fully invested in the mystery, but as I kept reading, I just wasn't as invested as I was when starting it. I think this was the biggest flaw in the story. Which is such a shame since there was so much potential here. Verdict When I said Broken Things was wasted potential, I do mean it. I wanted more from it. It just didn't work out for me. Thanks for reading my review! -Cesar

  9. 5 out of 5

    Camile Souza (This Chamber of Books)

    "Before we were the Monsters of Brickhouse Lane… we were just girls." 4.5 Broken Things is a standalone YA thriller with multiple perspective. Five years after their best friend was murdered, people still believe Brynn and Mia were the ones who did it, even though the cops couldn’t prove it. The three girls were obssessed with a fantasy novel called The Way Into Lovelorn and it turns out Summer was killed in a similar way to a Lovelorn ritual. Now, they are trying to get by, but th "Before we were the Monsters of Brickhouse Lane… we were just girls." 4.5 Broken Things is a standalone YA thriller with multiple perspective. Five years after their best friend was murdered, people still believe Brynn and Mia were the ones who did it, even though the cops couldn’t prove it. The three girls were obssessed with a fantasy novel called The Way Into Lovelorn and it turns out Summer was killed in a similar way to a Lovelorn ritual. Now, they are trying to get by, but the past won’t give them much room to move on when some new informations on what happened back then turns up. I really enjoyed this book. I listened to it mostly in audiobook and it was very engaging. To be honest that was a surprise because when I first heard of this book I had zero intention of reading it. That is, until I heard the premise and went like “wow that actually sounds right up my alley”. I had never read anything by Lauren Oliver, but this one made me look more optimistically at her other books. Like in Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, this book had bits and pieces from both The Way Into Lovelorn and from Return to Lovelorn – a self-insert fanfic the girls wrote as a sequel to the original book – inbetween chapters. Personally, I loved that, and I felt it gave the story a nice and almost fantastical touch. The whole obssession with Lovelorn also reminded me of the same feeling with the world of Fillory in The Magicians (the tv show, I haven’t read the books yet). "In books, secret worlds are accessible by doors or keys or other physical objects. But Lovelorn was not such a world, and appeared at whim and only when it felt like it, with a subtle change like the slow shifting of afternoon to evening." I liked the main characters, it was interesting seeing how people’s judment and harassment over the murder affected their lives. Brynn was more hot tempered and her way of dealing with things was to fake being an addict in order to stay freely in rehab so she wouldn’t have to handle her family or outside society (oh and she’s a lesbian). Meanwhile, Mia barely leaves her house, where she lives with a mother with serious compulsive hoarding issues (like in that reality tv show Hoarders where people can’t get rid of ANYTHING, including piles of garbage). She is a shy girl who’s now homeschooled due to the haressment she suffered and shares a tutor with her only friend, a girl named Abby who is a popular fat omnisexual beautystagrammer. Also, Summer was basically Alison DiLaurentis from Pretty Little Liars, but a poor and “lives with a foster family” version. You know the type, pretty, manipulative, the queen bee who is both loved and hated by people at the same time – including her friends. Even though I enjoyed the book, as usual, the murderer reveal didn’t really surprise me. I honestly am used to that by now, but I still can’t tell if every murder mystery I read is somewhat predictable or if I should just become a detective already. But it’s okay, this book still gave me that “don’t want to put it down” feeling and that’s all I could ask for at this point. Also, I’d like to point out that this book switches between the perspectives of Brynn and Mia and that can get a bit confusing in the audiobook because there are three narrators – one that reads the Lovelorn stuff between the chapters, one that narrates only Brynn's chapters, and one for only Mia's -, so it’s just one person doing the voices in each chapter, and both narrators read the characters differently. This was a good experience for me, and I hope it is for you too in case you decide to pick it up. I'll be more open to Lauren Oliver's future books from now on, although I don't particularly feel like reading her older books. Blog review | Twitter | Instagram

  10. 5 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    There is a dark beauty to Lauren Oliver's writing that gets me every time- Broken Things is a melancholy, beautifully plotted tale of friendship and murder. An obsession with a book that had no ending leads 3 friends down a dangerous path. One dies, the others are assumed guilty, years later they come together once more to try and discover the truth.. I love the way the author digs deep into her characters, peeling back the layers with huge insight. The mystery elements are clever and emotional, f There is a dark beauty to Lauren Oliver's writing that gets me every time- Broken Things is a melancholy, beautifully plotted tale of friendship and murder. An obsession with a book that had no ending leads 3 friends down a dangerous path. One dies, the others are assumed guilty, years later they come together once more to try and discover the truth.. I love the way the author digs deep into her characters, peeling back the layers with huge insight. The mystery elements are clever and emotional, for once I did not fully predict the outcome. Tense, atmospheric, often a little creepy, Broken Things was a wonderful if a little heart breaking read and I definitely recommend it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    The problem with fairy tales isn’t that they don’t exist. It’s that they do exist, but only for some people. This was an interesting read. Lauren Oliver managed to blend fantasy into mystery in a unique way. This is a story about three girls who were obsessed with a little-known fantasy novel called The Way into Lovelorn. In the book, there is a fantasy world that the characters find. For Summer, Brynn & Mia, that world is all too real. The girls think they found it in the woods. One day, S The problem with fairy tales isn’t that they don’t exist. It’s that they do exist, but only for some people. This was an interesting read. Lauren Oliver managed to blend fantasy into mystery in a unique way. This is a story about three girls who were obsessed with a little-known fantasy novel called The Way into Lovelorn. In the book, there is a fantasy world that the characters find. For Summer, Brynn & Mia, that world is all too real. The girls think they found it in the woods. One day, Summer Marks is murdered in the woods. Mia and Brynn are accused. But they didn't really do it. It's been five years since they lost Summer. Why did everyone think Mia & Brynn killed her? Who really killed Summer in the woods that day? Brynn is in rehab and has no desire to get out. She's not actually an addict, but she's safe here and doesn't have to walk around her hometown where everyone thinks she is a killer. Her plan is to fail a drug test right before being let out, so that she can stay. Mia is still in their hometown, but she gets homeschooled and is best friends with Abby, a beauty/fashion youtuber who also get homeschooled by the same tutor. Things seem okay enough, but her mom has spiraled into a hoarder. Finally Mia got her mom out of the house so she can start trying to throw things out. And this is how Mia stumbles upon Summer's old copy of The Way into Lovelorn. It brings up a lot, but mainly it makes Mia realize that someone else knew about the book. Could this be a way to clear Mia and Brynn's names after all this time? In the past, the girls wrote fan fiction because the original book was left unfinished. It ends in the middle of a sentence. So the girls always fantasized over why it was never complete and what would have happened next. They began writing their own story they called Return to Lovelorn. Throughout the book, in between chapters, there are excerpts from both The Way into Lovelorn and the girls' fan fiction sequel. This helps to give an idea of what the book was like and what exactly the girls were obsessed with. I found myself very intrigued by the mystery. I kept trying to figure out who the killer was. Also, side note.. (view spoiler)[there is a cat that gets killed in this book. It's graphic and my cat Toby was laying on me throughout my reading this..so it really hurt my heart when it came to this. (hide spoiler)] At times, the story fell slightly on the slow side. The pacing was a bit off. I do wish I liked the characters more. They just felt bland. I didn't like the way this one ended. I wanted a little more explanation. However, I did really like Oliver's idea of blending the fantasy story of the girls' obsession into this mystery. It reminded me of the Slenderman killings, which I'm sure this drew inspiration from. But Oliver managed to make it her own story.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Eli

    I mean it wasn't bad but I just expected so much more. I didn't really care for most of the characters and I think I really didn't like that this somehow turned into a love story??

  13. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    That ending!! Wow. I have the impression that I held my breath for the second half of the book, and that I can finally breathe. Wow. Many thanks to HarperCollins Canada for my early copy! ❤ That ending!! Wow. I have the impression that I held my breath for the second half of the book, and that I can finally breathe. Wow. Many thanks to HarperCollins Canada for my early copy! ❤️

  14. 4 out of 5

    Aj the Ravenous Reader

    This book is more than just a murder case, more than just solving a mystery. It is very beautifully written, atmospheric, almost magical, mysterious, suspenseful, eerie but also moving all at the same time. I have almost forgotten Ms. Lauren Oliver's extraordinary talent in writing which was what I really fell for when I read her Before I Fall. She definitely has the ability to make these familiar, almost stereotypical characters into something very refreshing and new. She honestly knows how to This book is more than just a murder case, more than just solving a mystery. It is very beautifully written, atmospheric, almost magical, mysterious, suspenseful, eerie but also moving all at the same time. I have almost forgotten Ms. Lauren Oliver's extraordinary talent in writing which was what I really fell for when I read her Before I Fall. She definitely has the ability to make these familiar, almost stereotypical characters into something very refreshing and new. She honestly knows how to flesh out each of her characters to convince me that they’re more than just fiction, that they could be real. I love how it has a fantastical element because of this fantasy book (which ended mid-sentence) these three girls were obsessed with when they were younger. It’s creepy how the events in the story as they overlap with the events in the fanfiction the girls wrote seem to actually happen to them and that’s one puzzling and unique mystery to solve. This is a very gripping, interesting read that hooked me up from the very first line “Five years ago, when I had just turned thirteen, I killed my best friend.” up to the very last part of the book which ironically also ended mid-sentence. It's kind of genius!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Megan ❀

    PSA: this has gay girls in it!!! Y'all get on this!!! It's interesting, whenever I pick up a fantasy book, I usually know from reviews beforehand if the novel has LGBT+ characters. But for some reason, with contemporary/mystery/thriller books, I have no idea until I see it explicitly on the page. This has happened to me with three different novels and I really think the universe has given me a sixth sense for finding gay girls in contemporaries. Surprise gay girls aside, Broken Things was really n PSA: this has gay girls in it!!! Y'all get on this!!! It's interesting, whenever I pick up a fantasy book, I usually know from reviews beforehand if the novel has LGBT+ characters. But for some reason, with contemporary/mystery/thriller books, I have no idea until I see it explicitly on the page. This has happened to me with three different novels and I really think the universe has given me a sixth sense for finding gay girls in contemporaries. Surprise gay girls aside, Broken Things was really not what I expected. I'm not a big contemporary reader and I really wasn't a fan of Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall, so I was a little nervous going into this. But I can sincerely say I loved this with my whole heart. It hit on a lot of things I've experienced in my own life and made me feel seen in a way almost no other contemporaries have. Books with dead girls always tend to romanticize them, always painting them as beautiful, tragic, innocent but still sexual. And while Summer is all those things at first, as the novel progresses, the reader is given such a full picture of who she really was that by the end, she's human. But this book isn't about Summer, not really. This is a book for the living. This is a book about Mia and Brynn and all the people that orbited Summer before her death, and how their lives have been touched and changed by her. The mystery of who killed Summer is important to the book, but this novel is really about toxic friendships, feeling broken, and healing from trauma. Despite the synopsis, this novel doesn't actually have any fantasy or magical realism elements. Everything is firmly grounded in reality, but it still reads as if magic exists. As if other worlds exist alongside reality. I loved how Oliver explored the power of imagination and creativity in this, to the point where whimsy felt woven into reality. Lovelorn didn't just feel like something dreamed up by these girls, but tangible. It reminded me a lot of how I played pretend as a kid and this novel brought back that magic for me. I was iffy about Oliver's work before, but since finishing Broken Things, I'm definitely more interested in reading her other novels. Lauren Oliver's characters were flawed but very lovable, her prose was easy-to-read but engaging, and this story touched me like almost no contemporaries have. If you're a big YA fantasy reader, I think this contemporary story may appeal to you.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    THE GOOD: * you all know I’m trash for thrillers/murder-mysteries, so it was virtually impossible from the get go for me to not like this lolol * this book toyed with my mind SO much - I kept asking myself whether there was indeed something supernatural happening or was I losing my mind * and honestly, what better way is there for you to know a book is good: “is it making me question my life, sanity and choices? yes. PERFECT, I’M SOLD” * huge props to Lauren Oliver for crafting this so beautifully, THE GOOD: * you all know I’m trash for thrillers/murder-mysteries, so it was virtually impossible from the get go for me to not like this lolol * this book toyed with my mind SO much - I kept asking myself whether there was indeed something supernatural happening or was I losing my mind * and honestly, what better way is there for you to know a book is good: “is it making me question my life, sanity and choices? yes. PERFECT, I’M SOLD” * huge props to Lauren Oliver for crafting this so beautifully, the writing was mesmerising and the story itself kept me on the edge of my seat * honestly, the thing I’m taking away from here is that friendships can make and break you at the same time; also maybe don’t wander into huge, menacing forests willingly and habitually, because Narnia ain’t out there * I resonated a lot with the way the main characters imagined their fantasy world, because I did that as well as a kid, and this is something that a lot of readers will see themselves in * it’s disturbing, so just bear that in mind and maybe don’t read it while alone in the house, with only your judgy sarcastic inner self to keep you company * to sum it up: stabby murder, make believe world, forests and friendships, mixed with a dose of “omg wtf is happening” THE BAD: * honestly, I was too caught up in this to notice anything bad so pls don’t hold it against me lol Special mentions: trigger warnings for graphic violence, pedophilia, animal abuse, homophobic slurs (always challenged though) Favourite quotes: “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.” “The problem with fairy tales isn’t that they don’t exist. It’s that they do exist, but only for some people.” “It is a strange phrase, ‘falling in love,’” said one of the princesses in the tower. Tears stood out on her cheeks, and even these were pretty, reflecting the blue sky above her. “It sounds like something you do accidentally, by yourself. But isn’t someone else always to blame? They should call it strangling in love. Walloped in love. Knocked-out-of-nowhere in love.” ★★★★★ To everyone who got this far, thank you for reading and have a wonderful day! Also, feel free to share your thoughts, comment or tell me anything :)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    Once again Oliver manages to create something unlike anything else that I've ever experienced. A flawless blend of fantasy mixed with realism, with just the right amount of mystery thrown in that will leave readers turning the pages and guessing what will happen next. With characters that are flawed, imperfect, and most of the time, not very lovable but still manage to capture you interest by being both intriguing and fascinating. Truly a book fans will love and those looking for something both un Once again Oliver manages to create something unlike anything else that I've ever experienced. A flawless blend of fantasy mixed with realism, with just the right amount of mystery thrown in that will leave readers turning the pages and guessing what will happen next. With characters that are flawed, imperfect, and most of the time, not very lovable but still manage to capture you interest by being both intriguing and fascinating. Truly a book fans will love and those looking for something both unique and entertaining are sure to enjoy. *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

  18. 4 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    COVER REVEAL ADDED!! IT'S SO COOL

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stacee

    I read to 45% and then skipped to 85% and read to the end. This seemed to have everything I could have wanted, but sadly I was disappointed. Mia and Brynn sounded exactly the same. I had to pay attention to the things in their surroundings to remember who was who and even then it wasn’t super apparent at times—especially with the past and present flip flopping. The best part of this story was Abby. I loved her snark and style. Plot wise, I was boooooooored. The “mystery” lacked tension and even I read to 45% and then skipped to 85% and read to the end. This seemed to have everything I could have wanted, but sadly I was disappointed. Mia and Brynn sounded exactly the same. I had to pay attention to the things in their surroundings to remember who was who and even then it wasn’t super apparent at times—especially with the past and present flip flopping. The best part of this story was Abby. I loved her snark and style. Plot wise, I was boooooooored. The “mystery” lacked tension and even as things started to unravel, I couldn’t make myself care. And even after I read the ending, I wasn’t interested in reading the parts I skipped. Overall, it was an intriguing idea, but the execution of this one just didn’t work for me. **Huge thanks to HarperCollins for providing the arc free of charge**

  20. 5 out of 5

    Gaby (lookingatbooks)

    I absolutely loved this

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Lanzilotta

    1.5 stars *sigh* Here’s the scoop: Lauren Oliver can’t write teenage girls 😬🤦♀ Our two main characters (Brynn and Mia) seemed exactly the same in the sense that they’re both big balls of rage with no distinguishing traits. I had to pay attention to surroundings or home life in order to figure out whose POV was who, not to mention they were both bland and uninteresting, I couldn’t connect to either girl at all. Broken Things follows three girls -one of them (named Summer) who was brutally murdered f 1.5 stars *sigh* Here’s the scoop: Lauren Oliver can’t write teenage girls 😬🤦‍♀️ Our two main characters (Brynn and Mia) seemed exactly the same in the sense that they’re both big balls of rage with no distinguishing traits. I had to pay attention to surroundings or home life in order to figure out whose POV was who, not to mention they were both bland and uninteresting, I couldn’t connect to either girl at all. Broken Things follows three girls -one of them (named Summer) who was brutally murdered five years ago. Everyone things Brynn and Mia murdered their best friend, mostly because of their interest in a book called The Way Into Lovelorn. The three girls spent countless days writing fanfiction about the world of Lovelorn, so it couldn’t be a coincidence that Summer’s death happened exactly like they’d described in their fanfic, could it? Except the girls didn’t do it, and five years later, around the time of Summer’s memorial, they’re on the hunt for a real killer. There was a subtle eerie sense to this story, lingering in the background throughout most of the time I was reading. -Which is to be expected for a murder mystery, of course. Somehow, I mean this in a bad way. Everything felt mediocre, especially when I could care less about the characters. There is a little bit of lesbian rep in this book, if that’s what you’re looking for. Though be warned that it’s not all the cute stuff you might want. I was a little bit turned off by the depictions of relationships and other things, like animal cruelty/abuse. That was something that really bothered me, especially because I didn’t know about it before starting this. I almost had to stop reading. (I have a pretty strong stomach when it comes to reading, but animal cruelty is the one thing that can get me to put a book down.) If that sort of thing bothers you like it does me, don’t pick up this novel. The killer. There wasn’t nearly enough evidence for us to even guess at this person before it was revealed at the end. It really disappointed me that Lauren Oliver intended this to be a big shock, but I didn’t feel anything considering there was almost no way for me to suspect this person. And sure, where did that little .5 after the 1 star come from? That was only because there were certain small parts that were slightly entertaining, yet not investing in the slightest, if that makes any sense at all. Can’t say I enjoyed this one.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)

    This review can also be found on my blog! Thanks to Edelweiss for an ARC! This will be published October 2nd! CW: murder of a child, homophobia, outing, drug use, rehab, and delusions One genre I want to read more of is YA mystery. There are so many good books coming out this year that makes me want to give it more of a try. This is one that I received through Edelweiss. Years ago, Mia and Brynn were best friends with Summer, all of them obsessed with a book called Lovelorn. They were so obsessed th This review can also be found on my blog! Thanks to Edelweiss for an ARC! This will be published October 2nd! CW: murder of a child, homophobia, outing, drug use, rehab, and delusions One genre I want to read more of is YA mystery. There are so many good books coming out this year that makes me want to give it more of a try. This is one that I received through Edelweiss. Years ago, Mia and Brynn were best friends with Summer, all of them obsessed with a book called Lovelorn. They were so obsessed that they wrote their own fanfiction. Then, one day, Summer was brutally murdered. Everyone assumed it was Mia and Brynn who did it out of their obsession. However, it wasn’t them. Five years later, they’re going to find out what actually happened. When I read it, I immediately thought of the Slender Man stabbing. Those girls who stabbed their friend (who survived) to impress Slender Man. This felt like it was partially pulled from the headlines, which I really loved. It was nice to read something I could connect to another crime while it wasn’t an exact copy. The characters in this were really good too. Mia is quiet and has a stutter. She doesn’t stand up for herself much. Brynn has been in and out of rehab for years, a lesbian who was outed in school. They had their issues from the crime and the resulting witch hunt against them, something I liked seeing. And it didn’t stop with their issues, but the issues that affected their families. It was refreshing to see that in YA. The side characters were also interesting. Wade, Brynn’s cousin, was hilarious. Owen, Mia’s long-time crush and Summer’s boyfriend, was interesting, too, because he had the exact opposite despite being assumed he was her killer. Abby, Mia’s friend, was great because I loved seeing the rep of an overweight girl who loved makeup and fashion and was a YouTube star, along with questioning her sexuality. At the heart of this book, though, was Mia, Brynn, and Summer. Three broken things. The plot surrounding them was absolutely enthralling. I didn’t want to put it down because it was great to read about a friendship that wasn’t healthy. And it wasn’t shied away from at all, because I think that unhealthy friendships aren’t talked about enough. It’s an anecdote. That crazy friend you once had. And it’s a joke. Having been in these, it’s not funny. And it was so nice to really see it like this. However, I wasn’t crazy about the culprit. I kind of saw it coming, but I also didn’t. It took me off-guard like “wait… really?” Not a bad thing, just that I was hoping for something different and exciting. There were two romances in the book that weren’t horrible, but I also wish they had more development to them. One was more developed than the other and the one that wasn’t developed (and was the queer one) left me wishing for something more. I liked that it was realistic that the straight friend assumed they were just close friends, but I also wish that more had been confirmed since it deserved better. I also wish that Summer’s past and mental illnesses had been more described. It just felt like suddenly she had changed without anything developed and hinted at. It suddenly had gone from 10 to 100. (Not 1 to 100 because Summer was already pretty crazy. It just changed and got worse without noticing.) Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I was absolutely captivated by it, but I had little niggling things that could have made it a 4.5 or 5 star read instead of the 4 I gave it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I admit, there are very few Lauren Oliver books I don't like. I always find her stories to be addicting and I don't hate her characters (which is a real struggle). I thoroughly enjoyed this and I can't wait for another Lauren Oliver novel (that isn't sci-fi because fuck that.) Also it was a not so pleasant reminder that middle school girls are pretty much monsters and I'm really glad I don't have to deal with them anymore.

  24. 4 out of 5

    The Library Ladies

    (originally reviewed at thelibraryladies.com ) I want to say thank you to Edelweiss for providing me with an eARC of this novel! Horrorpalooza has officially begun!!! As you all know, the month of October is where I try to do all horror/upsetting thriller, all the time, and kicking off with the new Lauren Oliver is a great way to begin! Lauren Oliver has written some pretty stellar YA novels in multiple genres, but I think that her mind bending thrillers are her best. I especially liked the book (originally reviewed at thelibraryladies.com ) I want to say thank you to Edelweiss for providing me with an eARC of this novel! Horrorpalooza has officially begun!!! As you all know, the month of October is where I try to do all horror/upsetting thriller, all the time, and kicking off with the new Lauren Oliver is a great way to begin! Lauren Oliver has written some pretty stellar YA novels in multiple genres, but I think that her mind bending thrillers are her best. I especially liked the book “Vanishing Girls”, a book about two sisters with lots of problems. So when I saw that she had a new book coming out called “Broken Things”, I was intrigued, and when the plot sounded like it was inspired by the Slender Man Stabbing I had to have it. Oliver has always done a good job of making creepy atmospheres as well as creating damaged but interesting protagonists, so I had pretty high hopes for this book. And the good news is that “Broken Things” is another strong showing from Oliver. This story is told through two perspectives in two different timelines. The first perspective is Brynn, the sardonic sarcastic girl of the friend group. After they were never charged with Summer’s murder, she left town, and has been in a seemingly fragile mental state, hopping in and out of rehab. The other is Mia, the quieter, kinder one of the group, who never left town but had her life be torn apart by her mother’s mental illness and the rumors that always plagued her. Both girls are very different characters, but Oliver does a good job of writing both of them and making their motivations known and understood. While Brynn’s story was the one that I liked the best of the two, I felt that Mia had the most character growth, so there was something to really enjoy through both POVs. Brynn and Mia are also equally complex, as Brynn was potentially in love with Summer back when she was alive, and Mia had a crush on Summer’s then boyfriend, turned fellow suspect. Their romantic entanglements, however, are not the main focus of their storylines, as the big relationship is the one between the two of them as they learn to trust each other again. I greatly enjoyed seeing them try to bridge that gap, especially since there might have been problems even before Summer died. And through their perspectives I felt like I got a good look into what Summer was like, and that she was just as well rounded as they were in spite of the fact that she didn’t have much in terms of her own perspectives. The timelines are in the present, and what happened leading up to Summer’s death from the time they met her until the night that she died. Both timelines and both perspectives slowly and carefully lay out all of the pieces of the puzzle, and Oliver reveals them at her own pace in their own due time. While we knew everything that was going on in these character’s minds, and the various clues that each of them had, the two timelines and two perspectives made it so that we got to watch them bring it all together. It rarely felt like it was lagging or dragging as Brynn and Mia tackle the mystery, both of Summer’s death and also what Summer was actually like outside of being painted as a symbol of purity taken before her time. While I did guess a couple of things before their reveals, overall there were plenty of gasp worthy moments that took be by surprise. The journey of getting to the solution was lots of fun, with a lot of twisted and dark moments that made for a tense and eerie atmosphere. I also liked the glimpses we got into the fantasy world of Lovelorn. Like the Slender Man Stabbing, the girls in question had become obsessed with a fantasy world that they believed, to a point, was real. While it may have been easy to just make up a slapdash version of Slender Man for this story, Oliver made a whole new world that had some unique elements. While it wasn’t the focus, we got enough tastes of this fantasy world that I felt like I knew it almost as well as Brynn, Mia, and Summer did. If Lauren Oliver wanted to write a couple of Lovelorn books, I would probably read them, and that’s coming from me, whose tastes in fantasy are VERY particular. “Broken Things” is another tantalizing and thrilling book by Lauren Oliver, and she continues to show that there can be some well done crossovers between age groups when it comes to thrillers. Adults and teens alike will enjoy “Broken Things”.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Patty (IheartYA)

    2.5 stars. Not impressed. I've read a couple other books of Oliver's and was hoo-hum about those too. Nothing special, bland, basic. Could have passed on this one. Was waiting for suspense but it flopped.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Adah Udechukwu

    Broken Things is a bit good. It started well. The first page had me hooked but the last 5 chapters was underwhelming.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kayleigh Kehoe ♡

    ♡ wordpress ♡ tumblr ♡ instagram ♡ twitter ♡ _____________________________ I could not put this book down! I stayed up all night reading this, not caring that I would suffer when I got up for work. That is how compulsive Lauren Oliver's writing is. "On a night like tonight all silvery and still, with nothing but a cratered moon and the trees knotted together as though for warmth and comfort, it's easy to believe that monsters exist." This book endures alternated perspectives in the form of Brynn ♡ wordpress ♡ tumblr ♡ instagram ♡ twitter ♡ _____________________________ I could not put this book down! I stayed up all night reading this, not caring that I would suffer when I got up for work. That is how compulsive Lauren Oliver's writing is. "On a night like tonight all silvery and still, with nothing but a cratered moon and the trees knotted together as though for warmth and comfort, it's easy to believe that monsters exist." This book endures alternated perspectives in the form of Brynn and Mia; two girls who were accused of murdering their best friend when they were thirteen. They are classic unreliable narrator's, which alludes to the general suspicion that was cast upon them when the police were investigating; this made me wary of them, and I would not rule them out as the possible murderers. "'They turned you into demons. Three average, everyday girls. A little lonely, a little ignored. The boy next door. An old book. They made a movie out of you. It was a witch hunt.'" Broken Things is a bit of a story within a story; if you will. Brynn, Mia, and their beautifully dazzling best friend Summer, are obsessed with a book called The Way Into Lovelorne, written by an author who had ended the book mid sentence, and then died before any resolution was made. Naturally, Brynn, Mia and Summer - who was the ringleader of all and any activities the best friends did, wanted to write a sequel. Thus began Return to Lovelorne. This was the three girls' secret, and captained by Summer, the girls come up with new adventures in Lovelorne, repurposing the old ones from the original book, although when they wrote in the sacrifice, they never expected it to become true. "Words are snares to trip you and ropes to hang you on and whirling storms to confuse you and lead you the wrong way." Everything in this book was described with this dark beauty that enthralled me, I found that the narrative flirts with the real thread of the plot, making it hard for me to figure out who killed Summer. The story is so substantial, with heaps of depth, it was so well done I actually thought The Way Into Lovelorne was a real book. These kinds of stories make the best books, I bought what Lauren Oliver was selling wholeheartedly. Thank you to Net Galley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Olivia & Lori (The Candid Cover)

    As a longtime fan of Lauren Oliver, I was very excited for her latest thriller, Broken Things. This book is very mysterious as it blends fantasy and reality. The main characters are realistic, and the writing style is so suspenseful. This is the perfect read to curl up with this fall. Full review on The Candid Cover

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kelly (Diva Booknerd)

    ★★★★☆ The nonlinear narrative accompanies Mia and Brynn, known as The Monsters of Brickhouse Lane, as they investigate potential suspects in the ritualistic death of their friend Summer. Summer Marks is a foster child, her mother a substance abuser, her only possession a novel acquired from her maternal mother. The Way Into Lovelorn is a fantasy novel written by Georgia Wells and despite being published, the novel is incomplete. A point of contention for Summer, inspired to create her own The Way ★★★★☆ The nonlinear narrative accompanies Mia and Brynn, known as The Monsters of Brickhouse Lane, as they investigate potential suspects in the ritualistic death of their friend Summer. Summer Marks is a foster child, her mother a substance abuser, her only possession a novel acquired from her maternal mother. The Way Into Lovelorn is a fantasy novel written by Georgia Wells and despite being published, the novel is incomplete. A point of contention for Summer, inspired to create her own The Way Into Lovelorn sequel. Although barely adolescent, Mia Ferguson, Brynn McNally and neighbour and suspect Owen Waldmann were ostracised by the community despite being acquitted of her death. Mia was unrolled from school and tutored privately, Owen migrated to Scotland to complete his education while Brynn endured the abuse and aggression of her peers, unafforded the privilege of a private education. Brynn escaped her torment by entering rehabilitation for substance abuse, providing positive samples to remain within the counsellors care, her relationship with her mother and sister fractured. Mia is returning to Twin Lakes on the eve of the anniversary of Summer's death to help her mother, a hoarder since the tragic incident that finds solace within her abundance of possessions. As Mia's mother enters counselling, Brynn is released from rehabilitation and for the first time in five years, the two former friends reunite to investigate Summer's murder. The narrative centres on Summer and her interaction with Mia and Brynn as teens, their adoration of The Way Into Lovelorn and the importance of the fictional sequel the three friends created. It explores the motives behind the killing, from her relationship with Owen at Mia's expense, her manipulation of Brynn and her feelings for Summer and her character development from child to a manipulative and often malicious young woman. Although I've enjoyed Lauren Oliver's novels in the past, Broken Things is considerably her break out novel. The nonlinear narrative is well paced, a blend of mystery and suspense as the storyline adds upon layers of intrigue. Very much a classical whodunit novel that readers will thoroughly enjoy.

  30. 4 out of 5

    erica

    Meh. Underwhelming. I read Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall about ten years ago (yeah I'm old af) and I remember liking it (even though I gave it three stars apparently??) so when I saw the gorgeous cover of Broken Things I was like, okay. It's time to read some more Lauren Oliver. [Summer] became our everything, our tornado. We were caught up in her force. She turned us around. She made the world spin faster. She blotted out all the other light. We couldn't escape. And maybe it's the old influence, t Meh. Underwhelming. I read Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall about ten years ago (yeah I'm old af) and I remember liking it (even though I gave it three stars apparently??) so when I saw the gorgeous cover of Broken Things I was like, okay. It's time to read some more Lauren Oliver. [Summer] became our everything, our tornado. We were caught up in her force. She turned us around. She made the world spin faster. She blotted out all the other light. We couldn't escape. And maybe it's the old influence, the winds still embedded inside, but now I'm the one who wants to destroy. I want to break the old connections. I want to flatten her back into the grave. I want her to let us go. Summer, Brynn, and Mia were best friends who were all obsessed with the same book, The Way Into Lovelorn and spent a lot of time writing fanfiction together. That is, until Summer was brutally murdered when the girls were thirteen. Summer's murder was suspiciously similar to a series of events the girls had written about in their fanfic. Brynn and Mia were suspected of murdering their friend, but there wasn't enough evidence to convict them. And they really didn't do it. Now, Mia is homeschooled and Brynn pretends to be an addict so she can stay in rehab centers. They haven't seen each other since Summer died, but in the wake of the five-year anniversary of Summer's death, Brynn and Mia reunite and begin asking questions. Who really killed Summer? For the rest of the book, Brynn, Mia, and a few of their friends investigate what really happened to Summer. But this isn't a thriller. Not at alllll. In fact, it's a bit boring. There is no urgency or suspense to the investigation. This isn't the kind of murder mystery that the reader is able to solve - Lauren Oliver doesn't drop any hints for you to mull over (or if she did, I didn't catch them). I'll confess that I didn't guess correctly who the murderer was, but I was actually disappointed in how the mystery wrapped up, even though I'm sure Oliver wanted to shock us. The story just doesn't make a lot of sense; the conclusion felt like Oliver just picked a random character and decided to make them the murderer, without any build up. Completely underwhelming. And then Oliver cuts from the conclusion, the scene where the girls confront the murderer and finally learn the truth, to the epilogue, where the girls are happy and well-adjusted... wait, what? Why are none of the loose ends being wrapped up? I really liked the book-within-a-book aspect of Broken Things. Stories are so important and so powerful, and they can offer a chance for readers to escape. All of the girls in this book had something they needed to escape from, and they found that escape when they read Lovelorn and daydreamed about the fantasy world. Adding to that world for themselves by writing fanfiction helped them cope with how much it can suck to be a thirteen-year-old-girl. I remember finding refuge in books when I about that age. I still do. The best part of reading Broken Things was being reminded of how I used to lose myself in books when I was in middle and high school. I never wrote fanfiction, but I really enjoyed that element of the story. The fanfic was mostly Summer's project, and it really touched me that she was able to escape from reality - the foster homes, the dyslexia - by writing herself in to her favorite story. The story is told in alternating chapters narrated by Brynn and Mia, but their voices were so similar that I kept getting them mixed up (thank god that the chapters were labeled with the narrator's name - otherwise I never would have known). Frankly, Brynn and Mia were boring, and so was Summer. I get that Brynn and Mia would be completely traumatized by their best friend's murder, not to mention being accused of said murder, but I didn't get why Brynn and Mia were still so obsessed with Summer. Oliver tells us that thirteen-year-old Summer was exciting and interesting, but I just didn't see it. I did like the queer rep (Brynn is gay) but I also felt like Oliver threw that little tidbit in there just to have a gay character. Or maybe I'm just saying that because I didn't like Brynn. Who knows. This book would have been so much better if the murder mystery plot was designed better, and if the characters had a bit more to them. Still, I didn't hate this book, which is why I'm giving it three instead of two stars. It was fun to read, and reminded me of Pretty Little Liars. I am disappointed that the writing was so blah, especially considering the number of books Oliver has written. I'm not impressed, and I won't be reading any more of her books. Come to my blog!

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