13 February 2016

Beautiful Broken Things - Review

Beautiful Broken Things
by Sara Barnard

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What they say: Here’s my theory on Significant Life Events: everyone has them, but some have more than others, and how many you have affects how interesting you are, how many stories you have to tell, that kind of thing.
I was still waiting for my first one.
After yet another typical summer where nothing of any significance happens, Caddy vows that now she’s sixteen this year will be different; she’ll get a boyfriend (a real one), lose her virginity and experience a Significant Life Event. If only Caddy knew what was just around the corner - a whirlwind of wild spirit and fury with a dazzling smile and sad eyes by the name of Suzanne – and a significant life event that no one could have predicted.
Caddy and Rosie have been BFF’s since they were little girls, but when enigmatic and beautiful new girl Suzanne starts at Rosie’s school, Caddy allows her insecurities to threaten her friendship with Rosie. Caddy wishes she were more like Rosie and Suzanne – confident, funny and interesting – but beneath the make-up and bravado lies a secret side to Suzanne that intrigues Caddy. Despite their differences very soon the three girls are inseparable, and things get a whole lot more complicated.
Under Suzanne’s influence, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But climbing out of bedroom windows for forbidden midnight walks on the beach begins to lose its shimmer as Suzanne’s troubled past is revealed and her present begins to unravel. The course of friendship and recovery is rougher than any of the girls could have imagined, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own. 
Beautiful Broken Things is a heart-stoppingly beautiful debut novel from emerging UKYA talent Sara Barnard. It’s a love story without romance, about what it means to be a friend when your whole life is falling apart. For all the arguments, misunderstandings, fallouts and tears, there’s no love quite like that shared between teenage girls. A beautiful tribute to the friendships that bind when you’re a teenage girl and still learning about life, and about yourself.

Coming February 11th 2016 by Macmillan Children's Books (UK)  - ISBN: 9781509803538

Buy links:
Amazon US * Amazon UK

I received a copy from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review!

What I say: I was really expecting to love Beautiful Broken Things but unfortunately it didn't really work for me. As someone who went to an English, all girls grammar school, I should have been able to identify with Caddy and her horror as a new girl threatens to ruin a long serving friendship, but I just couldn't warm to her, Rosie or Suzanne.

My main issue was with Caddy herself. I really didn't like her at all, finding her selfish and whiny. I understand people often feel discontent with their situation and long for excitement, but Caddy came across as jealous and petty. She also doesn't seem to understand the different situation her friend Rosie is in to her. Her main complaint was the lack of anything bad happening to her! 

I understand the potential dilemma of your best friend making a new friend, so Caddy's uncertainty wasn't too surprising. She feels as though this beautiful, popular new girl is going to take everything away from her. The paranoia and squabbling between the three girls is pretty accurate and I was happy to see Caddy realising she could have another friend in Suzanne, rather than loosing Rosie.  

Suzanne isn't easy to like either but her issues are more deep rooted - she has actual problems rather than simply wishing to be more interesting. I found myself waiting for something terrible to happen (don't worry no spoilers here).  My favourite part was how the book ends, it seems fitting within the scope of the story. I liked the message told in Beautiful Broken Things - the concept is dark and clever, but for me I just couldn't connect with the characters and it all felt a little awkward. 

2.5 Stars in my Sky!


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