Title: Broken Things
Author: Lauren Oliver
Trigger Warnings: violence, abuse and murder of animal(very graphic), homophobic slurs, self harm, pedophilia, murder
Synopsis: 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 really had no interest in reading this book but Target had a signed first edition which caught my eye. I’ve had a rocky relationship with Oliver’s book, some I have liked while others I haven’t. I went in with low expectations which seems like a good thing. I think if I went into this book with higher expectations my rating would have been lower. This review will be a non-spoiler review
Lovelorn isn’t just a story. No, to them, it is everything. The write about it, they converse about it, and they visit it. Until one is murdered. This book is about two girls who are dealing with the aftermath of their friend’s murder. The town sees Brynn and Mia as the ones responsible for their friend Summer’s death, along with Summer’s then boyfriend Owen. To get away from the scorns. Brynn keeps herself in rehab and Mia gets homeschooled while rarely going into town. But then Mia believes she discovered a hint to Summer’s killer in the pages of their forgotten fan fiction. Soon the girls as wrapped up in the mystery, trying to figure out, who really did kill Summer.
To start the review out positive, I’m going to start off with the things I liked about this book. I really liked the characters. Each girl had their own monsters of sorts that they were dealing. Not only were they dealing with their own problems, they were each dealing with getting out from under Summer. Even through death, Summer still had a grip on these girls and their life and through finding Summer’s killer they were able to deal and get out of her clutch. I thought this added depth to each character and reading about their character growth from getting free was well done.
One thing that I like about Lauren Oliver’s books is her writing style. In this book, I liked how she included events and facts about what happened in the past, along with what was happening in the present. The past writing was very well done, it didn’t feel like Brynn or Mia were just simply telling us what happened, it was written as if they were telling and also living the past. I also liked how before each chapter there was a tiny passage from either their fan fiction that the girls wrote or the actual story. Was this needed? No. But, it was a nice edition to the story even if it did not add anything to the overall story.
Wade and Abby were the side characters and they added a nice touch to the story. I think without them it would of been a lot more dull. They both added a bit of spunk to the story which was a great addition.
Now, onto the not so positive part of the book.
This murder, it fell flat for me. I however did not have any idea who the murderer is(though now I am wondering how I missed it) however through reading Goodreads reviews, it seems a good amount of people were able to discover the murderer early on. I think the reason for the murder was just, eh. It didn’t feel well developed and I was hoping for a more, well constructed reason.
So my main issue with this book is that it felt like another version of Pretty Little Liars. Throughout the book I found myself making connections between the two series. To me, the originality of this book was low. The three girls, one murdered, other two blamed is a common trope I feel and this book did not successfully achieve that trope. So, some of the connections I made between Pretty Little Liars and Broken Things are as following.
-Summer was Allison. I was able to make so many connections between the two. Both girls needed to be liked and love. Both girls would act like besties with their friends and then act like enemies/rudely the next. They toyed with their lgbtq+ friend and then later criticized them for it. Both of them went for older boys. Those are just some of the few connections I made between the two and it is one to many. Overall, Summer did not seem like an original character
-Brynn was Emily. Now I can’t really go into how these two have many connections due to spoilers. However, I counted about three, maybe more connections between the two. Though Brynn was a more original character, she still did not feel 100% original.
There was also this very graphic scene including a cat that was just, not needed. The scene was way to graphic than needed and I ended up skimming over it because it was a lot.
Overall, going onto this book was low expectations was a good thing. If I went into this book with higher expectations, my rating might of been around 2.5 stars. If you read this book, what are your thoughts?