Emma spends her evenings in the cemetery. Mourning the recent death of her boyfriend, Daniel, she feels his presence there even though he has no grave. Her friends and family try their best to help but Emma is broken. She doesn’t want to meet someone new but when Alex starts at her school, she can’t help but find him familiar. There’s little things he does that reminds her so much of Daniel. And Alex seems interested in her too but there’s something not right about his father. As her feelings grow more and more confused, Emma finds herself wondering if she’d be better off staying far away from Alex…
I feel the blurb for this book is a spoiler; knowing what it is loosely based on gives the whole story away. There is maybe less than a quarter of the book that isn’t predictable due to that fact. I’m not sure it will be easy to avoid but I am going to skirt round it in this review, just in case the blurb is pulled and replaced with something a bit more mysterious!
It’s written in present tense which is quite unusual for young adult and may not be to everyone’s tastes. However the prose is haunting and fittingly gothic. The autumnal setting is atmospheric and it’s the perfect read for this time of year. I loved the descriptive nature of this book which gave it a much more literary YA leaning. Full of teenage angst, Emma’s situation is heart-breaking. Her sadness weighs her down because she is feeling the loss of someone so much. Perhaps their love would have been fleeting, but being ripped apart so early has left her feeling that Daniel was her soulmate and no one could compare. As the title suggests, the characters are indeed broken.
And the reveal, even though you know it’s coming, is just as heart-breaking if you stop to think about the whole situation. Yes, it’s a little disturbing as well, but this is a YA take on the horror genre so we have to expect a few chills. It stayed with me after well after I put the book down. It might be a bit too woe-be-me for some readers; Emma isn’t much of an optimist to say the least but the story is beautifully written and the characters genuine. I enjoyed it despite its predictability; I just wonder if I would have absolutely loved it if I hadn’t known. There are a few hints along the way so I’m not going to pretend the end would be a complete surprise anyway, it’s just nice to have the chance to work it out for yourself.
Broken will be published by Strange Chemistry in paperback and ebook formats from 3rd January 2013. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review.
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