ARC Review: Broken Things by Lauren Oliver

Title: Broken Things
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 416 Pages
Published October 2018

Summary: 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 received an advanced copy of Broken Things because our awesome friend Stephanie from over at Ohana Reads was awesome enough to send me a copy (all the way from Canada!!) when she found out how bummed I was that I didn't manage to snag a copy at BookExpo this past year. And I'm super glad and grateful that Stephanie was so kind to me, because I really enjoyed reading this book, and now I can't wait to share my review with you!

As the summary explains, Brynn and Mia are currently the outcasts in their small town, accused of murdering the third best friend in their trio, Summer Marks, when she was only thirteen. The number one reason they're the suspects? Summer's death played out exactly like they wrote it out in their fan fiction story, Return to Lovelorn, which was a continuation of a famous fantasy story. It seems like all signs point to the girls, and even five years later, the town hasn't forgotten their supposed crime, even though Brynn and Mia are adamant that they didn't do it. But if they didn't, then who did?

I really enjoyed reading this book -- especially all of the thrills and chills that it gave me. I used to love reading mysteries when I was younger, and it's been awhile since I've read a mystery-oriented book like this, so it was really freshing to do again. It also made me feel really happy, because I forgot how much I missed it! I kept flipping the pages super quickly and wanting to know what was going to happen next as soon as possible, so I breezed through this book pretty quickly. I really liked the way the story shifted both perspectives and the past/present, because it made it that much deeper of a story. And the Lovelorn inserts were super chilling, too! Seriously, guys. This book was seriously such an emotional roller coaster, and you all need to read it.

My favorite character in this book was definitely Abby. She was spunky and funny, and I really enjoyed the way that she added levity to the situation even when things seemed really grim and serious. I think she balanced out the darker elements of the story perfectly, and every time she was on the page, I felt refreshed and would laugh or smirk about something that she said. I also really loved how she was unapologetically herself and didn't feel guilty or bad about being so outspoken or independent -- that's part of the reason that I really enjoyed reading about her and the things that she had to say.

As for a character I didn't like, I really hated Summer. For real. I didn't see much in her that made her a very good friend, or anything that would make Mia and Brynn want to be friends with her. She was really vindictive and mean, and super bossy, always putting down the two people that were supposedly the ones that loved her the most. I think toward the end of the book we were supposed to have a little more sympathy for her, but I never did. I just really didn't enjoy her as a character, even though it was really terrible, all the stuff that happened to her. But yeah, Summer as a character just left a bad taste in my mouth, because she reminded me so much of Ali from Pretty Little Liars, in all the worst ways. 

(Minor spoilers in this paragraph, so skip to the next one if you don't want the story spoiled for you!) That ending, though. I definitely wasn't expecting the killer to be the person that it was. For most of the book, I had absolutely no idea who it was at all, and then I started to get some suspicions, but then they were debunked, and then I was back to having no clue. But then once you find out, and all of the things that happen All I can say is that I definitely wasn't expecting that, even though when I looked back on the story and thought about it for a little bit longer, all the clues were there.

(More spoilers here! Next paragraph, please!) The only thing that I wished had been resolved more was what went down between Brynn and Abby. I feel like what happened with them was really important and just kind of gets brushed under the rug and then never discussed again. I feel like the whole ending of the book felt really rushed in that way -- do they stay friends? Abby and Wade start hanging out, but does anything come out of that? What exactly happens after Brynn runs up to that door? I feel like the ending was a little bit too ambiguous, so it left me feeling a little lost and confused. However, I did enjoy the clever last line in the story -- it made me laugh out loud when I realized its significance!

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. It hooked me from the start until the very end, and I tore through 400+ pages in a little under two days because I just kept bringing the book everywhere with me and reading it whenever I had a few spare minutes. If you're into psychological thrillers and mysteries, then this is definitely the kind of story for you, so you should add it to your TBR immediately and then bump it right up to the top! I really liked Broken Things, and I'll definitely be recommending it to all of my friends. Stephanie, thank you again for being so awesome and sharing this incredible story with me! <3

1 comment

  1. I really liked this book too!! But YA Mysteries are my favorite thing to read. I didn't love the ending or the big reveal. I didn't buy that the person who did it, would do it. I don't think there was enough in there to have that person be the bad guy. It felt like it was put there just because no one would ever guess that person. I like surprise, but I want it to make sense too. Great review!! This is probably the best one for this book that I've read so far :)


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