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 thWeir 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.
Rating: 4.25 stars
Does anyone else have a really hard time drafting coherent reviews for books that they liked? I can go on and on about books I hated, but when I liked a book, it’s so much harder. That’s happening to me now, so if this review sucks, that’s why.
So, from the very first page this story sucked me in. Lauren Oliver didn’t hold back any punches with this story. Going into it, I thought that it might somehow resemble the Slender Man murder where those two girls killed their best friend in the woods. I mean, this synopsis sounds pretty similar, right? But the stories are nothing alike. In fact, if I was going to associate this book with any other story, it would probably be Sara Sheppard’s Pretty Little Liars. They are still very different but there were some unmistakable similarities.
Anyways, I loved the plot. I read this pretty quickly because it was honestly so hard to put down. The whole idea of Lovelorn and how wrapped up in it the girls got was enticing and creepy. The writing was awesome (though it could’ve gone either way because sometimes I enjoy her writing and sometimes I don’t) and the pacing was phenomenal. Some YA mysteries tend to drag the story out and add unnecessary plot lines to add a little pizzazz or drama. Broken Things didn’t have that problem. After we are introduced to the girls, we get right into the story and we never really veer off course.
The character’s were well enough developed for the pacing. We don’t know everything we could about Mia and Brynn, but we have enough to understand their roles in the story. Abby and Wade were great side characters that added some light personality to the mix (which was greatly needed). There did seem to be some little romance subplots that popped up here and there that sometimes helped the story along (such as Mia and Owen), and some that didn’t (the almost-but-not-quite Abby and Brynn).
Now, even though I did really enjoy it overall, there were a few reasons why I didn’t give it a perfect 5 star rating. The actual reasoning behind the murder felt a tad bit underdeveloped. I guessed who the culprit was very early on, but I couldn’t figure out why that person would have killed Summer. I got a very vague answer, honestly. That leads me to my other reason: there were so many unanswered questions. When I finished this, I was seriously thinking, “Um, what? No explanations??” about several things. The ending felt pretty rushed to me, to be entirely honest. I would’ve liked a more thorough explanation than readers get.
Overall though, it was an awesome read. There is some heavy stuff in this, so Trigger Warning for: heavily detailed murder, animal abuse/murder, homophobic bashing, and self-harm. If you’re comfortable reading those things and you like a good YA mystery/thriller, I’d definitely recommend this read to you. (P.S. Isn’t the cover so freaking pretty???)
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