28 January 2013

YA Book Review: Broken by A.E. Rought

Release Date: January 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

Get a copy! Amazon

Goodreads description:
A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry's boyfriend, Daniel. Emma is broken, a hollow shell mechanically moving through her days. She and Daniel had been made for each other, complete only when they were together. Now she restlessly wanders the town in the late Fall gloom, haunting the cemetery and its white-marbled tombs, feeling Daniel everywhere, his spectre in the moonlight and the fog.

When she encounters newcomer Alex Franks, only son of a renowned widowed surgeon, she's intrigued despite herself. He's an enigma, melting into shadows, preferring to keep to himself. But he is as drawn to her as she is to him. He is strangely... familiar. From the way he knows how to open her locker when it sticks, to the nickname she shared only with Daniel, even his hazel eyes with brown flecks are just like Daniel's.

The closer they become, though, the more something inside her screams there's something very wrong with Alex Franks...
What it's about: Emma lost her boyfriend in a tragic accident and she's been a ghost of herself ever since.  When the new boy in town, Alex, takes an unusually keen interest in her, she has a hard time staying away from him--despite her misgivings about him.  As the story progresses, stranger and stranger things happen as Emma and Alex get closer and someone or something wants to tear them apart.

Who it's about: Emma was a really interesting character. I felt like she had an underlying strength that was a shimmer of who she was before Daniel died.  Now, the loss of Daniel has turned her into a bit of a shadow of her former self, floating along through her days with little purpose and spending time in the  cemetery where she hung out with Daniel.  Then Alex comes along.  He is strangely drawn to Emma for reasons that he can't figure out, and he seems to know things about Emma that only Daniel knew.  He's quite the mysterious character from the get-go.

What I liked:  The writing in this one was really what kept me going.  I didn't feel an overly deep connection with Emma, but the story itself was written in a very compelling manner that really kept you guessing.  Now, that being said, I did like Emma's character.  Her feelings felt real and not forced.  She was trying to let Daniel go and the grieving process simply takes time.  She doesn't let Alex in right away, which I appreciated.

The bottom line:  Not everyone is going to enjoy this book.  It lures you in with promised of a retelling of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein but doesn't quite deliver on that promise.  That being said, it is a very well-written read that I found I couldn't put down.  I was invested enough to truly want to know what was going to happen with these characters and what the heck was really going on.  Come for the beautiful cover and stay for the well-crafted writing.

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