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Book Review ♡ Broken Things by Lauren Oliver

Any book that falls into the mystery/thriller genre will normally pique my interest and when I heard about Broken Things, I just knew that I had to give it a chance. I’ve read a couple of Lauren Oliver’s previous works and have found them to be pretty hit and miss – with my most-liked book by her being Before I Fall. However, after reading this book it is clear that I now have a new favourite.

title ♡ broken things
author ♡ lauren oliver
genre ♡ young adult; contemporary; lgbt+; mystery; thriller
pages ♡ 408
publisher ♡ harpercollins; hodder & stoughton
series ♡ standalone
release date ♡ 2 october, 2018 (harpercollins & hodder & stoughton)
goodreads ♡ amazon

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.

Following the mysterious yet horrific murder of their childhood best-friend, three local teenagers are ostracised and held culpable for the death of Summer. The book seems to reveal the truth of the murder as the perspective alternates between Brynn and Mia. Though this style of writing has been hard to follow in other works, I found Oliver’s writing to be quite fluid and interesting. Shifting back and forth between when they were children and the current time, the book provides important insight into the characters’ lives. Oliver also uses certain spaces and chapters in the book to include quotes from the childhood book they adored, and edits from the story they were collectively scripting before Summer’s untimely death. Lauren Oliver executed this very well – I think they added a little bit of spice and context to the story. They weren’t boring or unnecessary – they served their purpose incredibly well. As a result, the story had a steady, constant pace.

The plot was pretty interesting, and though not entirely unique within the mystery genre, it successfully had me hooked until the very end. I was unable to guess the murder off the bat, making the story all the more intriguing. I hate being able to predict the story before it happens. I loved the direction the story went in, and though there were certain parts I would be hesitant to re-read in the future, the story progressed brilliantly. Sure, it dragged in places but filler chapters have that effect. It would unfair to judge this book entirely based on small fillers. The chapters were of reasonable pace and size – not too much information and not too little. I appreciated that while it was descriptive, it wasn’t too much: the perfect amount of flowery.

That’s the problem with lies. They aren’t solid. They melt, and seep, and leak into the truth. And sooner or later, everything’s just a muddle.

Visually, the book was incredibly pleasing too. I could shout from the rooftops about the importance of a pretty front cover, and Broken Things certainly delivered. I was so interested in finding out the reasoning behind the design. I adore it. Also, it was incredibly easy to sympathise with Brynn and Mia. To live in a town where such a horrendous crime occurred would be terrible – for the victim to be your best friend, horrific: but then to be accused of said murder? Unimaginable. Their daily struggle with their treatment from the townsfolk is really eye-opening to the true effects of rumours, lies and injustice. It makes me sad to thing there are people out there living lives like Brynn and Mia, only with no way to clear their names. It was also great of Oliver to include the LGBT references scattered throughout the book. Sexuality plays into the story a lot, with two of the main themes being homosexuality and paedophilia. Both are executed respectfully, with relevance and great understanding put into their inclusion.

I didn’t expect to like Broken Things as much as I did, and I would have to admit that I did really enjoy it. Was it the best book I’ve ever read? No. Will I be recommending this book to my friends? Yes. Do I recommend you to go and read it? Yes, I do. If you adore mysteries and crime fiction, you’re going to love this. If you want to read something different, this is a great book for that too.

Remember that not everybody will have the same opinion! Something that worked for me might not work for you, and visa versa. The whole internet has an opinion, so check out a few others before you decide to dish or ditch this book!

Confessions of a YA Reader says “Broken Things grabs you right from the first chapter.”

Nia @ Shades of Paper says “The ending was a bit disappointing to me.”

Bella @ A Bella Fairytale says “This book was a quick read. I did enjoy every minute of it.”

It is common that, depending on geographical location or time of publication, that one book may have several different covers. This is common across differing publishing houses. Broken Things is not exempt from this, as it currently has two covers. Personally, I loved the dark blue cover.


Lauren Oliver is the cofounder of media and content development company Glasstown Entertainment, where she serves as the president of production. She is also the New York Times bestselling author of the YA novels Replica, Vanishing Girls, Panic, and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem, which have been translated into more than thirty languages. The film rights to both Replica and Lauren’s bestselling first novel, Before I Fall, were acquired by AwesomenessTV; Before I Fall is now a major motion picture and opened in theaters March of 2017. The sequel to Replica, titled Ringer, is her most recent novel and was released October 3rd, 2017.

Her novels for middle grade readers include The Spindlers, Liesl & Po, and the Curiosity House series, co-written with H. C. Chester. She has written one novel for adults, Rooms.

A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU’s MFA program, Lauren Oliver divides her time between New York, Connecticut, and a variety of airport lounges.

Another book down, another review uploaded! Can you name a book you want to know more about but can’t find on my blog? Something stuck on your TBR list? Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think. All read requests are acknowledged and appreciated! Until next time guys,


7 responses to “Book Review ♡ Broken Things by Lauren Oliver”

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