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review 2019-01-01 22:07
Broken Things
Broken Things - Lauren Oliver,Erin Spencer,Saskia Maarleveld,Sarah Drew

It has been five years since a horrific murder happened in a small Vermont town:  beautiful Summer Marks, on the verge of turning 13, was found in the woods, stabbed seven times--in what appeared to have been a ritualistic killing.  Immediate suspects were Summer's two best friends, Mia and Brynn, and a male friend/love interest, Owen.  Although the three were cleared of having committed the crime, the cloud of suspicion has never left them.  Mia transferred to another school, but ultimately turned to homeschooling.  Brynn stole some prescription pills, leading to rehab, which felt so much safer than home (and school), she got her cousin Wade to periodically smuggle in drug-positive urine to extend her stay.  Owen went away to boarding school in Scotland.

 

The three girls had been obsessed with a fantasy novel, The Way into Lovelorn.  The book maddeningly ended on an unfinished sentence, which inspired much speculation from fans.  Did the author intend to finish the sentence in a sequel she never got to (the author has been dead for many years)?  The three friends, along with "playing" Lovelorn, had been collaborating on a Lovelorn fan fiction.  (Summer's death bore a resemblance to a scene in the fanfic.)

 

Going through old papers, Mia makes a discovery that raises new questions about her friend's death.  Although they haven't spoken in years, Mia drives out to the rehab that Brynn is about to be discharged from, just as a freak storm prevents Wade from arriving with drug-positive urine to extend Brynn's stay again.  Unwittingly, Mia becomes Brynn's ride, and soon they are warily considering whether to trust one another.  And Owen (who is back, having graduated from the school in Scotland).

 

What can the old friends discover about the long-ago murder?  What actually happened that day, and who is really responsible?  Should they pursue these questions, or simply let the past go?  (Well, you know that last won't be the chosen option!)

 

Lauren Oliver demonstrates a deep understanding of the contradictory sides of friendship and obsession, particularly the love-hate, push-pull the queen bee of a friendship-group can inspire.  

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review 2018-11-30 19:57
Broken Things
Broken Things - Lauren Oliver

I'm a big fan of Oliver's Delirium series and I LOVED the Replica duology, so if there's a new Oliver book, I'm going to pounce on it. Broken Things is more of a murder mystery, and I love that Oliver branches out so much in her writing. 

 

We have three friends, Summer, Brynn and Mia who are obsessed with a fantasy book called The Way into Lovelorn, and love to play act it out. They decide to write their own fan fic sequel to the book, but their lives change forever when Summer is murdered in a similar ritualistic fashion as they wrote in their Return to Lovelorn sequel. Now both Brynn and Mia are suspects along with their friend, Owen.

 

This is a story about a troubled girl who, at times, is unlikable, mean, and broken. Other times, she is the glue that holds their friendship together. The magical, beautiful girl that everyone can't help but love. We get clues to Summer's past and her need to believe in the magic and escape of Lovelorn sprinkled throughout the "Then" chapters chronicling the lives and friendships of the girls before Summer is murdered.

 

In the "Now" chapters we learn how, years later, Brynn, Mia and Owen are dealing with life after being scorned and suspected of murder by their hometown despite the police never having found evidence to pin it on any of them, and their struggle to find the real killer.

 

As always, Oliver's writing kept me glued to the book, despite a particular scene of animal cruelty involving a cat. I have to admit, that was very hard to get through. I'm the type of person who loves a good murder mystery, but will refuse to watch a movie unless I know for a fact that the animal does not die, otherwise my week is ruined. Kill off all the fictional people you want, just please leave the fictional pets alone, and yes, I know it makes no sense whatsoever. 

 

Oliver is really good at writing characters who are flawed and have many different layers. Each character has their own different struggles and insecurities which are revealed as the story progresses. This book is a bit unsettling, and dark at times, but I felt the ending was satisfying. I especially enjoyed that very last sentence.

 

 

-Shey

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review 2018-11-14 19:11
Broken Things
Broken Things - Lauren Oliver
Brynn, Mia and Owen are the Monsters of Brickhouse Lane and according to most of the citizens in town, they killed Summer five years ago. They were linked to the murder but why these three friends brutally murdered Summer, has not surfaced because they believe they are innocent. Individually innocent, as a whole….they’re not quite sure.
 
Written with two different time periods, we get the story from the current period and what happened five years ago. Five years ago, the relationships between these four was a bit shaky. It looked good on the outside but on the inside, individuals were harboring feelings they wouldn’t let out. Brynn, Mia, and Summer were writing a book, a sequel to a book they thought would be their own. It’s a fantasy novel and they kept this novel their secret, or so they thought.
 
Currently, everyone has returned home. Moving about, they notice the whispers and the stares from others as the citizens in town still label them as Summer’s murders. Wanting to investigate Summer’s death and put an end to it, they feel that Summer might have left some clues before her death but have no idea where they might be. As they search for the clues, they discover information about Summer they didn’t have before and they discover information about each other.
 
I liked the mystery and book aspect of the novel. The book that they were writing together, was a fantasy book where they wrote themselves in as characters. This book became a central part of the novel as they realized how important it was to Summer. I thought the ending was a bit rushed and Summer’s murderer (after all the investigating and such) was weak.

 

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text 2018-09-11 18:50
Reading progress update: I've read 18%.
Delirium - Lauren Oliver

Does anyone else have a harder time reading ebooks that actual hardcopies? There's something about seeing my progress through the pages that helps keep me going, and you just don't get that with a Kindle. I'm feeling a slump coming on so I may grab a Book of the Month I have been wanting to read for a while. Or something off my massive TBR cart. Just something to keep me going. 

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text 2018-09-11 02:18
Reading progress update: I've read 12%.
Delirium - Lauren Oliver

Okay, this is actually not all that bad. I'm suspending credit in creativity, though, because this is a lot like Uglies or Matched. Or any other number of YA novels where society deems love/creativity/uniqueness a problem to corrected.

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