Review: Broken Things, Lauren Oliver

There are no spoilers in this review.

I love Lauren Oliver so much and everything she writes just as well. Some of my favorite books of all times are Lauren Oliver books, so obviously I was eagerly anticipating Broken Things, her newest release into the suspense/mystery/thriller genre. I still don’t know how I got lucky enough but, a couple months ago, on July 31st, thanks to the #bookishwish debuts over on twitter and the generosity of an incredible bookish fairy, I managed to receive an early copy of the book. I’m still screaming about it.
But you’re here for a review and not for my screaming – or maybe a bit of both? So let’s get to it!

A PUZZLE TO SOLVE, BETWEEN PAST AND PRESENT

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Lauren Oliver always manages to grab me by the throat with her writing, right from the first pages. With Broken Things, the author sets up a dark, compelling atmosphere where you can’t do anything else than turn the pages in anticipation for what’s next.

Broken Things deals with the aftermath of Summer’s death, five years ago, brutally murdered in the woods, supposedly by her two best friends, Mia and Brynn. Narrated by these two main characters, Broken Things switches flawlessly and rhythmically between Mia and Brynn’s point of view, as well as flashbacks from when Summer was alive, fiction parts from the book they both were obsessed about and parts of the fanfiction they were writing together. The way this story is told is, for me, one of the strongest suits of the story: in between the flashbacks, the present, future and fiction, we slowly but surely manage to put some pieces of a very confused, very incomplete puzzle together. As I read, I just felt compelled to read on and on, to get to the flashbacks parts again, to get to the present again, to see how everything unraveled and would unravel. I loved it.

Broken Things draws an interesting line between reality and fiction, blurring the lines and making us wonder if, for a little while, our main characters’ imagination did get overboard or if fantasy is part of the story. Filled with suspense, twists and turns I did not necessarily see coming, Broken Things also gives us a complex, flawed and slowly built cast of characters I loved discovering.

GREAT AND COMPLEX MAIN – AND SECONDARY – CHARACTERS

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Told from two point of views, we are getting into Mia and Brynn’s head alternatively. I found that both characters were well-fleshed out and interesting to read about, with both their own backgrounds, history and differentiated voices thorough the story. Mia is quieter, stutters a little bit, but is also determined and I loved her character arc. Brynn is a bit more outspoken, I had a harder time with her overall, but I also really enjoyed her character arc.

Obviously, we also get to know a bit of Summer through flashbacks and get to know a complex, conflicted character. I also really appreciated the cast of characters surrounding them: Abby, a beauty blogger and vlogger, bold and overall amazing, Wade, Brynn’s awkward and very smart cousin, Owen, the-boy-next-door (well, kind of) surrounded with mystery and yet adorableness, too…

One thing that made Broken Things even more interesting, is how it focuses on the friendships and their complexities. We get the former friendship between Mia, Brynn and Summer, obviously, but also the broken friendship between Mia and Brynn now. We get to see friendships and relationships building, solidifying and breaking through the little group, too. There was a hint of romance, but it wasn’t too focused during the story and I appreciated that a lot.

A BIT OF A DISAPPOINTING ENDING?

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This is a very personal drawback, but that made me put off (very sadly) one star to this wonderful book…. it’s the things happening in the story, really. It’s a thriller and there are some delicate moments, but some of the trigger warnings unsettled me while I read and even after that, especially the animal cruelty. I would definitely advice to read trigger warnings beforehand for this book and to please be careful while reading.

Another thing that did not quite satisfy me was the fact that this book doesn’t give a proper conclusion, for me, for both of the characters. If I found Mia’s ending satisfying, I was missing a closure on Brynn’s side, too.

OVERALL

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If you’re looking for a compelling thriller to devour, I’d definitely recommend reading Broken Things. With great characters and suspense until the end of the book, it was such a wonderful read that confirms that, for me, Lauren Oliver really can write everything perfectly well.

Final rating:Β  4 drops!

Trigger warnings: graphic violence, murder (children), murder and abuse of an animal (described), homophobic comments (challenged), fat shaming comments.

 


Lauren Oliver, Broken Things, Β Published by HarperCollins, October 2nd, 2018.

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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 agoβ€”no matter how monstrous.

Did you read Broken Things? Do you want to? Did you read anything by Lauren Oliver and did you enjoyed it? (If not, YOU SHOULD she is amazingggg!)

Are you a fan of thrillers – mystery books? Let me know in comments!

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

39 thoughts on “Review: Broken Things, Lauren Oliver

  1. This sounds like a very challenging story with all the subjects and the triggers, but also very interesting and intriguing. I love how the story is told, especially the fan fiction part and omg, so many characters with hobbies that we, bloggers, can relate to.
    I’m sad that the ending wasn’t satisfying, but I’ll keep an eye on this book because it still sounds like something I’d enjoy.
    Lovely review!! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a really great, GREAT book! I hope you’ll give it a try, I really loved it overall, even if I had some issues with the ending, I still found it really addictive to read. I’d love to know what you think of it, if you end up reading it πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much ❀ ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a wonderful review, Marie! ❀

    The fact that you managed to get a physical ARC of this book makes me so happy ahhh. ❀ I know you how much you loved the Delirium series, so the fact that this didn’t disappoint … :’)

    This book sounds really fantastic, but I’m a bit on the fence about reading it, because I’m not that big a fan of thrillers and the fact that the trigger warnings include animal cruelty just makes me really sad. I’m glad it was a good read for you, despite that! πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so, so, so much Lily, you’re too sweet 😭 I was – and kind of still am – over the moon to receive this book. I think I will always stare at it with stars in my eyes hahahaha.

      I completely understand that – there was just one scene, but that really made me feel a bit uneased, so if you might be triggered, I wouldn’t recommend it ❀
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet words ❀

      Like

    1. Ohh I hope you’ll still give it a try if you’re interested in the book and wouldn’t be triggered by the topics mentioned. I think you could enjoy it πŸ˜€ It was a great book, really, quite addicting to read πŸ˜€ Thank you so much! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I actually just heard about this book yesterday, but now I really want to read it after your review! I’ve only read one of Lauren Oliver’s books, but I heard she’s a fantastic author, so I’m super excited to read this! Great review, as always. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderfully written review, Marie! This sounds like such an intriguing mystery/thriller book. πŸ‘€ I’m glad that you enjoyed this book with all the twists and turns. I’m not sure if I want to read this book, though, since I get scared quite easily and so I don’t read much mystery or thriller books in general. πŸ˜… Fantastic review, nonetheless! πŸ’ž

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh thank you so, so much Dezzy, you’re the sweetest ❀ ❀ I understand your thoughts – I personally didn't found this too scary, but more, very suspenseful and keeping you on the edge of your seat kind of read πŸ™‚ but I completely get that! πŸ˜€ Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad to hear that you weren’t disappointed by this one, Marie! But am am sorry that the triggers were pretty disturbing. I haven’t read anything by Oliver before, but her name sounded familiar so I checked her out on Goodreads. And wow! She really likes to try all sorts of things! She’s written books for Adults, Young Adults, and Young Readers. That’s cool because I feel like most authors tend to stick to one audience or genre. Anywho, thanks for another lovely review πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES. That’s what I love about Lauren Oliver, she writes so many different books and so far, I’ve loved everything I’ve read. I hope you’ll give her books a try someday, Kat! πŸ˜€
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so glad you managed to get an ARC of this book Marie, I know how much of a fan you are of Lauren Oliver’s work, and I’m glad you enjoyed this book as well. I managed to get an eARC of Broken Things and really enjoyed it. I thought the development of the friendships between Brynn, Mia and Summer in the past, and of Brynn and Mia in the future were wonderfully written, and I got very into the mystery. Part of the fun for me in books like these is guessing the ending and I didn’t see that ending coming at all. So far I’d say Broken Things is my favourite of Lauren Oliver’s books. πŸ˜€
    Great review. πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so, so much Beth, you’re so sweet ❀ ❀
      I'm so happy you enjoyed this book as much as I did and YAY for it being a favorite of yours from Lauren Oliver, this makes me SO happy ❀ ❀
      Thank you so much, Beth!! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This book definitely sounds interesting. I am glad that you were able to get your hands on this book through #bookishwish πŸ™‚
    The story sounds difficult and challenging but I am glad that the secondary characters were amazing. they always make a book good. I haven’t read any Lauren Oliver’s book before but now I am intrigued.
    I am sorry that you didn’t enjoy the ending much but I am glad that this book fulfilled your overall expectations πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHHH SIM! You have to read a Lauren Oliver book at some point, I really hope you will. She is one of my favorite authors of all times and writes amazing stories ❀
      Thank you so much!! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You know I’m all for thrillers, especially ones with well-written and complex characters! But the sort-of-not-finished ending will probably make me want to tear the hair off my head, like how I felt after reading Sadie. Is that a thriller trend now? D: I NEED CLOSURE. Fantastic review as always, Marie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you so much Aimee! ❀ ❀ Oh don't get my review wrong: Broken Things has a proper ending to the whole thriller aspect and mystery πŸ™‚ it's just, there are two POV and I would have liked the ending to be with two POV, too, and not focused on one πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much!! ❀ ❀

      Like

  9. I’m actually currently reading (and enjoying) broken things πŸ™‚ The characters are really well fleshed out and I love the focus on friendships. It’s a pity about the ending though- I’ll have to watch out for that and see what I think of it. Awesome review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yay! I’m so happy to hear you’re enjoying it – it was such a wonderful book and I loved the focus on friendship SO much just as well ❀ I can't wait to hear what you think of it πŸ˜€

      Like

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