There are no spoilers in this review.
I’m always on the lookout for a great young adult book dealing with mental health, as it’s a topic that matters very, very dearly to me. All Our Broken Pieces made it onto my to-read list because of that, because I’m always looking forward to reading some new voices and, just because it sounded quite good.
I have to say that I was surprised, because I loved it so much more than I thought I would.
GREAT MAIN CHARACTERS CARRYING THE STORY.
Before getting into this review, I need to start by stating two things. First, that I am not affected with OCD and therefore, my review is not #ownvoices for that. Second, that, whether or not you are affected with OCD and anxious thoughts, All Our Broken Pieces is an intense read and the strong, realistic and painful descriptions of what the main character Lennon is going through can be quite intense to read at times, so if that could affect you, take care of yourself (See the full list of trigger warnings below!).
Now that this is out there, I can properly start this by stating… wow. All Our Broken Pieces surprised me a lot in such a great way. I am all for great, character-driven contemporaries and the author perfectly developed her characters, making them three-dimensional, believable and so easy to root for, too. They were not perfect, they were flawed, they made mistakes, they are teenagers in love, teenagers struggling, teenagers feeling all the things and I just could see everything while reading this book. I loved it.
Lennon, our main character, deals with OCD and the exploration of it being a part of her, of her trying to overcome her struggles, of her own thought-process, sometimes overwhelmingly intense to read, was so, so good. It broke my heart at times and, at other times, it made me need to stop reading for a second to gather my thoughts, because despite not having OCD myself, I found a lot of my anxiety issues and thought-process sometimes mirrored in Lennon’s experience. I loved Lennon’s growth through the story. I loved that she was vulnerable and that she was realistic about her own mental health, but I also loved how strong she was, too. I admired her a lot and rooted for her so, so very much.
Told from two POV, we also get to know Kyler, our other main character in All Our Broken Pieces. Kyler has half of his face scarred from an house-fire accident when he was just about 5-years old and, just like Lennon, he has he own demons to fight. And boy, does he do it well. Kyler’s growth through the story was amazing to follow as he became more and more confident and I just rooted for him so, so much.
AN ADORABLE ROMANCE AND GREAT FAMILY VIBES.
All Our Broken Pieces has a romance at its heart, yes, and something I loved about this story is how Lennon and Kyler both grew as individuals and took strength and inspiration from each other, without the “cure each other” storyline. Or at least, it didn’t feel that way to me. From slowly getting to know each other to paperplane love letters, Lennon and Kyler’s romance was slow-burning and adorable from the start, I loved it so much.
The two main characters’ families are also present, even if they’re not perfect at all. Lennon is moving in with her father, her step-mother, step-sister and step-brother at the start of the book and I loved seeing her bonding with her little step brother Jacob, they had some of the best interactions EVER. I appreciated seeing how Claire, her step-mother, was so supportive and the growth of the family as a whole was so interesting, too. On the other hand, if we get a complicated family relationship between Kyler and his own, especially his father, it was so interesting to read their dynamics. Thankfully, Kyler had such a great little sister I adored, too and YAY for all the great family vibes.
All Our Broken Pieces hasn’t made much noise in the upcoming releases area so far, and I’m here to hype it up just because it needs to. I loved it so, so very much. It had great characters, a wonderful romance that warmed my heart, adorable siblings bonding and it was just such a wonderful read I 200% recommend.
Final rating: 4,5 drops!
The biggest thanks to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for sending me a free e-ARC of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.
Trigger warnings: panic attacks (description in details), OCD, talk of suicide, grief, loss of a parent, loss of a loved one, talk of bullying, ableist language (crazy).
Diversity: One side character is a POC (Jada).
L.D. Crichton, All Our Broken Pieces, Published on May 7th, 2019 by Disney Hyperion.
Lennon Davis doesn’t believe in much, but she does believe in the security of the number five. If she flicks the bedroom light switch five times, maybe her new L.A. school won’t suck. But that doesn’t feel right, so she flicks the switch again. And again. Ten more flicks of the switch and maybe her new step family will accept her. Twenty-five more flicks and maybe she won’t cause any more of her loved ones to die. Fifty times more and then she can finally go to sleep.
Kyler Benton witnesses this pattern of lights from the safety of his treehouse in the yard next door. It is only there, hidden from the unwanted stares of his peers, that Kyler can fill his notebooks with lyrics that reveal the true scars of the boy behind the oversized hoodies and caustic humor. But Kyler finds that descriptions of blonde hair, sad eyes, and tapping fingers are beginning to fill the pages of his notebooks. Lennon, the lonely girl next door his father has warned him about, infiltrates his mind. Even though he has enough to deal with without Lennon’s rumored tragic past in his life, Kyler can’t help but want to know the truth about his new muse
☂️You can also check out my interview with L.D. Crichton about All Our Broken Pieces, music and more!
Did you read All Our Broken Pieces? Do you want to?
What was the last YA book you’ve read with mental health rep? Let me know in comments!