Broken Things by Lauren Oliver

Broken Things by Lauren Oliver Broken Things by Lauren Oliver
Published by HarperCollins on October 2, 2018
Pages: 416

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.

I have some quite polarized thoughts about this book. Quite a bit of it I loved. Because it’s Lauren Oliver and she’s fabulous and I generally love all the things she writes. But then there were a few things that irked me. Like, a lot. Obviously, the only way to handle such a situation is a good stuff versus bad stuff, right? Right.

The Stuff I Liked:

  • Oh goodness, the writing. As always, Lauren Oliver knocks it out of the damn park. It’s so quotable, so lovely, really. And so very easy to devour. I read almost the whole thing in one day, and it is not a short book by any means.
  • I loved how real the characters seemed. Even when they were being awful. Perhaps especially when they were being awful. These girls were pretty judgmental in general, but the way they were written made them also seem incredibly realistic. Because honestly, who among us hasn’t passed judgment on another person? It was almost like showing that not-so-nice side of people, but it’s an inner dialogue we’ve all had at one point or another- even if it’s uncomfortable to admit.
  • The mystery was definitely consuming! The girls had such a rough time of things after the death of Summer- they were vilified by pretty much everyone (because obviously the world will eat up a story in which the best friends are suspects) and haven’t had much success moving on. I liked that their friendship, especially their relationship moving forward, was explored so in depth. But also, I wanted to know who the real murderer was, because of course!
  • There’s just a lot of commentary on messed up societal crap. Like how Brynn has to legitimately fake drug use just to get mental health help paid for. How disgustingly invested strangers are in the lives of teenage girls. And it goes on- those are early things that aren’t spoilers, but trust that the book makes a lot of awesome points in that regard.
  • It was just plain old entertaining and engaging. This is hard to put into words of course, but the book was just enjoyable.

The Stuff I Didn’t:

  • The fat shaming. I’ll tell you upfront, there are a lot of unpleasant things that happen in this book. I mean, it’s about a young girl’s murder, so. But the fat shaming was really unnecessary and didn’t make sense in the story. The “fat” character was a friend of one of the main characters, and she was apparently “obese” at 180 pounds. And it is stated that she is normal height, too. But she has “thyroid problems and prediabetes”. What now!? This isn’t the only time her weight is mentioned in an unflattering light, it just happens to be the one I have saved. Anyway, it made me stabby- especially because I can imagine a teen reading this and thinking “but wait- I am 180 pounds so does that mean am grossly overweight?” and okay, don’t young women have enough problems? And if it had anything to do with the story, or was resolved in any way, I’d probably have been less stabby, but it wasn’t, so here we are.
  • The ending underwhelmed me. I mean, I am glad it did have an ending! (Especially since I am still so worked up over Requiem.) I just felt that it was kind of anticlimactic for a book that had been so engaging up until that point.

Bottom Line: Definitely enjoyed reading it, would have probably been close to five stars if I’d liked the ending better. Still a solid book, one I am glad to have read!

Tell me about the last mystery that you loved! So I can read it too! 😀

Posted September 27, 2018 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Review / 12 Comments


12 responses to “Broken Things by Lauren Oliver

  1. Oh I do want to read this one because I haven’t read a Lauren Oliver book since Vanishing Girls…which I really liked! I admit I don’t read a lot of mysteries ?The mystery of wondering how my TBR is as tall as it is, is quite enough for me. ?

  2. I don’t think I’ve ever read any Lauren Oliver, and I really want to change that! This book seems the most interesting to me, out of all her works… But ah, the fat shaming 🙁

    I think I’ll still add it to my to-read list because your review has made me curious, but I’m glad I’ve been forewarned to be honest. 🙂

  3. Oh man! Fat shaming! 🙁 That’s such a bummer that even in 2018 we’re seeing this. The rest of the book does sound really good, especially the mystery. But that ending though. I’m someone who usually needs solid endings and I wonder if this one would bug me.

  4. I’ve seen such mixed reviews for this book, but I think it sounds awesome! The mystery sounds so good and from what I hear Lauren Oliver is really good a writing them. But what the heck with the fat shaming?? It’s 2018! I’m glad you still enjoyed this.

  5. I am not an authority on the works of Lauren Oliver but I’v read Vanishing Girls and I liked it. I didn’t know she had a new book so thanks for putting this on my radar. I am leaning recently to reading YA mystery so this sounds right up to my alley. Why ruin a solid story with fat shaming tho?

    Anyways, my recent YA mystery read that I liked is The Second Life of Ava Rivers by Faith Gardner. It’s an unraveling of what’s become of a girl who disappeared when she was six y.o. and re-appeared now 18 y.o.

  6. That’s a shame about the fat shaming since it wasn’t ever resolved/didn’t have a point. I don’t see that as obese if you’re the right height for it – plus, those whole height/weight things aren’t always accurate, so yeah, it’s kind of misleading and upsetting for some teens to read that. I’m glad the rest of the book was good – minus the ending. I’m definitely curious!


  7. I am not sure if you were not happy with the resolution of the mystery or the very end. I needed that bit Oliver gave us at the very end, because the book was really dark for me.

  8. Wow that is a big book to read in one day! That’s a good sign. Plus yeah Lauren Oliver- I like the sound of the mystery too. The underwhelming ending though concerns me a bit… and that’s too bad about the fat shaming. Ugh. Still, looks like a good one all around.

  9. I loved Vanishing Girls by Oliver, so I’ve been very much looking forward to her new mystery novel, but wow, the fat-shaming is VERY disappointing. It makes me so sad that fat teens – fat readers in general – will be reading that shit and may get hurt.. I also read in various reviews that the ending/killer was easy to predict which is obviously not ideal for a mystery. I’m still excited, but I’ve definitely lowered my expectations.

    Amazing review!

    Veronika @ The Regal Critiques

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