Broken by C. J. Lyons
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
The only thing fifteen-year-old Scarlet Killian has ever wanted is a chance at a normal life. Diagnosed with a rare and untreatable heart condition, she has never taken the school bus. Or giggled with friends during lunch. Or spied on a crush out of the corner of her eye. So when her parents offer her three days to prove she can survive high school, Scarlet knows her time is now… or never. Scarlet can feel her heart beating out of control with every slammed locker and every sideways glance in the hallway. But this high school is far from normal. And finding out the truth might just kill Scarlet before her heart does.
First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.
Broken is told to be a thriller, which it is, but not until the very last half of the middle does that even come to play. Is it exciting? Not the beginning but definitely the ending. If it weren’t for the twist during the near ending of the mid-section, this book would have been a boring facsimile of every book ever written about a dying girl trying to make the best out of her last days. There are the mean bullies, the love triangle, the outcast friends, as well as the overprotective parents. Luckily, C.J. Lyons ditches this lame route for a more exciting one however she does it too late to change my rating by much.
The story starts off with a bang, I was hooked and excited how a girl with a rare heart disease will make it through high school without dying. Unfortunately, after a few chapters of her first ever experience the story becomes very tedious and pointless and felt like an after school special to me. Scarlet as well as most of the other characters felt really flat also. I couldn’t connect with them nor was I rooting for them when they face tough obstacles that most people wouldn’t. Maybe it’s the fact that I have such a short attention span that I might be being too harsh on this book but I was bored for more than half of it.
Getting onto the good things about this novel, Lyons does a nice job of keeping readers guessing even if it is only for a little while. Once most of the characters are introduced, I was starting to guess which one would be the suspect before it became obvious who the suspect is. I really liked how Lyons uses her past medical history as an element in this, most, if not all of the different medical terms that are mentioned in this story are not as well-known as they should be. But I’ve read many things about a few of them (one in particular) and her execution of these syndromes and conditions are done beautifully.
Overall, this story has a bit of an off tempo that ruins the story by going from slow to really slow to fast and then really fast with barely any build-up in between. But I still recommend this if you don’t mind very slow beginnings that are pretty pointless but also has a nicely done ending. Broken isn’t a thrilling novel that’ll keep readers at the edge of their seat but it will make them second guess the people they choose to trust in their lives. I know that it did for me.
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