Ridley's Reviews > Broken

Broken by Megan Hart
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Oct 08, 12

bookshelves: disabled-h-h, read-2010, ebook, erotica, 2-star, naughty-stick
Read on February 01, 2010

Been thinking about this lately, and decided to revise my score down from 5*. The more I thought about it, the angrier I got at the book.

I'd have to re-read it to write an in-depth review, but here's a quick and dirty list of why I changed my rating.

1. It's an extremely negative treatment of disability. I originally loved the book so much because of Adam. He was more familiar to me than any other disabled character I've run across, and I loved seeing my own experiences and frustrations voiced by someone else. Unfortunately, the more I thought about it, the more I hated how he was treated by the story. Here's the most realistic disabled character I've seen, and he really is just a cheap plot vehicle there to make Sadie seem tragic. All these things he does that made me like him so much - asking for a divorce, yelling at the nurse, needling Sadie - weren't meant to show the depth of his character or a man resisting dehumanization by a million cuts, they were meant to make me feel bad that Sadie was stuck married to him.

2. Fuck Sadie. Seriously. Fuck that cheating, self-centered, self-pitying, patronizing bitch. She treats her husband like a burdensome patient then is not only surprised when he wants a divorce, she's offended by how ungrateful he is of how much she's done for him. What a prize.

3. Hart forgot to write a character arc for Sadie. Even though I hate the bitch, I might've enjoyed the story if she grew as a person. If Hart challenged, rather than reinforced, society's negative biases towards disability, this would've been an amazing read. But Sadie never faces her flaws. She doesn't learn anything from her actions. In fact, I have to assume that the book doesn't think she's flawed at all. "Of course she resents her burdensome husband, who wouldn't. Here. Have this able bodied husband replacement. You've earned it." It's all really too ableist for words.

4. (view spoiler)

Honestly, this is an ableist abomination. It's sad that everyone seems to think Sadie's the victim in this story. She's the embodiment of every negative stereotype there is of disability. That's what makes this a depressing book.

Only thing giving this more than one star is Adam. I still love him.
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Reading Progress

02/01/2010 page 130
33.85% "Wow. This is quite the book so far. Dripping with emotion."

Comments (showing 1-17)




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message 17: by K. (new) - rated it 5 stars

K. YAY!! Another reader who understands Megan Hart's depth on this book. :) This story tore me in all directions like nothing else. Just not your "usual" read. So glad you liked this one Ridley! ;)
K.



Ridley I need to read a fluffy Avon wallpaper historical after that. It was heavy, heavy, heavy.

I loved much of the prose as well. I made notes in my reader for if/when I write a better review. Hart made some great insights into married adult life that really resonated with me.


Adrienne Glad this one was a 5 stars for you. I just love this book, it works on so many levels for me. A beautifully written and emotionally deep piece of reading.


KarenH Nice review, Ridley. I enjoyed this book as well. The only problem I had was that I read Broken much too soon after reading Deeper - the latter being the most intense, emotionally taxing book I've ever read. I was still immersed in such an extreme state of melancholy when I read Broken that I ended up crying from beginning to end (and that is so NOT me)!


message 13: by K. (new) - rated it 5 stars

K. Speaking of "Deeper" Ridley . . . Are you going to read it (have you read it)? Very different than Broken, but as K2 said . . . SUPER intense story! Personally it haunted me for weeks as well and introduced me to Hart's writing style.
K.



Ridley It's on the queue.

I'm going to have a drinking problem by the end of my Hart glom.


Wicked Incognito Now lol--wha? Revised from 5 to 2. That's a big rethink.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the grade revision. I was seriously underwhelmed after hearing five years of hype.


Stephncaitlyn Hi Ridly,
It sounds like this hits close to home for you. I just wanted to let you know that I did not view Sadie and Adam's marriage as you did. I felt that both had a love/hate relationship that was brought on by frustration and resentment of their situation and not of each other. I do not blame Adam for Sadie's suffering. They both had stuff to deal with and I was so happy that they finally spoke about it and were working things out. I thought they were going to make it :( I hope I have not offended you. My intention was just to reassure you that this book did not leave me with any bad feelings toward Adam or any resentment toward people that require as much care as he did.


Samantha I do agree that killing Adam off was convenient, but I don't see Sadie as a bad person. As a nurse, and personally, I've watched the aftermath of a spouse being thrown into the caregiver role. I've seen them overloaded, frustrated, and downright exhausted. I'm not saying everyone that this happens to will split, but it does seem to happen quite a bit. The disabled spouse become resentful of their spouse fussing over them, etc. and the spouse gets overwhelmed with something they didn't sign up for. It's kind of what happens to some families who have an autistic child. It takes two to make it work and in the stories case, I think neither of them were really making an effort to confront their issues and work through them. Personally, I think it was a mostly accurate view. The convenience of the death and then her ending up with the guy she'd been secretly meeting for years kind of lowered my opinion of it though.


message 7: by Eariandra (new)

Eariandra I believe your first rating was the more correct score for this book. Considering the emotions it raised in you. Isn't that what a good book should do?


Ridley Eariandra wrote: "I believe your first rating was the more correct score for this book. Considering the emotions it raised in you. Isn't that what a good book should do?"

So I should give a book props for treating disabled people like me as a tragic burden on our families and society? Or would the five stars be for repeating every negative stereotype of disability there is?

I don't know about you, but I think good books should challenge stereotypes, not reinforce them.

This book blows.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I have a disability and don't find the story insulting. Severe disability can be a burden both on the disabled and the ones forced into a role of care taker. I'm not saying every situation is like that, but many are. I'm sorry but that's just a harsh reality. I'm glad you've had more positive experiences in relation to your disability but not all disabled people, or their carers, are so lucky.


Ridley Riya wrote: "I have a disability and don't find the story insulting. Severe disability can be a burden both on the disabled and the ones forced into a role of care taker. I'm not saying every situation is like ..."

But here's the thing: Adam exists in this story only to add dimension to Sadie's character. He's an object or a symbol rather than a person. As soon as he's no longer needed to make Sadie look like a champ he's removed from the story in a way so lazy and cliche it has a TV Tropes entry.

Spare me your condescending "that's just reality" toots. I know disability can be burdensome because I live that life. What this book fails to do, however, is to interrogate what "burden" means or what causes it. It fails to respect Adam's struggle, give him any agency or treat him with dignity.

You know what would've made this a much better book? Having Sadie grant Adam the divorce he asked for. But that would've meant treating him as an independent adult who deserves better than a wife who's with him only out of duty, and that's not why the author included him. He was there to make Sadie look good. That's it, and that's shitty, ableist, writing.


message 3: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 06, 2014 06:56PM) (new)

A lot of characters are in a book are just to advance the main characters story. That happens in pretty much every book ever written. *shrug* I just don't think it's that big of a deal, or that it's an insult to people with disability, that's all. I do agree that him dying was lazy writing though, but authors do that a lot... kill off a character when no longer needed, disabled or not. Sorry I still don't take it as an insult, just as a lack of skill of the author, but if you want to feel insulted feel free, it's your right as a reader of course. :)


Ridley Riya wrote: " if you want to feel insulted feel free, it's your right as a reader of course. :)"

Hey, just letting you know that your passive-aggressive bullshit tone didn't go unnoticed. You probably worked hard on it, so grats on getting attention for it.

I'm just going to assume bad faith arguing on your part and leave you to it. Glad the book didn't bother you. Feel free to write your own review sometime.


message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I meant no disrespect, sorry if it came across that way. I just meant you have a right to feel as you want about the book as do I. Looking back I worded it poorly, again, sorry. I'll leave it at that, have a good day.


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