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The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  738 ratings  ·  168 reviews
Billy Sloat and Lydia Lemon don’t have much in common, unless you count growing up on the same (wrong) side of the tracks, the lack of a mother, and a persistent loneliness that has inspired creative coping mechanisms.

When the lives of these two loners are thrust together, Lydia’s cynicism is met with Billy’s sincere optimism, and both begin to question their own outlook o
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published July 9th 2019 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.62  · 
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 ·  738 ratings  ·  168 reviews

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Lou (nonfiction fiend)
The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World is a surrealist gem which is absolutely fascinating. It has so much heart and soul oozing from each of its pages and is an emotional roller coaster ride of intense ups and downs; I was enthralled and immersed almost immediately. My favourite author is Haruki Murakami, the King of surrealist fiction, so this book was an intriguing and entertaining read for me. It's very well written although it really is evident that the market it's targeting is teens/young ad ...more
Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Boy and Girl Who Broke The World
By: Amy Reed

*REVIEW* 🌟🌟🌟
I'm a fan of young adult fiction, but The Boy and Girl Who Broke The World was too juvenile for my taste. The premise of two teenagers trying to find their place in the world and with each other will be very appealing to a younger audience. I didn't get interested enough to really care about the characters. I did finish the
I honestly don't really know how to properly rate or review this book so I'm going to try my best.

Overall, I think it was an okay book. The first half felt very meh to me, and like it was dragging on. I also kind of... don't get what the final message of the book was really about? Letting people in? Finding family? I'm not sure.

Here's the thing: the book felt like one big, vague attempt at a political statement, but you can never really put your finger on what that statement is.

You have Billy, a
The boy in the story -- Billy -- and the girl in the story -- Lydia -- are best friends when their small town rival high schools are merged into a single building. They made the decision out of force and by choice, which is one of the biggest themes in this bizarre and strange and weird and awesome book about family, found and made, reminiscent of the work of Shaun David Hutchinson.

The story is set in an impoverished community and deals with social class well, as well as deals with what it's li
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I WANTED to like this so much, but unfortunately I didn't. I can see why it's good, and yet, personally, I couldn't connect to the characters. Billy, specifically, actually, because I loved Lydia. I see why both needed pov, but I just didn't enjoy it. ...more
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: want-to-reread
This book is definitely flying under the radar. Amy Reed's writing is fantastic here, telling the story of two outcasts whose friendship begins to change their lives. This coupled with magical realism elements signaling a coming apocalypse of sorts makes for a unique read that has the vibe of a YA contemporary but an added element of unpredictability.

It's definitely on the "quirky" side, but it's intentional. This will either completely work for readers or be an instant turn off, but I liked the
Sarah gobiel
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a very well rounded book. Very different from the last one of Reed's that I read. While this did have the same toils of teenage romance it also tied in fantasy. It kept turning and twisting in ways you wouldn't expect. It always kept me guessing and the ending was lovely. ...more
Amanda Hanson
DNF (for now) at 36%. Couldn’t get into it. I might return later though. 🤷🏽‍♀️
Apr 30, 2020 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book was weird. The world building was really bad and the plot was really confusing to follow.
*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Little, Brown Book Group UK and NetGalley*

3.5 stars

Billy Sloat has no friends, no parents, and lives with his mean grandma. Despite this, Billy is an optimist and always manages to put a positive spin on everything.
Lydia Lemon is a cynic with a chip in her shoulder. She lives with her dad in an apartment behind his bar and keeps her love for dancing a secret.
Billy and Lydia are opposites, yet they soon become friends.
Jun 27, 2019 rated it liked it
The story is told in alternating chapters from Billie and Lydia’s points of view. They are both good narrators with strong unique voices. Billie is the positive person who even after being struck down over and over again by life, having a grandmother who ignores him and an uncle who never reaches out to him, he continues to try to find agency. Lydia has created a hard shell around herself after her mother died while running away from the family. Her father tries his best, but it’s hard to raise ...more
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
* Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. *

4.5 stars.

This was a fun and somewhat oddball YA contemporary with a magical realism feel.

The setting is strange and mysterious and vaguely reminiscent of the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. For those who have read that series, I feel that there can be a bit more understanding of the magical realism component.

Billy & Lydia are quintessential teens with some heartbreaking backgrounds. Billy ha
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karen Barber
Jul 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Billy Stoat and Lydia Lemon don’t have much in common. Yet when their schools combine, they find themselves becoming friends.
Both socially inept, the teenagers have family backgrounds that make you want to cry. Yet the two keep a sense of humour, and actually come across very positively.
The story as such is not that exciting. Billy’s uncle (a famous singer) has a breakdown and returns to his home town. He hides away from everyone, relying on Billy to keep him fed. Then the town is hit by a tsun
Rebecca Petruck
The surrealism of this book both shone an interrogator's determined light on some intense internal and external darknesses as well as helped make the darkness...something a reader could process? It's difficult to put into words. I was moved by how well Reed articulated things that reflected my own experiences, and helped make my own experiences a little more process-able, too. This is a deep dive into what it takes to survive when your near-extermination comes not from some faceless bad guy but ...more
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wooooooooooooooow!!!!! Just Woooooooooow!!!! I’m just going to throw all the stars at this! In general, the fall YA lineup has been pretty spectacular so far. But this one, THIS ONE, is hands down one of the best books I’ve ever read. Billy Sloat is everything you need in the world and I absolutely adore the friendship between him and Lydia. Thank you so much Amy Reed for sharing such a thoughtful story with characters that I’ll never forget.
Aug 07, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars maybe? This isn't a book I would've picked up by itself, but I loved The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed and decided to check her new book out (got it through Book of the Month actually). This book is nothing like The Nowhere Girls and felt like it could've been written by a totally different author. It's not a bad book, and there are some meaningful moments in it, but the general plot felt all over the place. ...more
Deborah Hightower
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-read-2019
Thank you Edelweiss+ for the digital ARC of The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World. I really enjoyed this book. Billy and Lydia don't fit in with other students. He is an optimist and she sees the worse in situations. They forge a friendship that changes both of them. The humor in the storytelling makes this a great read. ...more
Shelly Shaffer
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Amy Reed writes another great book that makes readers think about the world in a different way. I like the exploration of poverty and how it impacts the lives of the two main characters in this novel. It also touches on what it means to be from a small town. A little fantasy, with a lot of reality, are mixed into this book.
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. You know how sometimes you read something and you think, "These characters just aren't relatable." Well, high school me was nothing like Billy and Lydia but I adored them and all the terrible parts of their lives anyway. Lots of spikey-ness, lots of truth, and a little LGBTQ+ bonus sweetness. ...more
Jamie Cluff
Mar 12, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was so weird! The story was so odd I never really knew what was happening and it didn’t come together till the very end. Probably one of the weirdest books I’ve read in a while. That said- it had a lot of great lessons about the power of vulnerability and being honest with our emotions to others and ourselves.
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received an advance digital copy of this book from the author, publisher and Thanks to all for the opportunity to read and review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Ms. Reed's new book is dark, surreal and a completely engrossing. A tale that will be confusing at times and keep you guessing.

4 out of 5 stars. Recommended reading.
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book and I think that it is one of those books that will be extremely well rated and talked about in many different places. A really well written, thought out book.
Lisa Naylor
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this strange book, filled with humour and my kind of weirdos. A new favourite!
James Camara
Nov 17, 2022 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 02, 2021 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 07, 2022 rated it it was ok
I'm not a big fan of this book, even though it is young adult fiction. The story involves two teenagers, Billy and Lydia, trying to find their place in the world and with each other. The characters and the plot didn't look that interesting and appealing to me. Most of the time, it felt confusing to me with the intentional dramatic weirdness of the writing style and the characters who are wild and weird. ...more
Apr 05, 2021 rated it liked it
This book started out quirky, with likeable characters that over-characterized p0lar opposites.

Billy (view spoiler) is an akward boy with no friends. His character is endearing because he doesn't realize the social norms, but wants to help people anyway. Lydia (view spoiler)
Chantelle Atkins
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOVED The Nowhere Girls so couldn't wait to read this book and I was not disappointed in the slightest. In fact, I think I have a new favourite author...This book was quite different; told in the first person, from Billy and Lydia's points of view. They live in a deprived area of Washington called Fog Harbour, in two rival but equally troubled towns, Rome and Carthage. When their schools are combined to save money, lonely, bullied optimist Billy and snarky, angry Lydia become unlike ...more
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Amy Reed was born and raised in and around Seattle, where she attended a total of eight schools by the time she was eighteen. Constant moving taught her to be restless and being an only child made her imagination do funny things. After a brief stint at Reed College (no relation), she moved to San Francisco and spent the next several years serving coffee and getting into trouble. She eventually gra ...more

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