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The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  40 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 Pulse
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3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  98 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Candace Robinson
I liked the characters and the dialogue but I don’t know ... the book kind of felt wordy at times? I think it should have been shortened but the writing was good and the characters backstories were interesting!
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Amanda Hanson
DNF (for now) at 36%. Couldn’t get into it. I might return later though. 🤷🏽♀ ...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. Bill
KristynRene The Hype Queen of Books
Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for provided this eARC in exchange for an honest review.


The first chapter convinced me not to continue reading this book. That sounds harsh, but stay with me here for a minute. Up until just this Spring, I hated contemporary. I thought it was boring and unoriginal as a genre. And then my opinion changed the more I read Historical Fiction.

So already, I was predisposed to not enjoy this novel. I have a very specific contemporary preference for my tiny d
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
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.
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Thanks to The publisher and Netgalley for the advance copy of this. I really enjoyed this. It's my first book by this author. The friendships work for me. This whole book works for me. Billy and Lydia were relatable, fantastic characters. This was almost impossible to put down. I wouldn't have if I didn't have real life to deal with.
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
Karen Whittard
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.
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.
Karen Barber
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
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.
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
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
One More Chapter
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World is a story about love, friendship, family, and choices. Billy Sloat and Lydia Lemon are from the wrong side of different tracks. Their rundown town, a former logging community, is literally falling apart, yet famous for producing a rockstar and being the setting of a YA fantasy series. They are polar opposites, yet develop a wonderful friendship despite the circumstances-or maybe even in spite of them. Through a series of life-changing events and unexpected n ...more
cenbookfairy_Tylwyth Teg y Llyfr.
The wonderful Stephanie from @atombooks sent me this book after I enquired about another book written by Amy Reed. Thank you for giving me the opportunity read this.
Billy and Lydia are two different people with no a great deal in common but scratch the surface and they have more in common than they realise.
This is a fabulous read-The writing style is great and as I was reading I didn’t have any idea in which direction this story was taking me- which I loved. Kept me on my toes and keep my inte
Jul 30, 2019 added it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Thank you to Simon Pulse and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book! All opinions are very much my own

DNF at 13%

I don't think this is a bad book, but it just isn't the right book for me. These characters simply aren't compelling, I don't like how blunt and plain the prose is, and the setting didn't do much to capture my attention. Naive characters like Billy don't usually gel with me, and Lydia's tough-girl attitude started grating on me from about a sentence and a half in.

If I'm
Jordan (pagetravels)
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was SO. SLOW. I kept waiting for the excitement to pick up or for the characters to try to do something about all the weird stuff that kept happening to them and their town, but they just accepted the incredibly strange occurrences like they'd always been there. And maybe the metaphors/symbolism of the supernatural elements of this story just flew over my head, but I was basically bored through the entire 446 pages.
I did appreciate the complexity of the characters and how we really
Libby Ames
I have such mixed feelings about this book. I loved the characters and the friendship they developed. I also enjoyed the surreal feeling, but felt it kept me from completely connecting with the characters. There was a fair amount of language and other edgy parts. Overall, I enjoyed the book and the ending was gratifying. However, I think I wasn't quite in the right frame of mind, because at times it just made me really sad. The storytelling is wonderfully creative and I appreciated the reading e ...more
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen
I can’t quite wrap my head around this. I really enjoyed both Lydia and Billy as characters and thought their stories alone and together were strong and interesting. What I’m struggling with is why the author tried to insert the awkward touches of magical realism when the story stood solid enough on its own. There was too much left unexplained and although it was a happy ending, I don’t feel satisfied. I typically enjoy weird stories, but this was weird without the good.
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was very interesting. I enjoyed reading it, and the ending was powerful. However, I would not be putting this book on a list of favorites for reasons I can't really identify. The writing style was good, but not exceptional; the book was a little long and some sections dragged on. But other than that, I just don't think the book fully connected with me (besides the fact that one of the main characters was named Lydia, and she had quite a few similarities to me).
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.
Kalyn Delillo
Aug 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Just okay 🤷🏻♀ I feel like it was too long for a book where not much happened plot wise and we just focused on character development. I did like that the friendship never evolved into anything more, unlike most YA books. Very satirical in regards to the ruler of the U.S. called the King. Tons of social commentary. ...more
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I truly loved this book - the surrealism really worked for me, and immerse the reader in both the world and emotions of the characters. Billy and Lydia were both fantastic characters that were easy to empathize with and cheer for as both of them ran from their problems, past and present, in different ways. Well-written and impossible to put down!
Jun 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Although this was a very interesting book at times at others it felt very wordy. I think it could have been way shorter. On the other hand the characters and story were very well done. This is a book about truth, friendship, with a little hint of magic. I think for the right reader this would be a hit out of the park.
I struggled to get into this and whilst it was well written I just couldn’t connect with the book, the plot or it’s characters. It felt a bit like one of many other books I’ve read before nothing stood out. sadly, not for me.

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
Hannah Middleton
Extraordinary character led drama which explores themes of friendship, family, self & responsibility through its quirky, singular characters. Surreal elements may divide the crowd but overall its a sincere, heart-warming, wonderful read!
Suzanne (The Bookish Libra)
DNF at 10%. I've tried to start this book a few times now but unfortunately just can't get into it. Even though Billy is supposed to be a high school senior, he just seems much younger. He sounds more like he's in middle school than high school.
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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