Katie's Reviews > Broken

Broken by A.E. Rought
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May 09, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: angry-robot, paranormal

I think I might be too old for this book. Obviously, I like YA. (That's practically all I read at this point.) But sometimes, I just run across a YA book that's a little too, well, young for my taste. And I think Broken was one of them.

This book is REALLY melodramatic. I mean, seriously. Our MC, Emma, looks at the world with OMG-everyone-hates-me-and-my-life-sucks glasses, as many teens do. She's got a bit of an excuse since her boyfriend was killed, but I still found her constant angst and pessimism a little daunting at times. I felt like this poor girl needed a good hug and happy pill.

But teens tend to respond to angst since they can relate. I think if I'd read this book when I was sixteen or seventeen, I would have enjoyed it a lot better. But when cell phone cords are described as "black veins" and the narrator is crazy critical of everyone around her, I just had a hard time enjoying the story.

The story itself is very dark. It's somewhere between sci-fi and horror, I thought - not even remotely as bloody as say, Anna Dressed in Blood or I Hunt Killers. I waited the entire book for it to be scary, but that never came for me. Of course, the types of books that tend to freak me out are ones like Barry Lyga's, which are contemporary and could totally happen in real life. *shivers*

But Broken just maintained a sinister feel that I felt like never truly delivered. There are a few scenes that were bizarre and maybe a little creepy (view spoiler) or (view spoiler), but this certainly isn't going to keep me up late at night.

But with everything being so dark and dreary, I felt like the prose itself was too dramatic. It's not "purple prose" necessarily...but pretty close. And I like really descriptive writing! But I don't know, I just didn't click with the style here. Again - too melodramatic.

Here's a [kind of long] passage that I think illustrates the type of prose that this book has:


Mine. The word vines through my mind, wrapping sweet nettles around it. The way he said it, the way I feel it, on a level deeper than easy emotions. IT cuts to the heart, and through. Things haven't been easy from the first day to this. Bring on trouble. Bring on the rumors.

"Never invite trouble," my mom likes to say.

Standing outside Mugs-n-Chugz on a chilly Friday morning, I can understand why. The rumors oce flocking around Alex swoop in on me, blacker and sharper-clawed than the crows in his gossip murder.
(p. 232)


Sometimes, I think it works, like when the scene is really tense. In those circumstances, the really descriptive and harsh words fit. But when it's just her standing in line for coffee, I have a hard time connecting with the intense descriptions

The pacing of the book is really very slow. Everything happens within a short time frame, which usually turns me off. While I don't want time to fly by, I don't like it when books take place over a week or two weeks or something like that. It makes the book FEEL slow, even if it's not. It also makes a romance really unbelievable for me.

And this romance is really quite fast. There's insta-love of sorts - just a warning. I also didn't feel that connected to either of the characters in the story.

The most exciting part of the book is definitely the last 60 or so pages. I really struggled through the first 200, then it kept an okay pace until those last pages, which were much better than the rest of the book. But for me, it was too little too late. I felt like A.E. Rought had been building up and building up and building up, and I was waiting for the climax for what felt like forever - I wish there'd been less building and more delivery of the actual good stuff. This book could have been 75 pages shorter, I think.

But even with all these problems, the book is still pretty good. It's just not my thing. I don't like horror. I didn't like the original Frankenstein. I also think this book is more for a younger audience (real "young adult" readers instead of us adults who like to read YA).

But I think there will be a lot of people who enjoy this more than me. The concept is really interesting, and while the romance was definitely insta-attraction, I found the reasoning behind the relationship very intriguing.

Unfortunately, I just wasn't the right reader for Broken.
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Reading Progress

May 9, 2012 – Shelved
September 4, 2012 – Shelved as: angry-robot
September 18, 2012 – Started Reading
September 18, 2012 –
page 1
0.29% "Yeah, I'm reading this REALLY early. Sue me."
September 18, 2012 –
page 65
18.79% "Wow. 64 pages of one day at school. The pacing is slow, but there's definitely a creep factor going on!"
September 20, 2012 –
page 120
34.68%
September 20, 2012 –
page 168
48.55%
May 15, 2013 –
page 194
56.07% "Take two, trying to read this again. I shall prevail!"
May 19, 2013 –
page 284
82.08% "I'm gonna finish this book if it kills me, dangit!"
May 19, 2013 – Finished Reading
June 2, 2013 – Shelved as: paranormal

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Kierra (new)

Kierra hmm...i've never heard of this book before but it sounds really good! I am going to add it to my ever-growing to-read list.


Cayla  (Cayla Reads Books) I just did a review on this book. It's really good! I hope you enjoy it?


Katie Cayla wrote: "I just did a review on this book. It's really good! I hope you enjoy it?"

Yay! I'm excited to read it :-)


Natalie (Natflix&Books) Great review! I seriously struggled with this story: the slow pace, the insta-love,the melodrama. So disappointing. The premise was so cool, but the writing was just laughably bad. By the time the "action" happened I was beyond caring.


Katie That's exactly what I felt like! Too little too late.


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