Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction
Macmillan Children's Books
February 25th 2016
I was brave
She was reckless
We were trouble
Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne’s past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realises, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.
Now before getting into this review, I would like to mention some trigger warnings. Beautiful Broken Things handles themes of depression, abuse, and suicidal thoughts.
The progression of Beautiful Broken Things is perfection. It does not overextend nor does the pace feel slow. The story revolves around a new friend who suffers from abuse and is being looked after by another family member. But as expected with anything Barnard writes, the topics within Beautiful Broken Things are handled with care and love.
The characters in the book are also wonderful to read about. The coming-of-age wonder of teenage girls while working out how to become better friends.
Caddy is such a joy and a loyal friend
The story is told from Caddy’s POV. She is best friends with Rosie and the bond they share is a joy. But Rosie befriends a new girl, Suzanne. Caddy is then torn between liking this new girl and hating her.
Caddy attends a private all-girl school while Rosie and Suzanne attend their public school together. This leaves Caddy feeling left out and jealous. But throughout the book, truths about Suzanne start coming out and as friends should, Caddy tries her best to be there for Su when needed.
But this comes with problems of their own. Caddy starts doing things she never would have done before meeting Suzanne. For example, since Suzanne came, Caddy now enjoys sneaking out late to go on trips with her. But to have a friend like Suzanne who is most likely a ticking time bomb and could go off at any moment, Caddy’s parents long for nothing more than for Caddy to reconsider her friendship.
Loyalty, friendship with a spiral of recover and disaster, I loved reading everything in Beautiful Broken Things. As I mentioned before starting this review though, this book has strong themes of abuse, depression and suicidal thoughts. So I would take caution if these are not things you enjoy reading about.
I would say though that this is a must read the book and I honestly cannot WAIT for more books from Sara Barnard!