Title: Beautiful Broken Things
Author: Sara Barnard
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Published: February 11th 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.
“Letting go is just as important as holding on, sometimes.”
Beautiful Broken Things is Sara Barnard’s well-acclaimed debut novel so I was expecting something great, especially given how much I loved her second book. That being said, I think the main issue I had was that it wasn’t A Quiet Kind Of Thunder. I know that sounds awful but I really can’t figure out another reason why I felt this book was just average.
I don’t think it’s due to the lack of romance. If anything, I loved that it wasn’t a romance because how many novels don’t focus on romantic love? Even though Caddy wants a boyfriend before her seventeenth birthday, it wasn’t one of those goals she went out of her way to achieve. That, and she attends an all-girls school which made it quite difficult.
This book was still about love. It was about the complexities of families and friendships and the love that binds them together, as well as the love that causes them pain. All of the characters felt so real. Caddy’s parents were super strict at times and her sister was just my favourite. I adored Tarin, so it’s a shame she didn’t appear much in the novel.
I also wish we got to see more of Rosie because I loved her attitude. However, I do have mixed feelings about Caddy. I sympathised with her at the beginning and was drawn to her unusual name – Cadnam – but eventually she appeared to be very fragile and attached. Like too attached. I couldn’t really understand a lot of her thought processes and why she got so hurt over little things like Suzanne not telling her about Dylan.
There wasn’t anything remotely bad about this book. How can I possibly say anything bad about a book that mentions Welsh cakes and the Welsh capital? Even though it’s set in Brighton. I actually loved the setting. I’ve been missing late night trips to the beach all my life without even knowing it.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read. It’s beautifully written, exploring the dynamics of female friendships, and it actually has a plot! But for some reason, it just wasn’t really for me.
“It had never occurred to me that my flaws could be strengths in a different context.”