Review: Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

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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.

Review

I was sent a proof copy of this book from the publishers for review upon request.  I loved the look of the cover and the blurb ticked all the right boxes for me.

Caddy and Rosie are BFF and when new girl Suzanne comes into the equation, it seems like this perfect duo is about to become a trio.  However, Suzanne has a complicated past that soon plays havoc with her present and, in turn, starts to affect Caddy and Rosie too.  As Suzanne becomes closer to the two besties, their friendship starts to strain and Caddy isn’t sure what’s right or wrong anymore.  Caddy has always wanted to live a more exciting life and having Suzanne in hers could make that happen.  Will this trio find a way to co-exist or will they fall down like a tumbling house of cards?

I jumped straight into Beautiful Broken Things and found myself whizzing through the pages at great speed.  I don’t often have that experience with everything that I read but it’s lovely when you find a book that you just can’t stop reading.  Each of the three main characters had a genuine spark about them that really excited me the more I read about them.  Caddy reminded me of myself at that age; desperate for something Significant to happen and surrounded by friends that I saw as so much more interesting/exciting than I was.  Rosie is perhaps the best best friend I’ve seen portrayed in a story for quite some time.  She’s not perfect and she’s not a stereotype because she makes mistakes just as much as Caddy does but they both have their hearts in the right places.

Suzanne and her troubled background is handled well throughout the book and I found her believable in her flippant nature.  She was all over the place sometimes but that makes sense for someone that doesn’t ever feel like she has a true place to exist in or someone who truly cares about her.

Beautiful Broken Things is bound to do well as it captures the wonderful but sometimes tricky relationship between teenage girls.  Sara Barnard doesn’t try to sugarcoat all the problems or seek out the easy answers.  She simply presents us with three strong characters and lets us follow them on their journey along the streets of Brighton.

Published by Macmillan Children’s Books and is available online and in bookshops now

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