What's Broken Between Usby Alexis Bass
Published by HarperCollins, HarperTeen on December 29th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
A year and a half ago, Amanda Tart's brother got behind the wheel drunk and killed his best friend. Today, he's coming home from prison.
Amanda's been the one living with the fallout, made worse by her brother's recent unapologetic TV interview. People think he's a monster. Still, she loves him. It's her dark secret, until she starts getting close to Henry again--whose sister is paralyzed from the accident.
A year and a half ago, her brother destroyed his life. Now Amanda has to decide if she'll let his choice destroy hers.
I think it’s pretty well known that I don’t normally read contemporary fiction that deals with serious issues. I completely shun anything by Jodi Piccoult for fear my meds couldn’t handle the deep depression I might find myself in.
But for some odd reason, the situation in this story had me completely intrigued. And as I got into the story, I found that the synopsis really held back the amount of depth, emotions, and “what the heck is going to happen?!” that made this story so impressive.
The reason why I first picked up this book is the idea of focusing on all the other people, like the family of a drunk driver who has killed when drunk behind the wheel, during a tragic and dramatic life-altering situation. More simply, what happens to the family of a person who makes a grievous mistake.
That’s the hell Amanda has been living in for the last year of her life. Jonathan is her older brother who got in accident and killed his best friend and paralyzed his girlfriend. In the year that Jonathan has been in jail, Amanda has been trying figure out her place in the world as the sister of a murderer. Her struggle has been how to act in public (on top of dealing with all her losses). I mean honestly, how do you act? Having not been in her situation, I was seriously curious how she would survive.
The hidden gem in not being able to put this book down and continuing to read this story was getting to know Henry, the brother to the girl who was paralyzed in the car accident. I truly appreciated how Ms. Bass revealed Henry and Amanda’s relationship slowly throughout the entire length of the book. Perfecto 🙂
I will warn those of you sensitive to love triangles that there appears to be one (or three) in this book but in my opinion, they are a non-issue. And despite the lame characterization of some parents in the story (even though it was explained), all the characters were “fleshed out” enough to give the story the life it needed. On top of that, they played into the story perfectly. An example of this would be Amanda’s best friend, Dawn.
Jeez, I feel like I just wrote a character study for my Junior High School English teacher, sorry! But I just feel like it’s the characters that are the strongest part of this book. They hold this situational story together and get us through this tragedy in one piece.