Sunday, January 10, 2016
REVIEW for Other Broken Things
Thank you to the wonderful people at Simon & Schuster Canada for giving me an electronic copy of this book to read and review.
TITLE: Other Broken Things
AUTHOR: C. Desir
RATING: 3.5 stars
I cannot decide which rating to give this book.
So many things to love about this book.
The main character, Nat, so flawed, so resentful, so young and just starting to grow into who she really wants to be.
The author did a wonderful job of slowly making us discover who Nat is becoming. At first, she is simply a brat who got caught drinking and driving, but as the story develops, we see that she wants more for herself as she digs deep into what she really wants. The process is very well detailed and gives us the opportunity to grow with her and get pissed at her for some of her choices.
The relationship with Nat's mother is also a developing one. At times, I hated both of Nat's parents, but this is a theme that has become too typical in social issues type books - yet, it worked here. The author does not focus on the father - daughter relationship much except to portray it as destructive. I would have liked this explored more.
Finally. the OTHER main characters in this book - addiction and 12 step programs. I felt that, for the most part, both of these were extremely well researched and incorporated into the storyline, especially when Nat backslides into her addiction when things get too hard for her. The author does an amazing job of introducing the "trigger" while we basically watch the addict side of Nat take over, realistically showing us that even when you are in AA and especially if you are just starting program, things are very, very hard. Very well done. So, for all of this 4 ++++ stars!
So, why my hesitation about the rating? The storyline between Joe and Nat. At first, I thought it would be a story of two broken people trying to help each other, instead the author chose to develop this into a romance???? Nope, did not work for me at all. First of all, no matter how the author tries to make this romance a sweet and caring one, Joe just comes off at sketchy and disgusting. In fact, there was just so much wrong with this whole thing.
Firstly, while I am sure many young girls fall for older guys (been there!) the fact that she was only 17 did not work for me and this is not because of any weird moral thing - its because at 17 and NEWLY sober, Nat does not know where or who she is yet. In fact, in the book, Joe basically tells her that, but yet, the relationship happens.
Secondly, while I know that "13th stepping" in twelve step programs happens all the time in real life, in this storyline, it made me want to take a shower because the story felt gross. Nat came to AA to get help from those who have been in program for longer than she - she needed guidance (loved the Kathy character) not scuzzy Joe. As you can see THIS DID NOT WORK FOR ME AT ALL and really removed a lot of the wonderfulness of this story.
However, the overall story was amazing and this is a definite "to read".
I would love to see a sequel to this book to see where Nat lands.