Friday, December 13, 2013

YA Review: Broken by C.J. Lyons

Title: Broken
Author: C.J. Lyons
# of Pages: 336 
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: November 5th 2013
Source: BEA
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 2 Hearts

New York Times bestselling author CJ Lyons makes her YA debut with a fast-paced thriller sure to keep readers guessing to the very last page

The only thing fifteen-year-old Scarlet Killian has ever wanted is a chance at a normal life. Diagnosed with a rare and untreatable heart condition, she has never taken the school bus. Or giggled with friends during lunch. Or spied on a crush out of the corner of her eye. So when her parents offer her three days to prove she can survive high school, Scarlet knows her time is now... or never. Scarlet can feel her heart beating out of control with every slammed locker and every sideways glance in the hallway. But this high school is far from normal. And finding out the truth might just kill Scarlet before her heart does.

My Verdict

I think it's going to be hard to judge this book for what it is rather than how it was marketed. The back of the book calls Broken a "riveting suspense and taut drama" a lot of reviews I read previously also talked about it as if it were a fast-paced thriller. This is not the case at all. It was basically your average contemporary romance with a slight mystery that doesn't turn suspenseful until the last few chapters. Had I just been expecting a contemproary romance going into it, I may have enjoyed it more than I did. Unfortunely, I was expecting an edge of your seat medical thriller that wasn't there.

The main character, Scarlet, has been diagnosed with Long QT disease, which means her heart beats irregularly and could kill her at any moment. After spending most of her life in the hospital, Scarlet decides she wants to take the time she does have left and go to high school like a normal kid. Her parents are dead set against it, but they decide to let her go on a trial basis.

Scarlet immedietly makes friends with Jordan, Nessa, Celina and Tony. The "wrong" crowd according to Scarlets mother. Ugh, her mother drove me nuts! She made all of Scarlet's decisions for her and did things like feed her vitamins in front of all her friends in the middle of the school cafeteria. Seriously?! I can't think of any teenager that would put up with that.

The book is divided into five sections set over the course of one school week (Monday - Friday). A lot of the time I was bored with the little details of Scarlet's school day, but I guess we were supposed to be overwhelmed by the experience as much as she was.

I was appaled by the bullying that went on at the school and that the students so easily got away with it. I was home schooled, so thankfully I never had to deal with bullying first hand or see it happening to those around me, but I know it's a big issue that is overlooked all too much!

With the ending came a big twist and a few fast-paced pages, but it was pretty short lived for a so-called "riveting suspense." If you're a contemporary lover looking for a romance with a little something different I'd check this one out. If you're looking for a fast paced medical thriller, keep looking. 


  1. Hmmm. I'm a little unsure about this one. I like the idea of a girl with heart disease getting to go to school and really live for the first time, but it doesn't sound very thrilling to me. Maybe going into it thinking of it as just a contemporary would be better if the suspenseful part is only toward the end.

  2. I'm sorry to hear this one was disappointing. SOmetimes when we get a lot of little details about someone's day, like you mentioned with her school day, it can really affect the pacing and become boring. I appreciate your thoughts on this one!

  3. Ugh. The vitamin bit annoys me but knowing that this is a contemporary romance I might like it better. You'd be appalled if you saw in real life how EASILY people get away with bullying or going against the rules in school. It's what I hated about school the most...


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