Thursday, 17 December 2015

Review: What's Broken Between Us by Alexis Bass

Alexis Bass’s heartbreakingly beautiful second novel is a tale of love, loss, and learning to forgive.

Look to the left, look to the right. We’re all going to die. But someone has to do it first. So who’s it going to be?

Tragedy struck Amanda Tart’s town a year and a half ago when a sophomore girl was killed in a car accident on graduation night.
Amanda’s brother, Jonathan, was behind the wheel and too drunk to drive. He’s spent the past year in prison and has cut off all ties. But now Jonathan is coming home. Just as Amanda’s trying to figure out what that means for her family and herself, she’s paired up for a school project with Henry Crane—a former crush, and brother of Jonathan’s ex-girlfriend, who survived the crash with horrible injuries.

Everyone is still incredibly damaged by the events of that night. Can Amanda and Henry finally begin to heal what’s broken and find some peace?

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Expected publication: December 29th 2015 by HarperTeen 
Genre: Young Adult

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

I don't even know where to start when it comes to discussing this book. First off, the synopsis caught me right away and I thought it had great potential. A story about a girl who's older brother went to prison after he was in an accident while drunk that caused a peers death. Sounds intriguing right? Often the people left behind struggle the most from the sins of those closest to them. What a great angle...the sister who has to walk in the footsteps that her convicted felon of a brother left behind. I was all in.

I did and didn't have a problem with some of the characters if that makes any sense. I hated everything about Jonathan. His actions and attitude when he was released from prison were horrendous. He seemed cold and remorseless yet entitled and untouchable. As much as I hated these things about him I was almost relieved at the same time. This allowed me to continue to hate him for the things that he did. It would have been more difficult for me if he miraculously turned into an upstanding citizen after the things he did and the extremely lenient sentence he received. In other words, I hated him but I was glad that the story went in the direction that made me hate him. It made Amanda's story much more complicated and interesting to the reader.

I liked Amanda but I want to make it clear that she wasn't perfect. She did things that weren't morally right and hurtful to others. I liked her for her situation and the struggles she was having. She was torn in so many directions. She was happy that her brother was getting out of prison but she couldn't voice that to anyone. She had to be a completely different person in front of her peers. After all, he killed one of them. She also had her secret crush that she couldn't act on because he was the younger brother of her brother's ex girlfriend who was also in the crash and seriously injured. She was dealing with a lot for a teenage girl.

Briefly I feel the need to mention the parents. As a parent of teenagers myself, I could not understand their parenting at all. What were they thinking? It wasn't Mumsy and Standard Dad but more like absentee Mom and Dad. I could not stop shaking my head. That's all I'm going to say about that. You'll have to read it to understand what I'm talking about.

This book was an easy book to read but it was a roller coaster of emotions. It was dark and lacked much happiness but it depicted a serious and relevant topic. I really think that young people will like it. I also think that it would make a great book club book as I can visualise many topics to discuss around it.

About the Author
Alexis Bass grew up in Washington, went to college in Arizona, and spent her early twenties in Seattle. She currently lives in Northern California with Dylan McKay, her gorgeous and rambunctious golden retriever. She loves good fashion and good TV as much as a good book, and is a huge advocate of the three C’s: coffee, chocolate, and cheese. LOVE AND OTHER THEORIES is her first novel.   

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