Broken Things by Lauren Oliver – ARC Review

Title: Broken Things

Author: Lauren Oliver

Genre: YA, Thriller

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton



Summary: from Amazon

It’s been five years since Mia and Brynn murdered Summer Marks, their best friend, in the woods

Increasingly obsessed with a novel called The Way into Lovelorn and by their fan-fiction imagining of its sequel, the girls were drawn by an undertow of fantasy into the magical world they’d created. But eventually, their delusions turned sick, and the Shadow, Lovelorn’s central evil, began to haunt them.

Or so the story goes. The only thing is: they didn’t do it

Brynn and Mia have both found different ways to hide from their notoriety, seeking refuge from a world that hates them-a world that will never feel magical, or safe, ever again.

On the anniversary of Summer’s death, a seemingly insignificant discovery resurrects the mystery and pulls Mia and Brynn back together once again. But as past and present, fiction and reality, begin again to intertwine, Brynn and Mia must confront painful truths they tried for so long to bury-and face the long shadow of memory that has, all this time, been waiting.


A few years ago I really enjoyed the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver so when I noticed she was releasing a new book I was very keen to read it. I love mysterious, thriller type books so the plot of Broken Things appealed to me a lot.

Broken Things has a very ominous beginning as the reader learns the story of the murder of a girl that the public knows, then we find out that this story is not true at all. This makes the reader desperately want to know what the real story here is. Our two main characters are Mia and Brynn who were accused of being involved in the murder of their best friend, Summer. Despite the fact they have not been charged, their lives are still shrouded with suspicion by pretty much everyone. These characters are both interesting to follow for different reasons. Neither of them are in a very good place, mentally. They are both clearly damaged by the events surrounding the murder even five years later which is where we find them. Their friendship has been fractured and the author is so skilled at describing the pain of this. In fact the whole book is really successful in showing pain in all it’s forms and how the past can drag someone back when they least suspect it.

Summer is the character that Broken Things revolves around. She is a total enigma and in flashbacks comes across as both malevolent and cruel but also intensely vulnerable. It is difficult to decipher her intentions as we only have Brynn and Mia’s recollections of her. This book is a fantastic depiction of the utter intensity of teenage female friendship. It shows how this intensity can be both healing and also damaging. The idea of the mysterious land of Lovelorn that the three girls are obsessed with is pretty sinister but in reality it is actually the girls clinging to a world they felt safe in and of their own creation. Lovelorn obviously has a huge power over Summer in particular and in some ways it echoes the real life Slenderman case whilst still feeling completely original.

Overall I really loved Broken Things. It is well written and beautifully paced, giving away just enough at key moments whilst retaining the mystery. I was desperate to know the truth of what happened to Summer Marks and for Brynn and Mia to gain some closure. This is a tense and, at times, incredibly sad story and makes for a fascinating read.


Broken Things is out October 18th 2018.

I received an e-arc of the book from Netgalley. My review is my own honest opinion. 

4 thoughts on “Broken Things by Lauren Oliver – ARC Review

  1. Kelly in Hali says:

    I had to Google the Slenderman case – I see where there are definite parallels!

    I think Lovelorn was one of the things I liked the most about Broken Things – it added such a creepy layer to the story and a part of me was hoping it would turn out to be real.

    Liked by 1 person

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