Imagine a modern spin on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein where a young couple’s undying love and the grief of a father pushed beyond sanity could spell the destruction of them all.
A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry’s boyfriend, Daniel. Emma is broken, a hollow shell mechanically moving through her days. She and Daniel had been made for each other, complete only when they were together. Now she restlessly wanders the town in the late Fall gloom, haunting the cemetery and its white-marbled tombs, feeling Daniel everywhere, his spectre in the moonlight and the fog.
When she encounters newcomer Alex Franks, only son of a renowned widowed surgeon, she’s intrigued despite herself. He’s an enigma, melting into shadows, preferring to keep to himself. But he is as drawn to her as she is to him. He is strangely…familiar. From the way he knows how to open her locker when it sticks, to the nickname she shared only with Daniel, even his hazel eyes with brown flecks are just like Daniel’s. The closer they become, though, the more something inside her screams there’s something very wrong with Alex Franks.
And when Emma stumbles across a grotesque and terrifying menagerie of mangled but living animals within the walls of the Franks’ estate, creatures she surely knows must have died from their injuries, she knows.
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As I started reading the first paragraph, there was a dark and ominous feeling in the writing and I'm not referring to Em being in the cemetery, at night, in the first chapter. I decided I would very likely like this book.
Not long after, I found out I had "spoken" too soon. As I kept making progress in the story, it started to succumb to the same old insta-love and love triangle (Although in this, one of the guys is left out of the loop and given no love at all. He was smitten all by his not so lovely self.) formulas so commonplace in YA books. I am not a fan of insta-love or love triangles/squares.
While Broken was beautifully written, I truly believe A.E. Rought does have a way with words, that didn't help much to keep myself completely immersed in the events. Especially since the book did drag for a big chunk of it. I get it's hard losing someone, but I started feeling like Daniel was a "breathing" main character instead of what he really was. I was also tempted to count how many times the words "hood", "hooded", and "hoodie" appeared in the book. It seemed like every few pages one of the words would make a comeback. And those were not the only instances when I felt "things" were being too repetitive throughout the book.
I even felt Em and Alex kept having the same conversations over and over and I kept thinking, when is something...anything going to happen? I couldn't wait to get to the "meaty" part of the book. Eventually, but not till almost the end, the story starts to pick up and something happens. It was pretty interesting knowing all that had been done through the years by Dr. Franks in the name of science, but I did wish more of the book had been spent developing this part of the story rather than the "love" side of it. It could have been done if the plot hadn't kept going in circles.
However, I will admit that despite all of its flaws, it really was a good and modern retelling of Frankestein. It had the right elements in it. I, also, did enjoy some of it and some dialogues made me smile because of a touch of humor included in those. I especially liked the "pet cemetery-like" scene. If you read it, you'll know what I'm referring to. I think less running around in circles and more mystery would have made it a lot better. My rating for this book is 3 out of 5 stars.
Here's a little taste of the book.
*I received a digital copy of the book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
*I am not affiliated to Amazon, B&N, the Book Depository or any other online/physical store I mention on my blog.