Title: Beautiful Broken Things
Author: Sara Barnard
Genre: Young Adult
Published: February 25th, 2016
I was brave
She was reckless
We were trouble
Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne’s past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realises, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.
Beautiful Broken Things is a great read about female friendship. It’s honest and heartbreaking as well as warming at the same time. It illustrates the intense feelings you experience in your friendship; trying to be there for your friends, watching your friendship falling apart and trying your best to fix things.
The main character, Caddy, is totally relatable for me. She felt that her life is not as exciting as other girls her age. Especially going to private all-girls school, there is not many prospect in the boy department. She had this thing called ‘significant life changes’ that she wanted to happen in the new school year. At the beginning of school year, her best friend who went to public school called Rosie, met a new girl called Suzanne. Caddy who is used to being Rosie’s only best friend was extremely jealous of Suzanne. Mainly due to the fact that she is very different from Caddy. Although after an incident that reveal Suzanne’s issue, the two spends more time together and find comfort in each other’s company. In the process, she felt needed by Suzanne. Hanging out with Suzanne also in a way opened up her dull world that is usually full of studies. She did things that she thought she would never do, even though it got her into trouble with her parents. She also felt frustrated because she felt like no one understands her friendship with Suzanne. While I understand her needs to be there for Suzanne, it frustrated me sometimes that she couldn’t see and refused to see that she could only help Suzanne if Suzanne wanted to be better. She looked childish in a few instances because of this reason.
Suzanne had mental health issues due to her past. She was fun and reckless though it’s more to mask her issues. There are moments where I felt like she could come across as ungrateful because she had people around her who wanted to help her but she refused to do so. But I understand that it is not that easy for people with her situation. Especially considering how bad her past was. She was a little too crazy for me though. As I am more like Caddy, I knew that if I met someone like Suzanne , I wouldn’t be very happy with the choices she made.
Rosie surprisingly got a good head on her shoulder. I wasn’t very sure of her in the beginning because she came across as wild compared to Caddy. So it was a big surprise for me when she was the one who called Caddy out for being too gullible in the situation.
There are side characters who I wanted to see more on the story. Tarin, Caddy’s older sister, was brilliant. She dealt with mental illness when she was younger so I wish we got to see her talked more about her ordeal to help both Suzanne and Caddy. She did give advice to each girl once. The other one is Brian, Suzanne’s brother. He seemed like a great brother and would be a lot of help to Suzanne.
This book is not your usual teenage girls friendship. It’s about the trials and tribulations of friendship. It’s complicated and a rollercoaster of emotions. There is a lack of love story in this book which surprised me because it seems to be an essential in teenage story.
Mental illness is a big part of this book. It is told from the friend’s point of view and that makes it more interesting. I have never read a story about mental issues told from the friend’s perspective and shows how it affects the people around the one with mental illness. It’s a great read and a refreshing change from the usual book I read.
I have to take points off from the rating because I was left unsatisfied by the ending. It is a solid book about damage and friendship and easy to read. It’s full of emotion and complex. BUUUT I feel that the ending didn’t give enough closure for me.
Overall, it was full of heart and portray the female friendship perfectly. It is beautifully and realistically written. Definitely a stunning debut from Sara Barnard.