Title: Beautiful Broken Things
Author: Sara Barnard
Pages: 337 Pages
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Here’s my theory on Significant Life Events: everyone has them, but some have more than others, and how many you have affects how interesting you are, how many stories you have to tell, that kind of thing.
I was still waiting for my first one.
After yet another typical summer where nothing of any significance happens, Caddy vows that now she’s sixteen this year will be different; she’ll get a boyfriend (a real one), lose her virginity and experience a Significant Life Event. If only Caddy knew what was just around the corner – a whirlwind of wild spirit and fury with a dazzling smile and sad eyes by the name of Suzanne – and a significant life event that no one could have predicted.
Caddy and Rosie have been BFF’s since they were little girls, but when enigmatic and beautiful new girl Suzanne starts at Rosie’s school, Caddy allows her insecurities to threaten her friendship with Rosie. Caddy wishes she were more like Rosie and Suzanne – confident, funny and interesting – but beneath the make-up and bravado lies a secret side to Suzanne that intrigues Caddy. Despite their differences very soon the three girls are inseparable, and things get a whole lot more complicated.
Under Suzanne’s influence, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But climbing out of bedroom windows for forbidden midnight walks on the beach begins to lose its shimmer as Suzanne’s troubled past is revealed and her present begins to unravel. The course of friendship and recovery is rougher than any of the girls could have imagined, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.
Beautiful Broken Things is a heart-stoppingly beautiful debut novel from emerging UKYA talent Sara Barnard. It’s a love story without romance, about what it means to be a friend when your whole life is falling apart. For all the arguments, misunderstandings, fallouts and tears, there’s no love quite like that shared between teenage girls. A beautiful tribute to the friendships that bind when you’re a teenage girl and still learning about life, and about yourself.
Ooh, three way friendships are tricky little things, aren’t they? It is the friendship between Caddy, Rosie and new girl Suzanne, this is the basis of Sara Barnard’s Beautiful Broken Things. When Rosie and Suzanne become friends, Caddy – Rosie’s best friend – becomes unbearably jealous. However, as the girls all get to know one another the dynamics of the group shift and the girls all form roles within their cohort.
We have all been there, haven’t we? All had that tricky friendship group and have fallen out with your best friend. It feels like the end of the world (when, it happens at the age of 29 it is much worse, trust me) so you really feel that Barnard is portraying a universal story. The emotions that come along with friendship are harsh, they are real and they go deeper than anyone would ever imagine.
You can’t help but feel for our young protagonist, Caddy; equally you find yourself screaming at the book when you know she is making bad decisions. Rather cleverly, Barnard has managed to portray ‘bad influence’ Suzanne in a heart warming way. Your heart breaks for her the same way that Caddy’s does. Yes, she keeps doing messed up things but she is so self destructive that you can’t help but want to fix her.
Beautiful Broken Things is one of the best books that I have read about the dynamics of friendship and the real life dramas that take place among teenagers that should never be taken lightly.
Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard is available now.
For more information regarding Sara Barnard (@saramegan) please visit www.sarabarnardofficial.com.
For more information regarding (@panmacmillan) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.