Book Reviews

Review: Broken Things by Lauren Oliver

I listened to Broken Things on audiobook and normally while I listen to books while doing chores, I listened to Broken Things just while sitting on the couch. That’s how invested I was in the story.


It’s been five years since Summer Marks was brutally murdered in the woods.

Everyone thinks Mia and Brynn killed their best friend. That driven by their obsession with a novel called The Way into Lovelorn the three girls had imagined themselves into the magical world where their fantasies became twisted, even deadly.

The only thing is: they didn’t do it.

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 the lines begin to blur between past and present and fiction and reality, the girls must confront what really happened in the woods all those years ago—no matter how monstrous.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Broken Things is a gripping mystery involving secrets, friendship, and trust. It’s a story about teens who are changed by a trauma in their childhood. Broken Things is a story about working through their fears, their feelings about their best friend who united them, and moving on. Not only that, but one of the main characters is a gay and there’s a f/f relationship within the story. But what I loved about Broken Things is their friendship between Brynn and Mia, how they confront their pasts, and how they move forwards into the future.

Mysteries and More

While the mystery within Broken Things is gripping and will keep you hooked, what I loved about the mystery element was the combination of writing style and mystery. Oliver tells us the story through perspectives of Mia and Brynn in the past and the present, which is already fantastic, but Oliver also inserts pieces of the book they wrote together, Return to Lovelorn. Lovelorn becomes a character in and of itself, a force you never quite get a hold of.

This interaction heightened the feeling of mystery within the story. We witness the unfolding of the story and are able to watch the development of the characters growing up. Not only that, but the story has a natural crescendo progression that I enjoyed, the pacing was perfect. It’s not only the mystery of Lovelorn, but the tension wondering who committed the crime.


But what really drew me into the story were the characters. Not only is Brynn gay, but Broken Things portrays the friendship dynamics so well. It’s about the people who are captivating, drawing us into their circles, as we want them to like us and we undermine ourselves. Throughout the book we witness the different forms of their love – romantic, friendship, familial.

Seeing Mia and Brynn’s perspective gives us a unique perspective into their characters and their growth as they learn to examine their past and struggle to move on. They tangle with a love so possessive, so gripping, that it takes over. A force that we cannot break free from. And when we are immersed in that love, those feelings, how valuable true friendship can be.


Broken Things is a story about obsession and grief, love that possess you. But at the same time it’s a story about unfinished endings. About stories that are still unfolding and that never end. People who feel broken realizing they have the power to put themselves back together again. Finding and telling their own story.

Find Broken Things on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite YA mystery story? Have you read Sadie?

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