Sunday, December 16, 2012

Review Broken by A.E. Rought

BrokenTitle: Broken
Author: A.E. Rought
Published: January 8th, 2013 (Strange Chemistry)
Pages: 384
Source: for review
Rating: 4 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.

I'm writing this review after I've just watched the latest Criminal Minds episode. You know the one where that freaky man amputated legs and transplanted it to someone else. Really gross. And before you get scared, no this doesn't happen in Broken. Well, not literary anyway. But the episode did remind me of Broken. 

Broken is a retelling of Frankenstein. I must honestly say I've never read Frankenstein, so I can't say anything about that. I did hear Frankenstein is a lot creepier, and I expected that already after finishing Broken. And since I thought the retelling was pretty gross, I probably won't be reading the original story any time soon. 

The story starts a couple months after Daniel's death. The synopsis says that Emma is "a hollow shell" and that made me a bit hesitant about reading this book. But I think that's a bit exaggerated. I thought she would sulk all the time and we would only read about Daniel and how she misses him, but it's a lot more than that. Of course Emma's sad and she thinks about him. And OK, maybe she was a lot happier before, but I thought she was pretty amazing! 
Almost immediately after the beginning of the story we meet Alex. And all the freaky stuff starts there!

At the beginning it are just small stuff. One of the first things Alex does is opening Emma's locker. It gets stuck and Daniel always opened it for her and Alex does it in the exact same way. Might not be freaky at all, it's just a locker. And that's what Emma thinks too, but it keeps happening. When Alex calls Emma by Daniels old nickname, it starts to get really creepy. 
It's hard not to love Alex, even with all the freaky things going on. He's so sweet and he seems so innocent. 

I love the writing style and story telling of A.E. Rought. If you've read the synopsis you know something is pretty wrong with Alex. But of course Emma doesn't know this and slowly she, and so the reader, begins to realize that something is off about Alex. You pick up a new piece of the puzzle every few pages, until at the end everything is put together. 

The ending is the reason I gave this book 4 stars. It felt a bit too quick for me. Emma realizes something's off and goes over to Alex's house, where she's confronted with his father, the evil master brain. The last few passages I had to reread, because I didn't follow. But maybe I was just a bit tired and not focused. When I got it all, I liked it. 
Broken is not the best classic retelling I've read, but I think it's definitely worth to read it. 


  1. I wasn't blown away by this book, at all.. The writing-style was okay, but the story was a bit boring and it seemed to drag. The ending was okay though. I'm happy you liked it!


  2. I haven't read my ARC of this from NetGalley yet but I can't wait to finally get to it, I loved your review since you actually mentioned both the good and the bad things about the book :)
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages


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