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 specter 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. (from GoodReads)
When I first started reading Broken I had no idea that it was a retelling of Frankenstein. I was wondering how Daniel and Alex would be connected, but that becomes obvious when you know the inspiration behind this novel. Overall I liked Broken but I had some problems with the pacing.
Knowing why Alex is eerily like Daniel ruins the suspense of Broken, as there is no longer any mystery. Which makes a lot of this novel pretty boring because the reader is just waiting for Emma to figure it out. She literally doesn't find out until the last 50 pages, so there is about 300 pages of their romance and Emma wondering what's going on with Alex. It was still pretty enjoyable to read, but it would have been nice for something plot-wise to occur. Also, the way Emma discovers Alex's secret is the laziest writing I've ever encountered.
There are two villains in this story, Alex's father and Emma's classmate Josh. Both were pretty cartoon-like in their evilness and did not have much depth. I didn't mind so much with Alex's father because it's obvious he is based off of Dr. Frankenstein, who is one of the least sympathetic characters in literature (I even wrote an essay on this). But Josh really had it out for Emma after he got over his love of her! Seriously, almost every male character was in love with Emma: Alex, Josh, a coffee shop employee, her dead boyfriend Daniel.
Ok, it probably sounds like I hated Broken. I actually didn't. Even though nothing really happens, it was still enjoyable to read. I liked that it was a retelling of Frankenstein and the last part of the book was pretty exciting. I tend to go on rants when I see wasted potential, because Broken has a great premise. With some more plot points thrown in and maybe Emma discovering Alex's secret earlier, this could have been a great book.
Rating: 6 out of 10.
FTC: sent from the publisher.
2013/Strange Chemistry/384 pages.