Review: Broken by A.E. Rought


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.

Why do I always finish Strange Chemistry releases with a feeling of utter satisfaction and awe? The awesome people at Strange Chemistry really have a knack for picking out the original and exciting books and Broken was absolutely no exception. This book was original and creepy even though I had worried that the whole new boy plot line sounded very cliche.

I shouldn't have let myself worry though, Broken manages to be a hugely enjoyable and fast paced read with enough emotional baggage to give it this edge that a lot of YA paranormal releases just don't have. Ok, so there were some things that I disliked a little, I made a little bit of a comparison to Twilight - sorry but that's the obvious comparison because of the whole creepy new boy that warns away our protagonist, despite the obvious connection - HOWEVER the connection in Broken is for a reason and so it kind of excuses it. As well as that, I was a little bit confused and betrayed by how easily Emma gets over Daniel, even though we don't know him we know he deserves more than that, so I felt a little uncomfortable by the developing relationship between Alex and Emma at the beginning.

I did start to warm towards the pair as the story continued and by the end I really liked Alex as a love interest and I was rooting for them, I guess that shows how well Rought developed her characters and her story. The pacing was a little off at times, but I still could not put the book down from start to finish and when I was away from the book I knew that I had to get back to it.

Of course, the synopsis tells you that this book is a little creepy and very thrilling, by the end I was terrified. I was absolutely gripped, absolutely on edge over whether Emma and Alex would escape the bad guy and the bad situation that they've been put into. It's a fantastic climax to a great book and I really would recommend this to anyone looking for a typical YA paranormal with some originality.

Book released 8th January 2013 by Strange Chemistry
ARC received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (ARC)

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