All of the feels – intense teen friendships in Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, teen book reviews, Uncategorized

 

Caddy and Rosie have been best friends for, like, forever. But when the beautiful and mysterious Suzanne appears in Rosie’s world, Caddy is jealous at first. But when she gets to know Suzanne better she finds herself drawn into a new friendship unlike anything she has ever experienced, and finds herself doing things she had never done before…

When I came to read this book I didn’t expect to enjoy it. I can distinctly remember wondering why on earth I had ever requested it. It just didn’t seem to be the sort of thing I’d read. But… I really enjoyed it. It very clearly illustrated teenage girl friendship, with the intensity and the drama that it can bring. I found myself complete engrossed in the lives of Caddy, Rosie and Suzanne, and pulled into the teenage emotion that was so rich throughout. I think I cried.

One of the things I really loved about this book was that it’s concern was definitely friends, not boyfriends. Even before Suzanne shows up, we are given an insight into two best friends and their brilliant friendship. I recognised it. I had friends like that, and I loved having friends like that. How brilliant to go into that world!

And then, the intensity of friendship with Suzanne from a pretty broken background. Suzanne is sucked in; she feels like she can help, she feels needed, and loyal. It’s a brilliant illustration of a very real and difficult relationship, which again I can relate to from (far less intense) experiences of my own. As such it makes both a very compelling story but also a warning for teenagers reading it.

The plot is great, and pulls you in as Caddy gets pulled in as events and life with Suzanne gets more and more dramatic. I’m not going to give anything away, but it’s pretty high drama.

I just think this book gets it totally right. It had me feeling like a teenager again, and so cleverly illustrated just how things happen to teenagers of the world. I could relate easily to Caddy and to the others too, their worldview seemed realistic for a teenager. I’d heartily recommend this book, and shall try to get my teen sister to read it. Her viewpoint will be very interesting!

Thanks so much to the publishers and to Netgalley for the ARC, I enjoyed experiencing a book I wouldn’t have read otherwise!

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