Broken Things: Girls, Hearts, Futures

Two girls accused of murdering their best friend. Why? Because their obsession with a fantasy novel went too far.



Genre: Mystery

Release Date: October 2nd, 2018

Publisher: HarperCollins

Trigger Warnings: death, murder, animal abuse

Summary (Courtesy of GoodReads):

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.


“‘They turned you into demons. Three average, everyday girls. A little lonely, a little ignored. The boy next door. An old book. They made a movie out of you. It was a witch hunt.’” 

(Pg. 239)

I’ve gotta admit, I never truly got on the fanfic bandwagon. My interests have always been in developing my own world and characters. Of course, after the seventh HP book, I had my own idea of what went on after 19 Years Later. (And it was NOTHING like Cursed Child, which I refuse to accept as canon. Don’t @ me, okay?)

ANYWAY, Broken Things is pretty much what happens when fanfic writing goes too far, when the characters are no longer just in your head, but in the world around you. When you convince yourself you’re in that world. It’s dangerous, and in the case of three best friends–Mia, Brynn, and Summer–someone ends up dead. And for Mia and Brynn, it’s their fault, fueled by their love of an old novel called The Way into Lovelorn.

This book was like a mash-up of The Chronicles of Narnia and the Slender Man Case. IT picks up five years after Summer’s (for some reason, my mind keeps going all PLL on me and wants me to call her Allison) death, and the two girls are still outcast for their supposed crime. But Mia’s trying to make the best of her seclusion, being best friends with a lonely YouTube star and trying to forget about Owen, the cute boy who was also blamed for Allison’s death. Brynn’s finishing another round of rehab, but looking to extend her stay with the help of her cousin, who is ultimately obsessed with Lovelorn and what happened to Summer.

But the girls are brought back together by something that could be nothing. And then Owen returns to town. And the magical world they thought they escaped is back to plague them. But that means they’re one step closer to finding out what happened to Summer. If they can all work together.

I loved the characters in this novel. I loved Wade. I loved Abby. I loved their comic relief in a very dark, emotionally upsetting and disturbing book. But, let’s be real, I loved all the darkness, too.

It was so creepy. Especially the way that Oliver laces little snippets of The Way into Lovelorn and the girl’s fanfiction into the story. Lovelorn is incredibly dark, and there are some things that might actually make you want to sleep with the lights on. The clues begin to build up, coming from the pages of the book, of their writing, of the lurking Shadow, of Lovelorn itself.

While this book was full of all of those dark things, it ultimately becomes a little overshadowed by the romance. (Think There’s Somebody Inside Your House. Think The Wicked Deep.) I was here for all of the murder, all of the horror, but it fell flat because there’s a lot of angst. Which I get, but also, like, more stabbing, puhlease.

Finally, this is a great read for fall! Also, I need someone to talk about that last line with,. I have soooooo many mixed feelings about it and I’m very curious what other people think. Without spoilers for our fellow bookworms who haven’t had the chance to read Broken Things yet.

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