You what drew me to this book in Waterstones? No, not the fact that it was on the stand labelled ‘Zoella’s Book Club‘. It was the amazing cover which was designed by Rachel Vale (everyone, please give her a round of applause for she is so talented!)
I turned the book over and gave the blurb a quick read. Finally! A book about friendships and the struggles that they go through.
Caddy and Rosie have always been inseparable. But that was before Suzanne. Now Caddy wants to be more than just the quiet one. She wants something to happen.
I was brave…
Suzanne is trying to escape her past and be someone different. Someone free.
She was reckless…
But sometimes downward spirals have a momentum of their own.
We were trouble…
And no one can break your heart like a best friend.
Whilst I was reading this book, I stated on my Goodreads that “I’ve been waiting my whole life for this book.” That was whilst I was on page 45. Now that I have finished it and I’ve had time to reflect, I can say that my opinion has only slightly changed.
It is true, Beautiful Broken Things was like a breath of fresh air. There was no unconditional love and a boy and a girl feeling like they couldn’t breathe without each other. This book was purely about three girls overcoming obstacles in their friendships and about trying to save one another.
First things first, I think using Caddy as the narrator was completely wrong. She describes herself as “dull” in the book and I completely agree, she was dull. I wish the book had been written from Rosie’s perspective – that would have been much more interesting.
The character of Caddy (or Cadnam, which is her real name. By the way, who even calls their kid Cadnam? That’s just mean) is selfish, childlike and annoying. There’s a whole scene to do with Coronation Street and trigger warnings that – every time I think about – get me really really angry. Sometimes, I just wanted to scream at her to stop talking. However, I can see why Barnard chose Caddy to be the voice throughout the book. Most of the books plots happen between Suzanne and Caddy.
I loved the character of Suzanne. I felt like she was the character that had the most depth – not because of what happened to her, but because she was the character that was written the best, the character that was most real (again, not because of what happened to her.)
You know what I love most about this book? It’s that it’s relateable. My best friend and I have been best friends for nearly ten years and every time either of us gets close to another person, we instantly get jealous and we’re like “back off, she’s my best friend.” And this is what the beginning of Beautiful Broken Things is like.
There are some dark moments in this book but I think Barnard talks about them with great depth and doesn’t shy away from anything, she doesn’t skim over what happens. She writes about it in a matter-of-fact way that is definitely needed for this book.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I would definitely read it again. I love the whole premise of the book and I loved the character of Suzanne. The only thing that let this book down was Caddy. I just didn’t like her character at all. But once you get past the teenage horribleness of her character, there’s a very very good book.
Warning: this book contains scenes of physical/emotional abuse