Author: A.E. Rought
Genre: YA Paranormal, Gothic, Fantasy
Release Date: January 8th, 2013
See it at Goodreads
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 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.
Broken had all the makings to be fantastic, but it fell short by the end for me despite that it was entertaining and an easy page-turner. I’ve loved the story of Frankenstein for a long time, and going into this, I had really high hopes. Maybe it’s because I’m not really much of a Twilight, sappy romance fan, and much too often, Broken tried to come off that way.
What I did like were the descriptions and the thought put into the story. There’s tension built around the characters and it’s clear from the start for the reader that there’s going to be a dark mystery surrounding them. In the beginning, Emma is suffering through the loss still of her boyfriend’s death. He’d passed a few months prior, but she still wants to cling to the memories. I immediately sympathized with the character and situation. What I really hated though, was that the minute poor Emma tried to move on from her boyfriend’s passing and try to start showing romantic interest in someone new--she gets called a “slut” basically just because she’s seen holding hands with the new guy. Things like this tend to tick me off. Let’s say a situation comes along like this in reality, this is kind of saying that someone trying to move on is going to be seen this way?? Come on. Once this started in, I really became detached at the unrealistic approach of handling that.
I also felt the climax and the whole bad-guy thing wasn’t believable. He didn’t really have a motive that I could see other than “she is the pretty girl that he wants”. I can’t say much more than that without giving away spoilers, but he aggravated me.
As for the romance, it felt like it ran too fast. Instant. But not bad. It’s a good teen drama and I liked the development of Alex more so than other characters. Some of the scenes with him did quite remind me of a good Frankenstein inspiration. The monster trying to fight the monster inside. Except, he’s not reaaallyy a monster because he’s been painted as a beautiful and quiet young man that the MC is emotionally torn over. Also strangely enough, has a “connection” with him, which later leads to a rather predictable ending.
This is not at all saying that I hated it though. Because I really didn’t. To be fair, Broken is a well done, modern romantic new version of Frankenstein and I still had a rather pleasant experience reading it. It’s a page turner, often setting a dark tone that I find myself always enjoying in any book I read, and full of suspense, romance, and drama. The writing is amazingly well crafted…and I should probably add more emphasis that this IS a Frankenstein re-telling after all. I mean, how often do we really see that? :P