Book Review | Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

  • Pages: 356
  • Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
  • Genre: YA


Now Caddy wants to be more than just the quiet one.
She wants something to happen.

Suzanne is trying to escape her past and be
someone different. Someone free.

But sometimes downward spirals have
a momentum of their own.

And no one can break your heart like a best friend.

I think this novel is one of the most wonderful books I have ever read. Not only is it a beautiful tale of friendship, but it shows us the reality of how complex relationships are – be it romantic, platonic or familial.

What I really liked about Beautiful Broken Things is that the main theme is about friendship. Nowadays you don’t really see strong bonds between girls – it is either they are being bitchy towards each other, or simply the novel only focuses on the romantic aspects of heterosexual teenagers. Although there is an increasing amount of books that explores different aspects of social norms, I feel that the theme of friendship hasn’t really been explored much.

Of course, as any new friendship goes – Caddy and Suzanne doesn’t get a long very well at the beginning, but as the story progresses, so does their relationship. I think that was the most refreshing aspect of this novel, where two characters simply care for each other (platonically). Caddy is very sweet in that she tries to help Suzanne in the way she thinks is right – however, there is also a drawback to the way her relationship with Suzanne is affecting them both in contrary ways. Where it is helping Caddy become more interesting and be more than the quiet one in a friendship – she is also enabling Suzanne to do whatever she wanted, and it is clear that this doesn’t help her at all. But, Caddy does realise this at the end.

Suzanne really frustrated me, because she knew what she was doing was wrong – and yet she still does it. It is her way of coping and forgetting her past, but the fact that she was able to manipulate Caddy to do whatever she wanted was infuriating. I know that she has a horrible past, and that she wants to forget about it and move on with her life, but the thing about the way she’s going about it was self-destructing, and she’s dragging Caddy along with her. However, in the end she did do the right thing and the right decision – although at the expanse of a Significant Life Event.

My favourite character out of the three girls was Rosie. She’s tough and doesn’t take any crap from anyone – especially not Suzanne. As much as she cares for Caddy and Suzanne, Rosie remains level headed and was the most reasonable out the three of them (and it was supposed to be Caddy, but at the end of the day she was too caught up with helping Suzanne to see what was really happening). She knew that allowing Suzanne to do whatever she wanted wasn’t the solution nor the coping mechanism that she needs, and that Caddy should realise that Suzanne needs professional help and someone who know when to say no to the things that Suzanne proposes.

Overall, I think this was a wonderful book and it was interesting enough that I kept on reading it and enjoyed it all the same. However, the whole story just didn’t grip my attention that I couldn’t put the book down. Nonetheless, I do recommend this novel!

Overall Rating: 🌟🌟🌟


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