Saturday, June 15, 2013

Review: Broken (Broken #1), by A.E. Rought

Title: Broken (Broken #1)
Author: A.E. Rought
Format: ebook
Source: NetGalley

From 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."

My Opinion: Emma Gentry is living in a hazy world of pain since losing her boyfriend Daniel in an accidental fall when she meets the new boy at school, Alex Franks, and feels an undeniable pull and connection that she can't fight, and doesn't understand. Unfortunately, since we already know this is a very loosely based retelling of Frankenstein, it's way too easy to figure out why Alex and Emma are drawn to each other. Let me preface this by saying that I love retellings, which is why I was looking forward to reading Broken, but I wish there had been more surprises and twists than there were. 

I also had a problem with the length of the book, since it seems like it could have been pared down by at least half without losing any of the important parts. The writing was very descriptive, which isn't a bad thing in and of itself, but when it seems like the same descriptions are used over and over and over, it becomes very monotonous and I, for one, found myself skimming the paragraphs while reading because I was losing patience, which rarely happens to me. I didn't want to give up on the book, but I felt like if I had to read one more time about Emma standing in line for coffee, or arguing with her mother, I was going to scream! Descriptive writing isn't a bad thing, but only when the descriptions vary throughout the course of the book. In this case it seemed like the same phrases were used repeatedly and that got tiring very fast. 

I don't want to sound like I didn't like the writing because I did - at first - I just think a lot of it could have been cut out without affecting the story, and maybe even improving the story by making it easier to read.  

The ending didn't come as a surprise (again, this is a retelling so we kind of know where it's heading from the get go) but my problem is that this was basically the only action packed part of the story since the first 85% of the book was about the romance developing between Emma and Alex and Emma's confusion regarding this.

I have to give this book 3 stars because I think it could have done with major editing and slashing of repetitive descriptions, but the basic story was good and I think if it had been shorter I would have flown through it and really enjoyed it. 

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