BOOK REVIEW: Beautiful Broken Things – by Sara Barnard

Title: Beautiful Broken Things
Author: Sara Barnard

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
First published: February 11th 2016
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Finished reading: August 2nd 2017
Pages: 322

“Everyone says apologizing works, but it never really does. Not quickly enough anyway.”


I’ve been meaning to pick up Beautiful Broken Things for quite some time now, so I was quite happy when my TBR jar decided for me it was time to read my copy. I always have mixed experiences with YA contemporaries, but I was drawn to this cover and blurb like a bee to honey. And to be honest, I initially really enjoyed reading it. The first thing that stands out is the writing style, which is very engaging and makes it very easy to read this story. I found myself literally flying through the pages at first. Even though the plot itself isn’t all that special and nothing I haven’t seen before in the genre, I had a great time reading it. There are quite a few high school cliches involved though which I could have done without as well as the jealousy and the whole new friend/third wheel theme. I had mixed feelings about the characters and as the story continued especially Caddy really started to bother me. Both her attitude and her idea that having bad things happen to you make you more interesting is not only frustrating but almost offensive. It’s one of the reasons I started to enjoy Beautiful Broken Things less and less and ended up having to give a lot lower rating than I initially suspected. Sure, Suzanne’s character is quite interesting and opens the way to talk about important themes as abuse and its consequences and mental health, but her reactions are also almost cliche at points and I’m not sure I’m happy with the final developments and the ending. All in all it wasn’t the reading experience I was hoping for… Beautiful Broken Things had a quite strong start because of the enjoyable writing style, but didn’t manage to convince me in the end. Part of the problem might have been me, so if you love the genre and don’t mind cliches it’s still worth giving a go.


Caddy and Rosie have been best friends for years and even though they go to different high schools, they are inseparable. Caddy has always been the quiet one though and when she turns sixteen she wants to make some changes in her life. And then Rosie meets Suzanne, a new girl at her school and they become friends. Suzanne is everything Caddy wants to be and she is jealous of their friendship. Things are becoming a whole lot more complicated… Especially when Caddy starts to get knowing Suzanne better. What will happen to the three girls?


Initially I thought I was really going to enjoy this story and the writing style is without doubt enjoyable at first. I can’t point out the exact moment I started to enjoy Beautiful Broken Things less, but there is no doubt that the final part of this story didn’t live up to the promising start. There were certain things that started to bother me: the cliches, some of the characters and the way they act and think, the way important (darker) themes are handled… All in all not what I expected.


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17 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Beautiful Broken Things – by Sara Barnard

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  6. Great Review 🌸
    This is exactly how I felt when I read it last year. I really didn’t like how the dark themes were handled and Caddy really wasn’t a good character or friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good to know you had a similar experience with this one… I’ve heard mostly positive things about Beautiful Broken Things, but I definitely didn’t agree with how the sensitive themes were handled or the way Caddy behaved.

      Liked by 1 person

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  8. gah, there’s nothing worse than overload of cliches! Sorry this one didn’t work out for you 100%, as always the sensitive themes and behav patterns are so tricky to write about… they either make or break the book and then again, for some it seemed to have worked. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very true! I guess this book can go both ways depending on how you react to the cliches and the way the sensitive themes are incorporated… There seem to be a lot of people who do love this story.

      Liked by 1 person

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  10. Honestly, I had *a lot* of problems with the way darker themes were handled in this as well. I had a bit of a struggle pinpointing what it was- but I think you made a good point about the cliches. Either way, I was like you with this one and ended up disappointed. Great reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

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