Review: Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick

Book Title: Kiss of Broken Glass
Author: Madeleine Kuderick
Published Date: September 9th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Contemporary
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Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Madeleine Kuderick’s gripping debut is a darkly beautiful and lyrical novel in verse, perfect for fans of Sonya Sones and Laurie Halse Anderson. Kiss of Broken Glass pulses with emotion and lingers long after the last page.

In the next seventy-two hours, Kenna may lose everything—her friends, her freedom, and maybe even herself. One kiss of the blade was all it took to get her sent to the psych ward for seventy-two hours. There she will face her addiction to cutting, though the outcome is far from certain.

When fifteen-year-old Kenna is found cutting herself in the school bathroom, she is sent to a facility for mandatory psychiatric watch. There, Kenna meets other kids like her—her roommate, Donya, who’s there for her fifth time; the birdlike Skylar; and Jag, a boy cute enough to make her forget her problems . . . for a moment.

Disclaimer: I received this book from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Trigger Warning: Self Harm.

Review:
I was really, really nervous about reading this book and it wasn’t because of the subject matter. I actually tend to gravitate towards books that are dark, so the subject matter was kind of right up my alley, as weird and creepy as that sounds. I think teens (mostly girls) cutting themselves is seen as this deep dark secret that they don’t want their parents or teachers to know about because they don’t want to seem crazy.

My trepidation was based on the fact that it was written in verse. I really don’t tend to like books written in verse but I was willing to give it a shot. I was hoping that it would be the book to change my mind about books written in verse. However, my problem with this book in verse turned out to be the same problem I continually have with books in verse.

I didn’t connect to Kenna, and I didn’t feel like I got a sense of who she was outside of the cutting. I got that she was in a group of teens who made a competition  out of cutting. Of course I found that to be very classless. Cutting is serious and making it into a competition was awful and sickening. I think if it had been written in a more straightforward way, I would have gotten to know Kenna better.

I do feel like the ending was rushed, which I didn’t enjoy. At all. I ended up liking it a little bit more by the end, which is why I am giving it 3.5 stars. It was definitely better than I was expecting it to be. I would recommend this book if you like books in verse because despite my issues with it, I felt like it was an important book.

Review: Secret Lies by Amy Dunne

Book Title: Secret Lies
Author: Amy Dunne
Release Date: December 16th, 2013
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Genre: YA/Contemporary/LGBT
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Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Would you face your biggest fear, to save the one you love? 

Nicola Jackson escapes from her abuser, only to realize she has no one to turn to and nowhere to go. In a twist of fate, she accidentally bumps into Jenny O’Connor, the most popular girl at school. They strike up an unlikely friendship. As their trust in each other develops, they share their darkest secrets, and their relationship blossoms into a secret romance. 

Jenny loves Nicola, but she is fearful that if their secret relationship is discovered, she might lose her family, friends, and her seemingly perfect life. 

Nicola confronts her abuser and blackmails him to leave for good, but things go terrifyingly wrong. Jenny is left with a life-changing dilemma: should she face her fear and accept who she is, or let Nicola take the blame and pretend their relationship never happened?

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Bold Strokes Books via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
This author was a new author to me so I had no idea what to expect when I began this book. I found myself really liking the story. Yes, the timeline was a bit unbelievable but when you are in an abusive situation you’ll use any means to get out of the situation. Even if that means befriending a girl that you had hardly ever spoken to before. 

I totally understand why so many people disliked the book because of the unrealistic timeline, but for me it didn’t both me much. Maybe because the characters were so great all down the road.Out of both Nicola and Jenny, I liked Nicola more. She was resilient and determined not to play the victim which was amazing given all that she had been through in the past 5 years.

I liked Jenny too. It was hard to hear about how she dealt with things but I’m glad that it wasn’t treated as a taboo subject like so many things still are. However, it was her family that made me like her even more. Despite being very devout Catholics,they were warm and loving which was really nice to see. Even Elizabeth, who was a class A bitch initially, grew on me.

The relationship itself was a bit insta-lovey which makes me cringe but they were able to be themselves around each other which was good to see. Outside of Laura, Jenny really didn’t have any decent friends.I didn’t like how once they were together and alone together, they always went to sex. But then I had to remember that they were teenagers and many teenagers are sex-crazed.

The ending just about broke me and it only made me love Jenny’s parents more and actually made me have sympathy for Nicola’s mother, which I never expected to happen.I cried a lot of tears during the end.So the feels were definitely there. 

Overall, I really liked this one. The timeline was unrealistic and sometimes Jenny & Nicola both got on my nerves for being so sex crazed so those are the reasons I’m giving it 4 stars.I think I’ll probably read any book the author writes in the future.