I was brave
She was reckless
We were trouble
Beautiful Broken Things tells the story of inseparable best friends, Caddy and Rosie and what happens when a new girl enters their friendship. Caddy is the quieter, more reserved one, but she’s turning sixteen and starting to wish she was different. She wants to be more outgoing, more confident, less of an academic disappointment to her father. She wants to be more liked and to feel more worthy. Enter Suzanne, the new girl at school who Rosie introduces to their friendship. Caddy’s feelings of unease and jealously at first are so very relatable.
It doesn’t take long for Caddy and Rosie to realise that Suzanne is dealing with some things. She is hiding things, she can be argumentative, as well as insecure and needing reassurance, and displays some extreme behaviours. It soon becomes apparent why. Suzanne was a wonderfully written character, so realistic that at times I forgot I was reading a story. The mental health representation in this book was perfect.
Caddy wants to help her, she wants to fix her and make her better and I empathised with Caddy so hard. She gets far more involved in Suzanne’s life than Rosie does, and starts to enable some of Suzanne’s less helpful coping mechanisms, losing a little of herself in the process. I wanted so much to reach into the pages and both hug and yell at her in equal measure. Through all this Rosie tries to be the voice of reason and to support Caddy whilst showing her some tough love, and for this, she was probably my favourite character of the three. Standing up to your friends like Rosie does is so hard (I mean, adult me can’t do it, so I’m a little in awe of Rosie). I’ve said it before, and I still believe it: no-one writes an authentic teenage friendship like Sara Barnard.
The ending SLAYED me. It was not what I was expecting at all, and I’m incredibly glad I left reading this book until Fierce Fragile Hearts was nearly published because I cannot wait to hear more from these girls.
This is one of the first YA books I ever remembering loving so it’s really special to me and I’m so happy you enjoyed it as much as Sara’s other books! Rosie is my fave too. I’d really love a book about her as well as Suzanne tbh! She’s just as brilliant in Fierce Fragile Hearts 💜
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