Because I enjoyed Kim Savage’s first book, After the Woods, I was excited to see what she had in store for me in Beautiful Broken Girls. The premise evoked Thirteen Reasons Why and The Virgin Suicides. The cover intrigued me – the image is both gorgeous and unsettling. Unfortunately, this just didn’t live up to my expectations. I gave it three stars.
Remember the places you touched me.
The parts of Mira Cillo that Ben touched are etched on his soul.
Palm. Hair. Chest. Cheek. Lips. Throat. Heart.
It was the last one that broke her. After her death, Mira sends Ben on a quest for notes she left in the seven places where they touched—notes that explain why she and her sister, Francesca, drowned themselves in the quarry. How Ben interprets those notes has everything to do with the way he was touched by a bad coach years before. But the truth behind the girls’ suicides is far more complicated, involving a dangerous infatuation, a deadly miracle, and a crushing lie.
I think the author was trying to create a book that was haunting and ethereal, but it impacted the coherence of the story. The narrative is disjointed and hard to follow. It didn’t help that I could never decipher what was motivating anyone. All of the characters are enigmas for the entirety of the book. I think the most glaring issue is that there is no character to function as a reliable guide for a reader just entering into this tragic and strange world. I was intrigued by the mystery initially, but ultimately felt like the solution fell flat despite the fact that it is beyond bizarre. I get where the comparison to The Virgin Suicides and Thirteen Reasons Why is drawn, but readers looking for either of those are bound to be disappointed with what they actually find. Language and situations are appropriate for grades 10+.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.