Review: Broken by A.E. Rought

February 19, 2013 3 stars, Book Review, Young Adult 6 ★★★

Pabkin’s One Liner: Not just a twist on the old Frankenstein – definitely a tale all its own.


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 most prevalent thought during the first 100 plus pages of Broken was “Enough with the emo moping around!” At a certain point I just hit my threshold point of Emma moaning over her deceased boyfriend. Maybe I’m just insensitive?  I understand it was very recent, having only happened four months ago, but still I couldn’t handle it after awhile. Luckily a lot of that changes once Alex enters the picture. It was close to being instant love but not quite.  Due to the circumstances behind Alex’s accident and recovery certain things worked for me that normally would have irked me.  Instead here I found Alex very endearing and even Emma’s inclination to gravitate towards him completely understandable.

I believe Broken would appeal more so to actual teens/young adults than it would to adults who enjoy reading YA fiction. That is because the bulk of this book read like “a day in the life of any highschooler.” She gets up, gets ready for school, has breakfast, walks to school, goes through classes, has lunch, more classes, school ends, goes home…then Rinse, Repeat.  This happens several times with not a whole lot happening between those things. Spoilers? – Except, a short field trip, two trips to the local med clinic, a school dance and then a short night on the town.

I found Emma’s classifications of all the different groups at school pretty funny.  I’m sure everyone knows and understands all about those. Given that I ripped through it in a day this was definitely a smooth easy read. The later part of the book thankfully picked up the pace and pulled away more from the hum drum school life. I’d definitely be open to reading more of A.E. Rought’s work in the future.

Tabitha the Pabkins


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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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6 Responses to “Review: Broken by A.E. Rought”

  1. [email protected]

    No, you aren’t insensitive. I can understand that Emma was sad, but I didn’t have to read about it for such a long time. After a while, I got that she was unhappy because her boyfriend died. So, let’s get on with the real story. And that part didn’t blew me away either. My biggest problem with this book was that I was bored. I had the idea that I already knew everything because the blurb is one big spoiler. The ending was much better though. Creepy 😀

    Nice review 🙂

    • Pabkins

      I agree – the ending was the only thing surprising. I was bored as well, I kept hoping that something more was going to happen.

  2. kimbacaffeinate

    As someone who keeps their emotions close and rarely subject others to them..,all that moaning and crying would have made me crazy too! Delightful review:)

  3. Leah @ The Pretty Good Gatsby

    You are far more lenient and open-minded than I am! Broken was one of my most-anticipated books of 2013 and wound up being the biggest letdown! This was pitched as a Frankenstein retelling! Where were the monsters?! I wanted creepy, dark, and gothic, not high school drama. Yes, it’s YA, but I was so not expecting 90% of the novel to be a detailed account of her school day.

    • Pabkins

      Haha, yeah I think I was more lenient on this one because of the fact that I was able to read the book in one day. If a book is horrendous I can barely make myself continue reading. I think she has a decent writing style and had a good idea but didn’t execute it well enough (or hell her editor didn’t give her the proper feedback she needed). I’m hoping she gets better in the future but I wouldn’t BUY one of her books. haha

      Yeah and the school junk…I think its something my kid sister would have enjoyed…well when she was in highschool. This definitely isn’t one of all ages could enjoy, no no no.