Check out what I thought about Other BRoken Things, a YA contemporary novel.
Nat’s not an alcoholic. She doesn’t have a problem. Everybody parties, everybody does stupid things, like get in their car when they can barely see. Still, with six months of court-ordered AA meetings required, her days of vodka-filled water bottles are over.
Unfortunately her old friends want the party girl or nothing. Even her up-for-anything ex seems more interested in rehashing the past than actually helping Nat.
But then a recovering alcoholic named Joe inserts himself into Nat’s life and things start looking up. Joe is funny, smart, and calls her out in a way no one ever has.
He’s also older. A lot older.
Nat’s connection to Joe is overwhelming but so are her attempts to fit back into her old world, all while battling the constant urge to crack a bottle and blur that one thing she’s been desperate to forget.
Now in order to make a different kind of life, Natalie must pull together her broken parts and learn to fight for herself.
Thanks to Edelweiss for granting me an e-arc!
I was very curious about this novel for a personal reason–my father has a drinking problem. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this story and I hadn’t really heard a lot about it until I came upon it while perusing review copies. But I was instantly hooked on the premise–again, personal connection always helps.
I read this book in one sitting. The voice was so addicting. I think it’s the kind of book you need to binge to really feel Natalie’s character arc. Plus, this is a very character driven story. There’s no flashy plot. It’s just one girl’s journey post-rehab. Natalie is doing court mandated community service and attending AA meetings as she tries to catch up with school work and get back to her life.
And Nat’s a boxer, too! 🙂
Nat’s not a perfect character. Obviously. She struggles in her recovery, in her relationship with her parents, and also in her relationship with herself. I found it so easy to relate to her, why she drank and occasionally slid backwards, and also when she was reluctant to move forward. Does that make sense? I hope it does. I think you’ll get it once you’ve read the book. But Nat is not exactly all gung-ho about AA at the start of the book. Rehab has not magically made her want to be healthy. I appreciated how Nat got to be, maybe, “unlikeable” and make bad choices or ugly choices. I loved her for it.
The relationship with Joe, the older man she meets through AA, was very well done. It was handled with such maturity. This wasn’t one of those stories that romanticizes the young girl/older man relationship. If you’re wary about the book for this reason, don’t be. I don’t think it will make you rage.
Other things (ha, get it? :D) I loved about Other Broken Things was the relationship with Nat and her mom and how that mends. It gave me all happy feels. I feel like this book might have also helped me understand my dad in new ways. There was this one quote that really spoke to me because it described him perfectly.
I think you’ll definitely gravitate to this book if you have a personal connection, and you might see a little of your experience mirrored in this book. However, OTHER BROKEN THINGS stands on its own and creates a fully drawn visceral female character. This is a book you’ll read in one sitting!
I really love that ‘Twelve Steps’ is on top of the bottle, the cork. It gives me feels.
The one I mentioned loving above, duh! Just a note this is from an ARC so it might have been changed in the final version.
“How about this one: everyone alcoholic, including you, princess, is a liar. … You are. And your attitude comes from the fact that you think everyone else is lying too. Not just the alcoholics. Everyone. And the reason you think that is because you lie all the time. That’s what alcoholics do. And once you get real with the fact that more than likely you’re the only liar in the room, you’ll save yourself a ton of grief. And you’ll start to trust people.”
I really loved Nat’s mom and her insane amounts of Christmas cheer! I just feel like this somehow summarizes Nat and her mom so well…