The Art of Breaking Things by Laura Sibson (June 18)
Overview: Skye was twelve when she was molested by her mother's boyfriend on a camping trip. When she tried to tell her mom that night, her mom brushed her off and was too drunk to remember what happened to Skye. Now a senior in high school, she's lived with the fear and shame for a while, believing that her mother doesn't believe her. She's tried to cope with alcohol, drugs, and art, and she's starting to heal when Dan comes back into their lives. Now with her younger sister Emma turning twelve, Skye is filled with fear, panic, and flashbacks as her family starts to fall apart again. She has to decide if and how she wants to speak out to stop her mother from marrying her abuser. Overall: 5
Characters: 5 Skye is an amazing character. She's so strong, but she feels like she has to be. Her secret eats her alive, and she does whatever she can to drown it with drugs or emotional outbursts. She's trying to cope the best she can without any resources and during her partying she has even more negative sexual experiences. From the outside, Skye looks like she's barely hanging on. Without knowing what she's working through she looks pointlessly rebellious. But she's not, and watching her best friend get sent to rehab after a party got busted starts to send Skye into a mission to deal with her own relationship with herself and her coping mechanisms.
Ben was always there to get high with Skye until he isn't. Caught with weed on him during a party, heh disappears for a month leaving Skye to fester about whether their friendship really is becoming something more. It's a thought that terrifies her. They have palpable chemistry, and what turns into a beautiful relationship when he gets out and starts to help Skye when she's ready to open up.
Luisa is another amazing character. She's been Skye's best friend forever, and she's always known something happened with Dan even though Skye has never been open to talking about it. But she does the best thing she can- she stands by Skye and supports her until she's ready to say something.
Keith is another surprising character. While he starts as a total football bro, Keith turns into an amazing friend who helps support Skye during Ben's absence. I love seeing this friendship, and I love seeing Keith explore who he wants to be when social pressures are released.
The family dynamics in the book are also super important. Her mother doesn't remember that night, but Skye does. She doesn't understand why Skye is so angry about why Dan is back, and she chalks her partying up to being an obnoxious, rebellious teenager. Being busy closes her off to her kids even though she does everything for them. Emma is navigating her own way into being a teenager and her honest sibling relationship with Skye is amazing.
Plot: 5 This story is so, so good. The beats hit perfectly, and there are so many layers. There are great scenes where the friends are just hanging out that fill your heart up, there are tense moments, and scenes that turn small, mundane things into everything. With a couple well used flashbacks and a couple scenes of pure emotion, Sibson captures Skye's rollercoaster of healing beautifully and with a delicate hand.
Writing: 5 This book is so well written. The characters have instant chemistry, and it feels like you've known them forever from the first page. It's a hard feat to pull off, but it makes the books tick perfectly in time. The world is just so rich and alive that it becomes impossible to leave. The pages must keep turning while your heart breaks and heals with Skye. I found it a very cathartic experience.
If You Like This Book...
Girl Made of Stars: Review Here
Starfish: Review Here
The Way I Used To Be: Review Here