*I received a digital copy of this novel from the publisher (Month9 Books) and Chapter-by-Chapter in anticipation of an upcoming blog tour for its sequel*
17 year old Alex Ash was born with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a genetic disease that turns her tissues into silly putty and makes her entire body vulnerable and easily shattered. The only thing keeping her from breaking apart completely is Chase, the boy who has been next door and by her side literally her entire life. When Chase, along with his three brothers, dies in a tragic car accident, Alex feels like her life is over. She’s not far off.
With Chase no longer around to protect her, Alex’s body and mind deteriorate quickly and she soon finds herself following him to the afterlife. What she finds there is beyond anything she could ever dream. Everything is brighter, her senses are more acute, and her mind, not to mention her body, is capable of things they couldn’t possibly have been in life. But, just like the land of the living, the land of the dead is full of drama, subterfuge, and things that threaten her very being and that of the one she loves the most, Chase. Will Alex and Chase’s story be cut short again, just when they thought they had a second chance to truly “live”?
Oh. My. God. This book! I quite literally could not put Of Breakable Things down. I started it at lunch, and actually finished it the same night. No sleep was to be had when the beauty of this novel was threatening to haunt my dreams. Everything about it was just simply breathtaking. The story-line is so creative and well-imagined that it resonated with me far beyond anything I’ve ever read. If I were forced to compare it to other work, I would say that the story read as though The Lovely Bones and Vampire Academy got together and gave birth to a baby that was vastly superior in every way.
The world created within Of Breakable Things is so richly woven that by the middle of the book, I found myself believing it could truly exist. It was ethereal and just absolutely glorious. From something as simple to the sand on the beach to fog on the ground, A. Lynden Rolland breathed new life into things that we take for granted and don’t give a second thought to in the world of the “living”. Even something as homely as a classroom, which to most of us can be equated to one of the circles of Hell, was given a beauty that actually made the reader want to go to school…Ok, maybe not completely. But almost.
That world was only bolstered by the richness of the characters who inhabited it. Even in the most inconsequential background character, there was a story to be told and a life to be appreciated. Throughout the novel, the reader truly gets to know and understand each and every character they encounter. As the book is told from several different perspectives, the reader is transported to the point where they feel like they BECOME the character from whose point of view they are reading. It is a true gift, and not one I’ve ever encountered with such mastery. And the two main characters, Alex and Chase…Just wow. There were interactions (one in particular) that were just so staggering, that I went back and re-read them several times over. Their connection was simultaneously heart-breaking and life-affirming with every word.
There were a lot of things about this novel that really hit home for me on a very personal level as well.
- I have an aunt who suffers from EDS, and its exceedingly rare to find a novel that features such an obscure disease, much less one that does it well.
- I loved the fact that Alex and Chase grew up together. I’ve known my husband since birth, so I definitely have a different perspective of what it’s like to know your soulmate your entire life. While our connection is obviously different than the one between Alex and Chase (ie: it’s not paranormal), it’s definitely different than your typical couple, so I really appreciated the distinction the author made in Of Breakable Things.
- I live in Maryland, and a large part of the book takes place roughly an hour from where I live, so, bonus points!
Of Breakable Things had such an effect on me, I’m having a hard time putting it into words. You know that quickness you get in your chest when you’re reading something suspenseful? Or that fluttering you feel when reading the first kiss between two characters? What about the ache you get when one of them dies? Throughout this novel, my heart had so many physiological reactions to what I was reading that my body actually ached by the time I was finished.
Please, go out and buy this novel. It doesn’t matter what type of reader you are: Paranormal, Young Adult, Suspense, Romance, Thriller, whatever. You will love it and it will be the best purchase you make this year.
The best part about this novel is that there’s a sequel! I’m in the middle of it right now and I’m signed up as tour host for it on November 4! So unfortunately, I won’t get to gush about it until then! But, if you rush through Of Breakable Things like I did, the early birds at Amazon have this beautiful worm already available before it’s November 10th release date!