Review: All Our Broken Pieces by L.D. Crichton

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

All Our Broken Pieces
I was provided a digital copy of this book by Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. 
Publication date: May 7, 2019
"You can’t keep two people who are meant to be together apart for long...”

Lennon Davis doesn’t believe in much, but she does believe in the security of the number five. If she flicks the bedroom light switch five times, maybe her new L.A. school won’t suck. But that doesn’t feel right, so she flicks the switch again. And again. Ten more flicks of the switch and maybe her new step family will accept her. Twenty-five more flicks and maybe she won’t cause any more of her loved ones to die. Fifty times more and then she can finally go to sleep.

Kyler Benton witnesses this pattern of lights from the safety of his treehouse in the yard next door. It is only there, hidden from the unwanted stares of his peers, that Kyler can fill his notebooks with lyrics that reveal the true scars of the boy behind the oversized hoodies and caustic humor. But Kyler finds that descriptions of blonde hair, sad eyes, and tapping fingers are beginning to fill the pages of his notebooks. Lennon, the lonely girl next door his father has warned him about, infiltrates his mind. Even though he has enough to deal with without Lennon’s rumored tragic past in his life, Kyler can’t help but want to know the truth about his new muse.

I'd like to start by saying that I don't have OCD, so any observations that I make in this review were not made through the eyes of someone who lives with this disorder, just someone who ia interested in learning about a variety of marginalized groups.

Lennon has OCD, the recent death of her mother, her move 3,000 from Maine to LA, and her evil stepsister seem to be triggered her OCD and ritualizing but she is managing. When Lennon is paired with Kyler for their English project on a modern version of Romeo and Juliet she stumbles across someone who understands her in a way that she hasn't had since her mother died.

As far as I'm concerned Kyler and Lennon are an A team. Kyler who has had a large burn scar on his face since he was a child is use to being an outsider, he's use to people looking at his large frame, oversized hoodie, and less than pleasant attitude and assume that he must spend his days smoking out back with no ambitions, but they couldn't be more wrong.

Lennon however wears her scars on the inside. She does things in sets of 5, she functions mostly with the assistance of anti anxiety medication, and her mind is plagued horrifying thought that she might be responsible for the death of a loved one.

While Lennon is struggling for control over her mind, that doesn't mean she's a delicate flower. When she's with Kyler and he dishes out sass, she throws it right back. It was lovely to see Lennon a flawed character who didn't completely lose herself to her disorder, she keeps her personality as best as she could and fought hard.

Kyler hid his hurt behind long hair, hoodies, and a snarky attitude, and I thought it was perfect. What I loved about Kyler was that while he had insecurities about how he looked (as anyone would) and did his best to hide is scars, he was always authentically himself. While he fought his own demons (many of which took the form of his dad) he helped Lennon fight hers.

I love Lennon and Kyler's, band names and slogans. I loved the moments when Kyler was able to face his fears head on in front of the whole school. I also appreciated that mental health facilities and therapist weren't villainized. It's okay to address your mental health. It's okay to ask for help. Lennon taught us that.

I will say that I wish we could see more of the relationship between Kyler and his dad. There was a lot left unsaid there and I was hoping for some type of resolution or at least accountability.

I give this book 4 stars and I suggest it to anyone and everyone, mental health concerns or not.

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