Broken by Daniel Clay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
After the first few pages, I was turned off by how much Clay was trying to imitate To Kill a Mockingbird in such an obvious manner (i.e. solicitor Archie being the father of Jed and Skunk) but it turned out to be a lot more than that.
There were a couple of things that I thought could have been better. One was the way Clay developed Skunk's character. It's clear he was never an 11 year old girl. He made her thoughts seem way too elementary. Another thing that threw me off was the language in the book. Children were using a lot of "French" to talk to each other and adults, in school, etc. That seems like a silly complaint to have but seeing as how the author was adamant on making it known he was modeling it after To Kill a Mockingbird, it did seem inappropriate.
Other than that, I would recommend it. The violent imagery was enough to make me squirm. And the plot was good enough to keep me up way past my bedtime when I couldn't quit reading.
In the end, it does seem like a darker version of The Lovely Bones and To Kill a Mockingbird. Narrated by Skunk, a girl in a coma who can see everything unfolding, it digs into the social prejudices often overlooked- domestic violence, teen pregnancy and flaws in the judicial system.
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