Title: Our Broken Pieces
Author: Sarah White
Publisher: HarperCollins, August 8, 2017
Source: Received an E-Arc from Edelweiss
Blurb: The only thing worse than having your boyfriend dump you is having him dump you for your best friend. For Everly Morgan the betrayal came out of nowhere. One moment she had what seemed like the perfect high school relationship, and the next, she wanted to avoid the two most important people in her life. Every time she sees them kiss in the hallways her heart breaks a little more.
The last thing on Everly’s mind is getting into another relationship, but when she meets Gabe in her therapist’s waiting room she can’t deny their immediate connection. Somehow he seems to understand Everly in a way that no one else in her life does, and maybe it’s because Gabe also has experience grappling with issues outside of his control. Just because they share so many of the same interests and there is an undeniable spark between them doesn’t mean Everly wants anything more than friendship. After all, when you only barely survived your last breakup, is it really worth risking your heart again?
Everly is having a rough senior year of high school. She expected it to go smoothly, with her perfect football star boyfriend and her equally perfect best friend that she has had for almost her entire school life. She learned the hard way that sometimes things don’t go according to plan and sometimes you have zero control over the things that happen to you. When she is blindsided by both her best friend and boyfriend, Everly feels her life spiral out of control and is looking for help piecing it all back together. She goes to therapy to help deal with her anxiety and panic attacks and it is there that she meets Gabe, an attractive boy that also goes to her school (but she doesn’t ever remember noticing before).
Dealing with a break up is hard enough, but dealing with one where you have to see the people who hurt you every day is really hard. Throw in there such things such as senior prom, nominations for prom king and queen, promposals, end of year activities and it is easy to feel empathetic towards Everly. She had planned on doing all these things with her ex, someone she was in a relationship with for over half her high school time with. She now has to see her best friend taking her spot, as well as her best friend spilling secrets told to her in confidence that are now getting around. I don’t think I would have been very held together if I had that going on.
I really liked the relationship between Everly and Gabe. It felt genuine and I was rooting for the two of them. I also really enjoyed the development of Gabe’s character, including the reason why he was in therapy. It tackled some serious subjects with empathy and grace. He wasn’t there just to be the person to help Everly through her depression of being newly single. He has an arc of his own and the book does not shy away from this. I didn’t dislike any of the characters and thought they were all written with an authentic voice. Gabe and Everly aren’t the only relationship building we get to experience either. We get to see a new friendship bloom between her and another classmate, which is something that also gave me some nostalgic feels.
I enjoyed Sarah White’s writing; it kept me engaged and I did not want to put the book down when I started reading it. I felt she captured high school characters fairly well and also incorporated some things that teens do (such as texting and Ed Sheeran). I think putting in some form of social media may have been another way to connect current teens, but to be honest, I think the book does a great job at being relatable. There are some sexual situations in the book which may be too graphic for the under 16 crowd, so I would keep that in mind when you are recommending or purchasing for a younger reader. Language is pretty mild, with only a few instances of vulgarity, and they are tastefully done.
I think there is a beauty in YA romance books that helps adults remember what it was like to be in high school and in love. I think it also helps current teens feel not so alone with what they are going through. I think Sarah White did a fantastic job with this book and I look forward to discovering more by her.