Oh boy! Did I hate this book by C. Desir for the first few chapters: Natalie is a spoiled rich girl and is a “drunk” and of course thinks she does not have a problem; that everyone parities. Her character was a cliché from the first word. She, of course, blames everyone else for her problems, but does not admit they are problems. Even during a cliched moment (that I had really hoped was not going to happen) near the end of the book, she still thinks “she knows what is best” even though anyone can see it is a bad idea. I was thinking, sorry honey, but you are only seventeen. Yes, you have seen and dealt with more than most 17-year-olds, (shoot, most 40-year-olds) but you are far from worldly. Yet. Though it was an interesting part of the story as it shows that she is still thinking of only herself, not of others. She only thinks what she wants is important, and not the other character in this (or any other) situation. So, when she is trying to think of others, it does stand out more. It was one of the “thoughtful” moments I had that made me not hate the book, but to try and see both sides.
I will say though that the very first sentence was funny and was what made me want to actually read: “I’d cut a bitch for a cigarette right now. Unfortunately, I’m sandwiched in the car between inflatable Santa and inflatable Frosty and the only person within striking distance is my mom.” This tells you all you need to know about the tone of the book.
As Other Broken Things went along the characters become slightly stronger, even to the point of almost liking the narrator. (I never really “got behind her” as a likeable character, however. Which might have been the point, but I think you are supposed to sympathize with her). When the big cliché moment happened, it really sealed the deal with these people are really not likable for me. To be honest, maybe I related to the toxic relationship she was finding herself in (that she is not aware is actually toxic) too much. Maybe I saw a little of myself in Natalie. I am not an alcoholic but can relate to the “all or nothing” attitude she has. I know what it is like to be an addictive personality. Maybe this is why I was not liking the book. It was hitting to close to home. When I finally had this revelation, my lightbulb moment, it was then I started to look at the book in a different light. The very end (in fact the last paragraph) was perhaps the best part (of the entire book) as it shows real growth on Natalie’s part. Therefore, if nothing else, this book should hopefully make you think.
Not for the sensitive reader, but ages at least 13 and up due to context, some language, the drinking descriptions and a somewhat detailed (but basically tame compared to what they probably see in movies/TV) sexual scene would be the best audience.