REVIEW: Broken by A.E. Rought

Imagine a modern spin on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein where a young couple’s undying love and the grief of a father pushed beyond sanity could spell the destruction of them all.

Title: Broken
Author: AE Rought
Published: January 8th 2013 by Strange Chemistry
Links: Goodreads
Received: Received from Netgalley
Rating: 5 of 5

My thoughts: I saw this book on netgalley and immediately recognized the author because of YAlitchat. AE Rought is the genius being the Query Kick Around board and the last time I spoke to her was so I could get onto the fight card. She’s an excellent example of what people should be doing in the book community and so seeing her being picked up by Strange Chemistry made me very interested to read her book.

And there is definitely no love lost. I tore through this sucker in about three days, first feeling kind of impish because of all the hot amazing new words I’d never seen used in sentences before, and then later by the story line.

I’ll admit, the beginning is very stereotypical. New boy comes to new school, lead female character is affected by him. The only difference? Emma’s boyfriend just died and she has no room in her heart for another boy. Add to all the weirdness, Alex acts like the boy that died.

Add a mystery to it, a crazy father, some overprotective parents and a very sweet romance, and we’ve got a book. I’m glad she didn’t shy away from the sex when there was an opportunity for it to happen, especially after learning all the crazy details I had figured out on my own about 35% of the way into the book.

Is this a retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein? Most definitely, even down to the school being Shelley High. AE Rought pays tribute to the original in a way that makes you feel proud. It’s like remakes of movies, you hope if they’re going to tackle it that they do a damned good job. AE Rought was the perfect author for the task.

On a purely Contemporary Fiction note though, I could have seen this going in a completely different and acceptable direction, without the heart pounding, crazy making ending this book had. I see why it was done that way but honestly, this could have happened in real life. The studies behind cell memory have gotten pretty extensive and so mixing that science with the original Frankenstein story really packed a punch. I only wish AE had gone down the legal road with the transplants.

Otherwise this book was beautiful. Well written, the plot driven and accurate, the characters fleshed out, I was gripped right until the ending. The romance between Emma and Alex will lift you up, twist you up, and make you ache in all the right places. You won’t find a love story like this anywhere else.