The Art of Breaking Things by Laura Sibson
Rating: 4 stars
Published: June 18, 2019
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Genres: contemporary fiction, young adult, mental health
Recommend to fans of: teenagers exploring difficult topics and phases in life, young women finding their voice, the #MeToo movement
In the tradition of Laurie Halse Anderson and Sara Zarr, one girl embraces the power of her voice: rules are meant to be broken and she won’t stay silent.
Seventeen-year-old Skye has her sights set on one thing: getting the heck out of Dodge. Art school is her ticket out and she’s already been accepted to her first choice, MICA. All she has to do is survive her senior year, not get too drunk at parties, and be there for her little sister, Emma. Sure, she’s usually battling a hangover when she drives to pick Emma up, but she has everything under control. Until he returns.
When her mom’s ex-boyfriend slithers his way back into her family, it’s all Skye can do to keep the walls of her world from crumbling. Her family has no idea Skye has been guarding a dark secret about her past–about him–and she never thought she would have to face him again. She knows she has to get away from him at all costs. But how can she abandon Emma? Skye’s heart is torn between escaping the man who hurt her years ago and protecting her loved ones from the monster in their midst. Running away from her fears isn’t an option. To save her sister–and herself–she’ll have to break all the rules.
Thank you to NetGalley, Viking Books for Young Readers, and Laura Sibson for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me.
Trigger warning: sexual abuse of a child
- The foreshadowing – good, but is about terrible things to come
- The main character: Skye
- Good perspective about college: a way to be who you could be and learn lots about yourself, life and a career
- The abuse isn’t too graphic or triggering in my opinion
- Very realistic portrayal of a teenager coming to terms with being sexually abused by her step father and the impact it has on her life
- Discusses very difficult to talk about topics (sexual abuse) as the character is experiencing them
- Art as a way to express oneself in a way that words can’t
- Lots of drugs, drinking and partying – it’s realistic to the character and her situation, but it’s not something that I enjoyed reading about
- The teenage boy that she had a relationship with/ didn’t consent to/ doesn’t remember that night — confusing and not sure if I read that scene correctly
- Most of the book in some manner, revolves around the main character being sexually abused
- there was more opportunity for her mother to explain, think about, and remember what happened on the day her daughter was sexually abused. The story wraps up rather quickly and doesn’t give much time to explore what happened further.
- The story was a little more balanced, in terms of content.
Overall, a good realistic portrayal of Skye, a teenage girl, coming to terms with being sexually abused by her step father years ago. A definite trigger warning for most of the story revolving around this topic, but it doesn’t get too explicitly graphic. I would have liked a more well balanced story, but in general an important and fairly enjoyable read.
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Goodreads: Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)