PJV Quickie: I have mixed feelings about Best Kind of Broken; on one hand the characters were interesting and I wanted to know their story, on the other hand I found the build-up to the “big secret” to be frustrating. Once I got past that however, the story was touching and I enjoyed the time I spent reading Best Kind of Broken.
Sarah “Pixie” Marshall has just arrived at Willow Inn, where she’ll be working for her Aunt Ellen over the summer until it’s time to go back to college at ASU. Pixie’s mother is an awful excuse for a human being, so she doesn’t want to go home. The only problem with working at the Inn is that she’s rooming next door to uber-hot Levi Andrews. She grew up with Levi and has had a crush on him forever, but knows she’ll never be able to have what she wants with Levi – she has a scar to remind her of the tragedy they share.
Levi Andrews was the star quarterback for ASU, until a tragic chain of events led to his being put on academic probation. He doesn’t really have a home to go back to, so he ends up doing odd jobs for Pixie’s Aunt Ellen at the Willow Inn. He’s not prepared when he sees Pixie at the Inn and realizes they’ll be living next door to each other in the empty East wing, so he moves into default “jerk” mode – it’s easier to fight with Pixie than to open his heart and beg her forgiveness.
This is my first Chelsea Fine book and overall I did enjoy it. Best Kind of Broken is told from both Pixie and Levi’s point-of-view and it worked for this story; it didn’t feel fragmented or awkward at all.
I finished this book about a week ago and over the past few days I’ve found myself thinking about the book off and on. It started well – we jumped right in to the back-and-forth between Pixie and Levi and I was interested in their back story. But then, they would each think about/remember the BIG THING in their past, there was obviously some HORRIBLE INCIDENT that the author skirting around but instead of gently teasing that there is a tragic history, it was heavy-handed and not subtle at all – THERE’S A SECRET BUT YOU DON’T GET TO KNOW IT UNTIL I SAY SO. It got to the point that every time it was hinted at I just rolled my eyes. I started worrying I wasn’t going to like the book, but I kept reading, and I realized that even though I was frustrated with all the hints about their past I was enjoying reading about their present relationship. The sexual tension between them was written with the perfect combination of desire and despair and I found myself wondering what could possibly be keeping them apart. As we slowly learn about their previous relationship, the BIG THING is revealed and I’ll admit it is definitely heartbreaking.
Other than the foreshadowing (is that what we would call it in this instance?) I thought the writing was very good. I was able to get a good visual of the Inn and the places Pixie and Levi went. I liked the Hero and Heroine and the supporting characters. The tension between Levi and Pixie was palpable and wanted things to turn out well for them.
One thing that slightly diminished my enjoyment of the book is that the author used the word “retarded” in a derogatory way. It’s offensive and I was disappointed to come across it not once but twice. There are plenty of other descriptive words she could have used that would not have been insulting.
The ending wrapped up a bit too quickly, but I was ultimately happy with how things ended up for the characters and I am looking forward to reading Darren’s book next: Perfect Kind of Trouble.
Fans of New Adult, tragic histories, and sweet romance should enjoy Best Kind of Broken.
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