Thursday, August 28, 2014

Review: Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick

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I received this book for free from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine KuderickKiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick
Published by HarperTeen on September 9th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Verse, YA
Source: HarperCollins
Buy on Amazon

Madeleine Kuderick’s gripping debut is a darkly beautiful and lyrical novel in verse, perfect for fans of Sonya Sones and Laurie Halse Anderson. Kiss of Broken Glass pulses with emotion and lingers long after the last page.

In the next seventy-two hours, Kenna may lose everything—her friends, her freedom, and maybe even herself. One kiss of the blade was all it took to get her sent to the psych ward for seventy-two hours. There she will face her addiction to cutting, though the outcome is far from certain.

When fifteen-year-old Kenna is found cutting herself in the school bathroom, she is sent to a facility for mandatory psychiatric watch. There, Kenna meets other kids like her—her roommate, Donya, who’s there for her fifth time; the birdlike Skylar; and Jag, a boy cute enough to make her forget her problems . . . for a moment.

I missed the fact that this was a verse novel before I started it, but for me this was a pleasant surprise. Having been introduced to verse novels only recently, I’ve developed a liking to them. I love how raw, honest, and candid they are. Plus they feel like extremely quick reads, as if you’re just flying through. This one in particular, at only 220 some odd pages, can be read in mere minutes. The disadvantage of such a short novel, though, is that it lacks the emotional oomph and depth that I usually feel with verse writing. It does touch on an delicate subject matter – cutting as a fad – but it fails to deliver something truly poignant.

This is the story of Kenna who was caught in the act of cutting herself – a fad between a group of friends that has quickly turned into an addiction. This book is her narrative of her 72 hour stay inside a psychiatric ward where she’s under watch. It gives us a look inside the mind of an addiction that’s often misunderstood. Cutting is not always something brought on by a dark past or a depressed state, but it can also become something you do to fit in, to be a part of a club or a group. I found this very interesting and eye-opening. We come to understand not only how this addiction can surface, but also how hard it is to stop when your reasons – what you need to overcome to get better – are not so black and white. I also appreciate how the book doesn’t go into this topic with the intention of being a sob-fest. It’s not a story meant to leave us in shreds, it’s a story meant to make us understand. It’s a character analysis.

I do think the story should have kept its focus on the psyche of an addict, and leave the awkward bits of romance out of it. Kenna meets someone at the psych ward, and immediately after she learns his bizarre name she develops an affinity for him. From then on, the story keeps being interrupted to add annoying commentary about his lips and the smell of his skin. I found this unnecessary and more of a distraction than anything.

Kiss of Broken Glass may not have left me with my mind blown, but it’s a great little verse novel with a dramatic writing style and an important subject matter. It focuses not on the story itself, but rather on giving us a peek inside the mind of an addict.


3 Hot Espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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18 Responses to “Review: Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick”

  1. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    “Cutting is not always something brought on by a dark past or a depressed state, but it can also become something you do to fit in, to be a part of a club or a group.”

    This hits close to home for me because I nearly started cutting in high school so I could be in the cool kids club. Thankfully, I had a friend who managed to pull me out before I could do anything stupid.
    I didn’t realize this was a verse book, but I’ve actually never read one. I’m wary of anything that isn’t a straight forward kind of writing. I’m glad you liked this book despite the romance being bothersome.
    Lovely review, Giselle!

  2. Soma Rostam

    Well, this definitely sounds like a really good book. i am also a great fan of verse novels, but it could have done without the romance,
    GREAT review, Giselle
    As always!
    Your reader,

  3. Kelsey

    I’ve read one verse book and it was hard to get into at first but you’re right it did read pretty fast. Maybe someday I’ll try this one out, but I’m not going to like the unnecessary romance. That ruined a book for me before when it was just dumped in.
    Thanks for the review!

  4. Faye D'Social Potato

    Whoa, are you serious, Giselle?! You can read this one in mere minutes?! Are there only a few words in a page or something? o.o

    For some reason, I can NEVER get into verse novels, but then again, the only ones I’ve seen where Hopkins’ and I really can’t stand them haha. I’ll try this one and see how it goes! But ugh, it feels like something that’s better off romance-less.

    • Giselle

      Lol yeah! Every page is one poem and some are only a few sentences. Someone who can read a regular book in one day could get through this in less than an hour!

  5. Jenea @ Books Live Forever

    I wasn’t aware this was in verse, I guess I’ll have to keep that in mind when I read my copy. I don’t know much about cutting and this certainly sounds like it is a pretty intense read. I’m glad that you enjoyed it for the most part.

  6. Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    The disadvantage of such a short novel, though, is that it lacks the emotional oomph and depth that I usually feel with verse writing. It does touch on an delicate subject matter – cutting as a fad – but it fails to deliver something truly poignant.”

    I felt the same way Giselle. This was an interesting read, but it wasn’t much more than that, you know? It didn’t necessarily blow my mind or destroy my feels like I expected it to, which was disappointing. But, like you said, it was a decent debut nonetheless even if it didn’t particularly blow either of our minds. Thanks for sharing, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

  7. Pili

    I tend to be annoyed at the adding of romance just for the sake of adding it, but a relatively short book and in verse is really intriguing, so I think I’m adding this one to the wish list!
    Great review, Giselle!

  8. Chyna @ Lite-Rate-Ture

    Hm…Seems interesting enough. But I have a feeling I would probably have the same reaction as you did. 3 expresso drinks aren’t enough to get me excited. Oh how disappointing…I already have a copy of this. I’ll try it when I have the time. 🙂

  9. Lorna

    I don’t think I would enjoy a verse book, actually having trouble even figuring out what it is-is it poetry that doesn’t rhythm? Or verses like a song? Needless to say, I have never read one! Glad you enjoyed parts of it 🙂 Thanks for the good review 🙂

    • Giselle

      The book is told through poems, so each page is a new poem . It sounds really weird but you should give it a try! I recommend Ellen Hopkins – no one does it better!

  10. Ashley

    I love verse books and this one definitely sound interesting. I am hesitant because you said it’s so short that I feel maybe the book wouldn’t go as deep as I would like. Especially on a topic such as cutting.

    I may give it a try though!