Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Fourteen-year-old Avery Armisted is athletic, rich, and pretty. Sixteen-year-old Kayla Butts is known as “butt-girl” at school. The two girls were friends as little kids, but that’s ancient history now. So it’s a huge surprise when Avery’s father offers to bring Kayla along on a summer trip to Spain. Avery is horrified that her father thinks he can choose her friends—and make her miss soccer camp. Kayla struggles just to imagine leaving the confines of her small town.
But in Spain, the two uncover a secret their families had hidden from both of them their entire lives. Maybe the girls can put aside their differences and work through it together. Or maybe the lies and betrayal will only push them—and their families—farther apart.
❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
I was very intrigued by The Summer of Broken Things when I first heard of it, especially since it is set in beautiful Spain. It is a story about family secrets, and it contains two main characters who change drastically throughout the book. I did find the plot to be predictable, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment too much. I would recommend this one to younger readers looking for a summer read with a message.
This book tells the story of two enemies stuck on a trip to Spain together. As they spend more time with each other, a shocking secret is uncovered, changing everything they thought they knew. I enjoyed reading about Avery and Kayla’s progressing friendship and watching them warm up to each other. I also loved the Spanish setting, and this is what originally drew me to the story. This is a story of family and unlikely friendship, and it is perfect for a younger YA audience.
I didn’t really enjoy the main characters at first, but I ended up warming up to them, even if they are overly moody. They are kind of stereotypical, with Kayla being more of a loner and Avery being a typical snobby rich girl, but the girls transform as the story progresses. I definitely enjoyed Kayla’s character more, which is probably the idea, but I found her to be more reasonable and open to change. However, I can see where Avery is coming from, and her choices, as dramatic as they may be, make sense. The one thing I will say, though, is that the girls’ voices are very similar, and I had some trouble telling them apart. The narration changes pretty often, and this caused a bit of confusion for me.
While I enjoyed the story, I did have some issues with the plot. In my opinion, it lacks action and repeats the same drama. I can only read so much about petty fights and complaining. The big secret was also pretty obvious to me, but I can see how it would come as a shock to someone younger. However, the book is still fun, and it has a great message, and this was enough to deter me from the plot.
The Summer of Broken Things is a story about family secrets set in picturesque Spain. The characters transform throughout the book and learn from their mistakes. I did find the plot to be predictable, but I enjoyed the story overall.