Official Review: Broken and Beautiful

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CatInTheHat
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Official Review: Broken and Beautiful

Post by CatInTheHat » 31 Oct 2017, 15:02

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Broken and Beautiful" by Elizabeth Courtright.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Imagine a world where your relationships don’t make sense, people act like they care, but do they? Is there something stopping them from being able to be invested in their relationships? Perhaps they just don’t care, but you really don’t know.

Elizabeth Courtright has woven a beautiful story in broken & BEAUTIFUL that takes her readers on a rollercoaster of emotions. There are four protagonists who are sharing life together. Casey and Aster have been friends since middle school. Matt and Kyle have been friends for a bit longer. The four meet as young adults, quickly becoming friends and couples. Living together can often create some interesting situations. Each couple has their own trials that are vastly different from each other. For one, child abuse that they suffered affects their abilities to manage emotions. For another, not knowing their real parents is an obstacle. As they grow older and want more, will they overcome these complications? Tragedy will strike, but not in the way the reader will expect.

The way the characters develop and grow in this story is amazing. Each of them is compelling in their own right, changing with time, as they become who they are as adults. Watching one go from not knowing who one is as a person to finding meaning in life is incredible and poignant, making the reader cry as they connect to the characters. With this particular story, it is difficult to explain the developments further without spoilers.

One of the major themes in the story is childhood abuse. The details can be graphic at times, making me cringe, as I could imagine the abuse occurring. The author demonstrated how families cover up abuse, so knowing the signs is important. What was lacking were resources for adult survivors of abuse. I felt like this would have been helpful to readers, so that they could seek help for themselves or help a friend. Foster care and adoption are also themes in the book, giving the reader perspectives not often heard. The author is donating all proceeds of the book to the “Third Chance Foundation,” which offers college scholarships to former foster and adopted children.

The story does start a bit slow, and has a few slow parts, but is overall a worthy story, which I rate at 3 out of 4 stars. I would recommend broken & BEAUTIFUL to those who enjoy investing their emotions in the characters, as well as seeing how people can redeem themselves. Alcohol and drug use are predominantly featured, as is casual sex. On the other hand, church and scriptures also play a role (not always in expected ways). However, I would not consider this Christian fiction due to the graphic sex and occasional cussing. In addition to the graphic sex and child abuse mentioned earlier, there is also some graphic violence that may not be for the faint of heart.

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Post by Mercy Bolo » 01 Nov 2017, 05:23

Life sometimes doesn't make sense. Especially if one feels like they have nothing to live for. Because I like well developed characters, I will add this to my list. Hope the content isn't too graphic though.
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Post by kandscreeley » 01 Nov 2017, 07:29

Sounds like there are some important issues discussed in this book. I don't think it's for me, but I do appreciate your review. It's also great that the author is donating the proceeds! Fabulous!
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Post by Kalin Adi » 01 Nov 2017, 08:56

The plot sounds great. How people who have suffered of abuse can face the situation and survive. However, I do no like when authors are too specific on that aspect. I'll pass on this one. Anyways, thanks for the very well written review!

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Post by kislany » 01 Nov 2017, 10:55

This sounds like an interesting book, although I don't think it's something I would pick up unless I didn't have something better to read. I enjoyed your review; however, as it pointed out the best part of the book.

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Post by Lizzybest » 02 Nov 2017, 03:54

Child abuse can affect someone psychologically for a life time. A lot children out there are victims. It should be fully stopped. Recommending this book to every parent and those battling with their relationships.

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Post by CatInTheHat » 02 Nov 2017, 07:54

Lizzybest wrote:Child abuse can affect someone psychologically for a life time.
Those very impacts are important elements in the story.
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Post by Kat Berg » 02 Nov 2017, 21:39

This kind of abuse is especially hard for me to read. I am glad that people write books that are real, but I am hesitant to read this kind, as they stick with me oppressively for so long. There are times when I can make an exception, but as a general rule, I avoid them. Real life is challenging enough sometimes, without adding the extra emotional weight. Thanks for the review!

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Post by CatInTheHat » 03 Nov 2017, 08:33

Kat Berg wrote:This kind of abuse is especially hard for me to read. I am glad that people write books that are real, but I am hesitant to read this kind, as they stick with me oppressively for so long. There are times when I can make an exception, but as a general rule, I avoid them. Real life is challenging enough sometimes, without adding the extra emotional weight. Thanks for the review!
It can be difficult to read, as it touches the heart. I can tell you that the author handled the subject beautifully. There is also much more to the story, but I don't want to spoil it, so I'll leave it at that.... the title says it all.
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Post by Batuti » 03 Nov 2017, 10:17

Finding meaning in life is incredible and poignant. Indeed, it is. And many victims of abuse are struggling to live day by day trying to forget the history that they have been through. So, I'd would like to read this story and see how they'll manage to overcome the challenges. It will also help me understand a lot more about people who had been abused.

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Post by Mtsweni Nelsy » 03 Nov 2017, 14:48

The review is well-detailed, and the book sounds interesting. I should read the book to know in-depth the personal stories they share with each other. Thanks for the review.

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Post by bookowlie » 03 Nov 2017, 19:05

I enjoyed reading your review. The story sounds interesting, although I think I would find the child abuse theme and graphic scenes too disturbing to read. I applaud the author for donating the proceeds of the book to charity.
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Post by The Researcher » 07 Nov 2017, 04:41

The plot of the book is strong. Though the book is not for me, I liked reading your review.
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Post by Joyindalouis » 07 Nov 2017, 04:55

The plot is amazing. The story tells more about my life. I love this book. Broken and beautiful.

-- 07 Nov 2017, 05:00 --

Casey and Aster, Matt and Kyle. Talking about the abuse. It sounds interesting.

-- 07 Nov 2017, 05:08 --

Childhood abuse.

-- 07 Nov 2017, 05:13 --

I loved where the writer said, I would recommend broken and beautiful to those who enjoy investing their emotions in the characters, as well as seeing how people can redeem themselves. Alcohol and drug use are predominantly featured as is casual sex.

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Post by CatInTheHat » 07 Nov 2017, 12:00

bookowlie wrote:I enjoyed reading your review. The story sounds interesting, although I think I would find the child abuse theme and graphic scenes too disturbing to read. I applaud the author for donating the proceeds of the book to charity.
Child abuse is a theme in the book, but not the predominant theme. It is difficult to explain without spoilers. Actually, this review was harder to write than some, as it was difficult to describe and analyze without sharing too much.
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