When a boy stops Rowan and hands her a photo negative that he insists is hers, she knows he’s wrong, but accepts it anyway out of embarrassment. When she develops the photo she gets a shock – for all that she didn’t drop it, it’s definitely hers. She begins new friendships with Harper, the boy who handed her the negative, and Bee, a girl from school. But they are linked with her past, the past that she is trying to recover from.
Rowan’s family are recovering from the unexpected death of her older brother and it is Rowan who bears the biggest burden. Like a worrying number of teenagers today, it is she who must hold the family together, caring for her younger sister. Rowan’s character is a result of this responsibility – she is mature beyond her age yet extremely cautious with new people. But when she meets Harper she is drawn to him. The characters in this book were incredibly realistically portrayed. I especially loved the younger sister Stroma, who is just so understanding and yet innocent.
Broken Soup is full of friendship, romance, the importance of families and general life. The plot develops beautifully with an interesting twist at the end, but I had a minor quibble. I don’t see the necessity for Jack to have kept his secret when he was alive, except that it is an interesting shock for Rowan. It was so cleverly written though, that this doesn’t matter so much. Parts of the book are so realistic that it could easily be depressing without the unlikely subplots. If I was in Rowan’s position, all I know is that I would love to meet a Harper, I would love to have that negative handed to me.
I wanted to read Broken Soup after Jenny’s review of it and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Great characters, an interesting plot, and clever writing combine to produce a book worthy of high recommendation.
And good news for all Americans – Broken Soup will be released in the US this month. Put it on your wishlists!