Monday, October 13, 2014

{Book Review} Kiss of Broken Glass: Madeline Kuderick

Rating: 77%
Series: None
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic, Poetry, Fiction, Young Adult,
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: September 9, 2014
Page Count: 224
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

Barnes & Nobles ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis: 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.

Who Would I Recommend This Book To?
Fans of Audacious (Gabrielle Prendergrast), any Ellen Hopkins novel, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Michelle Hodkin)

Background & Backstory
I am a huge fan of novels in verse, so I take the opportunity to read any YA book by multiple authors at any time possible. The reigning queen of novels in verse is Ellen Hopkins, but I always like to see if any novels can compete. Naturally, I wanted to pick up Kiss of Broken Glass

Something that took me back when before I started reading Kiss of Broken Glass was the fact that this novel had 225 pages. If you have ever seen, let alone read an Ellen Hopkins novel, you will know they are 500+ pages of thick chunkster. I had no idea if I would even get a story when reading this book because of the free verse and freakishly short page count.

What Was My Reaction After I Finished This Book?
That was incredibly short.... but there was a clear plot.

***I haven't done a quote review in FOREVER***

"The same way an acorn holds a full-grown oak tree inside its tiny shell. 
I want to put it in my pocket.
But what if the idea sprouts?
What if it gets pink and purple with promise but instead of growing just flops over and dies."

Do you know when you have to put aside your feelings for something in order to enjoy something with similar qualities because you know your enjoyment will be tainted otherwise? That is exactly what I had to do with Kiss of Broken Glass. There is no way I could have judged this book on the same scales as I judge any of Ellen Hopkins novels. Dark subject matter and free verse are the only things the two authors have in common. So, when rating, I judged KoBG as if I had never read another book in verse before.

"I am the shadow that waits in dark places, silent and patient, to follow you home.
I am the tiger that eagerly chases, racing and running, wherever you roam.
I am the hunger that feeds on your madness, biting and clawing, to swallow you whole.
I am the silver that soaks up your sadness, body and spirit and all of your soul."

As usual with books in free verse, the prose was gorgeous and heart-wrenching. While I did not have to whip out the tissues to dab my moistening eyes, I was touched and could relate to many of the quotes in this novel. 

"I don't have any deep, dark secrets. 
My lifes not some riveting novel when you rush through the pages
to get to the end and find out what horrific, repressed memory caused me to cut
The fact is, I've had a pretty ordinary childhood.
So I guess that brings me to the real secret.
I've been cutting for absolutely no reason at all."

You may know this from the synopsis, but this book only covers a short 72 hour period of observation under psychiatric watch. Yet, in that short time, we learn so much about Kenna and the mentality towards cutting. My personal views are that cutting is horrible and shouldn't be done. For one, it hurts. For another, it scars both yourself and other, serving as a permanent reminder - like a tattoo, but worse. Yet, it was fascinating to see how Kenna described it as a fad for the popular and not a horrible act done by those who are depressed. 

"All I want is scalding water to sear down my spine like a hot blade,
to blister my back, to char my chest, to melt me to pieces 
so I can dissolve down the drain; evaporate into steam, and disappear."

Something that obviously could have been better were the relationships Kenna developed with those under psychiatric watch. A hint of a romance was going on between her and a boy she just met. It wasn't even insta-love, it was just like, "You're a boy. You're cute. I'm going to start liking you." There was also this friendship that developed between her and a long-term patient that seemed extremely strong and powerful, but I personally couldn't see where it stemmed from and didn't feel for them.

"So I wedge myself by the window and I watch....
It's like there are two worlds now.
The In Here. And the Out There.
The suspended animation. And the full speed ahead."

My feelings on the ending AGAIN refer back to the length of this novel. Of course the ending wouldn't be closure-giving with how short it was. Yet I wished it had ended differently. I wish I had gotten more time to know Kenna and the other patients. I wish there had been more story and more to know and feel for. 

How Likely Is It That I Will Read Another Book By This Author?
Considering how much I enjoyed the story in comparison to how little the page count was, I will definitely read another book by Madeline Kuderick in the future. 

Conclusion: Concise. Poignant. Beautiful. A snippet of perspective into the misunderstood's head.

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