Tanja´s review of ‘Not Broken Just BentÄ’ by Mia Kerick (Published by Harmony Ink Press; November 13, 2013)
Why I read it: Sometimes I´m in the mood for a young adult story, because more often than not they turn out to be great. This is no exception, it´s a really good story with three dimensional believable characters.
This book was given to RGR free of charge for the purpose of an honest review.
Braving the start of high school, longtime childhood friends Benjamin Wells and Timmy Norton quickly realize they are entering a whole new world colored by their family responsibilities. Ben is trying to please his strict father; Timmy is taking care of his younger sisters. While their easy camaraderie is still comfortable, Ben notices Timmy growing distant and evasive, but Ben has his own problems. It’s easier to let concerns about Timmy’s home life slide, especially when Timmy changes directions and starts to get a little too close. Ben doesn’t know how to handle the new feelings Timmy’s desire for love inspires, and his continuing denial wounds Timmy deeply.
But what Timmy perceives as Ben’s greatest betrayal is yet to come, and the fallout threatens to break them apart forever. Over the next four years, the push and pull between them and the outside world twists and tears at Ben and Timmy, and they are haunted by fear and regret. However, sometimes what seems broken is just a little bent, and if they can find forgiveness within themselves, Ben and Timmy may be able to move forward together.
I struggled a little getting into this story. The author is new to me as well as the writing style needed some getting used to it. As soon as I overcome those problems I really enjoyed the journey of Ben and Tim.
This story is told from Ben´s point of view and spans a time period of around four years although a huge part focuses on what happened at senior year in high school and the aftermath of it.
Ben met Tim at the age of eight and they are friends since then. Both have difficult family situations. Ben is living with his overprotective and strict father, who has great expectations of his son. His mother vanished when he was a baby and to not to disappoint his father he never even once steps out of the rules his father has set for him. Tim on the other hand has a mother with mental illness, an abusive stepfather and on top he looks after his three younger sisters. I just didn´t know for whom I had more compassion. I loved the friendship those two had. Even when other people didn´t want to have anything to do with Tim, who was also called white trash, Ben was at his side. Both characters felt so real, three dimensional with so many facet of their personality, it was a great pleasure to read this book.
Thrown into the first experience of high school and family problems were the growing feelings Tim had for Ben and vice versa. Ben in his glory just couldn´t deal with them as well as he couldn´t deal with the problems Tim had at home. So he did what a teenager often does, he ignored it. That´s where the problems started and yes I often thought “good god Ben, get your head out of your ass” but what should I say, he is a teenager and that´s it. Of course ignoring things won´t get them out of the way and so when the dam broke, it was big and tore them apart. Literally, because Tim vanished.
Since Tim is out of the picture, you only get what Ben went through and I felt the pain he was in so clearly. I wanted to hold his hand, give him a hug and tell him that it will get better…someday. It´s so well written, every step of the way after the fallout….just great. Ben was going through a huge character development here. At his side was his father, who turned out to be a big supportive person for Ben in this time.
Tim and Ben met again, per chance at college. I really liked that they didn´t immediately become friends again, it felt more real to me. Now you also get Tim´s side of the story when he explained things to Ben. I was so happy for Tim about what he achieved but nonetheless they had to work hard for their HEA.
The fact that this is a ya should not hold you back from reading this great story. Recommended!!
9/10 pots of gold