Book Review: Other Breakable Things

Other Breakable Things – Kelley York and Rowan Altwood – Entangled:Teen – Published 4 April 2017


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According to Japanese legend, folding a thousand paper cranes will grant you healing.

Evelyn Abel will fold two thousand if it will bring Luc back to her.

Luc Argent has always been intimately acquainted with death. After a car crash got him a second chance at life—via someone else’s transplanted heart—he tried to embrace it. He truly did. But he always knew death could be right around the corner again.

And now it is.

Sick of hospitals and tired of transplants, Luc is ready to let his failing heart give out, ready to give up. A road trip to Oregon—where death with dignity is legal—is his answer. But along for the ride is his best friend, Evelyn.

And she’s not giving up so easily.

A thousand miles, a handful of roadside attractions, and one life-altering kiss later, Evelyn’s fallen, and Luc’s heart is full. But is it enough to save him? Evelyn’s betting her heart, her life, that it can be.

Right down to the thousandth paper crane.

My thoughts

Hmmm. What can you say about a book that attempts to pick you up, take you on a roller coaster of emotions and then rip your heart out? I wasn’t sure which path this book would take – ultimately hopeful, focusing on the joys and hurts of living or a complete and utter sob fest? Even after finishing I’m still not sure – a bit of both, maybe? Either way, Other Breakable Things is a very interesting book and quick to read, perfect for contemporary fiction fans.

Evelyn has always loved Luc. Loved him throughout their stilted friendship and then the past three years of silence when she moved away from him. Now she is back in the same town as Luc but still isn’t sure if he will reach out to her, or include her in his life. She is used to being the second choice in people’s lives. But to Luc, Evelyn was never the second choice, just a choice he never allowed himself to make. Luc’s heart is failing. The second time in his short, nineteen-year life. He knows that he doesn’t want to try another transplant, and is sick of hospitals and tests and doctors. So, instead, he takes off on a road trip – one last effort to really live. And he takes Evelyn with him. Evelyn has always suspected that Luc was unwell, but it isn’t until she is on the road with him that she finally, fully begins to understand as she uncovers everything he has been hiding.

One might think that you could kind of guess from the summary that this book would be heart-pulled-from-your-chest-and-put-through-a-meat-mincer-breaking. And yet a lot of the time I felt a little numb to the characters’ emotions. Perhaps this in part was due to Evelyn’s level-headed manner of dealing with things or maybe because despite the sad nature of the book, it was equally uplifting and deliciously sweet.

However, I did feel like there was something missing in this story. I wanted more, but maybe that’s not because the book was lacking and rather that I was unhappy with the whole situation. But maybe that makes it all the more lifelike – where we are handed things in life with which we must make lemonade.

How does one end a book like this? Is there a right way? Did I think this was the right ending for this book? I’m not sure, but then I’m not sure how else you could end it.
This is simply a story about these particular characters in one particular situation. I may not have made the same decisions, but I could certainly see that the choices Evelyn and Luc made were true to their characters – even if their actions might seem good, bad, impulsive or crazy to others.

The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

More information

Category: Young adult fiction.

Genre: Contemporary.

Themes: Death, Illness, Road trips, Euthanasia, Romance, Family.

Reading age guide: Ages 14 and up.

Advisory: Coarse language, f*** (15), sh** (17), as***** (3), di** (1). Implied sex scene with no details. Mature themes, death, dying and euthanasia.

Published:  4 April 2017 by Entangled: Teen.

Format: Paperback, ebook.  400 pages.

ISBN: 9781633755949

Find it on Goodreads


Website | Kelley York Twitter | Rowan Altwood Twitter | Author | Kelley York Goodreads | Rowan Altwood Goodreads


  1. kozbisa

    I cried a lot during and after reading this book, it was so tragic! It was no secret that this book was going to be sad, but I personally need some balance. I felt like every time the characters were have a moment, and I was feeling happy, the authors would remind us what is really going on. I agree with our assessments. I rated it 3.5/5. Not bad, actually, good, but missing something for me too.
    Sam @ WLABB

    • Madison's Library

      Thanks Sam. It’s nice to hear you had the same reaction. It certainly was a moving story, it just left me wanting something more. I see that you too are participating in the Other Breakable Things Blog Tour. I look forward to reading you review on the 17th of April.

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