** Publication Date 7 May 2019 **
Kyler and Lennon are teenagers and broken. Kyler suffered severe burns to his face as a young child, disfiguring him for life. Lennon suffers from extreme OCD, and just lost her mom in a tragic drunk driving accident. Now Lennon has had to move to Los Angeles, Bel Air to be exact, to live with her father and step-family. Lennon and Kyler live next door to one another now. Can two broken teens find happiness in being allowed to be their honest and original selves with one another? Thrown together to complete a high school English assignment, Lennon and Kyler find out that sometimes being broken isn’t such an awful thing when you have a partner with which to face the broken-ness.
Crichton has written a YA novel which touches on issues that teens feel all the time – being outsiders in an inside world. There isn’t a teen who doesn’t have something to face, whether visible like Kyler’s scars, or invisible (mostly) like Lennon’s OCD. What makes this book so fabulous is the way that Crichton shares the reality of living with these unique qualities and how even if you are broken, you can live a full and satisfying life.
Yes, this book definitely shows all of this in a perfect setting – living in Bel Air, having oodles of money, driving nice cars, etc. Yet even with the fairytale surroundings, the book does talk about the reality of being a teen. No matter perfect or not, the teenage years are challenging. Everyone has something and no one should be singled out for being different. The message that this book shares is very important.
Kudos to Crichton for writing a book that is a little bit fantasy and a lotta bit reality with a happy ending. Not all stories like All Our Broken Pieces end happily, but hopefully with more books like this, teens will realize that different doesn’t necessarily equate to bad or lesser. Differences can make people special. Excellent lessons and reading in this one.