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Broken Hardcover – November 5, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up—Scarlett Killian has a rare heart condition that is going to kill her. She has spent her entire life at home or in the hospital, but has convinced her overprotective stepmom to allow her to attend high school, even for a short time, just to give her a chance to be a normal kid. She becomes a target of bullying, partly because her mom is a school nurse who overinvolves herself in the students' lives, but she soon starts making friends, first with members of a support group and then with Tony, a boy in biology class. A project in that class involving Scarlett's medical records exposes secrets in her life that draw questions about Nurse Killian and about Scarlett's health. Narrator Amy McFadden is a credible Scarlett and also provides other characters, particularly Nessa and Celina (two members of her support group) and Scarlett's stepmother, with strong characterizations. The story starts somewhat slowly, focusing on Scarlett's symptoms, but once certain plot devices are unveiled, it keeps the listener involved in the action. Give this to your listeners who enjoy thrillers with a little bit of romance.—Ann Brownson, Eastern Illinois University --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Scarlett Killian is 15 years old and attending school for the first time. Ever. She suffers from Long QT, a genetic disorder that causes her heart to beat uncontrollably if she gets too excited. Until now, her parents—her father and stepmother—have been reluctant to let her out of the house, let alone attend public high school. Finally, she has gotten her way, but can she really handle it? Once at school, she is the target of vicious bullying, which is only exacerbated by the fact that her overly protective stepmother is the school nurse. Finally she starts making friends, but a biology project with the cute boy in her class begins to reveal some secrets about her medical history that threaten to turn her whole world upside down. Scarlett’s moody first-person narration is full of romance-related anxieties, as well as heart-pumping drama related to discovering the horrific truth at the core of her family. Lyons, a best-selling author of adult crime fiction, makes her YA debut with this suspenseful thriller laced with medical intrigue and coming-of-age triumph. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Lyons has enjoyed a comfortable spot on the New York Times best-seller list for her adult titles. Expect to see a lot of attention for her YA debut. Grades 9-12. --Sarah Hunter
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 - 12
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (November 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402285450
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402285455
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #677,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Wow, this book was good! I started Broken thinking it was going to go in a predictable direction, and Lyons blew my expectations out of the water. Broken is contemporary YA, but it's also a thriller, and a great one at that! My heart was racing for the last 45 minutes or so of the story....not such a good idea for reading right before bed, because I was very revved up by the time I finished reading (and of course I had to finish before I could go to sleep!).

Scarlet has been sick for her whole life. As a fellow "sick kid," I really identified with her. I don't have a heart condition, but my illness does require me to stay home much of the time, like Scarlet. Scarlet wants nothing more than a normal high school experience, and she finally convinces her parents to let her attend high school for a week on a trial basis.

Broken spans one week in time, but it's an action-packed week, and with the revelations throughout the story, it's the most life-changing week Scarlet has ever had. I'm not usually a fan of books that take place over very short time periods, but the short time span really worked for Broken. Plus, there was an epilogue----love those----so there was plenty of closure and an added layer of depth to the story.

It's hard to write this review without giving away the huge surprise at the end of Broken. Suffice it to say, I was shocked beyond belief. Lyons' pacing was perfect, and had me on the edge of my seat for much of the story. The characters were well-developed, interesting, and varied from the typical high school students. I loved that Scarlet's flashbacks served such an important role in the conflict resolution. It was easy for me to mentally brush them off, thinking, oh, that's just another dream...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading C.J. Lyons', "Broken", I knew I had to write a review recommending the book as a must read. It has taken me three days to gather my thoughts on Lyons' story of a 15 year old young woman who has been home schooled due to a life threatening medical condition. Scarlet is entering public school for the first time as a high school sophomore. In a very short time Scarlet experiences life changing situations for everyone around her. C.J. Lyons's shows in Broken how Scarlet's willingness to take personal risks and make sacrifices are character building.

The reader is introduced to Scarlet Killian as a young woman dealing with a genetic heart condition, Long QT Syndrome, causing her heart to have an abnormal heart rhythm, her heart pumps so fast there is a 20% chance Scarlet could die at any moment. Scarlet pulls her Automated External Defibrillator in a wheeled case, just in case her heart goes too fast or stops and needs a shock. The AED nicknamed "Phil" gives Scarlet unwanted attention from students of Smithfield High School.

The storyline walks the reader through the challenges Scarlet meets and how she resolves them. Scarlet's one desire is to be able to attend high school as a normal student. Her dad and step-mom think Scarlet's heart is not strong enough to deal with the day to day pressures. Dad is on the road four days a week leaving Scarlet's step-mother, the Smithfield School nurse, responsible for Scarlet's heath.

We learn Scarlet's persistence has talked her dad and step-mom into letting her try to attend public schools, and they have agreed to a one week trial. Scarlet has one week to prove she can deal with the pressures of the academic life. Lyons' "Broken" takes the time to introduce her readers to the key players in Scarlet's life.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Broken begins slowly, drawing in the reader like a fisherman landing an angry smallmouth bass on a cloudy January day at the lake. You know it's there, waiting to break the surface, but you must play it just so or he'll break the line. The wait is well worth it however and CJ Lyons again never disappoints. So sit back, get comfortable and stick with it. You 'll have a trophy on the wall waiting at the conclusion!
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Format: Hardcover
I fell in love with this book before the first chapter was even complete. Really--yes, this is unusual for me to say so as I like to make my decisions when I am finished with the novel, but in this case, there was simply no doubt in my mind that what I had before me was a truly great book. Now that I have finished the book, I can definitely say that I was right. It is a great book.

Scarlet was a character that I could get close to right away for many reasons. Her internal voice was so honest right from the start that I found it easy to feel compassion for her situation. She wanted so much to be normal and to live life to the fullest that I found myself wishing the best for her and excited about each page that went by.

The thriller aspect of this book comes a bit later than I expected, but I thought the buildup of the rest of the story was perfect. I always feel when the author rushes straight into the dramatic aspects of a novel before I have the chance to get to know the main character that the book ends up lacking a crucial connection. I was already invested in the characters of this book before the major angles began, so I cared what happened to them.

I have shied away from novels that had teenaged main characters for the most part since I got bored with the repeat story lines. This one, I am very happy to say is different. More so than the usual high-school drama of boy and girl meet...fight...make up, this book has a main character with genuine concerns and a real problem.

This book has some romance, danger and excitement in it as well as being compelling, well-paced and interesting. If you enjoy books where you are never sure exactly what is going to happen next and the characters seem realistic and like someone you could reach out and touch, this is a great book to choose.

This review is based on a digital ARC from Netgalley and the the publisher.
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