I was in a horrible reading slump. To my recollection it had been almost a month since I had been able to read more than a couple pages of a book before putting it down. I don't remember who tweeted about Of Breakable Things, but it must have been one of my "go to" authors, or book bloggers, for reading recommendations because I immediately went to Goodreads to check it out. I must admit the special ebook price of $3.49, was my final hook because with new authors I won't spend more than $4.00 on an ebook; I usually wait and go to the library.
It is $3.03 as an ebook now and FREE on Kindle Unlimited
"A captivating debut about the fragility of life, love, and perspective."
"When Chase dies tragically, Alex embraces her own mortality. What she didn’t expect was that she’d have to make a choice: forget the years of pain and suffering once and for all, or linger as a spirit and get another chance at life and love."
"But the spirit world is nothing like she expected, and Alex finds she's forced to fight for her life once more."
I am a ghost hunting reality show addict, so the synopsis hooked me right away.
Straight out of the gate there is a gripping "which door will you choose" scenario.
"Alex doesn’t hesitate to choose; she’d follow Chase anywhere." ~ Goodreads
But where exactly does her chosen door lead?
Is it where she expected?
Do the spirits hang out in cemeteries? NO!
They go to ghost school.
Why? To learn things like the physics of the spirit world...
and how to change their clothes.
They can even help out the physical world at Halloween. Which was one of my favorite parts of the story.
Now back to the serious stuff.
As most of you know I don't care for: insta-love, triangles, or grunt, groan and grope romantic scenes. This book had none of that. HALLELUJAH!!!!
Don't get me wrong... there is love and romance, but it is soft, sweet, and heart-warming. There is also some romantic tension and jealousy, but from a unrequited love scenario with a third party.
But does she actually find Chase when she gets there?
Hmm... maybe not.
I also hate comparing books to other popular stories; and loathe it when authors and publishers do it...
However, I am neither the author, nor a publisher, so... I will say that this novel has a welcoming Harry Potter vibe, though it really isn't much like the Potter stories, at all. I felt back at home, and comforted by this book for some reason. Since then, I have read several blog reviews that have expressed the same exact feeling, so I am not alone in my thinking.
So scurry off and add this book to your Goodreads TBR shelf.
This was my immediate feedback mini-review on GOODREADS.
I am so in love with this story. I was in a horrible reading slump when I picked this book up. It was probably the fifth or sixth book I had tried. I wasn't expecting to become fully engaged within the first few pages, so I was happily surprised. Even though this book is nothing like Harry Potter it had this certain vibe to it that gave me that same comforting feeling. I recently read another review that said very much the same thing. The otherworldly setting is unique, and the characters have great chemistry. Even the secondary characters are well thought out and detailed enough so that I didn't have to search back in the story to remember who they were (one of my pet peeves).
The sequel, OF DELICATE PIECES, is out now.
I usually include what I call a Micro-Interview with my reviews, if the author is available and willing, where I ask one question and get a one or two sentence answer.
In this case Amy was so lovely, and time giving, I need to change it to a "Mini-Interview" because she gifted us with much more than a few words.
My question was, "Why did you choose Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome as Alex's condition for this storyline?"
I asked this because Alex having a debilitating condition in life is an integral part of this story.
THE AUTHOR'S ANSWER
"Thank you so much for including me on your blog! I'm honored! And I'm especially happy to talk a little bit about EDS. In no shape, way, or form am I an expert. I've done research, but I'm not in the medical field. However, I do think this works to my advantage as a writer of YA because I can try to explain Alex's condition in a way that my readers can understand.
Why Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome? Oddly, Of Breakable Things was almost entirely written before EDS elbowed its way into the plot. I had an image of Alex, a very particular image, and I kept researching different illnesses throughout the writing process. I needed it to fit a certain criteria. I needed Alex to feel limited in life, so she would also carry her mental flaws into death. I needed her to be sheltered and naïve because the world I created relies so heavily on what she believes she can see. I also needed Alex’s mother to die in childbirth to make her relationship with her father become nonexistent, and for her to rely on the Lasalles as much as she does. I had a student comment the other day, asking why I made Alex so dependent on the boys. Well, it could have been a family of girls next door- it wouldn’t have mattered. Alex didn’t have a family- the Lasalles became her family. I have an entire file of short stories that didn’t make the final cut for Of Breakable Things- I’d love to release them periodically on my blog. I need to find time to edit them, however. Now, I’m straying away from the topic…
I also needed the disorder to be genetic. And finally I needed it to be as unique as Alex. There are different types and varying degrees of EDS, so I choose for Alex to have vascular EDS. I never wrote an actual death scene - I kind of leave that up to the reader. With vascular Ehlers-Danlos, the organs can rupture, so I’ve had many kids assume that she literally died of a broken heart (ruptured heart valve, etc). Once I began researching EDS, I was flabbergasted that I’d never heard of it because it seems to affect so many people! After a year of visiting classrooms, book clubs, writing groups, only one person in any of those crowds had ever heard of EDS prior to my presentation. One person, and there are over a million people who have it! Many people don’t know they have it; they think they’re just bendy or that they bruise easily. There’s a lack of understanding.
Don’t assume that everyone with EDS is like Alex. She has the most extreme, most dangerous, most rare type. And if Alex was born today, she might not have had the same fate or the same limitations because as research continues a cure could be found.
I just created a page YESTERDAY on JustGive.org to help raise money for the National Foundation for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. If someone uses the page to donate, I’ll send them a swag pack to thank them. Since OBT was published, I've spoken with many people who have EDS, and they are truly amazing. You can donate here: https://www.justgive.org/ofbreakablethingsEDS
Thank you for giving me a chance to discuss it a bit!
FIND MORE INFORMATION ON EHLERS-DANLOS SYNDROME, HERE.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A. Lynden Rolland
Amy Lynden Rolland was born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland, a picturesque town obsessed with boats and blue crabs. She has always been intrigued by the dramatic and the broken, compiling her eccentric tales of tragic characters in a weathered notebook she began to carry in grade school. She is a sports fanatic, a coffee addict, and a lover of Sauvignon Blanc, thunderstorms and autumn leaves. When she isn’t hunched behind a laptop at her local bookstore, she can be found chasing her two vivacious children. She now resides just outside Annapolis with her husband and young sons.