Friday, March 20, 2015

Wicked Reads Reviews – Spectacularly Broken by Sage C. Holloway

Turns out naked and hungover on the floor is not the most strategically sound place to be when your dad comes home early. Take it from someone who learned the hard way: nineteen-year-old Lysander Shepherd--son of movie stars, spoiled brat, enthusiastic proponent of drugs and orgies...and now, unwilling resident of Oak Hill Manor, a retreat for troubled teenagers.

Before he knows what's happening, his designer duds have been switched for tie-dye shirts in therapy team colors, and he is surrounded by an assortment of misfits: a timid nerd, a mute girl, a hyperactive kid...and captivating loner Cai Fields, who is admittedly pretty hot, but seems to hate the world in general and Lysander in particular.

Soon Lysander struggles with lies, withdrawal, and several uncomfortable revelations that he never intended to make, but he also gains surprising amounts of support right in the middle of secret late-night parties, fisticuffs over doing the dishes, and, of all things, croissant blackmail. Even as Cai and Lysander finally give in to the irresistible attraction between them and make a grasp for happiness, their darkest secrets remain--secrets with the power to destroy everything they've fought so hard to have.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

5 Star | Read in one sitting | Totally engrossed |

Spectacularly Broken was a spectacular read. Well-written, the narration flowed smoothly, and the situations were realistic and surprisingly deep. Lysander is a rich, gay kid with absolutely no direction in life. He's lost. The narrator was written in such a way to remove the vapid, arrogance which would have been expected, but in its place was a compassionate kid, who was realistic, and easy to understand and love.

Without giving the entirety of the plot away, Lysander is sent to Naughty camp for misfit teenagers, where we meet a mishmash of broken teens who were a pleasure to read. Each and every character was unique and multifaceted.

What I loved the most about the book: it took a long while for a romance to appear, as friendship, familial bonds, and the characters' issues were in the foreground. The bond between Lysander and Finn was refreshing, as was the bond between Lysander and Cai. The reader could feel the familial bonds, even from the grave.

Spectacularly Broken didn't use tricks, action sequences, or excesses of romance to cover the fact that it was lacking in story, because it perfectly showcased the human condition.

Very deep read, yet light-hearted with the age group and Lysander himself. I'm not one who enjoys an endearment in a book (in fact, it's my biggest pet peeve) but when he called his cousin Cupcake, I couldn't help but smile. The endearment spewing was so Lys, that I found it darling. My favorite line of the book is when he called his older cousin 'sweetheart' and told him to go step on a Lego!

I also really, really want pancakes now.

Genre: Young adult (but there is swearing, sexual situations, drug use, yet they were not unrealistic to the age group) | New Adult | Coming of Age | Dark | LGBTQ Gay Romance M/M | Contemporary Romance | HEA | Standalone |
Recommend: Contemporary LBGTQ Romance fans | Those who like a deep read, who aren't afraid of the realistic pains in everyday life |
Would I read more by this author: will be checking to see what other works the author has written as soon as I push send on this review.

Forewarning to start with, this book deals with very real emotionally damaging issues. Drug and sexual addiction, bi-polar, rape and sexual abuse just to name a few. It is the coming of age story of a spoiled rich kid who has everything except what he needs. The characters are all so well written and beautifully damaged in such a real way. Having been in a center not dissimilar from the one in this book I have encountered these characters in real life. This book is emotional, and funny with the rawness that comes as a teenager. It straddles the fine line between NA and YA. There are a couple of sex scenes and some content is for older YA (16 plus). I can say I cannot wait to read more of the author’s work.

Sage C. Holloway is a parent, sex­positive feminist, pet store employee and resident fruitcake. Her childhood dream consisted of being a writer and an astronaut, and so far, she is about fifty percent there.

She has one husband, who seems to be the only one capable of putting up with her on a regular basis, and one son, who bears a striking resemblance to the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. She is also owned by three cats, who do an excellent job of assisting her by lying on her manuscripts whenever they can tear themselves away from lording over the living room. Sage loves glitter and loathes Wisconsin winters. She is delighted when she meets people who share her strange sense of humor.

Spectacularly Broken is her first novel.

Connect with Sage

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Spectacularly Broken by Sage C. Holloway to read and review.

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