Title: What’s Broken Between Us
Author: Alexis Bass
Synopsis: A year and a half ago, Amanda Tart’s brother got behind the wheel drunk and killed his best friend. Today, he’s coming home from prison.
Amanda’s been the one living with the fallout, made worse by her brother’s recent unapologetic TV interview. People think he’s a monster. Still, she loves him. It’s her dark secret, until she starts getting close to Henry again–whose sister is paralyzed from the accident. A year and a half ago, her brother destroyed his life. Now Amanda has to decide if she’ll let his choice destroy hers.
Huge thank you to the publisher for sending me a review copy of this!
I will admit that I didn’t think I was going to like this book. And I was surprised that I flew through it in one sitting and got really into it. I ABHORRED Jonathan from page one and I was so glad with how things ended up with him. It was interesting to see how he didn’t go the predictable route and try to embrace his second chance.
This is the story about a group of friends who’s world has been cracked because of a careless mistake. We’ve all seen the drunk driving crash photos. I’ve thankfully never lost someone to drunk driving but it’s a very real fact in life. Jonathan crashes his car after WAY too many drinks and kills one of his best friends and severely injures his girlfriend. Due to a few legal issues he’s let out of jail early and returns to his home and family.
Amanda, Jonathan’s younger sister, had always enjoyed living in her brother’s shadow. Jonathan was the cool guy that everyone wanted to be friends with. He partied hard, had the best friends, and made anyone (sister included) popular by association. After the accident Amanda feels that she’s responsible for basically saving face for her family. She doesn’t allow herself to be angry at her brother, she doesn’t allow herself to grieve for Grace (the girl who died who was ALSO her friend), and she keeps everyone at arms length.
In steps Henry, the brother of the girlfriend, who was Amanda’s almost boyfriend. I had some issues with the way things happened between Amanda and Henry, but overall I liked him and them. I did NOT like how incredibly stereotypical the story was about how Henry and his family were from the UK. I get that HENRY himself was often playing up the fact that he had an accent and spoke British English, but there’s a moment when Amanda and Henry are hanging out, basically watching TV and making out… while eating fish and chips. FOR REAL. I’m sorry I don’t care how British you are, you don’t deep fry some battered fish and make french fries while hooking up with a girl! That’d be like if one of them was Japanese and they were eating sushi. Come on. And who just has ~fish and chips~ laying around in their fridge? (Other than British people apparently). Give them a pizza and be done with it. Stuff like that really takes me out of the story and drives me nuts (yes I AM a cultural accuracy nitpicker/ stereotype police).
Anyway, this is an ugly-pretty people story where there’s not really anyone to root for and not really a happy feeling in any of it. I like dark stuff like that though, and I was really happy to NOT root for certain characters and see them get what they fucking deserved.