Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Review: Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine

Title: Broken Soup
Author: Jenny Valentine
Release Date: January 7, 2008
Publisher: HaperCollins Children's Books
Overall: 4.png Four Stars image by Adaleelee
Positive. Negative. It's how you look at it...
Someone shoves a photo negative into Rowan's hands. She is distracted but, frankly, she has larger problems to worry about. Her brother is dead. Her father has left. her mother won't get out of bed. She has to take care of her younger sister. And keep it all together...

But Rowan is curious about the mysterious boy and the negative. Who is he? Why did he give it to her? The mystery only deepens when the photo is developed and the inconceivable appears.

Everything is about to change for Rowan... Finally, something positive is in her life.
Review: I first heard about Broken Soup when Sara from The Hiding Spot recommended as books people just had to read. I was in the library the next day and I saw it. I checked it out but didn’t read it right away. Now I wished I had. Broken Soup, Jenny Valentine’s sophomore novel was one of the best books I’ve read.

The story begins with Rowan getting a photo negative. It’s not her’s so why did this boy give it to her? We delve into Rowan’s hard life: he father has moved out, her mother is silent, she takes care of her sister and her brother died. Valentine takes her time showing Rowan’s background and her relationship with each of her family. The story is very predictable but that’s what makes it’s so realistic. It could happen to anyone.

I loved Valentine’s writing style. She had just a lyrical, poetic feel to her writing. One aspect that I loved about her writing was that there was depth to it. She chose small, simple words for this book but she put them together in such a way that a short, simple sentence held so much meaning into it. I felt Rowan’s sadness, her frustration, her happiness, her every emotion. That takes a talented writer.

I love a good, well written protagonist and Rowan was it. She was so strong willed, not willing to let anything change or happen. She had to stay strong for everyone. She was very mature for fifteen and it fit her and this story perfectly. Her little sister, Stroma, was such a funny, lively girl. Her questions, comments, concerns made me smile and laugh something I wasn’t expecting in this story. She was like a ray of sunshine in this sad, emotional book. Harper was also a great character and was written wonderfully. He seemed so down to earth, realistic, and just wonderful. He was always there for Rowan and that was good. Valentine knows how to write her characters in a believable and lovable way.

Broken Soup is just 216 pages yet each of these pages is filled with a heart wrenching, teary, and wonderful story about a girl who’s learning to move on. A plot line that is realistic, wonderfully written characters, and written in a way that makes you feel all of the emotions, Broken Soup is a must read. I hope to read Valentine’s first book and all the rest that are to come.

Ending: 4.png Four Stars image by Adaleelee

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