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Wednesday 2 February 2011

Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine

Author: Jenny Valentine
Pages: 256
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: January 7th 2008
Source: Review Copy (Thanks HarperCollins!!!)

An intriguing, compelling and moving new novel from the award-winning author of Finding Violet Park. When the good-looking boy with the American accent presses the dropped negative into Rowan's hand, she's sure it's all a big mistake. But next moment he's gone, lost in the crowd of bustling shoppers. And she can't afford to lose her place in the checkout queue -- after all, if she doesn't take the groceries home, nobody else will. Rowan has more responsibilities than most girls her age. These days, she pretty much looks after her little sister single-handedly -- which doesn't leave much time for friends or fun. So when she finds out that Bee from school saw the whole thing, it piques her curiosity. Who was the boy? Why was he so insistent that the negative belonged to Rowan?

This was such a touching novel. It was beautifully written and very emotional. The subject matter was sensitive and had me at tears until the very last page. It is full of grief and sadness and happiness and just pure inspiration.

Rowan was a great protagonist. I wanted to be as strong as her. Her strength made her so appealing. She reminded me of Katniss from The Hunger Games (you know, without the hunting and slaughter). She wasn't perfect (lets face it, who is?) She was real and strong and had so much love in her heart. 

Stroma was the most gorgeous little girl. She played such a central role to the plot. I want her as my little sister. I am serious. She was so innocent yet mature at the same time. 

Harper was great. I found him quite inspirational. Some of the things he said really got me thinking, nodding along with him. He was definitely a bit of a saving grace.

I would go on and on about characters but I fear I may bore you. Each character felt really developed and really important to the story. She didn't just throw in characters, they were meticulously placed.

The premise of the novel sounded very interesting. Mysterious. I didn't know what I should expect. A girl finds a negative. I had countless ideas about what it could be about; a cheating boyfriend, embarrassing drunk picture, parents indiscretions. I had no idea that the story was going to go so much deeper. The raw emotion in the book was such amazing. I felt everything that Rowan was feeling.

The construction of the novel was wonderful. There was a lot of juxtaposition of happy scenes with sad ones, sending my emotions up to Mars and back. She also managed to keep me guessing. There was one moment in the book when I knew something was going to happen. And it did. But there were still more surprises. The whole story felt loved. Hand crafted and well cared for. It was beautifully touching and a wonderful novel about grief and dealing with it. 

I thoroughly recommend this book, especially if you are dealing with the loss of someone close to you. It helps create an understanding about how others are feeling as well yourself. It was beautifully written and incredibly touching.

Thanks again to HarperCollins for sending me the copy to review :)

4 out of 5 stars


  1. Hate the cover, but I love the sound of this book! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Alice. Great review :)

  2. I was NOT expecting a book description with that cover...or title. But it DOES sound good. Great review!

  3. Melissa: I don't mind the cover though it is a little immature. Thanks :)

    BookGeek: Yes, the first impressions are a little misleading but the story is so great! Thanks :)

  4. Cool review! Here's mine if you don't mind: http://lorxiebookreviews.blogspot.com/2012/08/broken-soup-by-jenny-valentine.html

    Thanks and have a nice day! :)

  5. An incredible and touching book, woven together in an enthralling and intriging mystery- it will have you laughing, and crying too!
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  6. I just finished this one and looooved it! Can't recommend it highly enough. :)

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