The Art of Breaking Things

Book Cover: The Art of Breaking Things: Soft moody illustration of teen girl with her arms folded and looking away surrounded by a purple background..
Laura Sibson
Mar 5, 2021

Finally feeling like she's overcome the darkness of her past, seventeen year old Skye Murray is more than ready to leave her hometown to go to her dream college to study art. But when her mom reveals that she's gotten back together with a man who hurt Skye in unimaginable ways, she feels herself crumbling apart, on the verge of losing not only herself, but her family and the ones she loves. The idea of running away from home to her college now seems like centuries ago when she realizes that she needs to keep her sister safe, who is the same age Skye was when she was sexually assaulted by the same man who is now welcome in their home. With the help of her artistic voice, Skye must find the courage it takes to overcome the past, and find her own voice within.

In my opinion, the most compelling aspect of the book was the depth of the characters emotions, and the interactions between Skye and her sister, Emma. I like how the author portrayed Emma in a realistic way versus having her be just a shallow, naive side character only there for the sole purpose of helping develop the main character. The author also helped me understand the points of views of complex characters; for example, Skye's mom. This was one of the only books where I truly understood the burden that parents feel to keep their child safe, no matter what has happened. I sympathized with the moms pain and helplessness.     

Written by
Soumya T.

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