Every Bright and Broken Thing

Young Adult - Social Issues
377 Pages
Reviewed on 01/23/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Every Bright and Broken Thing is a work of dramatic and highly emotive teen fiction penned by author Brian McBride. The central characters form a dual perspective in the work, showcasing two brothers who are at different stages of young adulthood. Liam seems like a perfectly average American teen, but he’s holding in a secret that fills him with fear. Ezra is eight years older and has tried to venture out into the world and make something of himself, but with little to show for it beyond a dead-end job and an addiction to painkillers and booze. What bonds them is their shared grief over the loss of their mother, and this begins a transformation for them both when Ezra comes home.

Author Brian McBride has created an absolutely beautiful, heart-wrenching but also uplifting story of family, grief and the importance of home to us all. The narrative is extremely clever in the way it shifts between the two boys, giving us moments that perhaps the other wouldn’t have seen in quite the same way, which delivers both exposition and mystery elements at crucial times. This intrigue is further encouraged by the excellent work on character development that McBride has done, producing two realistic boys with genuine trauma that they are both attempting to work through, both alone and together. Overall, Every Bright and Broken Thing is a beacon of high-quality dramatic fiction in the young adult genre, making it an important book for anyone of any age who has ever experienced loss.