Sarah's Stars

Alyxandra Harvey-Fitzhenry. Broken
Tradewind $12.95 ISBN 978-1-896580-41-8  165 pg.
Reviewed by Lindsey, Age 15

Sometimes my life is like a fairy tale.

It's not Prince Charming or dancing pumpkins though. It's more like the Grimm's fairy tales. You know, before they were all cleaned up and bleached for proper Victorian children. My story is more like the dark woods and blood falling from fingertips and toes hacked off for glass slippers that don't fit.

Here's the thing.

I'm a freak.

At first glance, Ash Perrault doesn't exactly look like Cinderella. I mean sure she's got a new step-mom, two wicked stepsisters and an on-and-off relationship with the prince of the school, but what about the purple hair, the cargo pants and the nose piercing? Cinderella didn't have those! But a fall-out with her best friend, Mouse, turns into a complete lifestyle makeover. She dyes her hair blonde, is charming and polite and starts trying harder at school. Everyone loves the new Ash, except for, well, Ash. Because if becoming Cinderella means she has to forget about her beat-up Converse shoes, her mosaics and her mother, then what's the point? Because deep down Ash knows she'll never be Cinderella, all because of her deepest secret: Glass doesn't shatter around beautiful princesses when they get angry.

Broken, a quick read, went by so fast mostly because I couldn't put it down. It was only 165 pages but even if it had been thicker, I'd have still sped through it. By the end I was actually wishing that it had been longer. There were many situations that could have been more drawn out, and many emotions that could have been expressed in more detail. I really appreciated the modern twist on a Cinderella story though, and Alyxandra Harvey-Fitzhenry made the story completely and utterly her own by adding in a step-mom who might actually not be so evil, a wicked step-sister who struggles with bulimia and the fact that whenever Ash is extremely angry, glass breaks around her. Through words that are lyrical, yet almost concrete and gritty at the same time, Ash's tale takes us on a journey. It was realistic, simple and beautiful, all at the same time. I really enjoyed the book and I only wish it could have been longer. But, for any Cinderellas, punks or fairy-tale lovers over 13 looking for a unique and offbeat read, Broken should be plenty interesting and absorbing.

I give Alyxandra Harvey-Fitzhenry's Broken four stars.


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