By: Celine | August 26, 2014 | (25) Comments

Review: Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine KuderickKiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 9th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Verse, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
Goodreads | Purchase

In the next seventy-two hours, Kenna may lose everything—her friends, her freedom, and maybe even herself. One kiss of the blade was all it took to get her sent to the psych ward for seventy-two hours. There she will face her addiction to cutting, though the outcome is far from certain.

When fifteen-year-old Kenna is found cutting herself in the school bathroom, she is sent to a facility for mandatory psychiatric watch. There, Kenna meets other kids like her—her roommate, Donya, who’s there for her fifth time; the birdlike Skylar; and Jag, a boy cute enough to make her forget her problems . . . for a moment.

My Review

This is one of those times where not reading the synopsis because I want to go in as blind as possible wasn’t the greatest idea. If I had read the synopsis, I would have known that Kiss of Broken Glass is actually told in verse, which was a big surprise for me. I have to admit I had a bit of trouble with that. Though I enjoy poetry once in a while, I’m not a huge poetry-reader and I always feel the style stands better on its own than in a novel. See, the problem is that you

write sentences

like this

and I have to pause each and every time

the “enter” key is used.

Which I don’t mind when we’re talking about an actual poem, because they are usually short, but in a novel it starts to tire me. Especially in the beginning I felt they were sentences that would work perfectly fine on their own but that had to be chopped up for the sake of the verse style. Fortunately, I started to feel the writing more around 50% in (which isn’t as long as it seems: this is a very short book), and finally I could accept it as part of Kenna’s voice and even appreciate it. I also feel that the writing got stronger and more poem-like as the book continues, because in the beginning a few things have to be explained and that just doesn’t work as well written in verse.

The only thing I knew going in is that Kiss of Broken Glass deals with mental illness. The mental illness part is explored through cutting. Kenna started cutting herself and since then… just couldn’t stop. She tells herself she’s not addicted, she can stop if she wants to, but she loves the way she feels after having cut herself and actually, she can’t stop doing it. I have to admit, when I saw that this was about cutting I expected some kind of dark past, something you could maybe call a “reason” for it all (though you could think – is there really a reason all the time?). Well, Kenna doesn’t have a dark past. She had an ordinary childhood. She was never abused in any way. And it makes her feel strange, because she can’t point out a “why”. Why did you start cutting? Kenna doesn’t know. She feels like there’s supposed to be some kind of big secret, a dark past, but she doesn’t have any. And later she starts realizing that:

maybe it’s the little problems
that pile up the worst.
Deeper and darker.
One after another.

Until there’s no light at all.

The book is mostly told in a facility for psychiatric watch, where Kenna has to stay for 72 hours. She meets some new people, Skylar, Donya and Jag (whose full name is absolutely ridiculous. I’m sorry, but I can’t take anyone called Jaggernaut Mancuzzi. Maybe it’s a really normal and meaningful name – I don’t know. But I just… couldn’t.) Though their actual on-screen time isn’t that big, they play a big role in how Kenna grows to think about her urge to cut and the way she might recover.

I think Kiss of Broken Glass can be really beautiful for people who have a past with self-injury or are currently suffering from having the urge to do it. However, I also think that some descriptions – not of actual cutting, but the urge of doing it – might be triggering, so it’s up to you to decide whether or not it’s a good idea to read Kiss of Broken Glass. But if you can handle it, I think it may be a great way to show that you are not alone. Of course, Kiss of Broken Glass may just be as meaningful to people who don’t have anything to do with self-injury at all. If you like novels written in verse and/or books dealing with issues like these, you may find yourself thoroughly enjoying Kiss of Broken Glass.

~Thank you HarperTeen for the review copy!~

3 Stars
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Celine is 17 years old and from the Netherlands. Quite obviously, she loves books! She has been a reader for as long as she can remember, and she believes she will be a reader forever. Celine is also obsessed with food, and loves singing along to music as loud as possible, dancing and doodling on nearly everything.

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25 Responses to Review: Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick

  1. Siiri says:

    Ohhh, I don’t read verse books. The only verse I do rea is song lyrics and that’s a hard task all on its own sometimes. I’m glad you finally adjusted to the writing style though! (Also, Kenna–the name–gives me Reign feels. Just sayin.) I think it’s great that she doesn’t have a dark past, because not all bad and dark things happen after something really bad has happened. Darkness can come and blanket you at any point in your life and I feel like that’s the point of this novel as well even though I haven’t read it. I’m glad you liked it as a whole, Celine! Gorgeous review! (Btw, when I read OCD Love Story, I felt like I had a massive form of OCD and got all anxious so you may be onto something with the triggering thing.)
    Siiri recently posted…Review: Sweet Reckoning by Wendy HigginsMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Yeah, with you on that! Verse usually isn’t my thing, but it ended up working for me. (Also, I have no idea because I’ve never seen Reign. *ducks*)

      I definitely liked that she doesn’t have a dark past that ended up damaging her – sometimes these things just happen.

      Thanks, Siiri <33

  2. Kelly says:

    Late last year I read my first verse novel and absolutely fell in love. Agree that they really aren’t for everyone though and it takes a quite a bit of getting used to. But this one sounds really confronting, which I think is probably highlighted by the short and choppy way the story is presented. Brilliant review Celine <3 Even though the storyline isn't my usual read, going to give this one a go simply for the verse aspect. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Kelly recently posted…Messenger of Fear by Michael GrantMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      I always love it when you try new things and you end up loving them 😀 Glad you enjoy verse novels so much! I really hope this one ends up working for you 🙂

      Thanks, Kelly <33

  3. Errr~ I loathe poetry let alone a novel that is written in verses. There was this book once that I really really want to read (Freakboy by Kirstin Elizabeth Clark) but I have to let go because it was written in verse. I’ve tried reading the first page but I just can’t get into it. So I set aside the book and I don’t know whether I’m going to pick it up again in the near future.

    Argh. Self-mutilation has always been a sensitive topic for me. And I am always curious as to why it happens to people. Hmmn, this one though would not work for me I think. Because if I want to read a book about self-mutilation, I’d like to learn more. I mean, what drives a person to do it? Are the little things enough reason for people to succumb to self-cutting? But again, I am no psychiatrist to state that people need to undergo an extreme ordeal before they resort to self-mutilation. Rough and dark moments can strike any person… anytime…anywhere.

    But yeah, it would be good if there’s a very valid reason behind why Kenna is hurting herself other than those little things that accumulated over the years.

    Lovely review, Celine!
    Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday {5}: Books I Really Want To Read But Don’t Own YetMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Haha, I can imagine that! I had to get used to it, but then it worked for me. However, I can totally understand your feelings as well.

      From what I gather from your comment, I don’t think this one is really for you, haha. I personally actually liked that Kenna didn’t have a really dark past or something – I think that kind of darkness can happen to anyone, even without a “real reason”. Of course, that varies and is unique to each person. I do think there are certain personality types that are more likely to get depressed than others, but that’s a discussion for another day 😛 So yeah, I personally think it can happen to everyone and that the book is meant for those people who feel even stranger because they just don’t seem to have a valid reason to be depressed/self-mutilate. But I’m obviously not an expert on the topic, so really I just don’t know how many people do or do not do this because of some triggering event! It’s likely that most people who self-mutilate do, though 🙂

      Thank you, Charlotte <33

  4. Rashika says:

    I actually really like how the main character doesn’t have a dark past or anything that urges her to cut herself. It actually makes the character more relateable in my opinion because for a lot of us, it will always be the small things that pile up and up and up until you finally break (okay that sounds depressing. I AM SORRY). Not everyone actually has skeletons in their closet!

    It sucks though that this is written in verse. I am not much of a poetry reader myself (although I do like poetry) so that would be something that would take effort adjusting to.

    I am glad you enjoyed this overall, Celine! 🙂

    Lovely review!
    Rashika recently posted…Random Things in Motion #8: Why I’m OK with Major Characters DyingMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Yes, I liked that too! And awhh, you’re not too depressing at all, don’t worry 😛 here’s a hug in case you need one: *hug* But yeah, I can definitely understand that feeling of just breaking because of so many little things piling up. Loved that aspect of the book 🙂

      It felt really strange for a while! I actually think this is my first novel in verse and it definitely took some adjusting 😛

      Thank you, Rashika <33

  5. Megan says:

    I’m super intimidated by verse novels and have yet to read one. This one sounds interesting though. Thanks for the review.
    Megan recently posted…Review: Madame Tussaud’s ApprenticeMy Profile

  6. So back in the day when I was new to Edelweiss, I requested for this book… and I was declined. I was so pissed because it sounded so good and the cover was gorgeous and ah! The book was everything I was looking for and adding to that—it’s a verse novel, which are rare, but I always end up loving them either way.

    Books that deal with mental illness and cutting really touch my soft side. They’re rare, but precious, and I usually end up taking my time to finish them because of the hidden meaning inside them. So you’re probably right, Celine! I bet that I’ll really enjoy this one—just for the lush meaning inside. Brilliant review!
    Michelle @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins Review: Devouring BrillianceMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Ooh, this definitely sounds like a book you’d like judging by your comment 🙂 Apparently people are pretty divided on verse novels, haha. But I’m glad you like them – have you read a lot? Can you recommend any?

      I really hope you’ll love this one, should you ever pick it up 🙂 Thank you, Michelle! <33

      • I’ve read a pretty fair amount, lovely! Here are some of my favourites: Glimpse/Carol Lynch Williams, Tilt/Ellen Hopkins (although I haven’t read any of her other pretties yet), What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know/Sonya Somes, ELEVATED/Elana Johnson (OMG AMAZING), Waiting/Carol Lynch Williams etc etc. But those are my top favourites! I really do hope that you’ll pick up and love these!

        Oh, I’m going to pick this one up as soon as it’s released! <3 September 9 isn't too far away!

  7. Tanja says:

    I knew that some people would be bothered with the writing style in this one but for me it really corresponded with the story itself. Sorry it bothered you. But I do agree that this book is perfect for people who cut or have someone who does that as it’s real and not sugarcoated. Great review, Celine 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (#110)My Profile

    • Celine says:

      It didn’t really bother me so much as that I had to get used to it! But it’s definitely not for everyone. I’m glad you enjoy it, though 😀

      Thanks, Tanja <33

  8. This sounds like an interesting novel, although sadly I rather abhor poetry and find it really annoying, so I might have to skip this one. I am glad you managed to make it through and actually quite like the writing style. Great review.
    Liv_TheAbsentHistorian recently posted…The Blue BlazesMy Profile

  9. Melanie says:

    Ooh I absolutely love verse books so I think I might give this one a go when I am feeling up to it! I do love the typography for this one too–it’s so BIG and pweety. I also like reading books to do with mental illness–I read Don’t Touch recently and the execution of mental illness there was absolutely fantastic.

    Lovely review, girly <33

  10. I’m so glad I read your review, Celine–I often don’t read blurbs before I read stuff, too, but books in verse are SO not for me, hah. I inevitably always want more from them, even if I like the book overall. Thanks for the heads up!
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Heir of Fire: ReviewMy Profile

  11. I just read another review of this one! I for one am glad to know that this is a verse book as I cannot stand them at all. To be fair, I’ve yet to read a compelling one that can really grab my interest, but still… I think sometimes there are just “things” that happen out of the blue. The fact that she has no dark past, has had an ordinary, normal life, makes the cutting thing even scarier because it only goes to show it can affect anyone. >_<
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    • Celine says:

      Verse books definitely aren’t for everyone, judging by the comments so far, so you aren’t alone! It does make it scarier! Darkness can come over anyone and I loved that aspect of the book because it’s chilling and thought-provoking.

  12. Wow this sounds powerful and emotional but I can definitely see why the verse would be a surprise! Especially if you weren’t expecting it. That’s a great phrase that you put in though, it gives us a different insight into people who do this. Great review lovely!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins Review: Devouring BrillianceMy Profile

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