Release Date: September 9th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Verse, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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.
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
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!~
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