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John Clark <[log in to unmask]>
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John Clark <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 9 May 2019 22:30:13 -0400
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All Our Broken Pieces / L.D. Crichton, Hyperion, May 7, 2019. ISBN

Take two very flawed teens and have them end up living next door. Lennon's
OCD was barely maintained at best when she was living in Maine with her
mom, then went full blown when Mom was hit and killed by a drunk driver.
Lennon's rational brain cells tell her that she was not responsible, but
they're beaten into submission over and over by her need to keep pending
disaster at bay through her rituals. A three month stay at Riverview
Psychiatric Center (I worked at its precursor for 27 years), stabilized her
somewhat, but now, she's been transplanted to California, facing a new
school, a hostile step-sister and additional demons.
Kyler, the boy living next door, has his own demons, courtesy of a fire
that burned one side of his face when he was six. He's compensated by
withdrawing from much of life and wearing hoodies. Even though he loves
writing music and playing in the band called Fire To Dust, he formed with
three friends, he refuses to consider playing in public, much to the
frustration of the other band members.
When these two meet, it's the beginning of something magical and way bigger
than either could predict. It's rocky, scary and a bit snarky as they
realize how well their brokenness meshes. There are plenty of things I
really like about the story. Both main characters are real as heck, they
love to play with words to make up new band names (something I do that
drives my wife a bit batty), secondary characters are all over the good to
bad spectrum, with Lennon's little stepbrother being ultra cool while her
stepsister is one of the most despicable teens in this year's crop of
books. The overall portrayal of Lennon's particular type of OCD is spot on.
It's a fascinating read and one that deserves a spot in any public or
school library.