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Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine

Broken Soup

by Jenny Valentine

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2731659,052 (4.05)8
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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
A warm, original, intelligent book about loss, friendship, family, memory; a book with three dimensional characters that you'll admire and care deeply about and be sorry to say goodbye to.
  chronic | Mar 23, 2017 |
This is a lovely story about 15-year-old, Rowan, who is trying to hold her family together after the death of her older brother, Jack, in a drowning accident. Her father has left the family home and her mother is suffering from a severe nervous breakdown so it left to Rowan to take care of the house, her mother and her little sister, Stroma. However, Rowan's life becomes even more complicated when a teenage boy hands her a negative claiming that she dropped it while in the checkout queue of the grocery store.

This book deals with personal identity, bereavement, friendship and the difficulties of growing up. Rowan is a very engaging, likeable character who is struggling to survive. She is stubborn, introspective, brutally honest with herself and lonely. Although quite sad in parts, the book doesn't wallow in gloom and the thread of mystery throughout the story adds to a satisfying plot with an unexpected twist at the end. A worthwhile read. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jan 22, 2016 |
15-year old Rowan's world is still shaken from the death of her outgoing, lovable older brother Jack. But she's not reeling. She doesn't have time for that. Jack's death has left a hole in her family that has plunged her mother into a deep depression, broken up her parents' marriage, and left her to singlehandedly run the household and care for her 6-year old sister, Stroma.

Then something weird happens at the grocery store, and her life starts to change. A guy she's never seen before tells her that she dropped something and hands her a photo negative. It's definitely not hers. She doesn't even have a camera. So she throws it away.

But the curiosity of a schoolmate, Bee, who witnessed the exchange compels her to fish it out of the trash and develop the photo. It's really not hers. But it's of her dead brother. Where did it come from? And who was that guy?

This is one of the most mature and realistic "journey of healing" type books I've read. It wasn't gimmicky at ALL, and this book had the potential to be extremely gimmicky. It wasn't wrapped up too nice and neat at the end. The 15-year old narrator matures visibly throughout the course of the book. I especially liked the way the romance was handled. Rowan didn't bore everyone by spending page after page pining after her crush when she clearly has other things on her mind, and yet it managed to feel natural, not cheap or tacked on. It was a minor part of the book, but added a nice element.

I would definitely recommend this book to teens looking for a realistic read. ( )
  weener | Dec 25, 2011 |
Having read the Ant Colony recently, which I liked immensely, I was a little disappointed in this title. Valentine writes well and explores some of her characteristic themes--the mysterious connections we form with others as a result of bad circumstances (the silver lining to the cloud) and the need to make one's own family when the biological one you're born into doesn't work. The characters are likable but after a particular mystery is solved--where a mysterious photo negative of the main character Rowan's dead brother actually came from--the book seemed to lose its luster. I might've liked it more had I read it before the Ant Colony. There is some mild profanity in the text recommending it for a 14+ crowd, for those of you out there who select books for school and public libraries. ( )
1 vote fountainoverflows | Jul 4, 2011 |
This was one of the more touching YA books I've read. No wonder that it received awards and great reviews.

Occasionally, I felt that the style of writing was a bit too distracting, pulling one's attention away from the story to the more stylistic, verbal elements, instead of emphasizing the plot, the characters and the message.

The characters in the book are all very memorable. Particularly Rowan with her big heart, tolerance, acceptance and understanding for everything and everyone. She's a much better person than I am and I wished, many times throughout the book, that I could be a bit more like her.

Reading this story will leave a mark. ( )
  bluejulie | Feb 21, 2011 |
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For Molly and Ella, Jess and Emma, and Kate. All great sisters.
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It wasn't mine
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A photographic negative and two surprising new friends become the catalyst for healing as fifteen-year-old Rowan struggles to keep her family and her life together after her brother's death.

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