Wednesday, February 18, 2015

[Review] Of Breakable Things by A. Lynden Rolland

Of Breakable Things by A. Lynden Rolland

Rating: 4.5 stars
Series: Of Breakable Things #1
Release Date: April 2014

Goodreads Synopsis:

A captivating debut about the fragility of life, love, and perspective.

When Chase dies tragically, Alex embraces her own mortality. What she didn’t expect was that she’d have to make a choice: forget the years of pain and suffering once and for all, or linger as a spirit and get another chance at life and love.

Alex doesn’t hesitate to choose; she’d follow Chase anywhere. But the spirit world is nothing like she expected, and Alex finds she's forced to fight for her life once more. For even in a world where secrets are buried much deeper than six feet under, a legacy can continue to haunt you—and in a place this dangerous, no one is resting in peace.

When I first picked this book up, I thought it would be another "star-crossed" lovers story. But it turned out to be so much more. 

In the world Rolland created, you are allowed a second chance. Especially for those who died young and weren't able to live out their lives to the best of their abilities. Now for these "newburies", as they are called, they are sent to a school to learn how to control and use their newfound powers. 

It sounded like the makings of another Harry Potter story. Not quite. Of Breakable Things was written like an out of body experience - everything you think becomes real. Moving objects with your mind, moving through cell phone waves as a form of transportation, having connections between the spirit and the real world, all of this is possible in Eidolon. 

The characters, from Alex Ash to the Lasalles and to all the other families, multigenerational or otherwise, all were unique. The Bonds were quiet and stranger while the Darwins were aggressive. Seeing Alex grow accustomed from being unfamiliar with her abilities to being able to accept and use them was great. As a protagonist, I was happy that her love of Chase Lasalle didn't weaken her, and instead it gave her strength. 

Now instead of focusing on the school and learning aspect of how everything works in this world, there was more of a focus on the mysteries surrounding Alex Ash's powers and her mother, as well as some friction and tension, with Alex and the Lasalle brothers, Jonas and Chase, and between the different families in the school. I will admit, I would have liked to know more about how the Lasalles ended up dying, and many of the others' pasts, which prevents me from giving this book 5 stars, but perhaps we'll see this in the second book. 

Despite this, I was absorbed in the world of Eidolon from beginning to end. I could practically picture this "better" version of our world, this world of spirits surrounded by vibrant colors and thoughts. Rolland even created her own unique take on the scariness of haunted houses; it's because of the spirits! Halloween must be an exciting time for them. 
Even the use of banshees in this world is well placed, as former spirits who have lost their minds. 

Nothing played out the way I expected it to, with so many plot twists and turns. Sure, Alex and Chase ended up together. But Eidolon isn't as perfect as we think it is; it's not heaven for everyone who has died. I felt bad for Jonas - not only does he not have the girl of his dreams, he's exiled, too. It ends on a cliffhanger of sorts; with the secrets of the spirit world slowly revealing themselves. That being said, I can't wait to read Of Breakable Things #2. 

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