Author: A. E. Rought
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Publication Date: January 8th, 2013
Imagine a modern spin on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein where a young couple’s undying love and the grief of a father pushed beyond sanity could spell the destruction of them all.
A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry’s boyfriend, Daniel. Emma is broken, a hollow shell mechanically moving through her days. She and Daniel had been made for each other, complete only when they were together. Now she restlessly wanders the town in the late Fall gloom, haunting the cemetary and its white-marbled tombs, feeling Daniel everywhere, his spectre in the moonlight and the fog.
When she encounters newcomer Alex Franks, only son of a renowned widowed surgeon, she’s intrigued despite herself. He’s an enigma, melting into shadows, preferring to keep to himself. But he is as drawn to her as she is to him. He is strangely…familiar. From the way he knows how to open her locker when it sticks, to the nickname she shared only with Daniel, even his hazel eyes with brown flecks are just like Daniel’s. The closer they become, though, the more something inside her screams there’s something very wrong with Alex Franks.
And when Emma stumbles across a grotesque and terrifying menagerie of mangled but living animals within the walls of the Franks’ estate, creatures she surely knows must have died from their injuries, she knows.
A.E. Rought's BROKEN, which will be published on January 8, 2013, is marketed as a "retelling of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein." And that really is what it is.
I must admit that when I saw the description on NetGalley, I jumped on this book because Frankenstein is one of my favorite novels. Sometimes I got bored of the "I love him so much I'm gonna die" parts, but it wasn't a book I wanted to give up and throw away. I was curious to find out what was going to happen next. When I finished it, my reaction was, "mehhh," and I didn't even feel like writing about it. But then I got mad.
One of the books I read this year is Paige Harbison's "New Girl," which is a retelling of Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca. I wasn't crazy about that one either. The magic and the feel of Rebecca was gone; it was a wayyy simplified version. I thought about this as I was reading BROKEN... After I was done, I checked out the comments on GoodReads and got really, really mad.
According to the comments I've read, most readers who read BROKEN haven't read Frankenstein. And I would like to know why that is. Why settle for a retelling when the original is so damn good? Aren't kids supposed to read it in school anymore? First, I thought maybe they choose to retell stories to get kids more interested in them. Well, though s**t! I really think they should try reading something that isn't too easy for a change. It's not BROKEN's fault, really. It's a good book. But it happened to catch me at my boiling point.
When main character Emma's boyfriend Daniel dies, she gets very depressed. She walks around in cemeteries and remembers Daniel and how much they loved each other. Until she meets Alex Frans, that is. And I'm sure you guessed Alex is Frankenstein before I even say it.
Like I've said, it's a good book. But please read the original first and compare for yourself.