After a devastating tragedy, Pixie Marshall was hoping to move on with her life with a summer of free room and board working at her aunt’s inn. Except she’s alarmed to discover that the resident handyman for the summer is Levi Andrews who was once her friend – and maybe more – before their lives both shattered in a second. Wracked with guilt, she just wants to avoid him as much as possible, but his constant presence next door is stirring up feelings Pixie thought were dead – and he won’t stop stealing all the hot water!
Levi isn’t thrilled to see Pixie either. She’s the one person who shares his painful memories and has every right to hate him. But the more he sees her, the more he is drawn to the girl he’s always wanted. Can love heal these two broken people?
While well-written, I found BEST KIND OF BROKEN more frustrating than anything. There is an air of melancholy hovering over the entire book that never clears. Both characters feel immense guilt over the accident that shattered their lives, yet it never felt like something that one good conversation couldn’t fix. The sub-genre of “characters with a shared tragic past” is a growing one in new adult, so there is a lot of competition. I’ve read books where the obstacles felt insurmountable (e.g. Fighting Fate by Linda Kage where the hero actually killed the heroine’s brother), and this one felt lightweight by comparison.
The characters just go through the same, repetitive steps (awkward hallway run-ins, lingering looks full of meaning, lots of internal angst – and repeat) to the point that I wanted something more to actually happen.
What makes it most frustrating is that the bones of a really good book are present. The characters are likeable, the attraction between the leads is hot, and the author knows how to write. I love the moments of humor as Pixie and Levi battle over the hot water, and she plugs in all her devices to blow a fuse as he is mid-shave in retaliation. But these moments are too few and far between and get smothered under too much sadness, melancholy and misunderstandings.
SOMETIMES MOVING ON MEANS MOVING IN
Pixie Marshall wishes every day she could turn back time and fix the past. But she can't. And the damage is done. She's hoping that a summer of free room and board working with her aunt at the Willow Inn will help her forget. Except there's a problem: the resident handyman is none other than Levi Andrews. The handsome quarterback was once her friend-and maybe more--until everything changed in a life-shattering instant. She was hoping to avoid him, possibly forever. Now he's right down the hall and stirring up feelings Pixie thought she'd long buried . . .
Levi can't believe he's living with the one person who holds all his painful memories. More than anything he wants to make things right, but a simple "sorry" won't suffice--not when the tragedy that scarred them was his fault. Levi knows Pixie's better off without him, but every part of him screams to touch her, protect her, wrap her in his arms, and kiss away the pain. Yet even though she's so close, Pixie's heart seems more unreachable than ever. Seeing those stunning green eyes again has made one thing perfectly clear--he can't live without her.