Nat's not an alcoholic. She doesn't have a problem. Everybody parties, everybody does stupid things, like get in their car when they can barely see. Still, with six months of court-ordered AA meetings required, her days of vodka-filled water bottles are over.
Unfortunately her old friends want the party girl or nothing. Even her up-for-anything ex seems more interested in rehashing the past than actually helping Nat.
But then a recovering alcoholic named Joe inserts himself into Nat’s life and things start looking up. Joe is funny, smart, and calls her out in a way no one ever has.
He’s also older. A lot older.
Nat’s connection to Joe is overwhelming but so are her attempts to fit back into her old world, all while battling the constant urge to crack a bottle and blur that one thing she's been desperate to forget.
Now in order to make a different kind of life, Natalie must pull together her broken parts and learn to fight for herself.
I've never read anything by Desir so I didn't know what to expect going into this - from that blurb it could be great or awful. I actually really enjoyed Other Broken Things. Natalie is a brilliant character - she was tough and sarcastic, but that was just as much a defence mechanism than her personality. The idea of Joe being an older guy was a little bit gross for me (Joe is much older than 17 year old Nat), but the relationship itself was absolutely brilliant. I really enjoyed the way the relationship developed and how it ended.
This book isn't just about Nat's relationship with Joe though, it's her relationship with her parents - her Dad more bothered about his reputation than Nat's health and her mother too weak to stand up to him. The way this peaked and the way this ended was the only possible way it could have been. I also loved Nat's personal development, the way she comes to terms with her wrongs and her reality and she grabs it by the horns and makes things right. This was a really meaningful book to me - you don't have to be an alcoholic to relate to this book.
The thing that makes me hesitant to give this book a high mark is the relationship between Joe and Nat, namely the age difference. I think Desir really tries to make it natural but I think it may have worked if Joe was a little younger and Nat a little older. As it was, it was creepy - I liked the dynamics of what the relationship meant to them both, but the age difference was difficult to get past.
Overall Rating: B
Book released 12th January 2016 by Simon Pulse
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review