Sunday, February 04, 2018

Our Broken Pieces, by Sarah White

Everly has suffered from panic attacks since her best friend Elle betrayed her by hooking up with Everly's boyfriend Brady.  Worse, Elle has taken to making up stories to turn their former friends against Everly.  To cope with the stress and her anxiety, Everly has been seeing a psychologist.

One day, in the waiting room, she meets Gabe.  Gabe has issues of his own (coping with a sister who is bipolar and straining the bonds of their family) but he and Everly click in a more fundamental and romantic way.  And through Gabe's attentions and Everly's refocusing on her school extracurriculars, she finds a road to recovery.

A fairly lightweight examination of topics like depression and mental illness that could have easily gotten heavy.  That makes for pleasant reading, but doesn't really provide the heft and depth that the topics deserved.  And while the romance was pretty hot, I found the fairly frequent sex scenes gratuitous and trashy.

But most of all, I twitched at the foregone conclusion that the only true way for Everly to dig herself out of her sense of low self-worth is to find a new boyfriend.  That this final solution follows after explicit nods to the value of support from family and friends, as well as some searching for behavior modification through her counselor, just underscores the message that when you lose a boy, the only acceptable solution is to find a new one.  I would have found the story more uplifting if the climax of the story had not been Everly's promposal.

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