September 9, 2014
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Madeleine Kuderick’s gripping debut is a darkly beautiful and lyrical novel in verse, perfect for fans of Sonya Sones and Laurie Halse Anderson. Kiss of Broken Glass pulses with emotion and lingers long after the last page.
In the next seventy-two hours, Kenna may lose everything—her friends, her freedom, and maybe even herself. One kiss of the blade was all it took to get her sent to the psych ward for seventy-two hours. There she will face her addiction to cutting, though the outcome is far from certain.
When fifteen-year-old Kenna is found cutting herself in the school bathroom, she is sent to a facility for mandatory psychiatric watch. There, Kenna meets other kids like her—her roommate, Donya, who’s there for her fifth time; the birdlike Skylar; and Jag, a boy cute enough to make her forget her problems . . . for a moment.
Kuderick's debut novel is the story, told in verse, of fifteen-year-old Kenna, a cutter, who has been Baker Acted. Now under a seventy-two hour psychiatric hold after being discovered cutting in the school bathroom, this is Keena's first time under observation.
Though, Kiss of Broken Glass is short, it works because it is told in verse. Verse novels are not something I usually seek out (while I don't avoid them, I don't specifically look for them, either) but this book's premise appealed to me.
Kuderick does a really fantastic job in her debut novel. Her poetry is very lyrical and seems to choose just the right words and breaks for maximum impact. Readers will get to know Kenna and the others at the facility; they'll learn why Kenna started cutting and see how much a part of her life it has become.
You also see the makeup of Kenna's family and how it may have impacted her decisions.
Despite the short length of Kiss of Broken Glass, it is full of brilliant characters, relationships, emotion and tells Kenna's story beautifully. Things do not get all wrapped up in a tidy, little bow, but that fits with the honest, real feeling of the story. (A feeling only enhanced when one reads the Author's Note.)
This is author, Madeline Kuderick's first novel and I hope to be able to read more from her in the future.
Another book you may also enjoy: Purge by Sarah Darer Littman