14 March 2014

Indie Review: Fractured Hearts by Krystle Lewallen

Intriguing YA Debut

Fractured Heart opens with Katy in the throes of depression brought on by the unexpected death of her grandmother, who raised her and her brother after their father died and their mother abandoned them. Katy’s problems only grow with the funeral, and when she takes a longed-for graduation trip to New York city.

Fractured Hearts is written in the first person, present tense, from Katy’s point of view. This works best when the viewpoint character is strong, when the writer has the skill to allow the character’s flaws to come out as much through the subtext as through the text. Lewallen manages this well. I didn’t always understand why Katy thought or acted in certain ways, but I believed it was real for Katy, and that’s what counts.

Fractured Hearts was well-plotted, with strong characters (although there's a chance Caleb is a little too perfect). There are  writing and editing issues (a lot of run-on sentences, some typos, and an instance where a scene mentioned Collin and I’m sure it meant Caleb), but these didn’t detract from the overall story, which was original, well-structured and well-written, with flashes of brilliance:
“She was that relative at Christmas parties who drank way too much, made a fool of herself, and passed out early.”
I never had that relative (thank goodness), but it speaks volumes about Katy and her early upbringing. I’d compare Krystle Lewallen with authors such as Michelle Dennis Evans and Diana Symons, who also write edgy but realistic Young Adult/New Adult fiction. All three focus on heroines who have had to face some difficulty, but who have worked through it.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Krystle Lewallen at her website.

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