Mira and Francesca Cillo—beautiful, overprotected, odd—seemed untouchable. But Ben touched seven parts of Mira: her palm, hair, chest, cheek, lips, throat, and heart. After the sisters drown themselves in the quarry lake, a post-mortem letter from Mira sends Ben on a quest to find notes in the seven places where they touched. Note by note, Ben discovers the mystical secret at the heart of Mira and Francesca’s world, and that some things are better left untouched.
*An ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
It felt a little strange giving Beautiful Broken Girls a lonely star (and a half, to make me feel a little less guilty) it’s something so rare for me, I think I’ve only given 2 other books 1 star. Ever. Unfortunately, for this one I’ll have to be honest and say it was a complete waste of time and I have no idea how I finished it. Let me tell y’all something, I came into this book excited as hell, ready for one thrilling adventure. I expected dark and disturbing, what I got was unnaturally tame and boring.
Beautiful Broken Girls is primarily about the mysterious Cillo sisters, Mira and Francesca, who have drowned in a quarry pool cliff. The story is told in the perspective of Ben, the Cillos’ neighbor, who had an on-again-off-again secret love affair with Mira, and is now left to investigate the sisters’ story through notes left by Mira in the places where Ben touched Mira. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? That’s what I believed too, before I came to the realization that I was being CONNED.
The writing is lyrical and even beautiful at times, but for the most part, it was convoluted and unnecessarily detailed. It was a major hurdle for me throughout because there was hardly any dialogue, most of it was description bordering on purple prose. Bland, tasteless commentary on random things and characters in the story lead to nothing actually happening. Most of the book consists of Ben riding around on a bike, punching his friends, and creepily lusting after a dead girl, things that do not exemplify the girls’ presence, or the mystery and twisted nature of their death and legacy. There are many thriller/mysteries that exempt themselves from humor or a lightheartedness that I usually enjoy, but these books are excellent in their writing, character depth, and story. The Walls Around Us and All The Rage are also darker books with a very serious tones, but they are never boring. The emotional, raw, and uncensored story-telling is what makes them so engrossing. Beautiful Broken Girls has a lot of interesting concepts, while diving in we are introduced to Catholic undertones and a Virgin Suicides-type mystery, but because of the detached, confusing writing, we never get to see the success of these ideas.