Review: The Summer of Broken Things by Margaret Person Haddix

The Summer of Broken Things by Margaret Person Haddix
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster's Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: ARC provided by publicist via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
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From New York Times bestselling author Margaret Peterson Haddix comes a haunting novel about friendship and what it really means to be a family in the face of lies and betrayal.

Fourteen-year-old Avery Armisted is athletic, rich, and pretty. Sixteen-year-old Kayla Butts is known as “butt-girl” at school. The two girls were friends as little kids, but that’s ancient history now. So it’s a huge surprise when Avery’s father offers to bring Kayla along on a summer trip to Spain. Avery is horrified that her father thinks he can choose her friends—and make her miss soccer camp. Kayla struggles just to imagine leaving the confines of her small town.

But in Spain, the two uncover a secret their families had hidden from both of them their entire lives. Maybe the girls can put aside their differences and work through it together. Or maybe the lies and betrayal will only push them—and their families—farther apart.

Margaret Peterson Haddix weaves together two completely separate lives in this engaging novel that explores what it really means to be a family—and what to do when it’s all falling apart.


The Summer of Broken Things is a heartwarming YA contemporary about how one summer can change everything.  

What I Liked: 

  1. The Dual POV - The Summer of Broken Things alternates between Kayla's and Avery's POVs. Margaret did a great job of switching between them, and I liked how they both sounded unique. Kayla's reflected her upbeat, bubbly personality while Avery's reflected her moodiness. 
  2. The Characters - Kayla and Avery couldn't be any more different. Avery's always had everything in life handed to her, and her personality shows that. She's temperamental, needy, and selfish, and if she doesn't get what she wants...well, you don't want to be near her. At first, I couldn't connect with Avery. I couldn't believe some of the things she did and said, especially to her father and Kayla. As the book progressed, Avery did begin to grow and mature and I started to like her a bit more. Kayla, on the other hand, hasn't come from much, but what her family doesn't have in money they've made up for in love. I loved the relationship between Kayla and her mother and her grandparents. It was so incredibly sweet, and after seeing Avery's unhealthy relationship with her own family, it was a refreshing alternative. Over the summer, Kayla also experiences some big changes - she learns to be more than just that "butt girl," and she embraces her body. I loved seeing her find her place in her new environment. I also loved Avery's dad. He was such a saint, and it was sweet how much he wanted to give Kayla and Avery a perfect summer. 
  3. The Setting - The Summer of Broken Things takes place in Spain for the majority of the story. I appreciated that Margaret included bits about Spain's history within the book - some things even shocked me, I couldn't believe I didn't know them - and I loved the descriptions she included. They were so summery and bright, painting a vivid picture. I also appreciated how she intertwined pieces of Spanish into the book through Kayla and Avery's spanish class. 
  4. The Meaning of "Family" - Margaret does a great job of addressing all the definitions that the word family can take on, and while I won't talk to much about this fact to avoid potential spoilers, I really enjoyed this aspect. Honestly, I think it was my favorite part of the book, especially when it came to the growth and understanding Kayla and Avery experienced because of it. 
  5. The Ending - At first, I couldn't believe that was it. I so badly wanted more, but after thinking about it for a few hours, I've decided I really liked it. It's open-ended, but at the same time, it gives the kind of conclusion that I hoped for from the beginning, one of positivity and hope for the future. 

What I Didn't Like: 

When it comes down to it there's nothing specific I didn't like. I found The Summer of Broken Things to be an fast-paced, enjoyable read; however, I did sometimes with it would've been more unique. I feel like I've read lots of books like this before - learning there's more to life than money, becoming friends with the person you least expect - and while Margaret did give it a fresh set of eyes through the topics she used, I do wish there was a bit more "zazz." 

Regardless, The Summer of Broken Things is still a book I would recommend, especially to those who love contemporary YA. I look forward to reading more by Margaret in the future. 

4 stars!! 


  1. That is such a lovely cover. I hadn't paid attention to it before, but it sounds like a good story. The characters especially sound great.
    I'm glad you liked it despite wanting just a little bit more of something.
    Lovely review! :)

  2. I am reading this one soon, so I am happy this is a positive review. I am old, so I don't expect too much along the lines of a unique story. Let's be real, many of the theme covered in books are from the Bible. BUT I do expect the authors to entertain me, make me feel something, and craft great characters for me. I am excited that this is set outside the US, and I have never been to Spain, so I am interested in that aspect of the story for sure.

  3. Các bệnh hay gặp hiện nay:
    bài thuốc trị viêm phế quản
    cách chữa viêm phế quản co thắt
    đau vai gáy và cách chữa trị
    chữa viêm phế quản mãn tính bằng lá trầu không và cách chữa trị hiệu quả nhất
    hiện nay chúng ta cùng tìm hiểu nhé, các bạn yêu của tôi, tôi yêu các bạn nhiều lắm luôn ấy, vân vân và mây mây


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