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Reviewed by Dinah Roseberry for Readers' Favorite
I loved Broken Dolls by Tyrolin Puxty! I was first drawn by the strange cover; it had a sci fi-ish look, yet an innocence hidden in the form of a partial ballerina—a broken doll. Hmm, I thought. What could this be about? I was very excited to find that the doll was a real doll with a real human part to her. The action went from page to page quickly with a sweet pull, and I had difficulty putting it down. Ella is the heroine in this bizarre treatment of a seemingly nice but unusual “professor” taking care of dolls that were somehow really human. How does that happen? Why does it happen? This can’t be right. It's unfortunate that Ella, with significant memory loss, can’t figure out the mystery, and she’s not sure she wants to know the answers anyway. She only wants to dance and to be unbroken. More and more obstacles (in the way of other dolls and even a human child) come to her home in the unkempt attic, deepening the secrecy that seems to be clouding the truth. Can she be saved? Can any of them escape? Do they even want to? Well, there’s more than meets the eye here—or doll, in this case.
Tyrolin Puxty has a comfortable style of writing that makes you cozy right into the plot from page one and especially connect to the characters. Suddenly, it doesn’t matter that Ella and Lisa are dolls—they are so much more. There are layers and layers of mystery, and I didn’t see the creative outcome arriving. It’s a good one. Broken Dolls can also have a deeper psychological meaning if you care to ponder it once you’re done reading. I didn’t expect that either. I was compelled to learn more about the author and visited her site and read the couple-page offering at the back of the book as a sample for the next doll book. Yay! A next one! You may ask yourself once you’ve completed Puxty’s Broken Dolls what you would do if you found yourself in such a circumstance. Trust me, it won’t be an easy answer. Of course, not everyone can pull off wearing a tutu anyway! An excellent read and the layout of the book is fabulous!