Broken Like Me

Fiction - New Adult
320 Pages
Reviewed on 06/27/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite

Broken Like Me by Kaitie Howie had me spellbound, a story with sophisticated characters and strong plot points. Readers are introduced to two key characters with difficult pasts—Rose and Josh. Rose has long stopped dreaming and believing that life can be better and that a miracle can take away her pain. The only link she has to this world is her fragile new-born baby. When she moves to a new building, she develops a relationship with Josh, one that starts with a meal when they get to know each other’s story. Josh lives with friends in the same building and he has had his fair share of pain. The empathy and bond between Josh and Rose grow naturally and it is like they perfectly understand each other’s brokenness. But when what they have been trying to build from the moment they first met is threatened by the darkness from their past, can they stand together and for each other?

I just love this novel. I love it! The story absorbs you from the very first page and the characters are so beautifully written, so real it is hard to ignore them. Kaitie Howie’s attention to detail, especially when it comes to what the characters feel, her world-building, and plot points are excellently executed. The suspense is there, and it has a solid grip on the reader, forcing the reader to turn the pages, wondering what will happen to Rose and Josh, and the little girl. The prose is stellar; the descriptions are top-notch, and character development is one of the unique strengths of the narrative. From the moment the reader meets Rose, clutching her newborn baby in her arms, following her troubled mind, her reminiscences of her life and painful condition, they are unable to let go. You will stick with these characters through every page in spite of you feeling their pain, hanging onto the weak threads of their hope, and cheering as they face one challenge after another.

Ruffina Oserio

Broken Like Me by Kaitie Howie is a poignant story that deals with overcoming trauma and forging on in spite of the hardships in life. Rose had once believed in the happily-ever-after, that someday someone would come along and sweep her away, wresting her from her misery. But as she grew up, she understood that life can be cruel. A woman with a painful past, she finds solace in taking care of her daughter, Scarlett, who means everything to her. When she moves to a new building, she meets Josh, a man with his own inner demons to fight. Josh lives in the same building with his friends. He has lost his mom when he was only nine years old. He has his own struggles, his own losses, and trauma. All he wants now is to protect the only family he has left. The connection between Josh and Rose is strong and it is not long before their wounds bind them together. But when they have to face the threat from their pasts, what strength will they have to protect each other?

This is a mesmerizing story with very complex characters and a plot that takes readers to places they never imagined when they opened the book. Kaitie Howie writes characters that are genuinely flawed, deeply human, and realistic, exploring their emotions with meticulousness and allowing readers to step into their mindscapes and feel their pain and frustration, and their grit. Themes of family, love, survival, trauma, and mental health are brilliantly explored, and I particularly enjoyed how Kaitie Howie uses the streams of consciousness to bring the inner worlds of these characters to life. The prose is impeccable, brimming with strong descriptions and emotions that readers can identify with. Readers will immediately see the author’s ability to explore raw emotions. The strongest point of Broken Like Me is the author’s ability to write characters that are real, giving them authenticity by exploring their vulnerability and the pain that connects the key characters. The narrative voice is lively, and the dialogues are well-crafted to enrich the narrative.

Vincent Dublado

Readers will admire Kaitie Howie’s Broken Like Me for its theme about an ever-persisting societal evil; survival and starting over. The story is about Rose Simmons, who just gave birth to her daughter named Scarlett. Her tale begins in a very unsettling situation, as she tries to flee from the hospital with her baby. As the story unravels, it turns out that Rose is trying to escape from her abuser and to protect her child. When she moves to Florida to begin a new life, she meets Josh Brooks, an apartment neighbor who occupies her thoughts. Josh seems genuine and a promising acquaintance. But just like her, Josh is harboring a past and is rebuilding his own life. Fate seems to have brought them together, but the future has so many challenges in store for them including a court trial—but being broken is okay when they’re together.

Broken Like Me is a daring take on a common theme with an original idea, and it strongly connects with readers because whether we admit it or not, we all have a dark past. Kaitie Howie’s strong pacing underlines Rose’s development from a victim of abuse to a survivor. It has moments of unpredictable tension that you know will soon haunt both Rose and Josh, but you don’t know how it will strike. This similarly affirms that a common theme can be presented from different angles if it falls into the right hands. Broken Like Me is honest and it is one facet of abuse from the point of view of Rose that will make you feel uneasy then ultimately liberates you. Her meeting with Josh is fated from the beginning. With their common ground of trying to escape from their respective pasts, they become a support group to each other. And having someone to help get you through gives you the reassurance that the world isn’t so bad and makes this story a very good read.

Pikasho Deka

Broken Like Me is an enthralling new adult romance drama novel written by Kaitie Howie. Recently moved from North Carolina, single mother Rose's attempts to escape her past tormenters bring her to Florida, where she meets Josh, a young man similarly haunted by his past. Initially skeptical of his intentions, Rose gradually finds herself drawn toward Josh and his circle of friends, creating their own little family. But trouble comes knocking when Josh's murderer of a stepfather, Geoffrey, is released from prison, threatening the lives of Josh and his Aunt Kathy. Meanwhile, Rose's mother unexpectedly shows up at her apartment, asking her to testify on behalf of her childhood abuser. Will Rose give in to blackmail for the sake of her daughter? Will Rose and Josh ever have a secure future together?

Broken Like Me is a heartbreaking tale of a young woman suffering from years of childhood abuse and trying to provide her daughter with a better life against all odds. Author Kaitie Howie masterfully explores how childhood trauma affects victims for years, impacting their way of life. The book also shows how hard it is for the victims to speak out against their abusers and the unpredictable nature of the justice system. The characters feel like real people with complex motives and layers of depth. I found Rose, Josh, Bronte, and Evan to be my personal favorites. If you're looking for a well-written romance drama novel featuring young adults that explores some relevant social issues, Broken Like Me is the book you're searching for.

Rabia Tanveer

Broken Like Me by Kaitie Howie is much more than a romance. The story follows two individuals fighting their battles when they find solace in each other. All Josh wants to do is provide a better life for his family, but fear has a way of creeping in and ruining everything. Rose has a newborn daughter who needs her the most. All Rose wants to do is protect her daughter and give her a better life. When she moves into the building where Josh lives, she finds out that life does not have to be so hard if she has a companion who understands her struggles. They form a friendship, and before they know it, their relationship blossoms into something more. When hard times come knocking on their door, what will they do? Can Josh and Rose stand by each other in their hard times, or will they let their personal demons destroy it all?

Rose is such a strong character. She knows her dreams are not coming true, and she needs to be her own hero if she wants to survive. Escaping is not an option for her, so she does everything in her power to be the savior she needs. Josh is more complex; he is a little hesitant, but he is open to love and friendship. I love how the two of them become friends, then companions in their grief and struggles, and then they fall in love. Kaitie Howie has done such a good job with Broken Like Me. The emotions are raw, and you can feel them as you experience the story. It was so easy for me to picture what was happening. The descriptions are beautiful, the imagery is rich, and the characters are incredible. It is an emotional story, but so worth it!