Book Review: Broken by Elizabeth Pulford

BrokenThe motorcycle accident that killed her brother Jem left Zara in a coma. Lying in her hospital bed she struggles with understanding why people she knows and loves talk to her as though she can’t hear them. At the same time, her dreams tell her she is trapped inside a comic, drawing her own way out of danger while she searches for her brother.

Zara’s frustration is evident, because everything she seeks seems just beyond her reach. She can’t communicate with her parents and friends, and she can’t find her brother. As she goes back and forth between awareness and dream states, she also gets closer to the truth of a terrifying incident that occurred when she was quite young. Facing the truth of painful events, both past and present, may be the only way Zara finds a way to her future.

Broken by Elizabeth Pulford is a combination of prose and graphic novel. Illustrated by Angus Gomes, graphic moments resemble comic books. It’s an inventive way to tell a story, and it works because Jem was passionate about comic books and Zara is an artist. She is sure she can find him among the pages of his favorite series, Hoodman.

While the action advanced more slowly than I would have liked and some of the graphic scenes were confusing (as dreams sometimes are), Broken brings up several issues worth thinking about and discussing. In what ways do we hide our true selves to keep from being hurt? Are we responsible when something bad happens to us? Can facing the things we fear bring us more peace?

The publisher gave me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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