Published by Running Press Kids on August 27th 2013
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Zara has one immediate and urgent goal, and it is to find her brother, Jem. She faces a few complications, though, not the least of which is searching for him in her subconscious while she is in a coma.
Zara’s coma has pulled her into the world of Jem’s favorite comic-book hero. But no matter how quickly Zara literally draws her own escape, she is taunted deeper into the fantastical darkness by the comic’s villain, Morven. All the while she is caught between the present with visits from friends and family in the hospital and the past by flashbacks of a traumatic event long ago forgotten.
The search for her brother may help Zara see the light, but in order to find him, she must face her innermost secrets first. In a multi-layered tale that intertwines comic-book/graphic novel elements with first-person narration, Elizabeth Pulford explores the dimensions of hope, love, loyalty, denial, and truth.
Broken is a story told both in word and in graphic format that shows both sides of the story in Zara's head. Having been in a terrible motorcycle accident, Zara lays in a coma and her one goal seems to be to find her brother Jem. In comic style, she enters the world of her brother's favorite comic book and searches him out. The only problem is that what she needs to reveal to herself is the truth about what happened when she was a child, when she was kidnapped.
As the book unravels, we find Zara between the real world, listening to those visiting her and replying back in her own head and the comic book world. I loved the illustrations and the idea behind what goes on when trapped in your own head. At times, I was scared to read further, unsure of where her old memories would take me as a reader. Nothing is as scary as being taken and I was worried it would hit a level I could not handle as a reader.
Luckily, it was more than safe, although still terrifying as the details unraveled. I love the relationship between Zara and her brother, how touching the moments between them were at times as Zara remembered with him. This was a hard novel to get through at times, not sure if I wanted Zara traveling back in memory lane, but knowing it was the only way to save her.
Final Verdict: Filled with beautiful illustrations, Pulford does a fantastic job of putting you inside Zara's head and really experiencing the book through her eyes.