Review: Best Kind of Broken by Chelsea Fine + Excerpt

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: January 13, 2014
Source of my copy: Forever
Series: Finding Fate #1
Pixie Marshall wishes every day she could turn back time and fix the past. But she can't. And the damage is done. She's hoping that a summer of free room and board working with her aunt at the Willow Inn will help her forget. Except there's a problem: the resident handyman is none other than Levi Andrews. The handsome quarterback was once her friend-and maybe more-until everything changed in a life-shattering instant. She was hoping to avoid him, possibly forever. Now he's right down the hall and stirring up feelings Pixie thought she'd long buried . . .

Levi can't believe he's living with the one person who holds all his painful memories. More than anything he wants to make things right, but a simple "sorry" won't suffice-not when the tragedy that scarred them was his fault. Levi knows Pixie's better off without him, but every part of him screams to touch her, protect her, wrap her in his arms, and kiss away the pain. Yet even though she's so close, Pixie's heart seems more unreachable than ever. Seeing those stunning green eyes again has made one thing perfectly clear-he can't live without her.

Best Kind of Broken have always been under my radar. I enjoy new adult, especially in the vein of Jennifer Armentrout and Cora Carmack--you know, dramedy type of reads. I am so glad I finally picked up Best Kind of Broken because it was just the kind of new adult I love to read and I've added Chelsea Fine on my list of go-to dramedy NA authors.
About four chapters into Best Kind of Broken I was hooked. First of all, I really like the writing and the voice. The chapters alternate between Pixie and Levi and there was never an instance where I was confused at whose perspective I was reading in. Both Pixie and Levi had distinctive voices--this does not always happen in alternate POVs. 

Another thing that hooked me was the plot line. I've already mentioned in previous posts that I am a sucker for the friends-to-lovers trope and that was Pixie and Levi. Pixie has a horrible mother, so she spent a lot of time at her best friend's Charity's house. Levi was Charity's older brother (best friend's brother trope--another love!) and the three of them formed a close friendship, with Pixie looking up to Levi as her hero. Pixie and Levi were just at that stage where their friendship might be turning into something more when tragedy struck. It left Pixie and Levi's relationship broken and seemingly irreparable. They haven't spoken to each other for a year, until they found themselves working at the same inn and living next door to each other. 

I thought the story started pretty slow. Nothing really happened for the longest time to move the plot forward. For first half of the book, as a reader, we are trying to figure out just what exactly happened to Pixie and Levi a year go. What drove them apart? Why were they so angry with each other and at themselves? Why were they so broken? These were the questions that kept me reading all weekend long. Only after we finally get all the answers that Pixie and Levi start to come together and the main plot moved. Usually, the lack of plot development would bother me, but surprisingly it didn't here. I enjoyed piecing together what happened to Pixie and Levi and why they were acting the way they were. I also really liked the interactions they had--how they got under each other's skin, the pranks they played on each other, their exchanges--it was all very fun and entertaining. I also liked the scenes with the secondary characters, especially the ones who are the focus of the companion books in the series like Daren and Kayla and Jenna and Jack. Meeting them in Best Kind of Broken made me excited to read their books.

I did warm up to Levi's character sooner than I did Pixie's character. Right away we see a vulnerability in Levi that made me want to hug him. Pixie's character was prickly and she pushed people away so it took me a bit longer to warm up to her character. But I rooted for them to repair their relationship and find their happy-ever-after with each other.

Best Kind of Broken was a very engaging, entertaining NA read, with the light, humorous moments and the more serious, dramatic moments was perfectly balanced. If you enjoy Jennifer Armentrout, Cora Carmack or Sophie Jordan's Ivy Chronicles series, then Best Kind of Broken will easily satisfy you and I recommend you pick it up. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the Finding Fate series and future books by Chelsea Fine.

My black and white paint tubes are still out from the last time I painted. I’m not sure where my colored paints are. Maybe in one of the unopened boxes I brought from my dorm? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter, though. I’m not really in a red or green or yellow mood, and haven’t been for quite some time.

A few blonde curls fall into my eyes as I stretch my arms out, and I hastily blow them away. Once again, I didn’t bother to straighten my hair after my warm shower last night—I needed to rinse Matt’s buttery saliva trails from my skin—so of course my locks are a poofy mess, which is why I hate showering at night!

Holding the paintbrush between my teeth, I quickly pull my hair into a haphazard bun and imprison my curls.

Sunlight pours in through my bedroom window, warming the floorboards beneath my feet as I wiggle my toes and stare at the blank canvas.

Still staring.

A good twenty minutes goes by before I finally set my brush to it, and when I do, it’s a giant black stroke. Then another. I brush at the canvas until it’s nearly covered in darkness. I add white. I smudge it into gray. I change my mind and jab more black on there.

I don’t know what I’m painting yet, but that’s not unusual. I typically don’t know where I’m going when I start a painting. The image just… happens, and sometimes it’s not even a real image. Sometimes—most times, lately—it’s just an array of colors and brushstrokes that feel like something more than look like something.

A few quick knocks pull my attention to my door.

“Come in,” I call out.

It creaks open and Ellen steps inside with two canvases. “Here you go.”

“Thanks,” I say. “And thanks for lending me your spare keys yesterday too. My set is lost somewhere in this mess.” I gesture at the mounds of laundry, books, and boxes about my room.

“No problem.” She sets the canvases by the wall and watches me paint for a moment. “Why is everything you paint only black-and-white? What happened to those beautiful color paintings you used to do?”

Why does everyone care?

“Don’t overthink it,” I say. “I’m just in a phase.”

“Right,” she says with knowing eyes. “Well. Enjoy your day off.” She turns and disappears into the hallway.

I go back to painting, thinking about all the times Ellen encouraged me to pursue my passion for art.

She bought me my first set of paints. My first real paintbrushes. She paid for my first art lessons and hung my first real painting—a bright orange sun shining over a purple lake surrounded by yellow flowers—in the center of her living room like it was a priceless piece of art. Like it was special.

I stand back and look at the muddled gray colors in front of me. I frown. It’s not quite what I want to see. It looks… wrong, somehow.

My eyes skip to my bedroom window, drawn by a flash of movement outside. I see Levi running up and down the stone steps behind the lavender field. He does this almost every day.

About the Author
Chelsea lives in Phoenix, Arizona, where she spends most of her time writing stories, painting murals, and avoiding housework at all costs. She's ridiculously bad at doing dishes and claims to be allergic to laundry. Her obsessions include: superheroes, coffee, sleeping-in, and crazy socks. She lives with her husband and two children, who graciously tolerate her inability to resist teenage drama on TV and her complete lack of skill in the kitchen.

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1 comment

  1. I have this book to read but I haven't gotten around to it yet. Thanks for your review, I'm going to move it up on my reading queue. No need to enter me in the giveaway. I got this one.


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